Update 07Apr08: I guess the lawyers or Kathy Young changed Premier Wall’s mind about this one. Apparently he will not sue Canadian Press but will, instead, make a statement in the Legislature on Monday afternoon.
Get a load of this! Poor, poor Premier Bradley Wall cannot stand the heat, so he’s called in the lawyers!
Sask. premier gives notice to sue The Canadian Press over headline on video story
REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has advised The Canadian Press he intends to sue the national news agency for defamation for a headline it ran on a story featuring controversial comments he made on a home-movie videotape made more than 16 years ago.
“The headline of the article is false and defamatory of Premier Wall and, given the breadth of its publication, is likely to result in significant damage to Premier Wall’s reputation,” says the letter from the premier’s lawyers, dispatched Friday to The Canadian Press.
The headline, published Thursday, referred to the release of a video by Saskatchewan’s opposition NDP that showed disparaging comments from Wall, current Saskatchewan Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski, and others who were working on the 1991 provincial re-election campaign of then-Tory leader Grant Devine.
Wall, at the time a 25-year-old political aide, is shown on the grainy tape affecting an Eastern European accent and criticizing then-NDP leader Roy Romanow, a son of Ukrainian immigrants.
The headline on the first story, published on the wire before Wall or Lukiwski had apologized, stated: “Tape with Sask premier and Tory MP has racist, sexist, homophobic comments: NDP.”
“The headline of the article states directly, or by innuendo, that Premier Wall was responsible for racist, sexist and homophobic comments appearing on a videotape,” reads the notice of intent to sue under Saskatchewan’s Libel and Slander Act.
“Those comments were in fact made by another individual. Premier Wall was not in the room when the comments were made and first learned of those comments (Thursday).”
Isn’t that just too convenient, Mr. Wall?
This finger’s for you!
Head’s up to Buckdog for paying attention