Monday, May 31, 2010

VERITAS: TOUCHDOWN - BRYANT ELOQUENT IN VICTORY

This week's perspective from Bob Reid:


I was considering calling this one a Field Goal – somewhat less than a full Touchdown in communications terms – but, upon reflection, I think that would be nit-picking. After word that the charges against him in connection with last summer’s fatal run-in with a cyclist were being dropped altogether, former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant stepped before the cameras and microphones. He gave an eloquent – albeit flowery at times – statement, describing the sequence of events as one that “has turned out to be a tale about addiction and mental health, an independent justice system, a tragic death and a couple out on their wedding anniversary with the top down. It is not a morality play about bikes versus cars, couriers versus drivers, or about class, privilege or politics. It's about how in 28 seconds, everything can change." In doing so (backed by the official court record of evidence, including testimony and photos of his assailant involved in previous aggressive acts against drivers), Bryant was able to frame what happened as a perfect storm of circumstance. He wisely noted the loss of the life of Darcy Sheppard (“A young man is dead, and for his family and friends - that remains the searing memory. To them I express my sympathies and sincere condolences. I have grieved that loss and I always will.") And at the end of the day, major newspaper editorials and person-on-the-street comment all seemed in his favour. That’s what counts in a play this big, hence the Touchdown. In the end, Bryant was vindicated, in both the court of law and the court of public opinion, and that is a Touchdown, twice over.

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