Suit Could Hold Paper Responsible for Comments and Internet Repetitions
Dr. Andrew Weaver, one of the most respected climate scientists in Canada and one of the best climate modellers in the world, has launched a libel suit against the National Post newspaper and its publisher, editors and three writer: Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster and Kevin Libin.
In the words of a news release broadcast today, the suit is for “a series of unjustified libels based on grossly irresponsible falsehoods that have gone viral on the Internet.”
The 48-page Statement of Claim (download the PDF version here) sets out a National Post pattern of reporting critical and erroneous material about Weaver and, in recent times, refusing to retract or correct when inaccuracies are brought to the paper’s attention. An obvious example was an allegation that Weaver had (or was about to) quit his Nobel-winning role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – an allegation Weaver dismissed out of hand.
Two elements of the suit could be of interest to every online publication that offers or encourages the retransmission of its material. In addition to citing reader comments among the libels posted on the National Post site, Weaver is asking for an unprecedented Court order requiring the newspaper to help track down and remove defamatory National Post articles from the many other Internet sites where they have been re-posted.
That, if granted, would cause the paper no end of trouble and could create a precedent that would make every paper in the world think twice before posting so much as a single DIGG link at the bottom of a story.