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Scud Stud lands a defamation hit on Postmedia

Former journalist Arthur Kent — who achieved fame in the 1990 Gulf War, earning the nickname the “Scud Stud” — has won an eight-year war with the Postmedia newspaper chain.

A judge awarded Kent a total of $200,000 in damages from defendants Postmedia and former National Post columnist Don Martin for a column that ridiculed him as the “Scud Dud” as he tried to win a Calgary constituency for the Progressive Conservatives in the 2008 Alberta provincial election.

From CBC Calgary (“Arthur Kent awarded $200K in defamation lawsuit against Postmedia, Don Martin“):

“I’m feeling a measure of vindication,” Kent told reporters after the decision was handed down in Calgary Wednesday.

“Truth still matters in journalism — and isn’t that good news.”

He said balance also matters, even on the internet.

Kent said Canadians should feel comforted that if someone publishes something that affects their reputation, and it’s untrue, they have options if the publication refuses to address the situation for years even after being contacted.

He also thinks it’s a win for reporters.

“No genuine journalist will be anything but reassured and encouraged by this court decision,” he said. …

Kent’s statements of claim say he was described in the column as having an oversized ego and an unorganized and incompetent campaign. He claimed that article injured his reputation, character and credibility.

“The overall tenor of the article is that Arthur Kent is a politically naive arrogant has-been journalist with a huge ego whose election campaign is in disarray and who is doomed to become an ineffective MLA if elected,” wrote (Justice Jo’Anne) Strekaf.

“The damage was also exacerbated by the exaggerations and sarcastic tone in the article, by aspects of Mr. Martin’s conduct and by the unfairness to Mr. Kent from Mr. Martin’s failure to provide him with an opportunity to respond prior to publication of the article.”

Strekaf also found that Martin should have given Kent the opportunity to respond to the article.

“Both the National Post and Calgary Herald refused to publish Kent’s rebuttal to the article,” reads the decision.

“There was no attempt to address any of these concerns with Mr. Kent, or to provide him with an alternative opportunity to respond to the article.”

Postmedia ‘reviewing the decision’

Postmedia said it is “currently reviewing the decision” and would not provide a comment.

The $200,000 breaks down like this: $150,000 in general damages to be paid by Postmedia and Martin, and an additional $50,000 against Postmedia for leaving the offending column online.

Wed, June 8 2016 » Main Page, Media