After the Vancouver Sun found itself lead down the garden path while launching a media fire storm in the Corporal Jim Brown affair, I really shouldn’t be surprised at their inability to present basic facts in an understandable manner, but I am.
The Vancouver Sun today, September 22nd, has run a story headlined Criminal libel case linked to comments made against Mounties on erotic website. Erotic Vancouver has never written libellous claims about “Mounties”. I wish I thought this intentional misleading headline, and the incomplete story which follows it, were payback for Erotic Vancouver’s coverage of the Sun’s earlier handling of this story. More likely it is simply the continued bungling, mishandling and incompetence which has characterized their coverage. The comments made on this website were just that, reader comments made in response to the article Spotlight on the media: Abduction scene photos are not of RCMP Corporal Brown. The comments of reader Daniel Fawkes lead to an email exchange between the reader and Erotic Vancouver. That exchange included a disturbing email that Erotic Vancouver passed along to a lawyer with the Missing Women’s Inquiry.
To recap quickly, on July 5th the Vancouver Sun ran a story alleging that Corporal Jim Brown had appeared in a serious of BDSM photos, including ones that the Sun asserted re-enacted the Pickton crimes. It further questioned the involvement of Brown in the Pickton investigation: he had a peripheral role in handling an informant in that case.
The story was quickly picked up by several other media outlets, most notably the CBC, given the sensational nature of the allegations.
As first reported here, the pictures which were in large part the basis of the story–ones depicting a violent-appearing abduction sequence at knife point–were not in fact of Corporal Brown. Moreover, press sources have indicated that the difference between visible tattoos on each man, Corporal Brown in some of the photos, the different man in the knife abduction sequence, had given them pause when reporting the story. Unfortunately in the wake of the earlier coverage by Ian Mulgrew and the Sun, other media outlets chose to run with the story.
Erotic Vancouver has learned that The Vancouver Sun ignored its own policies regarding sourcing in running this story. We will have more coverage of that here, later.
It is not alleged by authorities that Erotic Vancouver or its editor have engaged in any untoward behaviour.
In fact, of all the media outlets that have covered this story, it’s a shame that the most thorough and professional coverage of this matter has come from a website devoted to providing info on Vancouver’s alternative sexuality events.