I’ve always had to remind myself that it’s MichelLeblanc.com and not MichelleBlanc.com when I visit his blog, but I never saw this coming.
UPDATE (Jan. 20): Lagacé writes a column about this.
Michel Leblanc has comments from Pierre-Antoine Tremblay justifying his court cases against blogger Chris Hand.
Tremblay’s side has some valid points:
On the other hand, he doesn’t answer some of Chris Hand’s main criticisms:
Either way, unless these two can start talking to each other like humans, a judge is going to decide which story is more sympathetic. And lots of money and time is going to be wasted on both sides.
Michel Leblanc has an interesting on-the-other-hand take to the Zeke’s Gallery situation. He points out that Tremblay hasn’t been convicted of anything, and just because the media accuses him of something doesn’t make it true.
The point is well taken. Chris Hand shouldn’t be immune from prosecution for libel just because he’s a blogger.
But this whole mess was caused by Tremblay himself, who instead of sending an email with his side of the story (a side he hasn’t expressed publically, in part because of a confidentiality agreement with the Loto-Quebec thing and in part because he’s just chosen not to) sent a lawyer’s letter to Hand. Then, when Hand complied with the letter, he sent another more threatening one making more demands.
Tremblay (as far as I know) didn’t sue Radio-Canada, Le Devoir
or the other media who first made these claims about him (UPDATE: He sued La Presse, who made much more outlandish statements about him, and lost). And despite an agreement which Tremblay implies was in his favour (as the paintings are still on display), the original press release which accused Tremblay of fraud is still online.
Hand and Tremblay (or their lawyers) meet in front of a judge tomorrow. Let’s hope they can still resolve this amicably.