Mayor concedes his recollections and descriptions had been "inaccurate."
Mayor Rob Ford made his first attempt at an apology to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale in council on December 17. Dale had announced that he would be pursuing legal action against both Ford and Vision TV over comments made by the mayor during an interview on that station with Conrad Black.
Ford’s first apology managed to be both aggressive and conditional: he worked in shots against the Star (“I do take issue with his bosses at the Toronto Star to put him and I into this situation”), and peppered his statements with if’s (“It is unfortunate that the word I did not say has been ascribed to me by the media, but I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mr. Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offence”).
Saying the mayor’s apology “didn’t come close,” Dale determined to continue with his lawsuit, although he did invite the mayor to “try again.”
And he did. Ford’s latest attempt was lengthy and in writing, and noticeably lacking in if’s and in accusations about media meddling. He retracts his claims that Dale was on his property: “There was no basis for me to say that Mr. Dale was ever in my backyard or on my property and I should not have said that.” He also addresses his insinuation that Dale might be a pedophile:
Finally there was absolutely no basis for the statement I made about Mr. Dale taking pictures of children, or for any insinuations I made. I should not have said what I did and I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said.
The apology runs nearly a page and half, and features the mayor admitting that his recollections had been “inaccurate” and that his descriptions had been “imprecise and inaccurate.”
Dale has since announced he’ll be dropping his defamation suit. “I sincerely appreciate Mayor Ford’s complete retraction and unqualified apology, and I’m very glad the truth is no longer in dispute,” he said. “I won’t be taking legal action against the mayor, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.” (He also indicated he will not be proceeding with a lawsuit against ZoomerMedia, after it issued a statement of apology Wednesday night.)
And we’re left to consider the number of months it took Rob Ford to acknowledge that his statements had no basis and his recollections no accuracy.