Thursday, November 23, 2006

Norman Spector sues Vancouver Sun in continuing Belinda Stronach "bitch" word controversy

Life's a bitch and then you sue....

Norman Spector, political commentator, former top aide to Brian Mulroney and Bill Bennett and my colleague on the Bill Good Show on CKNW every Monday at 10 a.m. is suing the Vancouver Sun over comments made about him by columnist Daphne Bramham in the paper on Saturday November 18.

Here is his news release - you be the judge on whether it's a good idea.

November 22, 2006

Columnist and political analyst Norman Spector has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia suing the owner, publisher, editor-in-chief and a columnist of The Vancouver Sun for libel as a result of a column published in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun.

The Statement of Claim alleges that the Defendants published or caused to be published statements that were false and malicious about comments that Spector made on the Bill Good Show on Oct 30th and again on November 6 respecting Ms Belinda Stronach, MP.

The defamatory passage is set out in a column written by Sun columnist Daphne Bramham under the title “We Live in a Sexist, Misogynist Society” and reads:
“Klein's verbal abuse of Stronach followed former ambassador Norman Spector's repeated references to Stronach as a "bitch" on a Vancouver radio show. The former adviser and confidante to both a prime minister and a premier sanctimoniously tried to bluster his way out of it, claiming that he was using an arcane definition from the Oxford Dictionary meaning treacherous behaviour. I've not been able to find it in any of the versions of Oxford I've consulted.”

Spector alleges that the Vancouver Sun knew full well that he was relying on the authority of the Oxford English Dictionary when he made his comments, that it was not some definition he invented or discovered after the fact and that the Sun knew that OED does define the word “bitch” in its modern usage to refer to a “malicious or treacherous woman” exactly as Dr. Spector told his listeners.

From Victoria, where he resides, Spector stated, “as a columnist myself, I regret having had to take this action; but this column is a direct attack on my credibility and my reputation as an honest and forthright political analyst. I was telling the truth and the Sun is making me out to be a liar and I simply cannot let that column stand unchallenged.”

Spector asked for a retraction and apology on Sunday and again yesterday but the Sun has to date failed or refused to apologize.

The Statement of Claim seeks an array of damages but Spector stated that any damages he is awarded will be donated to charitable causes.

Spector has retained Vancouver lawyer Joseph Arvay Q.C to act for him in this case.


Anonymous said...

Seems like Norman is running out of contracts so started trying to drum up a few.wasn't he the same guy, who when first hired by Bennett the junior, was seen sitting in the back row behind the MLA's I believe he leaned over and told a NDP MLA to shut up or words to that effect. Ms. Stronach is nobody I know but I do respect the fact that she got elected twice and is a working politician. So when did anyone ever elect Norman. His comments , rather crude, will no doubt help her get reelected when the house falls shortly after the Liberals get a leader elected.

Budd Campbell said...

I think Norman Spector made a mistake in his use of the b-word, at least in terms of manners if not in terms of content.

Still, ... suing the Sun or Province is never out of line with me!

Truman Green said...

Looks like the Sun article called Spector's honesty into question alright, strongly implying that Norman may be a suitable candidate for the l (liar) word. I think this might be a case of the chickens coming home to roost in the name-calling department, with Norman losing the case due to the judge going for the 'common usage' definition of the word 'bitch.'

Even if Norman comes up with a suitable dictionary definition, his chances of proving that he was talking 'treachery'in regards to Stronach's house crossing are slim to none, I think.

Worth a try though, Norman.