Herald editor says steps were taken to remove contentious 'Scud Stud' article

CALGARY -- The editor of the Calgary Herald testified Thursday that steps were taken to remove from the web a contentious article that led to a lawsuit by former television journalist Arthur Kent.

See Full Article

Lorne Motley said the Herald's parent company, Postmedia, attempted to suppress the 2008 column written by Don Martin on its websites as well as in its Infomart archives after Kent filed his suit and demanded the article be taken down.

"The story should be very difficult to search or call up," Motley told a defamation trial Thursday. "You really shouldn't see anything on Infomart. There would be a notation saying why it's being restricted."

"Online you would not be able to find it."

Court has already heard that the article suddenly re-emerged in 2012 on the Ottawa Citizen's home page, as well as on websites of other papers across the Postmedia network.

Kent described it as a "Lazarus article." He testified that he complained to an editor at the Citizen, who agreed to take it down, but the column was resurrected within a day.

Motley acknowledged that had happened.

"The article was dealt with by employees who did not know the litigation that was ongoing between the parties. When those familiar with the litigation became familiar over what happened, there was a decision to unsuppress the column," Motley said.

Kent's lawyer, Kent Jesse, argued that the reposting was an effort to put pressure on Kent to move the lawsuit along. He pointed to earlier Motley testimony which said Postmedia had tendered an offer to Kent.

"I have a very difficult time answering that question because I don't know the answer. But I also know that I am not to say anything about that in this court, so you're putting me in an awkward position," Motley replied.

Kent, who was nicknamed the "Scud Stud" for his reporting on the Gulf War for NBC, is suing Postmedia, the National Post and Martin for the piece that referred to Kent as a "dud" while he was campaigning for a seat in the Alberta legislature.

The piece portrayed him as an out-of-control star candidate facing a revolt from his election team.

Jesse questioned whether all versions of the Martin article had been suppressed by Postmedia. He said there were several versions ranging in length from 722 words to 778 and all had different ID numbers.

"I would suggest to you that this demonstrates there were at least six versions of the Martin article that were posted or available on the media defendants' websites," said Jesse.

Motley replied that there were only two versions -- the one that was printed in the Calgary Herald and the other that was carried by the National Post.

"The National Post removed some wording of what they published in print," Motley said. "They are the same article. It is the same story."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Israeli soldier who shot prone Palestinian assailant sentenced to 18 months

    World News CBC News
    An Israeli soldier who shot dead an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in the occupied West Bank was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 months in jail. A military court last month convicted Sgt. Elor Azaria of manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years' imprisonment, over the March 2016 incident in the town of Hebron. Source
  • Trust in the media is sinking and it's time to act: Neil Macdonald

    World News CBC News
    If I were a public figure — a politician, a senior public servant, a judge, someone in the national security apparatus — I doubt I would speak to most reporters. Actually, if it were just me, going through some horrible personal episode that occasioned a local police reporter to call my home, I would likely hang up. Source
  • Sanctuary city movement grows in Canada, but are police on board?

    Canada News CBC News
    The uncertainty surrounding U.S. immigration policies has prompted a number of Canadian cities to declare themselves sanctuaries for undocumented migrants. But as cities move to protect migrants from deportation orders, it is creating the prospect for tensions between municipal governments, law enforcement and federal immigration officials. Source
  • Who are the MPs that vote against their party line most often?

    Canada News CBC News
    Members of Parliament might feel pressure to toe the party line and maintain party unity in the House of Commons. But a few MPs have stood out for their willingness to rise and vote "Yea" when the rest of their colleagues vote "Nay. Source
  • Raising Elaan

    Canada News CBC News
    Natasha Bakht, left, and Lynda Collins aren’t lovers, so according to law, they couldn’t both be mothers to the same profoundly disabled boy, Elaan. (Simon Gardner/CBC) Lynda Collins loves thinking back to the day Elaan was born. Source
  • No fixed address: How I became a 32-year-old couch surfer

    Canada News CBC News
    I'm 32 years old, work at my dream job and have an amazing circle of family and friends who love me. Life is pretty great. There's just one thing — and I can't believe I'm about to admit this you, but here goes. Source
  • 'I am a man with no land': African migrants wait in limbo, dreaming of sanctuary in Canada

    World News CBC News
    The threats against his life had been coming by phone for months. But it was only after two men armed with AK-47 assault rifles shot up the home he shared with his wife and young child that Abdikadir Ahmed Omar says he knew he would be forced to flee his home country of Somalia. Source
  • Bill ending N.S. teachers' contract dispute expected to pass today

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A government bill aimed at ending the 16-month long contract dispute involving Nova Scotia's 9,300 public school teachers is into the home stretch in the legislature. Introduced last Tuesday, Bill 75 is expected to become law once debate on third reading wraps up later today. Source
  • Overnight riots in predominantly immigrant Stockholm suburb

    World News CTV News
    COPENHAGEN -- Swedish police say riots broke out overnight in a predominantly immigrant Stockholm suburb after officers arrested a suspect on drug charges. Spokesman Lars Bystrom said Tuesday that unidentified people, including some wearing masks, threw rocks at police, set cars on fire and looted shops in Rinkeby. Source
  • Accused in Quebec City mosque shootings returns to court on murder charges

    Canada News CTV News
    QUEBEC - The man charged in last month's mosque shootings in Quebec City returns to court today on six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder using a restricted firearm. Alexandre Bissonnette faces the charges in the Jan. Source