Reporter “bullied” by Tories, says columnist

Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason has some strong words for the Conservatives who claim reporter Tom Zytaruk “doctored” a tape to make prime minister Stephen Harper look bad, in the Chuck Cadman/insurance scandal. The Conservatives have gone to court to try and force the Liberals to stop making political hay of the issue by using the tape. An excerpt of Mason’s column:

There’s something a little outrageous about a federal party trying to bully and intimidate and discredit an honest and decent reporter who hasn’t had a black mark on his résumé in 17 years at the twice-weekly community newspaper at which he’s been employed.

The allegations against Mr. Zytaruk, indirect as they may be, have hurt those around him. His mother, especially. While he tries to remain stoic and unconcerned about the publicity, he wonders whether he’s being naive. In this business, there is nothing more important than your integrity and credibility. You trade on it every day. He wonders if the Conservatives are trying to destroy his to save theirs.

A backgrounder in the Hill Times of the issue is here.

Glad to see Mason bring it up. When the story broke, the first thing I wondered about the Conservative’s use of the courts was whether Tom Zytaruk had a libel case against the party. If anyone’s name has been besmirched in this mess, it seems to be Zytaruk’s.