Warman Rides Again


Rebel.Media have had a letter from Richard Warman causing them to replace my review of Connie Fournier’s excellent book with a statement designed to ward off litigation. You can read the statement – which I hasten to add I in no way accept or endorse – here. You can read the review of Connie’s book here. Rebel.Media folded in the face of the famously litigious Warman. Rebel.Media did not contact me prior to removing my review and publishing Warman’s retraction notice. That is not how such things are done.

The statement published by Rebel.Media suggests that things which appeared were false. Now, that may refer to the comments which appeared after the review and I make no comment on those. However, in terms of the review itself a few notes:

1) If Richard Warman has any specific allegation he believes is false he is free to get in touch with me at jaycurrie@gmail.com and seek a correction or is welcome to fight his corner in the comments here or beneath the review.

2) Being a careful writer I checked each of the assertions of fact made in the review against references in the public record including transcripts of evidence taken at Tribunal Hearings, Decisions of the Tribunal, trial transcripts and public statements. Obviously it is possible I may be mistaken on one or more points and I welcome corrections if an error has occurred.

3) By convention book reviews, which my piece clearly was, are considered opinion rather than reported journalism.

4) As such I am quite prepared to defend my views, specifically and in general, as fair comment.

5) Alternatively, should it come to that, the review in question took as its theme a question of broad public interest – namely the consequences of Bill C51 given the Harper government’s failure to exercise proper oversight and control over the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s investigations under s.13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This was a theme which ran through Connie’s book.

6) I would suggest that the defence of “responsible communication in the public interest” is engaged for any sections of my review which were not either “fair comment” or, as the expression goes, mere invective.

7) In writing the review, and in order to make my point about the failure of the Conservative government vis a vis the CHRC, I used examples which are on the public record including the “jadewarr” history, the complaintless investigation of Free Dominion by the CHRC and Tribunal Chair Edward Lustig’s characterization of behavior as “disappointing and disturbing”. Other remarks I made about the conduct of the Commission were also based upon the public record. I also stated that Connie did not mention Richard Warman “for legal reasons”, namely she is under an injunction not to arising from the John Doe matter.

That the record might seem to damn Mr. Warman does not make discussing that record defamatory. Something that the Rebel might have considered before capitulating and then publishing defamatory material going to my professional reputation as a writer.

I note that the statement which appears at the Rebel is, in itself, defamatory in so far as it implies that I have lied about Warman. Knowing how quick on the litigation draw Warman is I was very, very, careful not to lie about Warman: the truth is damning enough. Asserting that I make false allegations, given that I make part of my living as a writer, amounts to an attack on my personal and professional reputation. And, unlike my review, Warman’s statement is neither fair comment nor “responsible communication in the public interest”. It is a bald assertion. I am weighing my legal options

Perhaps Rebel.Media can be said to have published Warman’s statement under duress, however the fact remains, that by removing my review and publishing the retraction notice Warman required, Rebel.Media has allowed its pages to be used to defame my character and impugn my professional reputation.

I repeat that Rebel.Media did not contact me prior to publishing this retraction notice. I neither approved of its wording nor consented to its publication.

It appears that Rebel Commander himself was quarterbacking the Rebel’s grovel in the direction of Warman.

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17 thoughts on “Warman Rides Again

  1. Terry Rudden says:

    You’re not alone, Jay. Canada’s Free Speech Clown (sorry, CROWN) Prince yanked a funny, insightful and painfully honest evisceration of Sun News by current Rebel columnist and former Sun talking head Theo Caldwell. The piece, cached here (http://frankmag.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Sun-News-the-PQ-and-Pierre-Karl-Peladeau-The-Rebel.pdf) ruefully acknowledges that Ezra’s last disaster didn’t fail because it was torpedoed by conspiring lefties; it failed because it was, to quote its former anchor, ” mind-bendingly bad television”. I guess that speech was just little too free for the Rebel Commander.

  2. Quangochef says:

    Jay, I’ve chipped into the Rebel’s crowdfunding pool more than once and will continue to do so in the future.

    Surely you see that this retraction, apology, is the best of a bad set of options for Rebel. They are not financially strong enough yet to take on a legal battle with Warman.

    • Jay Currie says:

      As a business matter, perhaps. However there are all sorts of options short of publishing counter defamation in a situation like this.

      1) You can check to see if the assertions in the Libel Notice are true – I’ve seen the Notice and it would have been an hour’s work;

      2) You can offer to correct any false statements;

      3) You can offer the offended party the right to reply;

      However, what you do not do is yank the piece and put up a defamatory accusation without first contacting the author.

  3. John Baglow says:

    Good grief, Jay, I do let you comment at *my* place.

  4. John Baglow says:

    And yet you yanked my comment here. You’ve got balls, I’ll admit that.

    • Jay Currie says:

      [Note: Dawg and I have had a chat about this in background. Dawg apparently posted a comment here which disappeared. Unfortunately, I never saw this comment. I didn’t delete it. However, Dawg has had this trouble here a couple of times before. I apologize for not having the tech nous to be able to fix the issue.

      As a matter of general policy I almost never intentionally delete comments on this blog and, if I do – usually for libel concerns – I always make an effort to get in touch with the commentor.]

  5. peterodonnell says:

    Jay, I wouldn’t be too concerned, from what I understand, we will all be getting a memo from Ottawa instructing us on what we can or cannot say (November 2015) and this will be followed by another memo on what we can or cannot believe (March 2016) after which you can just take up some other occupation as writing will no longer be necessary since everyone already knows everything worth knowing.

    Have you not been near a university recently? I’m surprised you weren’t aware this was the coming thing.

    /s

  6. peterodonnell says:

    Ezta Levant and other Harper loyalists are stuck in 2006 when it comes to their political consciousness. For them, everything is that same old struggle between Harper and the Liberal-left. The whole new chapter of Harper’s accommodation with the globalist agenda and his betrayal of our conservative values as shown in C-51 (and the refusal of his government to take any positive action to assist embattled conservatives) means ltitle or nothing to that crowd. They don’t see that they have become the new Liberals and are just about as objectionable as the worst of them, as illustrated by the Senate scandals. My guess is that Ezra took the libel notice as a convenient excuse to deep-six the book review which criticized His Imperial Harperness and endangered the fracking industry, Big Security and everything else that follows in his train.

    And for anyone who takes objection to this, ask yourself this question — is C-51 even remotely valid as conservative government policy? What’s next, nationalization of banks? That book needs to be read by all concerned voters. These are important issues and try as one might, it is difficult to avoid becoming specific about the roles of individuals. The history of a free people must include a full accounting, if it is neutered into something meaningless or politically whitewashed, then the free people are not free, just perhaps libertine (or debauched). This is a warning flag to anyone who thinks they are a “libertarian” which is a designation I do not oppose in principle, but I have to question if it can ever be attained without the acceptance of principles of a higher moral and spiritual realm.

    In that realm, we can clearly see that we are fighting a host of enemies, some of them who should know better, in our struggle to make this country truly free. And make no mistake, we are a long way from that ideal today.

  7. markymarkincanada says:

    I must admit to being fascinated with this issue and also with how different we are as individuals. If I had been any of the Fourniers, Dawg or Peter, I would have folded because no matter what I thought of the principles behind my position, I wouldn’t have wanted to take the associated risk to my health and financial future associated with pursuing those principles. And I wanted have wanted to devote my time and energy to it either. So hats off to each of them, in a way, for having such passion. But I also can’t disentangle that suit from the Canadian Cynic and Patrick Ross litigation and, more important, its very ugly aftermath. I really wonder what would have happened had Dr. Dawg been victorious-then we would have seen what was principle and what was not. Would he have tried to enforce and seize assets? Would he have been OK with his ideological foes ending up in bankruptcy, had that been the outcome? If they had had been impoverished and moved into their parents’ basement (and yes I understand they at this stage in all likelihood only have parents of blessed memory), would there have been a bunch of people making fun of the for that, and for being impoverished? If so, how is any of that “progressive” at all?

    I am not a litigator but gave my unsolicited two cents to Dawg and Connie and in each case they responded quite graciously. I also offered to help Canadian Cynic find someone to help him way back when and don’t recall him responding at all, and much later on did my best to find someone to help Patrick even if at that point there was a longstanding default judgment against him and it already was far too late for him.

  8. I appreciate The Rebel because it is an alternate viewpoint. Unfortunately, there are days when they seem to live in an Alternate Reality. You experienced one of them. Condolences, Jay. You’re in the right here.

  9. Jay Currie says:

    Thanks Sean.

    I think The Rebel has the potential to be important because of the alternative point of view. The problem is, of course, the ever erratic Ezra.

  10. lenny says:

    Did The Rebel actually claim to have a letter from Warman and have you seen it?

    • Jay Currie says:

      The Rebel – but not me – did indeed have a Libel Notice Warman signed with his fair hand. I have seen it and would be delighted to respond to it in detail. Needless to say, Warman has not taken up my offer to make corrections to my piece nor has he commented. He said “boo” to Ezra and Ezra folded his tent.

  11. xanthippa says:

    As an afterthought to C-51, and Connie’s book, this observation may amuse some of you.

    As you all know, I had failed to get a permit for ‘Equal Opportunity Blasphemy’ event on The Hill at the occasion of the International Draw Muhammed Day last May.

    I spent the whole summer negotiating with ‘powers that be’ exactly what kind of an event I would be allowed to hold – not with formal applications but with floating an idea, the ‘powers that be’ floating them with their superiors, and on and on.

    Finally, I have been granted the permit to hold a ‘Free Speech Wall’ Sun, 13th of Sept, 1-3pm.

    When I had met with the RCMP S/Sgt Roussel, in charge of the security on Parliament Hill, he had spent a surprisingly long time explaining to me that Harper was not personally involved in denying my previous permit – which struck me as strange as I had not brought the topic up, nor had I mentioned Harper myself during all of our conversation (though S/Sgt Roussel had brought him up a few times).

    After he made this comment, I had asked if he were referring to Connie’s book – at which he said he’d not heard of it and changed the subject as quickly as I would let him…

  12. peterodonnell says:

    That seems appropriate, when I was in Ottawa I couldn’t help noticing a Free Speech Barrier.

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