Kim Bolan, the Vancouver Sun reporter who broke the story that Stephen Harper used to smear Liberal MP Navdeep Bains with, as well as the whole Liberal Party and Mr. Bains' family, has come out strongly in her own defense, claiming that, basically, she was not being employed as a useful idiot by the CPoC when she wrote her now infamous piece.
Quite possibly. Bolan said in a comment on The Gazetteer:
I wrote the story and there was no leak. It was very apparent from sitting through 19 months of the Air India trial who would be the obvious choices for investigative hearings - all the names came out during the evidence at the trial.
I have covered this story since 1985 so there are few mysteries or secrets.
No mysteries or secrets, maybe, but I think the question Ms. Bolan needs to answer before anyone can determine whether her reporting was irresponsible or within the bounds of sound journalistic practice, is: was there a list with Darshan Singh Saini's name on it (Mr. Saini is Navdeep Bain's father-in-law)? She writes in the original Sun story that:
The Vancouver Sun has learned that Bains's father-in-law, Darshan Singh Saini, is on the RCMP's potential list of witnesses at investigative hearings designed to advance the Air India criminal probe.
Okay, Ms. Bolan, is it a potential list of witnesses or a list of potential witnesses?
In the first case, which is the way the wording goes in your story, you are claiming that Mr. Saini is on a list that is merely "potential". In other words, he may be on a non-actual list. In other words, there may be no list at all. This interpretation is supported by the claim in the first paragraph of your comment in the Gazetteer: those people who are "obvious choices for investigative hearings" would be "apparent" to someone who has been covering the story as long as you, whether or not you were privy to any list.
But then you are being grossly misleading. Though your story may not yet be "false". Indeed, it would seem difficult to determine the truth or falsity of a statement concerning an non-existent object.
Or, in the second case, there is a real RCMP list and Mr. Saini's name is really on it. In which case, how do you know about it, did you get a look at it, and if so who showed it to you (or just told you about it)? A probe may indeed be in order to determine these matters.
So which of these two scenarios is the right one?
(PS. I have never seen one of these "probes". I hear they are like the kind they use for an endoscopy. Enjoy yourself, Kim!)
Update: Red Tory makes similar but not identical points here.