OTTAWA – Sun Media apologized on Monday for an on-air rant by its outspoken provocateur, Ezra Levant, about Justin Trudeau and the Liberal leader’s famous parents.
The apology aired at the beginning of Levant’s Sun News Network show. It was read by a narrator; Levant didn’t deliver the mea culpa.
“It is the view of Sun News that this segment was in poor taste and should not have been aired,” the apology’s narrator intoned.
“We understand why many viewers found both the content and language of this segment to be offensive. We apologize to Mr. Trudeau, his family and to our viewers.”
Levant’s show then began.
The right-wing columnist and on-air personality has been in hot water for a Sept. 15 tirade over a photo of Trudeau kissing a Toronto-area bride on the cheek as her bridesmaids looked on.
In his monologue, Levant maligned Trudeau for the kiss, suggesting he’d forced himself on the wedding party. He also slurred Trudeau’s mother, Margaret, and his late father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
The bride and her father-in-law stated publicly that they asked Trudeau to pose for photos, and encouraged him to kiss the bride. They said Trudeau secured the groom’s OK before planting the kiss.
As a result of Levant’s comments, Trudeau said he would no longer speak to Sun Media reporters until there was an appropriate response from the chain, Canada’s largest newspaper publisher.
The Liberals said they accepted the apology.
“We look forward to Sun News journalists resuming participation in Mr. Trudeau’s press conferences,” spokeswoman Kate Purchase said in an email.
A video of the rant — and a column repeating many of the same slurs against Trudeau — was still on Levant’s blog as of late Monday. Levant did not reply to a request for comment.
The rant became the subject of social media disdain that showed no sign of abating following the apology, with online critics assailing Levant for not personally expressing regret for his comments.
“Not man enough to do it himself,” read one tweet.