Weyrich’s Canadian Evasions

When people in politics lie about sex, well, that seems fairly normal. But about Canada? (If you aren’t so into reading about Canada…stop reading now.)

And yet the American conservative activist Paul Weyrich seems to misled the Canadian press about an incident The Politicker got rolling with the publication of a leaked email from him, in which — at the urging of a Canadian conservative — he asked American conservatives not to talk to the Canadian press about that country’s election, for fear of scaring the Canadians.

The story got big play in Canada, and a reporter from the Canadian Press (a wire service) called Weyrich:

Weyrich said the e-mail was the product of an overzealous staffer who works for him….

It was apparently widely distributed, he said, adding that he never actually spoke to Chipeur [the Canadian conservative]….

“I don’t know him, but he has been in touch with Free Congress [Weyrich's group]. He may have called the office and expressed some concern.”

….He discussed his views with a staff member in an off-hand way, he said, and didn’t expect an e-mail to go out.

Weyrich’s version, however, changed pretty substantially in a celebratory article he posted to his Web site:

It has been rather exciting to watch the Canadian Elections. I had the benefit of discussing the projections with one Gerald Chipeur, an Alberta attorney who is involved with Conservatives in Canada….

In fact, Chipeur and I inadvertently were involved in the Elections a few days before Election Day. Chipeur had contacted Free Congress out of concern for what the leftwing Canadian media could do to obtain from some unsuspecting United States conservative an off-the-charts quote which could be hung around Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper’s neck.

I asked my associate Bob Thompson, who runs our Coalition meetings, to tell American conservatives what the media up north intended to do and request that folks not conduct interviews until after the Canadian Elections. Of course, in this city of leaks, our e-mail had been released only a few hours before I received a call from the Canadian News Service. Our e-mail message mentioning Chipeur was read back to me.

It was, Weyrich declares with some relief, a “small victory”:

“In the end, there just wasn’t enough there to make a fuss, although there was potential to blow this sky high. Conservatives did not conduct interviews.”

Whew!