Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NB Paper Apologizes to PM

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the PM taking communion at Romeo Leblanc's funeral.  It turns out that the story originally published by the Saint John Telegraph Journal was inaccurate.  Here's the story on the apology from the same paper in today's Victoria Times Colonist.  Hopefully the apologies will reach the same level of zeal as those who were telling the story the first time around.

A New Brunswick daily newspaper issued a front-page apology Tuesday for a July 8 story that claimed the prime minister pocketed a communion wafer during the state funeral for former governor general Romeo LeBlanc.
The Saint John Telegraph-Journal apologized to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the story which the newspaper said “was inaccurate and should not have been published.”
The story created a national controversy that lasted for several days while Harper was attending a G8 gathering in Italy and preparing to meet the Pope.
“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,” said the apology. “The Telegraph-Journal sincerely apologizes to the prime minister for the harm that this inaccurate story has caused.”
The newspaper also apologized to the two reporters whose bylines appeared above the story.
“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,” said the apology.
The story said that a senior Roman Catholic priest had demanded that Harper's office explain what happened to the communion wafer which was handed to the prime minister during the state funeral. The story also described video footage that showed the prime minister taking the wafer, but cut away before Harper was seen consuming it.
A Telegraph-Journal newsroom employee who answered the phone said “no one will be talking” about the issue.
An aide to publisher Jamie Irving said there would be “no comment.”

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