The Telegraph-Journal, has issued an apology for a July 8 story that claimed, among other things, that PM Stephen Harper pocketed a communion wafer during former governor general Romeo LeBlanc’s state funeral. The newspaper published its apology on Tuesday, July 28. Here is an excerpt:
“There was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any credible support for these statements now. Our reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras, who wrote the story reporting on the funeral, did not include these statements in the version of the story that they wrote. In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them.
“The Telegraph-Journal sincerely apologizes to the Prime Minister for the harm that this inaccurate story has caused. We also apologize to reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras and to our readers for our failure to meet our own standards of responsible journalism and accuracy in reporting.”
Now that the newspaper, which was the source of the story, has formally apologized, one wonders whether others who repeated the lies and spread them across the nation, including Canada’s main television networks will have the decency and journalistic integrity to also apologize. I doubt they will.
It is interesting to note, however, that—according to the National Post—the names of the newspaper’s editor, Shawna Richer, and the publisher, Jamie Irving, do not appear on the masthead of Tuesday's edition.
Look for the mainstream media to jump on the apology story without accepting any culpability of their own.
1 Update: see also Chris Selley: The crumbs of wafergate
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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