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Sunday, April 3, 2011

A note from Sheenagh McMahon

The gutsy woman who got in John Baird's face yesterday has a message for us.

Follow the links. It's worth your time.

She's also very graciously allowed me to reproduce her e-mail messages to me. I can only stand back and applaud. While I wank on about citizenship and civic engagement from behind a keyboard, this lady's actually walking the walk. (h/t CuriosityCat)

From this afternoon at 4:28 PM:

Hi Orwell,
Sheenagh McMahon here. I notice you asking if anyone had a video of my asking John Baird the question on democracy.
CTV and CBC at least were there; they should have video tape if you can pry it from them. I notice CTV had me on the National but cut me off just before the Contempt part of the question and then allowed Baird to turn it into a joke. I don't know if any other news show ran it but if the whole question could be found it would make a great Youtube video. As with anything to do with the Conservative Contempt of Parliament issue, the mainstream media seem to be downplaying it so we need to try to get it going ourselves.

Me, 6:47 PM:

Hi Sheenagh:
I'm honoured that you emailed me. What you did took real courage. If you do decide to make it a regular thing, try and bring a friend with a small camcorder next time. :)
Agreed. It would make an awesome YouTube. Have you asked whether they'd be prepared to make the video available? Probably a long shot, since we're talking about the corporate media here, and I imagine they'd consider all video proprietary, even if they never use it. Perhaps as the star of the show, so to speak, you might wield a certain measure of moral authority -- whether it's worth a shot is for you to decide.
One could argue, though, that once they broadcast it, whatever they decide to show is part of the public record, and the ability to reproduce it, at least in part, is a matter of public interest. I'm not a lawyer so I can't say for sure. I'm pretty sure I've seen some still images of you on the net, though.
Visual content can't hurt, but in the interim, would you allow me to reproduce your message on my site verbatim? It has more authenticity without being filtered or paraphrased, and I wouldn't presume to try improving on your wording in any event. God knows it's a legitimate question, and the more we put it out there, the harder it's going to be for them to ignore it.

Sheenagh, 7:05 PM:

I did show up at Baird's launch today. He delayed his entrance for 1/2 an hour as they tried to get me out to no avail when I pointed out the Radio Canada camera rolling and told them that it wouldn't look good for Baird to have a big fuss in his room.
Then they tried to block me with 2 big guys and a big sign but the camera men asked them to move because they were blocking the shot. They moved slightly but I did have to tell them to stop pushing because they were going to send me into the handicapped man beside me. In the end John practically jumped off the stage and I have to admit, I was concerned for my safety if I shouted out my Question so I opted for handing it to Baird personally and informing him that many others would show up at events to ask him also.
Please do post the question on your blog and ask all Canadians to take it up and ask every Conservatives at every opportunity. I call it "A Question of Democracy."
Good suggestion about the video camera by the way. Thank you.
I'll call CTV news tomorrow and see if they will send me a copy of the video. I notice that when they showed me on camera they referred to the contempt issue before showing me but cut the last part of my question off and then let Baird turn it into a joke giving him the last word. Even CTV seems to be complicit in burying the Contempt issue.
Sheenagh McMahon

, 7:10 PM:

Hi again Sheenagh.
Just so we're clear: it's the actual text of your email messages to me that I want to post on my site, word for word.
I won't do that unless you're unequivocally OK with it. If you'd prefer not, obviously I'll respect that.
If you are OK with it, you might consider looping in other progressive bloggers as well. Your call.

Sheenagh, 7:19 PM:

Sure OB, you can post anything I write. I'm not very tech savy, so anything you can do to post my messages on would be great. I think the most important thing is to get the Question on Democracy out there and get people asking it.
Sheenagh McMahon

I'd say our duty is clear.


  1. Thank you OB, Sheenagh and Curiosity Cat for keeping this story burning. Sheenagh McMahon is a Canadian hero. We have too few of those these days. While the Craigslist Cons try to keep the 'liberal media' meme alive, the truth is in the burying of this important story by CTV and the rest of the media. We need more more Sheenaghs!

  2. This is great information. I hope everyone twitters this and posts a link to it on their own blogs.

  3. Way to go Sheenagh! Proud to be someone who knows you and someone who has been influenced by your character! Say what needs to be said -whatever the consequences!