Bad decision. Shame. #ndp #elxn41 #cdnpoli @sunNewsNetwork @davidAkin

Today, at 6:30pm Mountain time, Sun TV ran a story that, in 1996, Jack Layton was in a massage parlour when it was raided by the Toronto Police Service.  Jack Layton was found, naked, in a room as the massage therapist was leaving the room with a wet tissue of some kind in her hand.

The police officer interviewed Layton and the massage therapist.  Layton explained he was there for a Shiatsu, but didn’t explain why he was naked.  The therapist denied any sexual acts had taken place, as did Layton.

As the police officer had no evidence to go on other than what I’ve just described, he cautioned Layton that the massage studio was known to police to be a place of money laundering, asian gangs, a bawdy house, and also believed to be used for extortion – sessions would be videotaped and used as blackmail.

With that, Layton “paled”, and then the police office let Layton go.  Olivia Chow, Layton’s wife claims to have known about the appointment, known where Layton had been, and also knew about the incident afterwards.

I have no reason to dispute Chow’s statement.

The news story raises some questions; and I find Layton’s explanation … curious.  First, anybody at all in a situation like the one described here would claim, “I just came for a massage.”  That’s the usual response, you’d think.

That Layton didn’t answer as to why he was naked (and uncovered) as the therapist was leaving the room is also interesting.  I have had a legitimate massage, and I know full well that the massage therapist does not enter the room until AFTER you have covered yourself with towels, lifts the towel so she cannot see you when you turn over, never uncovers you to the point of nude exposure, and fully covers you again with towels before she leaves the room; and you do NOT get up from the table until after she has left.

All that is what it is.  Layton was not charged, the incident was left alone, and Layton moved on, probably wanting to put the incident behind him.

Until tonight, when Sun News Network dug the story up when following up from an anonymous tip.  They got copies of the police officer’s notes, fact-checked the story, and were very careful to report that charges were never laid and presented the evidence to the viewer as is.

Okay, so Sun was professional in their journalistic research.  That, however, is where it ends.

Why would Sun News bother running this story?  It’s obviously embarrassing to Jack Layton, that goes beyond saying.  Layton’s claiming it’s a smear.

He’s right.

This story adds nothing to the current election campaign, other than to briefly throw Jack Layton off his message while he deals with it.  On Twitter, someone said to me that Layton and the NDP claim to be defenders of women and women’s issues, and this goes to show Jack Layton for who he really is.  Frankly, the very fact that the NDP believe that women need “defending” and “special status” in and of itself shows their extreme disrespect for women.  I don’t need some news reporters telling me about a bad decision Layton made — and make no mistake, Layton made a terrible decision — 16 years ago to raise that point.

Running this story was sleazy journalism.  It was designed to embarrass and shame Layton.  He has enough to be embarrassed and ashamed of just by being a socialist — this story adds nothing, nor does anybody any favours.  It certainly hasn’t done Sun News any favours in my mind.

Sun News Network, and David Akin: Shame on you.  I thought you would be better than this.  I’m disappointed to find out that I was wrong.

About Steven Britton

Steve is a freelance programmer, partial billionaire, dad, Recovering Atheist, Conservative, and occasionally prolific blogger.
  • Bella

    I beg to differ. It seems that all through this campaign all the Grits & NDPs have done is try to smear the Tories with anything and everything imaginable. Then they complained that nothing stuck. Harper came across as a gentleman through it all. Now when some of the truth comes out about Layton’s hypoccracy you have a problem? Give me a break! As a woman, hearing the story really makes a difference to me. I may not need defending but these women sure do. In fact what Jack layton did there contradicts everything he is suppose to stand for!

    It came from Sun media not from the conservatives, furthermore. People are really sick of the left wing media who don’t even pretend anymore to not be biased. Good thing if the shoe is finally on the other foot.

    • Thank you for your comment. I agree that it came from Sun Media rather than the Conservatives; however the Useful Idiots on Twitter are already spinning the story to try to pin it on the Conservatives. The attacks on the Conservatives were all based on public policy issues – ethics in Parliament, the AG Report, Afghan Detainees, etc. They didn’t stick because there was nothing in the accusations that -could- stick. I see this story as something above and beyond.

      A few people have referred to the Bill Clinton/Monika Lewinski – and I’m certainly not excusing Bill Clinton’s behaviour here either – scandal. My issue with Bill Clinton wasn’t that he messed around on his wife – that’s immoral, but not illegal – but that Clinton put his hand on a BIBLE, swore an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and then committed perjury, hiding behind things like the definition of the word, “is.”

      Layton hasn’t committed perjury, and was never charged with a crime. That’s the crux of the matter. Do women working in brothels need a helping hand to get out? Definitely! Does this excuse Jack Layton’s behaviour at the parlour, definitely NOT! However this news story is just plain dirty.

  • DLW

    When all else fails – attack the character and integrity. Certainly an act of desperation. I’m sure there are many that see the rise of Social-Democracy a threat. Wouldn’t it be a terrible thing if there was a party fighting for the rights and programs that serve the not so fortunate.

    • Not an act of desperation, but more an act of “attract eyeballs to Sun News”

  • SayBlade

    I see that Sun TV News has not hired any writers yet. I am waiting for their remake of Fantasy Island.

  • Dave P

    I think this is a big story about the true Jack Layton. If you think it is to late to bother this election watch out NDP. The net runs 24/7 and I have already seen the story everywhere.
    Its absolutley disgusting that a Leader of the Party hoping to make gains involves himself in this low practice of going to a bawdy house. Its a disgrace to all of the women of Canada. I would be changing my vote if I was a women considering voting NDP.

    • I’m certainly not condoning anybody attending a bawdy house; and I’ve stated in the blog entry that Layton’s explanation that he was “just there for a massage” is suspicious: naked? no towels? Wet tissue? Young asian massage therapist? Hmmm…

      However, all that notwithstanding, the point I’ve tried to make here is Sun News Network’s decision to run this story is sleazy. Jack Layton and the NDP have enough material in their constitution and platform to show how disastrous they would be if they ever got into power already.

      This is character assasination. Pure and simple. It’s not right when the CBC does it to conservatives; and it’s not right when Sun News does it to the NDP.