The far-left activist who also writes propaganda columns for the Toronto Star wrote a column earlier this month about a far-left rally that she was using as a chance to teach lies to her child. She and Ezra had an encounter, and she wrote about it.
And now we were here at Queen’s Park, surrounded by thousands of people with signs and banners and costumes and drums, and my 9-year-old was preparing to brawl with Levant, arguably the one person in the crowd who would confirm her doubts.Let's just say that this was a jumping point for Ezra. He wrote a letter to the editor in response, disputing Porter's description of what happened during the event. Unfortunately for Porter, Ezra was there with his Rebel.Media organization, and took a video of (most) of the event. Ezra posted the video, shared it with thousands, and asked the Red Star to explain their rogue columnist.
Instead he honed his microphone onto me. Did I own a car? Were my clothes made from synthetics? See, I was a hypocrite! Why did I think I was better than everyone else?
“You’re being mean to my mom,” Lyla whispered before Levant walked away.
Porter was belligerent on social media after the column but before the video. Ezra played up the theatrics, naturally, but along with the slow buildup to the video he was giving Porter just enough rope to hang herself with. By the time Ezra had posted the video, Porter was on "a long canoe trip".
In absentia, the Toronto star's Public Editor Kathy English condemned Porter's column is a bizarre article half mea culpa but half "oh that mean old Ezra.
It is an understatement to say there are ideological differences between Toronto Star columnist Catherine Porter and conservative commentator Ezra Levant.
Porter, a National Newspaper Award-winning journalist, is a “social justice activist/columnist” for the Star. Levant, a well-known — and certainly controversial — former host with the now-defunct Sun News Network, describes himself as a “lawyer, author and all-round trouble-maker” who is now “rebel commander” of therebel.media, his start-up “news, opinion and activism” website.
Porter’s column and Levant’s letter provide two opposing narratives on what happened between the pair when Porter took her nine-year-old daughter, Lyla, to her first protest.
That’s not particularly surprising: ask a half dozen people to describe what they believe happened at a traffic accident in which they were involved or witnessed and you’re likely to receive as many different narratives with each storyteller fixed on contradictory details and omitting or confusing relevant information. Discerning the “truth” in such situations is never easy.
In the case of this run-in, however, there is video evidence that tells its own truth, at least when the camera was turned on. As we’ve seen in widely circulated videos that have captured wayward police in action, video can provide powerful evidence of what happened when trying to sort out conflicting narratives. But, it doesn’t always tell the entire story, and as you will see, what is not captured on camera remains a significant issue of serious journalistic concern.
Porter acknowledges she fell short here: “I made some mistakes,” she told me.(emphasis mine)
Editor Michael Cooke concurs: “Catherine Porter especially regrets these failings, and I apologize on behalf of the paper. Lessons learned. The hard way,” he said.
“The public editor’s column and an up-coming column by Catherine Porter herself are the Star’s best efforts to correct this.”
So Porter on Tuesday posted her "best efforts to correct this". I'd hate to see her second-best effort.
Afterwards, I wrote a column about the protest for the Star, which started with the encounter with Levant. In it, I critically described his demeanor and conduct.
This too was a mistake. I did not attend the rally intending to write about Levant. I had my notepad with me but didn’t take notes then.
He maintains I did not identify myself as a Star journalist. I did, as I always do.
Levant also maintains that I pushed my daughter upon him like some overzealous stage mother. I did not.
Raw video provided to the Star by Levant clearly shows my daughter doing what I described in the column.
She can be seen approaching him to see what’s going on, walking back to me and picking up her sign, then returning to Levant.
She can be seen standing beside Peter McQueen, the man in the chicken costume, waiting for her turn to talk to Levant.
Levant described this scene as a fiction I had made up. It was not.
On reflection, the tape shows I portrayed Levant in a harsher light in my column than his conduct warranted. I should have written that he was polite to my daughter and that the fight — by which I meant a heated argument — I mentioned was not with her but with me. For that, I apologize.As apologies go, it's pretty weak. Social media reaction on Tuesday was almost across-the-board condemnation of the weak "apology".
There's little doubt that this is the last of the matter. Now Porter's facing double condemnation: first from Ezra's legion of fans and followers, who won't give her or her media masters any breaks from this story or any other set biased media accounts you find in the Toronto Star daily. Secondly, she'll be condemned from her own side, the treasured souls who think leftist activist journalism is sacred and that by being caught lying so blatantly that she gave Ezra more clout, more credibility, and more fans and followers.