03.30.2010 10:05 PM

That was then, this is now

Globe and Mail, May 2, 1998:

“…Frank, according to Mr. Duffy, made it acceptable for other media to mention or joke about his weight. For example, the Royal Canadian Air Farce depicts him as Tiny Mike. As well as costing him the Order of Canada, he said the attacks lowered his standing at CTV.

He was advised by his lawyer, David Sherriff-Scott, not to talk to The Globe and Mail about the case. However, in the examination for discovery, Mr. Duffy makes a very convincing case for how much being “Franked” can hurt.

“I don’t know anyone who wants to be held up to ridicule,” Mr. Duffy says on the transcript. “I’ve never met a human being who wants people to make . . . personal comments about them…I’m not sure if your clients appreciate when they put down the Prime Minister for his accent and so on that hurts him personally. Now, one could argue that he asked for that because he ran for office, but the fact is we’re all human beings, and what your magazine, or your client’s magazine, consistently demonstrates is a complete absence of any shred of humanity in relation to other human beings.

“And there is no reason for you to think for one second that Mike Duffy doesn’t have a heart, that I can be hit and not be bruised and not feel it. Of course. And everybody else who is in there feels it too, when they’re attacked. So the idea that you can get some kind of free pass that Mike Duffy is the only human being on Earth who doesn’t feel pain when people make cracks about him, personal cracks, is totally wrong.”

Speech, Sen. Mike Duffy, March 30, 2010:

“I rise to join my colleague, Senator Finley, in support of an inquiry into the state of freedom of speech in Canada…I share Senator Finley’s love of freedom and his concern about the growing phenomena of censorship. I approach the subject from the perspective of someone who, as a journalist for more than forty years, has used freedom of speech every day of my life, and has seen its essential role in keeping our democracy healthySome people say that if we ban offensive or rude opinions in Canada, society will be more harmonious. But experience around the world shows that’s just not how it works; and if we stop people from expressing themselves verbally, even in ways we find distasteful, they might be tempted to express themselves violently…As a journalist, I know the value of free speech. And as a Senator, I have a duty to protect it. Thank you.”

UPDATE: A response by Mike Duffy is found in comments, below.

46 Comments


  1. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    james smith says:

    This person is the same person who ambushed Margret Trudeau at the the Centennial Flame after PET’s funeral. At that time this so-called journalist asked for her comments on the day by reminded her of son’s death almost exactly two years before. His ham handed feeble apology afterwords smelled of someone doing the least possible in order to keep one’s job. That this person continues to be employed by anyone, little own you & me causes me no end of wonder.

    As for this person’s comments; YAWN, LAMO! He’s one of the most boring & predictable people in Canada, right after a certain Mr Rex Murphy.

    Folks used to mix this person up with the late Bill Kempling MP.
    I knew Bill Kempling,
    I worked with Bill Kempling,
    this person is no Bill Kempling!


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    auntie-em-m says:

    Big hippocrit, Duffy!


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    Mike Duffy says:

    Warren:
    To be fair — and I know you want to be fair — I did NOT sue Frank for its’ cracks about my weight; I sued them because they called me a liar. That’s defamation and it is prohibited by law. I took no action against them over all those years of personal attacks, precisely because I believe in free speech. I didn’t say their attacks didn’t hurt. But it was only when they crossed the line into defamation that I acted.

    So I don’t see any contradiction between my position then and now.

    Best

    -Mike


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      bull caller says:

      Yes, Warren he is right. You should really apologize to this fat liar.


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        Elizabeth says:

        That’s not polite.


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          bull caller says:

          What? Being fat or being a liar? Both I would presume.


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      Eugene Parks says:

      Mr. Duffy, you bought the harper hillusanations, hysteria, and its truck load of contradictions and smoke screens; now you are in the middle of it. Suck it up.

      On the personal front, you have my 100% support in dealing with life’s personal challenges… sincerely and respectfully you do.

      However on the political front, no one cares that you don’t like where you are. Associating with conservativecan can hurt. It happened to me and I got over it; you should too.

      Cheers, Eugene Parks


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      Tceh says:

      This says much about where Duffy’s (self) interests lie:

      http://www.cbsc.ca/english/decisions/2009/090527.php


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      Jason Cherniak says:

      Mr. Duffy, I agree with everything quoted above. However, I don’t know how you can make such arguments when you spent the final year of your journalistic career making fun of Stephane Dion. Indeed, on one of your final shows you actually made fun of him for misunderstanding a complicated question posed in English. How do you explain your mocking in light of your opinions, as expressed above?


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      true canadian says:

      Mr Duffy

      I’d like to see things from your point of view but I can’t seem to get my head that far up my ass.


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    Catherine says:

    Senator Duffy and Senator Finley.

    I wish Harper had kept one of his promises.


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    parnel says:

    Sounds as though “Frank” was right in its opinions.


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    Sandra says:

    This whole right wing free speech thing is getting so Tea Baggy – like we’re so oppressed here.


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    Scurvy Dog says:

    Some pretty negative comments about Duff. I truly think of him as a Canadian legend in the newsworld. The personal attacks are a bit much. I suppose its the last resort when there’s not much else to go on.

    To Catherine: I wish to see more of the PMOs promises come to fruition. I however, am clinging to the fact that there must be compromise with a Minority Gov. If this was PMSHs Majority then yea, I would be disappointed. I was to see the House cleaned up. With that said, Cons are working with Opposition to some degree and really hard to a great job getting us through this tough economic time.


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      Warren says:

      You don’t work for Helena, do you?


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        Blair Shumlich says:

        Zing! You really are good at what you do, aren’t you?


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      Catherine says:

      Scurvy Dog offers ‘I, however, am clinging to the fact that there must be compromise with a Minority Gov.’

      For it to work, the Prime Minister must be open to the concept of civility and collegiality.

      Harper shows no evidence of either.


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    OMG says:

    Finley and Duffey on free speech. Wasn’t Finley one of the guys, the other being Tom Flanagan, that was suspected of bribing Chuck Cadman? Will that be part of his free speech diatribe?

    I too believe in free speech no matter how ludicrous it is so let Duffy blow – the harder he blows the more ludicrous he sounds.

    Will this new free speech Canadians can have include uncensored documents our government keeps blacking out?
    Will this new free speech Canadians can have include speaking our minds about Isreal and its human rights abuses?
    Will this new free speech Canadians can have include our access to the freedom of information Harper keeps from us?

    These two could be doing us a great service really.


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    Scurvy Dog says:

    No, Fill me in. I will change my tune given enough info. What’s up? Could you send link?


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    Pathrik74 says:

    Yeah, and what about them banning george galloway from Canada. These people (conservatives) seem to be very selective in their advocacy of ‘freedom of speech’


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    Rotterdam says:

    Commenting on a mode of transportation (broom, flying carpet), an ethnic restaurants meat preference (pork, cat), a persons weight, facial features, or appearance, can be in poor taste, but cannot be rendered illegal in a free society.


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    rickyjo27 says:

    I think that politicians sometimes confuse “freedom of speech” with a “license to lie”


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    Dana says:

    Duffy is a [REDACTED] lump of [REDACTED].

    Does that hurt, Duffy?

    Good.


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    Bill says:

    You roll on Mike Puffy!


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    Voltaire Malaise says:

    I was always amused by Mike’s obvious lusting after an Order of Canada. Being made a Senator leaves me in near hysterics.

    I don’t doubt that Mikey had a great career as a journalist.

    The whole situation(s) makes him look very self-serving, unfortunately.


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    Sandra says:

    Dana – a little over-the-top don’t you think? Why put yourself down to the level of right wing commenters and bloggers?


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      Dana says:

      Sandra, there are object lessons available to us here in Canada if we carefully observe and reflect on the progression of events that have occurred in the US over the past couple of decades.

      One of the object lessons I take is that the right wing crazies have no boundaries when they are in attack mode and they have the boundaries of infants when they are in defend mode.

      Another lesson I take is that if these creatures are not held up to ridicule, exposed as liars and thieves, if their reputations and credibility are not damaged or destroyed and if everything else in our power is not done to make a significant percentage of the population see them as the con artists and crooks they are then the progression of social disintegration they have wrought in the US will occur here too. Indeed it already is.

      I don’t think fighting to preserve something I love, Canada, should be done with anything other than every weapon I have at my disposal.


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    Dana says:

    Something is wrong with calling [REDACTED AGAIN BECAUSE WARREN DOES NOT WANT TO GET SUED, DANA]? Nothing actionable there. The second [REDACTED] I won’t quibble with except to note that none of the words used couldn’t be spoken in church. I’ll grant you that referring to him in this way shows poor taste. However my poor taste is as nothing in comparison to the ashes and vinegar taste Duffy, and his overlord and master, have delivered to the hard won, longstanding good reputation of Canada.


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    Dana says:

    Warren, each descriptor I used can be demonstrated as factual by real events archived on video tape or in digital format. Unless CTV has gone to the extraordinary length of destroying Duffy’s so called journalistic history. Which come to think of it wouldn’t surprise me either.

    The descriptor [REDACTED] applies to, but doesn’t refer to, his soulless, heartless, inhumane attack on Margaret Trudeau’s grief on the day of Pierre’s lying in. Playing that tape in court, if it hasn’t been destroyed by minions of flying, fire breathing Harper monkeys, would vitiate any action.

    The descriptor [REDACTED] applies to, but doesn’t refer to, his abandonment of journalistic standards and ethics in relation to the more recent behaviour toward Stephane Dion. Ditto the recordings of that event as well as the judgement of the Broadcast Council.

    The descriptors [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] apply to, as well as refer to, his personal presentation. I don’t think either could be denied by anyone who ever laid eyes on him even from a distance. I mean he just looks like Porky Pig.


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      Eugene Parks says:

      this is warren’s webhouse so his rules


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    Tceh says:

    Since we are talking about free speech I wonder what to make of the editing activity over at Helena Guergis’s Wikipedia article…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Helena_Guergis&action=history

    We get reports of 2 of Guergis’s assistants sending fawning letters to the editor to local newspapers and around the same time entire unflattering sections of the Guergis article on Wikipedia are deleted by “assistants” and are told to “keep the liberal hacks out of this article”

    Since when is widely reported facts such as Guergis’s meltdown at Charlottetown Airport not subject to scrutiny?


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      Tceh says:

      Apologies in advance for the tangent I’m on here but another example of alleged Guergis transgressions surface. It’s been a bad month for the Jaffer-Guergis power couple:

      http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/03/31/the-fan-club/

      One wonders how Harper picks those around him…Duffy…Guergis. There doesn’t seem to be much bench depth on the Conservative side.


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    Jerome Bastien says:

    Wow, it’s enlightening to see the hate spewed by the likes of Dana towards Senator Duffy, all for showing us that Dion is unable to understand a simple question. Thanks for making my day by highlighting the rage and hypocrisy that fuels the left.


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      parnel says:

      Of course that leftist rage pales in comparison to personal attack ads and similar 10%’ers coming from the right. it also pales in comparison to the lies and coverups we are experiencing from the is government who ran on more accountability and transparency.


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    Northbaytrapper says:

    You’re all free to say what you what about the man (most of you I would guess have never met him) as that is your right. He expresses an opinion in the Senate and the civilized, tolerant folks who frequent this message board come out with fat jokes. You’ve proven a lot, and unfortunately for you, none of it pertains to Mr. Duffy.
    I am guessing that you are still friendly with him Warren; your Helen quip was witty (I laughed); but how do you let this garbage go on without so much as a comment?


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    Dana says:

    Jerome, is like a lot of Americans I once argued with on Washington Monthly and other Bush era sites.

    They were absolutely certain that Bush was their saviour. He, and Rove et al, would lead them to the promised land where milk and honey would flow for all eternity.

    Until even they saw the truth.

    Now of course many of those same people have morphed into Tea Partiers whose goal is to make the US entirely insolvent and ungovernable.

    Which I have to say is what I suspect a lot of Harper supporters would like to see happen here.

    Nothing says freedom like no functional government at all.


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    Brian says:

    Help! Help!

    I’m being repressed!


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    Jerome Bastien says:

    Dana you must have amazing powers if you are able to know what Im like from the simple comment I left earlier. Here’s a clue, I was just laughing at the rage with which you attacked Duffy, as evidenced by the fact that WK had to censor half your comments for fear of being sued. And great rant about Bush. Nothing says ‘well balanced individual’ like ranting about Bush, Rove, and tea partiers in response to mockery.


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    Aurelia says:

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/30/unvarnished-a-clean-well-lighted-place-for-defamation/

    Thought you might find this interesting.

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/28/reputation-is-dead-its-time-to-overlook-our-indiscretions/

    Or the previous article.

    Neither articles distinguish between mistakes we overtly make as active choices, and life circumstances that simply exist for which we shall be discriminated against if they are exposed because human beings are nasty creatures in general who tend to discriminate, except for a very few who truly rise above.

    I am not a fan of Mike Duffy because of his actions as a journalist, and I so I actively refused to watch him and told CTV that when he was on, they lost my ratings worthy eyeballs. I do not, nor have I ever given a crap about his personal appearance, and I really despise people who think that’s a reason to judge others, so I do kind of understand the dicotomy he expressed.

    But if the predictions of Michael Arrington come true and websites like this flourish, then the whole discussion is moot. Either we have to grow up as a society and stop attacking each other over personal issues and get over it totally. Or we have to find a way to put the genie back in the bottle.

    Because it won’t just be public figures like Mike Duffy who are attacked anymore. It will be everyone. Me, you, everyone on earth.


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    MCBellecourt says:

    Mr. Duffy, with all due respect, when the government of the day sets political discourse at a certain level, it is only right and natural to elicit a like response. As another poster pointed out, your party’s character assassination of Stephane Dion set the tone.

    SET
    THE
    TONE!!

    It is the textbook characterization of a bully to run to everyone else for sympathy when it all comes backatcha, too.

    Karma’s a b****, isn’t it?

    It’ll be a brand new day with renewed hope in Canada when your precious Harper party is voted out of office. I have never been so disgusted with a government as I am now, and I hope for the love of God and Country I never see the likes of this government again in my lifetime.


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    Michael Watkins says:

    I like to believe that Mike Duffy would not have been named to the Senate if appointments were reviewed and approved by the entire privy council, which is one of the more sensible senate reform ideas being floated out there.

    http://www.albertasenator.ca/hullabaloos/?article&494


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    S. Peterson says:

    Yes, please, let’s have the appointments reviewed by the entire privy council. But I expect the current government will promise to do that and then break that promise. They won’t let go of control that easily, will they.


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      Northbaytrapper says:

      No government in history has.
      At least this government’s ambition is to return to nomination process to the people. I cannot fathom how anyone would prefer the system we presently own to one of elected Senators.

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