Volume 94, Issue 9

Thursday, September 14, 2000


USC elections could get facelift

Frank sets sights on UWO prof

Council hops aboard new campaign

USC and Health Unit target drinking

Student leaders fight for more federal support


Frank sets sights on UWO prof

Magazine claims vice-presidential misquote
By Aaron Wherry

Gazette Staff

A national gossip and satire magazine has turned its arrows on a Western professor for an alleged oversight in a National Post column.

Frank magazine recently published an article which criticized Western law professor emeritus Ian Hunter, for attributing comments to current United States Vice-President Al Gore, which Frank claims were originally made by former US VP Dan Quayle.

In the magazine, Frank said "Alas, it appears that despite his lofty position at UWO, professor Hunter doesn't bother with minor details like fact and accuracy."

Steve Collins, managing editor of Frank, said he is sure the quotes attributed to Gore by Hunter, including "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure" and "I believe we are on an irreversible trend towards more freedom and democracy – but that could change," were in fact uttered by Quayle.

Collins said he thinks Hunter may have been duped by a possible anti-Gore website, or even a Dan Quayle message board. "There's a lot of crap on the Internet and a professor emeritus should know that."

Hunter, who has been a columnist for the National Post for a year and a half, said he found all Gore-attributed quotes on a web page linked to the official Al Gore website. While he admitted he did not hear or see Gore utter the statements, he believes and trusts they were made by the current vice president, he said.

Taking criticism is part of being a columnist, Hunter added. "If you dish it out you have to learn to take it," he said. Before being informed of the Frank story by The Gazette, Hunter said he had never read or even heard of the satirical magazine.

Peter Desbarats, former dean of journalism at Western and currently the MacLean/Hunter communication ethics chair at Ryerson Polytechnic University, said he was a supporter of the bi-weekly publication which has garnered a reputation for its liberal journalistic ethics.

"While I take it with a grain of salt, I'm a bit of a fan of Frank magazine, I think the national, mainstream media often tends to be too conservative with its coverage," Desbarats said.

"[Frank's comments] are pretty serious. Technically I'm sure there are grounds for libel," he said. "But people who sue Frank usually end up looking rather silly. Gossip is a part of news."

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