French calls Cabana a ‘scumbag’ — again

James McLeod
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It was a bizarre, confused and testy morning in court Thursday, as blogger and failed political aspirant Brad Cabana cross-examined former cabinet minister Terry French in excruciating detail.

With French on the stand, Cabana spent most of the morning teasing apart the meaning of the words French had used to insult him five years ago on a VOCM call-in show.

At one point, Cabana asked French what the precise definition of a “political scumbag” was.

“You were a political scumbag,” French replied.

“What else can I tell you? I don’t know how I can lay it out to you any more. I’ve kept repeating what I called you. I’m not denying I called you it. I did. I really did.”

A short while later, Cabana wanted to move on to “an absolute waste of space,” another term French used to describe Cabana.

“Now, when you said that, what were you referring to by the word ‘absolute’?” Cabana asked.

“Total,” French replied. “You could’ve put total waste of space politically, but I used absolute.”

Cabana followed up, “And then, what did you refer to when you said the words ‘waste of space’? What were you intending the purpose of those words to be?”

“You were a waste of space in the political debate,” French said. “I think they’re pretty clear, personally. A waste of space. You’re a waste of space in the political debate. You’re involved in it, obviously. But you’re only a waste of space. A waste of whatever. A waste of being involved.”

At one point, Cabana was ready to read definitions of the word “prostitute” from the dictionary, before Justice Robert Stack put a stop to it. Cabana is suing French for defamation, along with former premier Kathy Dunderdale and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cabana is representing himself at the trial, and during court proceedings he was chastised several times by Stack for conducting himself inappropriately.

At the core of the matter is the VOCM “Backtalk” phone call that French made after Cabana accused the minister of being corrupt in an earlier phone call to the radio station.

Aside from the lengthy, prickly exchanges over semantics, Cabana’s questioning of French was meandering, covering everything from the weeks before French retired from politics to the House of Assembly constituency spending scandal many years earlier.

Cabana declined an interview request to explain his line of argument, but he seems to be attempting to establish that French’s political attack was uncalled for, and harsher than other comparable episodes in French’s political career.

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Recent comments

  • patricia
    February 26, 2016 - 11:47

    What a colossal waste of time and energy! Like the old saying goes ,only a fool has himself for a lawyer.enough said.

  • vienna sausages
    February 26, 2016 - 09:45

    If French called Cabana a political scumbag, then that shows you how much of a scumbag French is! But I have to say, cabana is not going to get anywhere. First off, he is defending himself! No lawyer! What the heck is he thinking? He can win this all by himself? HA... He's a great guy, 10x better than stunderdale and frenchy whenchy. But he can't win this by himself. He's making a idiot and a fool out of himself. That's all.

  • Jon
    February 26, 2016 - 09:18

    Someone get this man a hobby.

  • kevin
    February 25, 2016 - 19:19

    Give French a break. He was elected up in CBS on his late father's reputation. Prior to that he pumped gas and was never heard to utter such words as Scumbag. He learned quickly.

  • coaster
    February 25, 2016 - 16:53

    Wasn't it Terry French who suggested approaching construction companies for political donations, I believe his words were something along the lines of ( they know where the contract money comes from). That's political prostitution , and where is Mr. French employed now? the construction labor relations assoc. Now that's political prostitution coming full circle. Keep your head up Brad.

  • Taxing
    February 25, 2016 - 16:33

    I sure hope Cabana has to pick up court costs if this gets tossed. Surely it will not be another burden for taxpayers.

  • david
    February 25, 2016 - 16:04

    Newfoundland. There are no other words.

  • flexxa
    February 25, 2016 - 15:03

    ...are we paying for this? Should be on Jerry Springer!

  • Alf
    February 25, 2016 - 15:02

    Name calling. The epitome of class.

  • Mike
    February 25, 2016 - 14:13

    What a waste of the taxpayer's money this is. Cabana should just crawl under a rock and not come out. This is ridiculous.

  • gord
    February 25, 2016 - 14:05

    Terry French stated, " in his opinion, a "political scumbag" takes something out of context and uses it for their own political advantage." Based on French's statement, does this mean that all Politicians are "Political Scumbags"?

    • Steve
      February 26, 2016 - 03:24


    • Steve
      February 26, 2016 - 03:27

      Terry French better watch it he may end up being accused as a honest politician. When the man is right, he is right, afterall honesty is the best policy.

    • Purity syrup
      February 26, 2016 - 09:48

      Well yes. Other than the fact that Frenchs opinion is a political scumbag takes something out of context and uses it for their own political advantage, half of them are scumbags anyways.

    • james
      February 26, 2016 - 10:51

      100% correct

  • A voter
    February 25, 2016 - 14:04

    I agree with French if you are politician and running in an election be prepared to take the name calling,insults.I think Cabana bless this way out of perportion.If he had to win it would have been a different story.What a waste of tax payers dollars because he's in a snit.Not like he was assaulted.Grow up bye.