Saturday, 7 July 2007

NDPers scary lot

B.C. reporter Chris Foulds responds to the recent CEP survey of journalists with his own story about the perils he faced while covering NDPers during the 1996 provincial election campaign.

"It was a gloriously sunny Saturday morning – until the flower pot and a stack of newspapers were thrown directly at my head," the Kamloops This Week staffer writes in the Abbotsford News.

"The cacophony of the crash when the projectiles whizzed by my ear and met the wall was followed by the rapid-fire profane invective booming from the lungs of the New Democratic Party of B.C.’s campaign team.

"It seemed appropriate at that particular time to decamp from the NDP’s campaign office in downtown Abbotsford in those final few days before the 1996 provincial election.

"Bruce Temple was the candidate, and he had amassed a campaign squad that made the Pinkerton guards of the Depression look like pacifists."

Chris has more to say about the perils of being a journalist and his first-person story will probably have other journalists recalling their hazardous encounters far from the war zones.

We're sure veteran Sun staffers, including Toronto Sun crime reporter Rob Lamberti and photog Dave Thomas, have had their share of threatening moments on the job.

If any Sun Media staffers want to tell TSF their stories, the couch is vacant.

This former police reporter was never physically assaulted on the job, but more than a few not-so- jovial men being photographed on perp walks outside police stations pointed fingers and cursed.

There was one off-balance kick in the direction of my groin, which happily didn't make contact.

One of my first assignments as a cub reporter in the 1960s was to get a photo of a Streetsville man killed in a plane crash. His brother lunged at me at the door, but was held back by his wife.

To be truthful, my fear of bodily harm reached a peak that night in 1980 when Les Pyette, the ever-inventive Sun city editor, sent me out to get a quote from actor Lee Majors on the day he learned his estranged wife Farrah Fawcett had moved in with Ryan O'Neal.

But Lee the gentleman, who was in town for a film festival, grinned and gave Farrah and Ryan his best. So no bop on the nose from The Six Million Dollar Man.

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