CALGARY — A long-running defamation case involving a former television war correspondent known as the "Scud Stud'' and one of Canada's biggest media companies is to go before a jury in a Calgary courtroom today.
Arthur Kent, 61, alleges Postmedia, the National Post and former columnist Don Martin defamed him when he was campaigning to win the constituency of Calgary Currie as a star candidate for the Progressive Conservatives in the 2008 provincial election.
The Alberta-born Kent rose to international prominence and acquired his nickname when he reported for NBC during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He often went live on the air from a hotel rooftop as Iraqi Scud missiles were launched into Saudi Arabia.
Kent was narrowly defeated in the election after a hard-fought campaign in which a piece by Martin appeared under the headline "Alberta's 'Scud Stud' a 'Dud' On Campaign Trail.''
The article, which was published in several newspapers that were part of what was then the CanWest chain, described Kent as "a hunky bear-witness reporter'' who "got female hearts pumping.''
Martin wrote that senior campaign strategists had never seen a candidate "so self-absorbed he has mocked the party for failing to treat him with the desired level of reverence.''
The defendants have fought the accusations on grounds that include responsible journalism and fair comment. They also deny that the article was defamatory.
The trial is expected to last about a month.
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