This is why we can’t have nice things

How an incorrectly-reported statement snowballed

On Monday, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that Michael Ignatieff had warned against “splitting the Filipino vote” in Winnipeg-North or at least that the Liberal leader had said “voters in Winnipeg North deserve a ‘straight-up’ campaign free from attempts to split the Filipino vote.”

On Tuesday, the Conservative candidate in Winnipeg-North expressed her disappointment. The Free Press editorial board deemed Mr. Ignatieff comments “an insult to voters in general and Filipinos in particular.” The Conservative government sent up a backbencher before QP to deem his comments both “insulting and offensive” and to call on the Liberal leader to apologize. And radio host Charles Adler added his unique brand of sanctimony.

Thing is, by Tuesday afternoon the reporter of the original story had posted a transcript of Mr. Ignatieff’s remarks. And, as it turns out, he hadn’t said what was reported.

Undaunted, the Conservatives sent up another backbencher yesterday to not only repeat this particular allegation, but to repeat another thoroughly debunked allegation.

Last night, the Free Press officially acknowledged its “mistake.”

Still undaunted, the latter Conservative backbencher posted video of his statement in the House to YouTube this morning.