Norman Spector defends column about Stephen Harper's marriage

Victoria blogger and former political insider Norman Spector has defended his column speculating that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had separated from his wife Laureen.

Yesterday, the Globe and Mail deleted Spector's article from its website. It carried the title "Why Ms. Harper joined the PM's Christmas interview", and referred to the Harpers' recent joint interview on CTV.

"We have removed the text of an original posting on this blog as it fell short of The Globe and Mail's editorial standards with respect to fairness, balance and accuracy," an editor's note stated.

Spector was chief of staff to former prime minister Brian Mulroney and before that was former B.C. premier Bill Bennett's deputy minister.

Today, Spector wrote on his site: "I’m still of the opinion that the deleted piece constitutes a worthy explanation of why he and Ms. Harper decided to do their first joint interview since the government came to power in 2006."

Several mainstream media outlets hammered Spector for the article, which surmised that the Prime Minister's Office chose two friendly broadcasters—CTV's Lloyd Robertson and Robert Fife—to squelch any rumour that he and his wife weren't together.

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Dan C

Dec 25, 2010 at 8:40pm

As far as I could tell, the issue wasn't with Spector's treatment of the Harper interview; his assessment is likely accurate. It was his treatment of Andrew Cohen that was questionable. Norman Spector writing that Cohen "worshipped at the feet of Trudeau" makes Cohen into more of a caricature then he deserves, particularly since he's an important force for civic literacy in this country.

It also helps that the G&M and Historica Dominion had an important partnership with the policy wiki. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume this means the two organisations are friendly to one another, making it all the more necessary for the newspaper to take down Spector's remarks. Apologies, but fair and balanced journalism really doesn't exist.

Not Surprised

Dec 26, 2010 at 12:03am

I have heard this rumour, too. Always sad, especially for the kids. The Mrs. is a real free spirit---rides her motorcycle around the capital, speaks her mind. She certainly looked bored at the Christms party. Perhaps she is the Conservative version of Maggie T. Can't be fun to have hubby involved in work 24/7.

Well, looks like the PM is truly mainstream now. He can't be smirked at for 'family values' stuff anymore.

beth bautista

Dec 26, 2010 at 12:46am

why would the media publish or entertain Norman Spector column? did they forget his performance during the Molroney inquiry when he claimed he knows some information to spill out but turne out to be nothing, he just do it to be in the limelight but has no credibilty at all. I think Mr Spector has a grandeuse personality problem


Dec 26, 2010 at 8:21am

Besides the human dignity which reporters lack, I think the article is below the belt as was the one about Harper being assassinated.
Neither attached to any truth.
I heard from a NDP customer about this a couple of years ago. So, your reporting is late. The false rumor was told to me by an NDP supporter who said her son in Ottawa an NDP supporter told her so.
If true it would be a big story, but its not kind or correct to be saying such things which makes those who would send this type of story around, peices of Garbage.
Decide who you are? are you that pathetic? would you cut your own mothers throat for a story, to make a story?
Why not have some credibility, and some backbone, and some talent and write about real news stories that take research and hard work.
In other words, just do you job or shut up.


Dec 26, 2010 at 9:58am

Susan Delacourt also wrote a very detailed rebuttal to the story and the rumours. She cannot be accussed of being much of a Harper fan, but she reveals that over the past three years The Star and at least two other competitor papers, have been inundated with pleadings to investigate the marital discord.

She emphatically stated that they have thoroughly followed any and all leads and it is all a big fat zero. Partisan politics at its worst.


Dec 26, 2010 at 11:30am

Turns out the comments you talk about have been deleted from articles and you and stormy norm are left, alone supporting this Rumor.
Over 2years ago, an NDP'r told me of her son, an Ottawa NDP'r and said that he said that there was trouble, seperation even. I saw it as an NDP strategy, a crass political move against Harper that could be be seen as a reason to sue for defimation.
I would think that soon this article will come to the same fate as others as it promotes the same defimation without reasonable grounds and that harm could come to someone namely the children, and family of Stephen Harper no fault of his own.
Question is, what penalty does the writer deserve for the time this article has been up and able to be read.


Dec 26, 2010 at 4:51pm

Would you live with Harper? Just too weird.

turtle's back

Dec 26, 2010 at 8:53pm

Why not start a rumour about Iggy and his wife and while the media are at it. What about the NDP and the Bloc. This is just a media stunt nothing better to talk about. Hey lets talk about Justin Trudeau wife and his family with the Coyote coats. All this stuff is garbage the media has NOTHING BETTER TO REPORT........this is not news!!!!!!!


Dec 26, 2010 at 11:19pm

Liberals will never rule Canada again and are relegated to fart-sniffing and nose-picking. Canadians are taking back our country.