A hint of what really went on came on Wednesday morning when over 100 officers mustered in a Vancouver armoury to get briefed on the plan to rescue the young man.
During that week as well, the police were hampered in their efforts by some elements of the broadcast news media who simply would not do as they were asked and refused to “blackout” the story so the police could do their job. With a kidnap victim’s life hanging in the balance, one has to question the judgment in those newsrooms.
But the story that really stuck in my craw was the piece done by CTV’s Lisa Rossington when she “tracked down” the rental car used by the kidnappers to abduct McMynn.
Rossington spoke to someone in the car lot office who said the police had not contacted them, implying that somehow the police were incompetent.
Given that the girlfriend of the victim was present at the time of the abduction and was the one who gave them the information about the vehicle, did Rossington really believe that the police wouldn’t have followed up on their only solid lead from the get-go? It strains credulity well past the breaking point to even contemplate such a notion a week into the kidnapping.
And, let’s face it, saying that on the six o’clock news sends an entirely contradictory message to the kidnappers than what the police and the family were trying to get out which was to get the kidnappers to make contact. And in this, she placed McMynn’s life in further danger.
The Vancouver Police proved all the doubters and armchair quarterbacks wrong. They conducted an effective, successful investigation in the most trying of circumstances in the desperate attempt to save an innocent life.
The media and the police both have their role to play in a democratic society. Those roles need not always be at odds with each other. Especially when lives are at stake.