The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

July 30, 2009

Harper “appreciates and accepts the apology” over wafer story


“Media ought to apologize to Harper for ‘wafergate’This small article that puts the blame on a small eastern newspaper for the story about Prime Minister Stephen Harper pocketing the wafer at Romeo LeBlanc’s funeral is an example of what is wrong with the media today. Every media outlet in Canada took great glee in reporting this story when the prime minister was at an important meeting in Europe. More and more Canadians are getting browned off with mainstream media. The political bias they show towards the left wing parties in Canada is obvious and blogs have become the main source of coming close to the truth whether it be federal, provincial or municipal politics. What a pleasure it would to see an apology to Harper for this embarrassing lie by the likes of the CBC, CTV and even your newspaper for carrying it as true because it disparaged the prime minister. Regardless of your political leanings, an untrue accusation against our country’s leader deserves a national apology and not just passing it off on a small eastern newspaper when it was repeated across the nation. What happened to the prime minister can also happen to any leader of the opposition if journalists in this country do not have the integrity to make sure a newswire story is true before printing it. As the media found out, most Canadians, including Roman Catholics, thought it was a non-starter. G.D. Gurr Nanaimo”


The publisher and editor of the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal are no longer with the paper after it was forced to apologize to Stephen Harper and two of its own reporters over a story about whether the prime minister took communion at the state funeral of former governor general Roméo LeBlanc.
CBC News has confirmed that editor Shawna Richer has been fired and that Jamie Irving is no longer the publisher of the paper.

The apology, which ran on the provincial newspaper’s front page on Tuesday, said the story that ran on July 8 that accused Harper of placing a communion wafer in his pocket was “inaccurate and should not have been published.”

“There was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any credible support for these statements now,” the apology said.

“Our reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras, who wrote the story reporting on the funeral, did not include these statements in the version of the story that they wrote. In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them.

“The Telegraph-Journal sincerely apologizes to the prime minister for the harm that this inaccurate story has caused. We also apologize to reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras and to our readers for our failure to meet our own standards of responsible journalism and accuracy in reporting.”

During a news conference at the Group of Eight summit in L’Aquila, Italy, on July 10, Harper slammed the allegations that he had pocketed the wafer.

“I think somebody running a story — and I don’t know where responsibility lies — somebody running an unsubstantiated story that I would stick communion bread in my pocket is really absurd,” Harper said.

“First of all, as a Christian, I’ve never refused communion when offered to me. That is actually pretty important to me,” he said.

“And I think it’s a real, frankly, a low point. This is a low moment in journalism, whoever is responsible for this. It’s just a terrible story and a ridiculous story, and not based on anything, near as I can tell.”

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office told CBC News that Harper “appreciates and accepts the apology.”
Now how anyone could have stooped so low to try to insult the, promote hatred towards  the Conservative Prime Minister in this manner is a despicable, unacceptable  reality..
” For the love of all that’s holy… what does it matter if the PM took or did not take, swallowed or did not swallow a wafer? “
” This was a low blow and bad journalism. When the media tries to make a scandal out of minor events such as this, it makes all media look less legit.”
” So the lie was included somewhere “in the editing process.” Will some editor lose his or her job over this ? Or at least, be reprimanded ? Don’t hold your breath. The media are totally ungoverned. There are no standards for good reporting , and no repercussions (for the most part) for careless reporting.  That’s why the media serve up so much distorted mush, and are rated lowest in every survey relating to respect from the public.”
“Hey, I have to wonder, how many other “news” stories have the editors of the Times & Transcript, Telegraph Journal, and Daily Gleaner made up over the years.  Irving propaganda rags.”
” The quality of journalism has declined markedly in the past 3 decades. Today, the pressure to fill TV time and printed pages has surpassed the noble objectives of truthful and accurate reporting.
” Does this really suprise anyone the Telegraph Journal making a story up without the facts. This only shows the people of New Brunswick what kind of news reporting a monoply owned indusrty has to offer. I gave up on the news paper long ago and get my news from the net .”
 “I’m no Harper fan, but he WAS there as a sign of respect for another Christian church.”

“It doesn’t matter which political party one supports or the editorial bias of the particular media outlet. The first obligation of journalism should be honesty.”

In this case it appears that an overly-eager or politically-biased editor simply decided to make things up to embarass Prime Minister Harper. Shame on him or her…he or she should be fired and drummed out of the profession.

It has often been said that newspapers write for those with a Grade 6 education. It seems that they have taken to hiring reporters and editors who are at that level themselves.

Congratulations to the paper for owning up to its error (albeit a long time coming). Shame on those who created the false and biased story.”


” After all the Liberal leaning rags and the left-leaning CBC jumped all over this story about a communion wafer, you would have thought that someone would apologize for using the funeral of a respected man to further their cause in attacking the PM.

Frankly, this “story” about the communion wafer was as newsworthy as reporting what the PM throws away in his trash. Nothing but tabloid journalism and the people involved in reporting anything other than the man who passed away should be ashamed.”

Blog at