Media Sluts

Table of Contents

Media SlutBack to Top

On August 14, 2006, Rogers filed an elaborate and amended Statement of Defence in the Small Claims Court action of Drummond v. Rogers (SC-05-24969-00).

In the amended defence Rogers’ draws this very web site ( into their legal arguments:

“In or about February of 2006,” Rogers’ lawyer writes, “the Plaintiff caused the ROGERSANDME.CA domain name to the [sic] registered at which website location the Plaintiff includes, among other things, a digital recording of a voicemail message from Edward S. Rogers, O.C., apparently for the purpose of attracting attention.

“The Plaintiff’s attempts to attract the attention of the media have resulted in the foreseeable consequence of inaccurate portrayals and mischaracterizations of the dispute between the parties.”

 “Since commencing this action against Rogers, the Plaintiff has continued to solicit media attention to her dispute for the purpose of drawing negative publicity to Rogers.”

It would not be unduly speculative to suggest that these paragraphs amount to a declaration that “the Plaintiff” is a media slut – though the legal prose is drafted, without doubt, in more felicitous language than one would use on a web site such as this.

Oddness on the MeritsBack to Top

In and of itself this argument in formal legal pleadings is odd.

Rogers’ argument is first of all odd because the case in Small Claims Court is a case about breach of contract and breach of an obligation of good faith on the part of Rogers Wireless Inc in its dealings with its consumers. It is irrelevant in law that EITHER Rogers or I spoke to the media or issued any press releases.

The argument is further odd because the resolution of disputes through the media appears to be Rogers' preferred modus operandi:

I tried for four long months to get Rogers to see reason and relent from its increasingly oppressive campaign to get me to pay the corporation over $14,000 for charges made on my stolen cell phone.

Even though I alerted Rogers on October 11, 2005 that I was sitting on a transparently sensational media story about Ted Rogers cell phone being cloned by a group linked with Hezbollah, that prophetic note didn’t seem capable of bringing Rogers to its senses.

The very first moment that Rogers snapped to was when the media covered my transparently sensational story on December 17, 2005.

In my own case, Rogers didn’t show itself capable of responding with common sense absent the hot glare of the media spot light; a boneheadedness that Rogers’ own CEO referred to as inexcusable.

But the disciplinary relationship that Rogers courts with the media is not isolated to my own case.

Ellen Roseman at the Toronto Star writes a fixer column in which she intervenes as a consumer advocate when big corporations go bad. Rogers figures prominently in her columns as a corporation that relents from oppressive consumer relations upon a phone call from the media.

In fact, this reliance of Rogers upon the media to correct its nefarious and high-handed behaviour is one of the arguments I raise in my claim for punitive damages. It should not be, I argue, that a consumer only gets relief from oppression if he or she happens to bend the ear of a journalist. Rogers should be deterred (through a claim for punitive damages) from treating ANY Rogers consumer with such contempt.

Rogers effectively FORCES consumers to use the media to solve their disputes. It sits ill in the mouth of Rogers Corporate Communications department to complain when consumers have had the incredible good fortune to have a journalist intervene on their behalf.

The argument that Rogers makes about me being a media slut is also odd on the face of it.

Oddness on the Face of It Back to Top

In the exhibit that Rogers Wireless Inc attaches to their Amended Pleadings in support of the claim that I’m “soliciting media attention” (supposedly a bad thing) can be found copies of Peter Cheney’s Globe and Mail articles and the fully transcribed (by Rogers) transcripts of the May 8 radio interview that Harry Gefen and I gave to Corus Media.

Oddly, Rogers’ legal team also slipped in between the pages of this exhibit (an exhibit intended to support a claim that I, the Plaintiff, am a media slut) a December 19, 2006 News Release from Rogers Wireless Communications Inc.

This insertion is odd for several reasons.

Pitching Rogers to the JudgeBack to Top

The insertion of Rogersown News Release in an Exhibit supposedly dedicated to proving MY media sluttiness, appears to be an attempt to ensure that the judge hears Rogers’ side of a legally irrelevant story.

Rogers’ legal team appears to believe that the judge might care whether Ted Rogers cell phone was cloned or stolen and whether, should the judge actually have a Rogers serviced cell phone, Rogers took care of the wee cloning problem that plagued Ted Rogers’ own cell phone in 1997.

This strange plea seems to confirm that Rogers is confounding the Toronto Small Claims Court with the Court of Public Opinion, in which every Canadian out there is a potential subscriber or a potential stockholder. Relentless advertising campaigns in a cornucopia of media appear to be insufficient for Rogers.

Rogers legal team also seems to believe that the Judge of a Small Claims Court will determine a case in front of him or her according to rules other than those of formal Canadian law: If the judge might be swayed from the formal law by the inclusion of Peter Cheney’s articles, which intimate that Rogers is a pretty crappy company, then Rogers needs to counter this negative publicity with its own positive spin.

The insertion of a News Release from Rogers Wireless Communications in an exhibit meant to prove that I am a media slut is also odd because it tends substantiate a claim that it is not I who is the media slut, but rather Rogers.

“Communicating for the Purposes of”Back to Top

Rogers’ Corporate Communications Department sent out their News Release to the Canadian News Wire on December 19, 2006.

It costs $230 to release a story to the CNW’s Canadian Comprehensive List and $2.30 per word over the first 100.

Rogers’ News Release of December 19, 2006 was one of many issued by Rogers’ Department of Corporate Communications over the period in which they were in “Damage Control Mode”.

Peter Cheney, in writing his Globe and Mail pieces, dutifully solicited comments from Jan Innes, Rogers VP Corporate Communications before he ran his pieces. Two days before the first story, Jan Innes responded, with weariness in her voice: “Yeah, yeah, Susan Drummond had been attempting for months to get the media to pay attention to her story. You’re not the first.”

Although Jan Innes was apologetic on behalf of Rogers two days AFTER the story broke, publicly declaring that Rogers had not followed its normal procedure in my case and that Rogers was “very sorry [I] had this experience with Rogers”, just days BEFORE the story broke she was sticking to the script that I was responsible for all charges on my lost or stolen cell phone.

CNW’s Canadian Comprehensive ListBack to Top

Beyond being given a chance to tell Rogers’ side of the story to the same journalist (Peter Cheney) that had heard my own, Rogers Wireless Communications Inc sent out a New Release about my story to the Canadian News Wire Group. CNW is a commercial news release service established in 1960 that distribute informational and promotional items for media outlets in a variety of formats.

A news release to the CNW’s Canadian Comprehensive List goes out to a staggering and mind-boggling number of Canadian media outlets, from the very big to the very small.

The insertion of Rogers’ own New Release to the CNW in an exhibit intended to establish that I am “soliciting media attention” seems a bit misplaced.

Beyond the day to day capacity of Rogers Corporate Communications Department to speak to the media on Rogers matters as they come up, Rogers Communications Group, under its subsidiary Rogers Media Inc, also happens to own a phenomenal chunk of the Canadian media.

Rogers Media Inc.Back to Top


Rogers Wireless complains that I have “caused the ROGERSNADME.CA domain name to be registered…apparently for the purpose of attracting attention.” Furthermore, Rogers pleads, I have “continued to solicit media attention…for the purpose of drawing negative publicity to Rogers.”


My nefarious grip on the Canadian media establishment might be contrasted with that of Rogers.


Rogers’ Corporate Communications Department not only sends out news releases to the Canadian News Wire and has a communications officer designated to respond to queries on news stories related to Rogers. Rogers also own an astonishing array of media outlets across the country.


Rogers reaches into the homes of more than six million Canadians each week through the 43 radio stations that it owns which are “clustered to achieve maximum operating efficiency and audience coverage in key markets including Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary”.


In the domain of television broadcasting, Rogers owns “a diverse number of television stations including free over-the-air properties such as OMNI 1& 2, a national analog sports network (Sportsnet), Canada's only 24-hour shop-at-home service The Shopping Channel) and a number of highly recognizable brands on the digital dial” such as The Biography Channel and Rogers Television. OMNI television alone provides programming “in more than 30 languages to ethnocultural groups encompassing no less than 40 communities throughout the province of Ontario. With the launch of OMNI.2 in September 2002, ethnic programming on OMNI.1 (CFMT) now principally serves the local European, Latino and Caribbean communities, while OMNI.2's programming reflects the local Pan Asian and African population.”


And Rogers Publishing is Canada’s largest magazine and periodicals publisher. Rogers owns Maclean’s Magazine, Canada’s largest-circulation news magazine, along with Canadian Business, Chatelaine, Flare, Today's Parent, MoneySense, Marketing Magazine, Medical Post, Advisor's Edge and Canadian Grocer.


The wee web site competes on the world wide web for attention against Rogers “strong presence on the web”. Rogers owns,,,, “and many other sites which are integrated with their print franchises. Rogers Publishing also includes a variety of trade shows and the Rogers Medical Intelligence Solutions, a medical database company headquartered in New York.”

Media Slut? Who Me?

Why, even Rogers Wireless itself appears to be anxious about the control of the media by the telecommunications industry. The publication of a cartoon can set Rogers off.