Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Paul Martin Supports Child Pornography?”: Martin and Liberals should Sue

I see the Conservative lawsuit boils down to the two headlines on the Liberal website and how could it not. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080313.wcadman14/BNStory/National/home Everything else was simply repeating what was said in the House. Harper could no more sue the Liberals for reporting what was said in the House then it could sue the Globe and Mail for reporting the same. Now, I would mention what those two headlines were, but you know I might get sued. Then again if they did sue me I would have my 15 minutes of fame that I have always desired. I might even get on TV. The possibilities are endless. So, here goes it.


1) “Harper knew of Conservative Bribery”

2) “Harper Must Come Clean About Allegations of Conservative Bribery”

Seriously that is some pretty thin gruel. If I was feeling stubborn enough and I searched through the thousands of News headlines relating to Gomery and Dingwall affairs I could come up with some similarly salacious headlines used to draw readers in but then upon reading turn out to be nothing but a badly constructed reference. Anyway, I got to thinking. Although it is true that such headlines of the type the Liberals have on their site are plentiful enough, one simply does not come across headlines such as the following everyday.

1) "The NDP Caucus Supports Child Pornography?"

2) "Paul Martin Supports Child Pornography?”


And one certainly simply does not come across anything like the following in the body of any news story.

"Today, Martin says he's against child pornography. But his voting record proves
otherwise,"


I think the Liberals should sue. After all, the Conservatives never apologized. Indeed, Harper had this to say about the headline.

CTV Asked about the 'taste' of the headline, Harper said: "What's in bad
taste is the Liberal Party's record on child pornography.”

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1087594937300_83004137/?hub=TopStories Think of the fun the Liberals could have in discovery. Oh the joy!

In closing out, I got to thinking about something else. Will Harper say outside of the comfy confines of the House that the tape was altered? I am sure Mr. Zytaruk wants to know. Maybe someone in the meantime could take the Harper tape to Mr. Dash.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

WTF are you doing attacking Harper?

Why aren't pissing and moaning about Dion's leadership?

Stop attacking the greatest leader in the world, you're confusing me.

ALW said...

The Tories withdrew the press release, actually. And admitted that the headline was a big mistake. That's more than Dion's done.

Also, I believe the statute of limitations means that any potential action there is out of time.

Loraine Lamontagne said...

How about one accusing someone of misappropriating $800,000 on the evidence of a $1.29 receipt for a pack of gum when one knows no reimbursement was sought? How about using the supposed gum miscreant's photograph in television ads AFTER said gum miscreant was cleared of wrongdoing by two independent investigations? Would these actions be deemed attempts to tarnish one's reputation? I would imagine people were served in this instance - and settled out of court.

Loraine Lamontagne said...

Remember Navdeep Bains ?

Koby said...

>>>> The Tories withdrew the press release, actually. And admitted that the headline was a big mistake.

Some Tory figures addmitted it was a big tactical mistake, but they certainly offered nothing like an apology.

What was said about Navdeep Bains was said in the House. Ergo, the Conservatives can be sued.

Koby said...

sorry can not be sued not

Cool Blue said...

What's your opinion of when Dion sued Duceppe for liable?

Koby said...

I do not have problem with it tactically or otherwise.

Cool Blue said...

If it was okay for Dion to do it, why isn't it okay for Harper to do it?

Koby said...

If it was okay for Dion to do it, why isn't it okay for Harper to do it?

Where did I say that? Politicians threaten to sue all the time for all kinds of reasons. Often these threatended lawsuits are tactical mistake.

Anyway what bothers me about the Harper suit is this.

The crux of the case is not the substance of what was said in the House, but whether the Liberal articles in question are “news”. MPs can not be sued for what they say in the House, but MPs can not use this privilege to insulate themselves against libel by simply quoting what they said in the House. Lawmakers did not want any bootstrapping. That is why when Ken Dryden read out what he said in the House word for word it actually meant something. News organizations, on the other hand, are free to quote what was said in the House without fear of libel. Where this relates back to the blogsephere is the Liberals are asserting that the two articles in question are “news” articles and as such protected from libel and Harper is asserting just the opposite. If the judge concludes that these articles, even though they bare a healthy family resemblance to any news article out there on the subject, are not news, then it is but a hop skip and jump to saying that any blogger who happens to quote Hansard is also open to libel.

If people started to quote the offending passages on face book and on their blogs and anywhere they can think of, would the Conservatives sue them too? A sharp distinction between the news media and everyone else can only damage freedom of speech. Protection from libel must apply to all who quote Hansard. Fear of boot strapping is overblown given that it far more effective for an MP to use the media to spread the message then quoting his own words.

Oh and if screen capture and google cache were not so wonderful, I think the Conservatives would do well to name what they call “news releases” something else.

As for the headlines, if I was feeling stubborn enough and I searched through the thousands of news headlines just relating to Gomery and Dingwall affairs I could come up with some similarly salacious headlines used to draw readers in but then upon reading turn out to be nothing but a badly constructed reference. The media has cause for concern too.