NEWS
12/16/2011 03:12 EST | Updated 02/15/2012 05:12 EST

Don Cherry's Offensive 'Quote' Invented By Satirical Blogger

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TORONTO - A quote attributed to Don Cherry that The Canadian Press included in a list of some of the year's most memorable quotes was in fact "made up" by a Toronto-based blogger, the news agency acknowledged Friday.

The quote — "This just proves what a nation of pussies we are" — was said to be Cherry reacting to news of Canada's declining crime rate.

In fact, Cherry never uttered the words.

"The Canadian Press has high standards on accuracy. But in this case, we fell down," said Scott White, editor-in-chief of The Canadian Press.

"I've contacted Mr. Cherry to apologize for the incident."

Phone calls to Cherry for comment were not immediately returned Friday.

Andrew Bradley, a Toronto freelance writer with an advertising background, said it came as a surprise to discover the quote he made up being cited on websites in a list of the year's most memorable utterances.

He never expected anyone to take the quote as real because the blog makes clear on one of its pages that its fake news items are intended as fun, "complete and utter malarky."

Like any other satirical site might do, Bradley said he linked Cherry to the StatsCan news in light of the broadcaster's widely reported comments on cracking down on violence in hockey.

"It's really just bringing just those two things together ... and kind of trying to find some humour out of it," he said Friday.

"Really, I write it mainly for my entertainment."

The fact the quote was itself being quoted was brought to the attention of the news agency, and to Bradley himself, by blogger Kate McMillan, who had been alerted to it by a reader on her "Small Dead Animals" blog.

"I called him and asked him and he said, 'Yeah, I just made it up,'" said McMillan, from Delisle, Sask.

"It's something that we have to watch for as bloggers all the time, especially those of us that are high traffic and have a point of view."

McMillan said she appreciated the fact that The Canadian Press responded to her call by immediately taking steps to report its error.

"Sometimes we do this and we get nothing but silence or resistance," she said.