Tale of the Tape: A “strange twist”, indeed

It seems that Canadian Press resident Cadmanologist Tim Naumetz also got hold of the “leaked” report in question – no prize for guessing who seems to have leaked it, by the way.

Not surprisingly, he has a markedly different take than CTV News, the apparent beneficiary of said leak, and the followup story that appeared just hours later in the National Post that accepted, without question, the premise that the report cast doubt on the authenticity of the recording:

A sound expert the Liberal party hired to review a tape recording at the centre of the Chuck Cadman bribery allegation has submitted an inconclusive report.

But the expert confirms key segments involving Prime Minister Stephen Harper may be original.

The expert, Florida-based scientist Harry Hollien, says in a report the Conservatives leaked that he does not have enough evidence to confirm the authenticity of the recording.

The report hasn’t yet been filed in a $3.5-million defamation lawsuit Harper launched against the Liberals.

Hollien’s report says the first part of the recording where Harper says he was not aware of the “details” of a $1-million life insurance policy the Tories allegedly offered the late MP Cadman to help defeat the Liberals in 2005 does not appear to have been altered.
He could not tell from the tape and seven recorders he examined whether the recording was authentic or a copy.

Crucially, Hollien said there was no indication from his study of the tape that the first 48 seconds of the interview a B.C. author conducted with Harper after Cadman’s death in late 2005 had been changed. […]

It’s one thing to be on the receiving end of an exclusive leak – although the fact that it’s unclear whether the report had, in fact, been filed before winding up in the hands of the media on the literal eve of the election may raise some rather pointed questions from the court about how it got there. Judges tend to frown on that sort of thing, as I understand. But did the National Post writers even bother read to the end of the CTV story, which – headline aside – made it clear that this expert did not conclude that the tape “had likely been altered”, contrary to what the Post story asserts?

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