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Arctic Oil ex Lawson trial as seen by Baines chronicler

2011-06-29 12:06 ET - Street Wire

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EDITORS NOTE: The story below was originally commissioned for B.C. Business magazine by then-editor Matt O'Grady. It was later killed by B.C. Business publisher Peter Legge, in a decision that so outraged Mr. O'Grady that he resigned in protest.

Most Stockwatch readers will be familiar with the protagonists. David Baines is The Vancouver Sun's most prominent business columnist. Edward Lawson is a retired Canadian senator and former International Teamsters union executive. The mention of either name is apt to give rise to passionate reaction -- positive or negative -- in the Vancouver business community.

The writer, Richard Littlemore, was a long-standing B.C. Business contributing editor who had won a Western Magazine Award for a 2006 profile on Mr. Baines, so when his former subject wound up in court defending himself against a libel charge, Mr. Littlemore saw a story to follow and attended the trial every day. Given the nature of the tangling adversaries, and the importance of libel law to both good journalism and free expression in the Internet age, the story seemed likely to be both entertaining and important.

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Thanks, Stockwatch. This did deserve to see the light of day.

One wonders if any newspaper which chooses to run Lawson's eventual obituary will dare to print more than the dates of his birth and death?

Posted by pierced to the heart at 2011-06-29 12:44

Over decades it appears to me that Stockwatch's true mission is to always cast David Baines as some sort of heroic champion of the little guy. I don't believe he his.

One also notes that Mr. Baines returns the favor and consistently lauds Stockwatch in a positive light!

It appears to me that this is an unhealthy journalistic connection!

Posted by JOHN MOONEY at 2011-07-04 11:28

Heroic champion of the little guy? Possibly that is how Baines likes to think of himself, and that is fine. The less than burning question during the 1990's used to be: Is Baines still relevant? In 2011, even the question has lost all relevancy.

Posted by Phat Dean woefully underemployed at 2011-07-05 14:02

The relevancy of the subject journalist is irrelevant. The judgement appears to establish a broader principle. Expressed in common language, it suggests that the line between jerk journalism and libel as being finer than previously tested or adhered to.

Posted by Cyril at 2011-07-06 13:21

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