TOPICS OF THE WEEK - 5 NOVEMBER 1885

If the press of the United States has any regard for its own honour it will lose no time in putting a curb on the “enterprise” of its interviewers. The last victim of the system appears to have been the Governor-General, whom, when he was in the North-West, an interviewer had the assurance to approach on the subject of the sentence upon Riel. The Governor-General, of course, declined to commit what would have been the grossest possible breach of official propriety. Nevertheless the interviewer seems to have concocted a report which appeared in an American journal, and which the Governor-General has been obliged to disclaim. Some years back an English man of science visiting New York was surprised to read a report of an interview in which he was represented as passing a stricture on the New York Fire Department, he never having even alluded to the subject. Not long ago we had a Canadian complaining that an American interviewer had put into his mouth an attack on certain land speculators in the North-West of whom he had never heard, with a quotation from a document which he had never seen. This is mere fraud and forgery. People are told that the safe course is to insist on having the questions written down and writing your replies: but how can this or any other safeguard avail to secure you against unscrupulous fabrication? Even the sanctity of private intercourse and of the social board is not always respected, and a man to whose utterances any interest attaches has to be very careful how he talks unless he is sure that no one connected with the press is present. When the Prince of Wales was here, one of his suite was drawn into conversation at a ball by a very gentlemanly man whom he did not know, but whom he afterwards discovered to be the reporter of a New York journal. The consequence was that the Prince one morning came down to breakfast and laughingly handed to the member of his suite who had been interviewed a copy of the journal with the report, in which a comparison not flattering to his Royal Highness was drawn between his intellectual endowments and those of his brother. The Prince's good nature is well known to be unfailing, but the confusion of his unlucky friend may he imagined. The friend had been imprudent no doubt; but he came from a country where, in those days at all events, nobody would have been in danger of seeing reproduced in the newspapers anything that he had said at a


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