Dear reader, there is something we have not been telling you. For weeks now, most reporters on Parliament Hill have known, but not reported, that our friend and colleague, CBC television reporter Melissa Fung, was being held captive by kidnappers in Afghanistan. In order to increase the likelihood of her safe return, we had all agreed to keep Melissa’s kidnapping a secret.
Now we can tell you, because now she is free. The Prime Minister is about to have a news conference. I’ll have more in about an hour.
UPDATE: ITQ has brief details from the Prime Minister’s press conference. I’ll have video up inside a half hour. The CBC will hold its own news conference at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
The prime minister’s answers on questions regarding ransom seem, to my untotored ear, to have been categorical: he says there was none. He left other questions unanswered, sometimes for obvious security reasons and at other times because there probably is no knowable answer.
UPDATE: John Cruickshank, the CBC “publisher,” just finished a news conference. Much relief, few new details. Cruickshank, too, says there was no ransom. He emphasized that Melissa was on her second tour in Afghanistan. The trip to Kabul, with a fixer but no military escort, will be debated endlessly by assignment editors. (Every reporter in Afghanistan has a big decision to make, every day they’re there: stay with soldiers, accept their protection along with their extremely limited freedom of movement, in exchange for a better understanding of their task and its limitations — or go out, alone and essentially unprotected, to get closer to ordinary Afghans? There is never a right answer. The tension between the two paths is constant.)
UPDATE: here’s the video.