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Daniel Dale Says Rob Ford’s Statement “Didn’t Come Close”

Toronto Star reporter would like the mayor to "try again," is proceeding with lawsuit.

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale has had a few hours to process Rob Ford’s statement this morning, made on the floor of council. Ford, addressing insinuations he made that Dale was a pedophile during an interview with Conrad Black, said that “I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mr. Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offence.”

That “if” does a lot of work, as many people quickly observed, and don’t clearly constitute an acceptance of any wrongdoing. Dale’s response, delivered in a series of tweets:

I asked Mayor Ford to 1) retract all of his false claims about my conduct and 2) issue an unreserved, abject, complete apology. His statement today didn’t come close. I’m proceeding with a defamation lawsuit.

In his “apology,” the mayor didn’t retract anything at all. Instead, he blamed the media for its reasonable interpretation of his words. He also blamed his neighbour. He used the words “lurking” and “leering.” And, crucially, he didn’t retract or specifically apologize for the categorically false, malicious, and in-itself-defamatory claim about me taking pictures of his young kids.

I didn’t ask for an “I apologize if.” I asked for an “I apologize because I said false, damaging, and unfounded things, and here they are.” So: while I appreciate the mayor’s first step, no dad or teacher would accept that apology as sufficient. I would appreciate another try.