April 27, 2011 | No Comments
The Sun chain is congratulating itself for adhering to its mandate- a commitment to the truth- after it received a blurry image of a fellow who looks a lot like Michael Ignatieff holding a rifle in Iraq. Despite the excitement in the news room (if its veracity was proven, this picture would apparently contradict Ignatieff’s claim that he was not directly involved in the planning the Iraq invasion) VP Kory Teneycke decided to investigate whether it truly was Ignatieff in the picture before they ran it. Good idea, as it was not him.
Sun Media CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau recounts this tale as if it were Canada’s own Wikileaks episode, which involved the photo being leaked by a former Stephen Harper chief of staff. Peladeau saw this episode as an attempt to smear both Ignatieff and Sun Media’s integrity. He also says it proves that Sun Media is not an official outlet for the Conservative Party of Canada, rather it is a champion for small ‘c’ conservatism.
Here’s Peladeau’s description of Sun Media’s mandate: an “unwavering demand for transparency in our government and its agencies. We stand behind ordinary, working Canadians to ensure their tax dollars are spent wisely. We are against political correctness.”
Anyway, this declaration and condemnation of the leaked information by Peladeau is confusing, given Brian Lilley’s previous coverage of Ignatieff’s involvement in the Iraq war. The way Lilley tells it, Ignatieff was sitting at the board room table with then-President George Bush as they planned to roll the tanks into Iraq. Ignatieff has vehemently denied this account. Without the trumped up analysis by Lilley, I imagine Harvard’s Carr Centre for Human Rights instead provided a white paper from the safety of the confines of the ivory tower. This is regular practice for politicians as they deliberate major policy decisions. They seek a theoretical and historical foundation to provide a more measured approach.
It is still unclear to me how Ignatieff’s involvement as an academic heading an internationally renowned think tank could be a strike against him. True- he recanted on his support for the Iraq invasion. But it is a mark of maturity and integrity when one can admit they were mistaken, especially in the careful halls of academia. It is also sign of leadership, but apparently the Sun Media chain sees leadership differently.