Saturday, July 7, 2007

FACT-DOWN: Layton spoke before the casualties, not after

BADH is “Canada’s number one equine-themed politics blog” for a reason (and it’s not just because Conservative Colt fell victim to inconsistent copy-editing). It’s because BADH fights the right with facts, not name-calling.

Which brings us to this week’s “FACT-DOWN”!
The number one falsehood used by the right (here, here and here) this week to attack Jack’s criticism of the Afghanistan mission is that Layton was as one wag put it “Within hours of the news that Canada had lost six more soldiers in a roadside bomb, he was exploiting their loss”.

A blistering attack – but totally false. Here are the facts:

1) Layton’s press conference was on Wednesday, June 4th at 11:00 am. The media were informed of it on Tuesday.

2) The first news that “NATO says a roadside bomb has hit a military vehicle in southern Afghanistan, killing six soldiers and their Afghan interpreter” moved from Broadcast News using Associated Press copy at 11:27 am – long after Layton’s press conference had ended.

3) Layton made no other public comments on Afghanistan on Wednesday.

To their credit, a few writers noted this, including Chantal Hebert. Even Stéphane Dion made note of it in his press conference later on Wednesday when he said “To the merit of, I would just want to say Mr. Layton, if I understand well, made his comments before the tragedy of today.”

So, for those who think political discourse is helped by sticking to the truth as much as possible: Layton spoke before the casualties, not after.


Raphael Alexander said...

Layton may or may not have known. But he already displayed ignorant callousness for sixty previous deaths. Why should six more be any different?

Blogging Horse said...

Ignorant callousness? You've got the wrong leader and party friend.

When the Conservatives wouldn't lower the flag on Centre Block to respect our fallen, who called them out on it? Jack Layton and the NDP.

When the Conservatives refused to pay the full costs for the funerals so the families of our fallen had to pick up the tab, who called them out on it? Jack Layton and the NDP.

When the Conservatives wouldn't fulfill their promise to extend the VIP program to all veterans -- despite the passage of an NDP motion callign on them to do so, who criticized them? Jack Layton and the NDP.

It takes more than sloganeering to support our troops.

Kingston said...

Serious question, When did Mr. Layton actually know about the causalities? It is to easy to put this to rest if someone release this information. Remember this is a time delay in the reporting, before the media in Afgan even release the information of incident. Does the govt not let the other party leaders know something has happened before it breaks in the press. To sum up, if Mr. Layton did not know then no harm no foul. If he did find out even moments before his press conference who should of changed the speech.