Something doesn’t add up

CP published an article yesterday that quotes Garth Turner’s recollection of a debate he had with Charles McVety of the Family Action Coalition.

Earlier this year, Turner took part in a TV debate with Charles McVety, an evangelical leader who has been a driving force in the fight against same-sex marriage.

The MP says there was a telling moment in that debate when McVety looked at him and said: “You know what? I can pick up the phone and call Harper and I can get him in two minutes. It’s going to take you a month.”

Turner paused.

“I think he’s right.”

Apparently the leader of the “Righteous Right” (as Garth calls him) was upset by this and published a press release just hours ago:

Canada Family Action Coalition president and Senior Director of Defend Marriage Coalition, Dr. Charles McVety is calling a quote attributed to him by MP Garth Turner “a figment of his imagination.”

The alleged statement, reported in a Canadian Press story November 26, was supposed to have been made during a televised debate between McVety and Turner. According to the CP story, Turner related that McVety looked at him
and said, “You know what? I can pick up the phone and call Harper and I can
get him in two minutes. It’s going to take you a month.”

“I never made this statement,” said McVety. “It’s a complete fabrication by Mr. Turner from start to finish. It’s really quite sad.”

McVety also expressed surprise that a respected journalist and news service would see fit to publish quotes attributed to him without verifying their authenticity.

“I’ve been interviewed by John Ward before as well as many of his colleagues at Canadian Press so they must have my cell phone number somewhere,” said McVety. “It is unprofessional for a journalist to not have interviewed me before reporting Mr. Turner’s yarn as fact. It seems a bit incautious.”

I can understand that any good person would want to clear up false information about events surrounding themselves and their acquaintances whenever possible.

Yet… Garth’s alleged falsehood isn’t exactly bad press for McVety. If I was a lobbyist, policy advocate, or political constituency representative, if some media magnet was going around and telling the press that I had the Prime Minister on speed-dial and could get our country’s leader on the phone in two minutes, clearing that up wouldn’t be exactly be on top of my list of priorities.

You think he’d wait at least until the weekend was over, or that he might write a letter to the editor.

But no, McVety sent out an urgent press release ($) late last night, just hours after that damaging story was published in order to clear up the horrible (horrible!) “fabrication”.

“Did you hear that Dr. Charles McVety can get the PM on the horn in two minutes?”

Wow, that would be impressive. If true, it would show that McVety has a lot of influence and this isn’t exactly damaging to his job function.

McVety should probably straighten out Garth’s “fabrication” if untrue, but he might wait until, oh say, someone cared enough to ask him if those rumours are true. Why go so far as to spend cash to clear this up?

Why is McVety so eager to clear the air?

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