The Conservative Party war room had a team following the Liberal Express bus tour around when it launched from Ottawa a few weeks ago, ready to watch for missteps and bad luck, and they got lucky themselves early on when the bus suffered mechanical difficulties.
Knowing that a picture is worth a thousand words, the Conservative operatives snapped some photos that were duly dispatched to friendly Web partisans and to the media. Conservative blogger Stephen Taylor (an old pal of new Sun Media boss Kory Teneycke, by the way) was the first surrogate to dutifully post the photos online, attributing them to “a source on tour.” He published a few, but here’s the money-shot:
Globe and Mail reporter Steven Chase used the same photo in a posting for the paper’s Ottawa Notebook blog, with this note on the source, even linking back to Taylor’s post with the photos:
Later party stalwarts circulated a picture of the hapless Liberal bus being towed away for service.
The same Conservative-supplied photo was used to illustrate the story filed for the Sun papers by QMI’s Brian Lilley. But instead of identifying its source as partisan political operatives to better inform their readers, as the Globe had done, the picture was sources as “QMI Agency” which leads readers to believe the photo comes from a wire service or other journalistic source.
The odd attribution was noted on Twitter by Globe online political editor Stephen Wicary, shortly after the Sun story was posted:
Which generated this exchange between Lilley
Sound advice from one journalist to another. And you’d think Lilley would be upset about others adding a photo to his story obtained through partisan sources and hiding its source. Maybe see to it that it was changed and corrected, to uphold journalistic standards and what not.
You’d think so, except the screenshot of that story above was taken yesterday. Yes, more than two weeks after initial publication, and more than two weeks after the QMI was made aware of the “mistake” the false attribution remains. And it’s not like Lilley forgot, as this exchange of testy tweets with Wicary a week later demonstrates:
Me-ow. A sore spot, it would seem. But if Sun Media/QMI sees no need to bother correcting the attribution of a photo supplied by Conservative Party of Canada War Room operatives and leaving it to stand as coming from a “QMI Agency” it would seem logical to assume they believe the attribution is accurate.
Which begs the question, does that mean the Conservative War Room is an agency of QMI/Sun Media? Or, perhaps more accurately, is it really the other way around?