Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gerard Kennedy Suing National Post

Too often, hurtful allegations from anonymous sources go unchallenged. The Jonathan Kay hatchet job on Kennedy, Dion and various ethnic groups represents irresponsible, divisive and damaging journalism at its worst. Good on Kennedy for not allowing this type of crap to go unchallenged:
Indeed, I am informed by a well-informed source that the critical deals were cut months in advance, and were driven by Bains -- and, in the case of Muslim delegates, by Arab-Canadian MP Omar Alghabra -- through Kennedy, who'd been staked out early by ethno-politicians as an empty vessel into which they could pour their parochial agendas.

Among veteran Liberal insiders, it is believed that the several hundred Sikh convention delegates Bains and his allies led into the Dion camp (via Gerard Kennedy) came with a price: an end to the investigative powers contained in the Anti-Terrorism Act, which was opposed for predictable reasons by various Sikh, Tamil and Muslim organizations.

The response:
Gerard Kennedy is suing the National Post newspaper for suggesting he promised to weaken national security policy in exchange for support from Sikh and Muslim groups in last year's Liberal leadership contest.

A written statement obtained Wednesday by The Canadian Press indicates Kennedy is seeking damages. Should he win the suit, he is promising to donate any award to charities "working to further understanding about diverse communities in Canada."

"I believe untrue and odious allegations such as these need to be firmly contested," Kennedy says in the statement.

"I believe very strongly in the freedom of the press. But that freedom only works well if it is not abused."

Although Dion, Bains and Alghabra have also been upset by such allegations, Kennedy says in the statement that he's in the best position to challenge the "unfounded and defamatory allegations" published in the Post article.

"Ultimately, my name was on the campaign that is being maligned and that affects all of the hundreds of good people who were involved in that effort."

People will remember Kay's article came out at the same time the Tories where speaking about the "extremists" in the Liberal Party, and the Prime Minister was disgracing his office with his classless attempted attack on Bains.

Most of the controversy has now passed, so I find it quite telling that Kennedy has decided to go ahead with a lawsuit. In a purely political sense, it is probably best not to draw any more attention to what isn't necessarily an attractive topic. The fact Kennedy is moving ahead tells us one, he is quite confident he will win and two, the allegations are complete and utter bunk.

Kennedy wouldn't risk further embarrassment if there was a grain of truth in the "well informed source's"(bitter rival organizer, you do the math) theory. Kennedy conducted himself with nothing but complete class throughout the campaign. There were many opportunities where he was given carte blanche to capitalize on an opponents missteps, but he always chose to resist and often offered support. I have nothing but applause for this lawsuit, because this article created the lingering impression that the convention was an orchestrated, underhanded affair, with Kennedy at centerstage. Kennedy will be completely vindicated, the fact he is willing to give this issue new life with a public suit serves as all the proof we need.


knb said...

I would agree that he is right to do this. In fact, I kind of feel it's time that all the bogus junk that comes from the right be shot down. Not in law suits necessarily, but shot down, publically none the less.

Steve V said...

It will be interesting to see what comes of this suit. It actually raises alot of relevant issues, not the least of which is holding journalists accountable.

lance said...

Does anyone know off-hand what the success rate for suing the media is? I seem to recall it being quite small, but I may be confusing Canada and the US.


Anonymous said...

Sad but true, there is a lot of truth in Jonathan Kay article. Wait for the CBC documentary that is going to expose the nexus between extremists/separatists in etnic communities and liberal party.

Did you forget the recent exposure by CBC about the rally in Surrey where Terrorists were hailed as heros and banned terrorist organization jackets worn.

Have you not been following the Air India bombing report.

Wait till the CBC documentary is released.

Gayle said...

Truth is an absolute defence to defamation - there would be no point in suing unless there was no truth to the articles.

Also, I suspect given how this will be played if he loses, that he and his lawyers have a pretty strong belief they will win.

jill b said...

Anon at 12:13,

Just like the anon sources in the Kay article that put forth these baseless accusations, you are another "anon" coward full of lies.

Kennedy doesn't wheel and deal. Anyone that supported him received nothing in return. That is fact. He will win this case becasuse the truth is on his side.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I like it how some numbnutses trash the media, in general, and the CBC, in particular, as "liberal." Without CBC/Radio Canada, we'd likely never have heard about AdScam.

If the CBC set out to expose the "nexus between extremists" in the pro-gun lobby and Stockboy Day, we'd be hearin' shreiks of "Liberal media!"

I'll be interested in what the CBC sez and I'll be interested in what the lawsuit proves. If, as the anonymous slanderer sez, there is " lot of truth in Jonathan Kay article," you can betcherass the Natty Po will do its best to prove it so's to save face and money.


ottlib said...

I love it.

An anonymous Conservative troll citing the "socialist CBC" to support his contention of links between extremists and the Liberal Party.

What's next anonymous. Are you going to say something nice about the Toronto "Red" Star?

You guy (and gals) crack me up.

DivaRachel said...

Someone has to fight for what's right. Go GK!

Anonymous said...

I think Kennedy may be doing this because the National Post seems to have targeted him for some reason.
They also wrote a completely fictious article about the Guelph Nomination race that claimed that Kennedy had handed the nomination to Frank Valeriote.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:13: The Air India bombing happened 22 years ago under the Mulroney "Conservative" government and I fail to see what it has to do with Gerard Kennedy's issue.

Stupid or what?

Steve V said...

"They also wrote a completely fictious article about the Guelph Nomination race that claimed that Kennedy had handed the nomination to Frank Valeriote."

The most hilarious part of that fiction, where the article said "although the two men have never met". Gerard's handpicked stranger, lol.