Saturday, April 05, 2008

Privacy issues surrounding the Lukiwski tape

Lyle Hewitt makes a good point in today's Leader-Post about the flagrant abuse of privacy rights concerning the other individuals in the 1991 tape who are not public figures at the present time.

Hewitt worked on the campaign in question, but is not on the tape. His concerns are for those private citizens whose faces have been plastered in the media from coast-to-coast over the last several days:


...No one on that tape was doing anything illegal. No one was making any sort of policy statement.

No one was making a declaration to reporters or issuing a personal vision statement.

The context of the tape is perfectly clear. It was an after-hours party at a stressful workplace, where most of the people, underneath it all, were well aware that they were going to be losing their jobs soon. They took a night off to let their hair down and relax a bit.

From the video, it's obvious that alcohol had been consumed. After people had had a few drinks and were feeling uninhibited, some goof with a camera started wandering around and goading people into doing and saying silly things.

If there is anyone out there who can honestly say that they have never been in a situation even remotely like that, please allow me to buy you a ticket to the Vatican so that you can go and apply for sainthood.

Most of the people in the video were and remain private citizens. They do not deserve to have their Candid Camera moments from two decades ago splashed across the media. Why weren't the faces of the other people pixelated out or why wasn't the film edited in some other way so as to show only the public figures that the media was gunning for? To those of you in the opposition and the media who have blown this story so ridiculously out of proportion, I say shame on you. You had better hope that your own drunken antics from past prorogation parties (the legislature's annual post-session all-party booze-fest) don't come to light some day.

And for those of you in the public who sat back and snickered as you watched the video, I hope you enjoyed your cheap, voyeuristic thrill -- and I hope it never happens to you.

The media should be ashamed.

And every Canadian citizen planning to attend a private party that's being recorded in any manner should be aware that if any of the participants ever becomes an elected public official, your antics may very well become the fodder for a humiliating media feeding-frenzy any time in the future.


* * * *
Update: More privacy issues - via Ezra Levant.

National Post - Tom Lukiwski should not resign.

- And I'm very honoured to have Deborah Gyapong pick up this post - "I'm not the only one raising privacy concerns".

Celestial Junk: Robert Fife Bashes Knuckle-Dragging Conservatives.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post, Joanne.
How is this different than the documents released in the case of Brenda Martin which was claimed to be abuse of privacy?
I note in passing that it seems to me that the "comments" which caused the furor were not made as a matter of opinion but more in the nature of mimicry.
Weve never seen mimicry before have we?
-Lee-

Manuel said...

On every news poll I've seen about this 89% or so think this is stupid....another 11% think he should quit his post. just a general idea where the public is at on this.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm sure Harper will have to make a decision on this once he gets back.

Personally, I would leave it up to his constituents - poll them or something.

Gabby in QC said...

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 12:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

Mull that over, NDPers and Liberals, self-appointed champions of the Charter of Rights.

Alberta Girl said...

Funny how Brenda and her champions are screaming that her "privacy" was violated and yet these very same "champions" see nothing wrong with airing this private film if it gives them the opportunity to make further smear attempts towards the Conservatives.

The hypocrasy is blatant!!

Alberta Girl said...

In fact the others shown in that video should turn around and threaten to sue them (the NDP, the Liberals and the MSM) for "invasion of privacy" and see how fast the MSM dumps this story.

analyse this said...

I believe the liberals acquired this tape by commandeering private property inadvertently left in an office.

Instead of returning this private property to its rightful owners, the liberals have kept private property that is not theirs to keep.

Now, like rats, the liberals scurry through other peoples private property looking for dirt to throw.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I believe the liberals acquired this tape by commandeering private property inadvertently left in an office.

Actually, I think it was the provincial NDP party, but the federal NDP and Liberal parties were quick on the uptake!

Anonymous said...

Like I've said a few times...how many Libs and Dippers are tossing in their beds wondering how many of their parties were 'taped'?
The biggest hypocrites are those politicians that are feinging outrage, and have mouthed off at many parties too.
Like Lyle points out...they want us to believe they are perfect saints.

analyse this said...

You're right, Joanne, so does that mean both the NDP and the liberals have kept private property belonging to others?

I remeber seeing tape of the liberals walking the sidewalks with boxes of other peoples private property.

Funny, I don't remember the NDP parading around with the private propery they commandeered.

The NDP must have quietly confiscated the private property of others.

wilson said...

I know that if I was one of those young women in the tape, I'd be seeking advice on my privacy rights.
Where was the public interest here?

'Reality tv' without expressed permission...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yup. I think they should take it up with the Privacy czars.

Ruth said...

Good post, Joanne.
I wish we could stop Jane Giggles from using this story again tomorrow on Question Period.
She already said it would be one of their topics when she was on MDL.

Blue Magic said...

Great post Joanee..

Man how times have changed.

Did you see what they where wearing and how there hair was done?

Thank god I was just an 11 year old skateboarder at the time....

On second thought, I dressed pretty goffy then too.

PS: I still skateboard:)

27 and still skating. But hey 30 is the new 20 right.....

Alberta Girl said...

"I wish we could stop Jane Giggles from using this story again tomorrow on Question Period.
She already said it would be one of their topics when she was on MDL."

Is Q.P. done live - or taped?

If it is live, perhaps we call send her e-mails with Bob Fife's knuckldragger comment, or some of the comments such as Tony over at Tony's viewpoint has come up with regarding homophobic remarks Liberals have made much more recently than 16 years ago.

It would be interesting to see if she used them. If she doesn't - then we can point out to her and to the CTV brass how biased and unbalanced she is.

It would be an interesting exercise.

Mike Duffy should definitely be made aware of the comments made by Liberals, since we are all airing dirty laundry these days.

After all - fair IS fair.

Murray the Hun said...

Joanne (True Blue),

I just want to comment on your earlier distinction between the federal NDP and the provincial NDP.

The fact is that there is no difference between these. NDP might be elected to the different levels of government, or employed by them. However, the party itself makes no distinction: a membership purchased in the provincial wing of the NDP automatically confers membership in the federal wing.

Members of the party anywhere in the country need to be aware that when the NDP pulls such shenanigans in Saskatchewan, it is their party doing so, not some distant and unconnected organization.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Murray! I didn't know that about the Dippers.

Möbius said...

If you're being videotaped, you might want to watch what you say. Even in the context of the era, it was pretty stupid.

I do believe he regrets it, and from personal experience, I also believe people can change their opinions on this over time.

If we don't evolve over our lifetime, then what's the point?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If we don't evolve over our lifetime, then what's the point?

That's true.

I don't buy into this notion that whatever you are thinking at 40 is set for life.

It doesn't apply in the cases of anyone I know.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If it is live, perhaps we call send her e-mails with Bob Fife's knuckldragger comment, or some of the comments such as Tony over at Tony's viewpoint has come up with regarding homophobic remarks Liberals have made much more recently than 16 years ago.

Send the emails anyway! Also, check out Dr. Roy.

We've got to jump on this kind of bigotry before it's too late. The pendulum needs to swing back towards the middle.

jad said...

I seem to remember Bob Rae making some comments during the leadership race about how his views on economic policy had undergone a radical change since his time as Ontario Premier, and that was part of his rationale for switching to the Liberal Party. I can't unfortunately remember the details, but I think it may have been along the lines that he no longer supported the concept of deficit financing.

Since he was 42 when he became Premier, and 47 when he got dumped, I guess that would indicate some evolution in his thinking after the magic age of
40.

Or maybe evolution only applies to lefties....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Or maybe evolution only applies to lefties....

Exactly. We've got to stop giving everyone else (except us) a free pass.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Don't forget to check out Richard's blog. This guy is amazing.

Alberta Girl said...

"Send the emails anyway!"

I guess giggles and ollie don't want to hear from the masses unless as they have no contact email....sigh.

I guess that way, you can always plead igorance if you live in your press gallery bubble.

It would sure be interesting to have a tape running at one of their parties. I would bet "knuckledraggers" is the least of the things Conservatives are called.

Lets see - in the past two years, press bias has cost the following to take a hit to their careers.

Lawand
Erickson
Aiken
and hopefully Fife

any more??

I love blogs and the internet - now they have to face that their are people watching and are willing to call them on their biased reporting.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I guess giggles and ollie don't want to hear from the masses unless as they have no contact email....sigh.

They still have to meet some kind of broadcasting standards.

Oh, wait. Paul at CJunk has contact info here.

MissHailey said...

I have no idea about the legal issues related to making this video public. If it's illegal it shouldn't have happened. That being said I do not have one iota of sympathy for them. They were part of a milieu that had a theme of negative comments about gays, women, minorities, etc. They had the moral duty to speak up or remove themselves from that setting. People who are silent in the face of such behaviour are part of the problem.

And to excuse this behaviour because the workplace is "stressful" and they might be losing their job is ridiculous. People who have partisan based jobs are aware of the volatility of their employment. If they can't manage that without making hate-filled comments that's unfortunate. That they say things when their guard is let down is disturbing. I never knew that hate-filled comments were part of "relaxing".

These adults are also responsible for how much alcohol they consume. I believe that you are responsible for your words even when drunk.

And for those of you in the public who sat back and snickered as you watched the video, I hope you enjoyed your cheap, voyeuristic thrill -- and I hope it never happens to you.

The media should not be ashamed. The people who spoke these hateful words should be ashamed and so should the people who sat there and did nothing.

The private property issue is a red herring. People have a responsibility to remove the contents fully from a professional dwelling that they are occuping. That the conservatives didn't have the intelligence to pack their belongings and left such a tape for the NDP is remarkably shocking. It shows incompetence and a few loose screws.

And, Mobius, I really believe that we can evolve. Brad Wall was a young man and he's got a little bit of a free ride on this. The other gentleman was in his 40's. It's also noteworthy that he hasn't done a political about face. His voting patterns continue to show hostility to gay and lesbian rights - he just has learned to say things without such nasty barbs. His views of gay and lesbians being second class citizens though remains and is reflected in his voting history.

The people on this team - one and all- should be ashamed.

Alberta Girl said...

"And, Mobius, I really believe that we can evolve. Brad Wall was a young man and he's got a little bit of a free ride on this. The other gentleman was in his 40's. It's also noteworthy that he hasn't done a political about face. His voting patterns continue to show hostility to gay and lesbian rights - he just has learned to say things without such nasty barbs. His views of gay and lesbians being second class citizens though remains and is reflected in his voting history."

BullS***, miss hailey

Given that you are "miss", I would assume that you are still young. Guess what, sweetie, times change and believe it or not, we CAN change our minds.

16 years ago, I firmly believed that Gays should not be "married".

16 years ago, I was 39 years old.

25 years ago I was a Liberal

My mind has changed.

And MissHailey - not surprisingly, so will yours.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

His voting patterns continue to show hostility to gay and lesbian rights - he just has learned to say things without such nasty barbs.

Miss Hailey, you might be interested in reading by a this post gay Blogging Tory colleague.

MissHailey said...

It's really not necessary to swear Alberta girl to make points.

I am actually a Mrs, married and a mom - but I am holding onto the miss as long as I can!

I agree that people can change their minds. I have been less hostile towards Mr. Wall who I believe was more youthful Mr. Lukiwski is, however, a man who was in his 40's at this time. He is also a woman that just 2-3 years ago spoke out in the House against gay people having the same rights as you and I. There is zero evidence that his mind has changed.

And, Joanne, I do not disagree that there are people across all parties that are unadmirable. I won't defend Mr. Wappel's record on gay rights or his comments. It's particularly groteque that he comments on gay marriage given his own lifestyle around marriage. It is also disappointing that Bill Saiksay wimped out. Not even the NDP has a good record on treating gay people as equal citizens. Pointing out other people's mistakes though does nothing to address Mr. Lukiwski's.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Pointing out other people's mistakes though does nothing to address Mr. Lukiwski's.

It points out the hypocrisy of the opposition parties.

Alberta Girl said...

Miss Hailey - I totally disagree that one can't "change" their perception. 60 years ago, black and white marriages were frowned on, 50 years ago if you got pregnant when you were a teenager you were sent to live with your aunt.

16 years ago, gay marriage was not even on the radar. Plus, it was a private party, they were drinking and hamming it up for the camera - plus, he seems to be answering a question - what was the question and who asked it.

For you to take the high and mighty route as if you HAVE NEVER said a derogatory thing against anyone, because, i would bet my last dollar that you have - we all have.

I hear comments like he made all the time from males - no matter how much you would like to have it the other way, we still live in a homophobic world.

But for you to say that his voting record somehow means that he meant what he said is ludicrous. Times change Miss Hailey and peoples view of the world changes as well.

We all need to take a look in the mirror before condeming what Tom L. said, because - whether you admit it or not - we have ALL been there.

MissHailey said...

I never said someone can't change. I am suggesting that someone in their 40's who 16 years later has a voting pattern as recent as 2-3 years ago that shows a position of treating gays as second class hasn't changed

I do not hear the kinds of comments that were made by this "gentleman" all the time by "men". If I did I would consider it my duty to interrupt just as I would if someone used the n-word or other objectionable language. I am sorry that you know those kind of people and even sorry if you don't speak out.