Breaking the ‘robocalls’ story: Maher and McGregor
The Hill Times has a feature with Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher — the two reporters who broke the robocalls story for The Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia, respectively. They discuss how they got the story as well as what the reception has been like and how the story has developed since the original broke on Feb. 23.
Unlike most recipients of name amalgamations, McMaher are not headline-making, Hollywood A-listers.
But when it comes to Canadian journalists, Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher might be the most talked about as of late.
That’s because the two broke the story of the ‘robocalls’ scandal on Feb. 23 after a lengthy investigation that each worked on separately before combining their efforts in the fall. Since it broke, the story has developed into a contentious topic of discussion in Canadian politics and the media. Major publications from across the country have weighed in on the story, and it is sure to be addressed in the House of Commons for a while still.
A story published on The Hill Times on Monday gets the two reporter’s take on how they developed one of the largest scoops to rock Canadian politics in a while (and effectively let the Liberals’ admission that one of its staffers was behind the Vikileaks Twitter campaign fly under the radar).
Comparisons to Watergate are often made when political scandal stories break, and the robocalls story is no exception. McGregor was flattered that he and Maher were drawing comparisons to legendary reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, but told The Hill Times: “It’s absurd, the only similarity is that we’re two white guys working on a story together about politics.”[node:ad]
In the article, McGregor and Maher discuss how they broke the story. They were careful to avoid leading questions while interviewing, and after a while, realized there was a common thread emerging surrounding calls that people had received during the election. They were planning on running a pattern-based story until McGregor discovered communication between the Conservative campaign in Guelph and the agency from which the robocalls initiated, RackNine.
The rest, as they say, is history well-documented by publications and commentary from across the country.
As for their McMaher moniker, McGregor jokingly told The Hill Times he’d prefer if they were called Maher-Gregor because, “as someone said, it sounds like a single malt scotch.”
Read the whole story on The Hill Times here.