From: Donna Laframboise <>


Subject: Fw: I apologize

Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 08:41:56 -0400


----- Original Message -----

From: "Michael A. LaBerge" <>

To: "'Donna Laframboise'" <>

Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 2:26 AM

Subject: I apologize

[Only after a flurry of phone messages and emails between Monday and Wednesday, culminating in this exchange in

which he apologizes for questioning the reporter, did the president of ECMAS-Calgary follow through with his threat

to separate from ECMAS-Edmonton. The crux of it is 1 pages down.]


> Please do not get me wrong, Donna. --------->

> I understand your position, and respect your research thoroughness in any


> all articles of yours that I have read. I also know you have/will do the

> same here.

> The good ,the bad and the ugly must be told, regardless of which side

> creates it. You are the messenger, not the creator.


> Donna, in no way was I asking or suggesting the article not to be written.


> would not insult you or the National Post in that manner. I apologize to


> for not making that point clear. Secondly, I do not consider you as a PR

> service. My respect for you is deeper than that, nor have I unsolicitedly

> asked for air time from you. I have always viewed your journalism as


> professional, ethical and clear - characteristics of which I wish would


> off onto some other journalists!!


> I guess a delay in writing was suggested because neither the people


> and the process factor were efficient in Edmonton over the weekend subject

> to the imputed timeline. Their decision process last Sunday and their

> methodology did not fit the timeline I presented, so I extended to seek

> answers to the key questions. I also am aware you did the same. I


> that and pointed this out to Bob. The direct questions were not even asked

> at their meeting! We re-directed these specific questions to them this

> afternoon.



> I left a telephone message with you at 8 pm Calgary time after I talked to

> Bob Bouvier. I even talked to [Source A] to see if he could relay some

> semblance of sanity this evening. It appears stupidity is long lasting -


> Edmonton group seem to be tightening the noose rather than untying the


> They are not prepared to disassociate themselves from these two


> That being the case, the opportunity to correct their actions has been

> given. Their lack of action is more damaging because it could cause harm


> someone in the future. That is the real misfortune, and we realize it.

> Somehow, I have not found the right method to get that message across, or

> they simply do not want to hear it.



> ECMAS Calgary will cease to exist within the next couple of days when the

> board can assemble. Maybe we will call ourselves "The Family Group


> known as ECMAS".


> Again, Donna, I apologize for my lack of clarity, and do appreciate your

> actions over the past week.


> Regards,

> Mike



> -----Original Message-----

> From: Donna Laframboise []

> Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 7:42 PM

> To:

> Subject: re: your comments



> Thanks, once again, for the update.


> Re: the following

> > Donna,

> > If individuals are expendable to further the cause of Family Law Reform,

> are

> > destructive articles expendable as well?


> No offense, but I'm starting to get a little pissed. I can't tell you how

> many times, in the past week, I've been told "you have no idea how much

> damage you are about to do," "you used to be a decent person, what

> happened?" "you're going to destroy everything we've worked so hard to

> build" etc. etc. etc. [Showing anger toward an interviewee is itself manipulative. The rest of her remarks below are also revealing, but use this link to return to the main essay:] [Back]


> I don't make the news - I write about it. It's my job to report on what's

> going on in the community. Sometimes that means telling the public bad

> things about people whose goals I believe in. It doesn't make me feel


> to write these kinds of stories, but that's life. It doesn't make me feel

> wonderful to write exposes on women's shelters or rape crisis centres,

> either, by the way. Those are services I believe in, too. But when they're

> being delivered by foolish people who think that just because they've got

> good intentions all the harm they're doing doesn't count - those stories

> need to be written. I wouldn't let a women's group get away with the kind


> things ECMAS Edmonton has been doing, and I'm certainly not going to let


> family rights community get away with it, either. In both cases, I have a

> moral obligation to expose these problems.


> Moreover, the National Post is not a charity. It has not paid my salary to

> work on this story for the past week (and I did not give up a full day on

> Sunday to go into the office and work on this article) just so, at the end

> of all this effort, we can take everything I've done and flush it down the

> toilet. It's simply out of the question that the story would be killed

> because that's what you'd prefer to see happen. It is well beyond my power

> to make that decision, and I'm insulted that you would suggest that I would

> make such a decision if it were in my power to do so. [Back]


> You know as well as I do that if 99% of the other journalists in this

> country wrote this story, there'd be no sympathetic context whatsoever.


> striven very hard to put that into the story and will work as hard as I


> to make sure it stays in during the editing process. But there really are

> limits to what you can expect, and it might be wiser to start counting


> blessings rather than nitpicking.


> When people in your movement are saying and doing sensible things, I'm


> to report that. When you're being idiots, I have an obligation to report

> that, too.


> In other words, I'm not your PR service. I'm not sure why so many of you

> guys seem to think that I am, but please, let's not have any more


> on that score.


> best wishes,


> D.