MAYOR SCHADENFORD CALLS HIS FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER RETURNING FROM
"WORDSTOCK", A FOCUSING BOOT CAMP FOR THE VERBALLY-CHALLENGED....
(With apologies to Stuart Wade's "The Briefing"...)
[Setting: media conference room of Toronto City Hall. A dozen reporters
are crowded into the cramped space. At the rear of the
media horde, there are several video cameras, with lights shining
across to illuminate Mayor Schadenford who
stands behind a microphone-strewn lectern to address the group,
presumably to talk about the financing of new subways. He had been cautioned
to choose his words carefully, with his newly acquired verbal skills.]
Schadenford speaks: We all know that there's a specific piece of
information in question
here. And with regard to it, let me first state that I know you all
would like for me to say what we all think I'm coming before you to
say. I would like to make it very clear, however, that I do not intend
to say it. In addition, I will neither confirm nor deny it. So now
that we all understand each other, are there any questions?
REPORTER 1: Will you say what we want you to say?
Schadenford: Not exactly as you would have me say it. [pointing to
REPORTER 2] Yes -- over there?
REPORTER 2: Is the thing we all want you to say, in fact, true?
Schadenford: I'm not saying if it is or it isn't. It would be premature to
REPORTER 3: Since you're not saying the precise thing we all want you to
you say it, but in a slightly different way?
Schadenford: You mean in a way that would have the same meaning as the way
would all want me to say it?
REPORTER 3: That is correct.
Schadenford: I'm not prepared at this time to do that. [making eye contact
REPORTER 4] Yes?
REPORTER 4: If you won't say what we all would like you to say, or if you
say it in a slightly different way, will you at least say one or a
couple of parts of what we all want you to say?
Schadenford: If there is a situation where that would become prudent for
me to say
part or parts of what you all want me to say, I would, yes. But now is
not the time.
REPORTER 5: When will it be time?
Schadenford: I don't know the answer to that. I wanted to add something at
point, before we continue. There are some people involved behind the
scenes with this thing who deserve to be recognized for all their hard
work. This thing has been a team effort all the way, and thanks to
them, a real win-win situation as well. [pointing to REPORTER 6] Yes,
REPORTER 6: This information that we all want you to disclose -- might
one of us
be able to trick you into divulging what we all want you to say?
Schadenford: If I am slow-witted at that moment, or if I'm not being too
choosing my words right then, and if one of you people displays
extremely shrewd questioning skills, then yes, it is possible.
[shielding his eyes] Yes -- all the way in the back there...you, Miss.
REPORTER 7: I think I know the information we all want you to say but
aren't saying, and here it is [she says something inaudible]. Isn't
Schadenford: [angrily] Do you expect me to answer that? Next
REPORTER 8: When can we expect you to say what we all want you to say?
Schadenford: Relatively soon.
REPORTER 8: Can you be more specific?
Schadenford: Well, we are expediting this process so I would imagine
you might think, but I don't want to mislead any of you as to exactly
when. [indicating silver-haired woman seated in front row of media]
REPORTER 9: I heard some experts giving their opinions about the
all want you to say. Can you respond to these expert comments?
Schadenford: Well, I can't speculate on others' comments. And, I'm not an
[looks up to assembled throng] I have time for one more question. In
the middle there, yes -- you sir? [points to bearded man standing in
center of group].
REPORTER 10: Might I interject a witty comment at this juncture to break
tension? [says something inaudible]
[everyone laughs and then the press conference is over, and Schadenford