Friday, April 13, 2007

Media Grindhouse: Kinsella and Brennan

Brennan remakes Kinsella, Star remakes the Post's apology

When the National Post published an apology to Brian Mulroney on its editorial page, for Warren Kinsella’s selective quoting of Mulroney’s testimony vis a vis his relationship with Karlheinz Schreiber, I resisted the urge to post it under the title “Fury’s Grovel.”

But now that veteran Toronto Star reporter and newly-elected Parliamentary Press Gallery President Richard “the Badger” Brennan has apparently made the exact same mistake, resulting in a correction in today’s Star, to remain silent would be unjust, and fairness and comedy demand that they both be posted:

First Feature: Planet Error

In the column "Don't Ignore this Scandal" by Warren Kinsella (Feb. 1), some of the testimony of former prime minister Brian Mulroney in his libel action against the government of Canada in 1996 was quoted. The column did not set the full context of a quote from the transcript where Mr. Mulroney said he had not had any dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber. The column did not report that Mr. Mulroney was answering a question about the purchase by the federal government of the Airbus product and stated that he had no dealings with Mr. Schreiber in that context. Elsewhere in the examination, Mr. Mulroney testified about conversations and meetings he had with Schreiber after Mr. Mulroney was out of the prime minister's office. The National Post sincerely regrets any false impression it created about the testimony of Mr. Mulroney and apologizes to him for any embarrassment or concern it has caused.
--"Brian Mulroney," National Post, March 1, 2007 [N.B.: this was published on the editorial page]

Second Feature: Desk-Proof

Several years ago, Mulroney sued Ottawa for libel and received an apology and a $2-million settlement. Under oath at a pre-trial hearing, he testified that he "never had any dealings" with Schreiber. However, in 2002, the former prime minister indirectly acknowledged he did receive money from Schreiber, but as payment for his help in promoting Schreiber's pasta business.
--“It’s the saga that just won’t end,” Richard Brennan (with files from Tonda MacCharles), Toronto Star, April 7

In a transcript of an examination for discovery held in 1996, former prime minister Brian Mulroney was asked a question about Karlheinz Schreiber and replied, ‘I had never had any dealings with him” A story in Saturday’s paper did not reproduce this quote in full. The Star regrets and false impression this error may have caused and apologizes to Mulroney.
--Corrections, Toronto Star, April 13

Well, at least Kinsella can no longer complain that the media is ignoring this story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see Andrew Coyne has been repeating this slander on his blog, too.