‘The Rover will not apologize for just and truthful reporting that helps Our Lady’s University stay true to its Catholic mission’
A University of Notre Dame professor filed a defamation lawsuit against an independent student publication after it reported on her advocacy for abortion and quoted her comments at a panel.
But The Irish Rover, a conservative publication, said it plans to fight back against Professor Tamara Kay’s legal complaint.
“Professor Kay’s allegations against the Rover are entirely false,” the paper’s editorial board wrote on Tuesday. “And her lawsuit reflects only the latest stage in a tenured professor’s baseless public campaign against undergraduates at her own university who had the temerity to publish accurate stories about her very public abortion advocacy.”
The publication plans to respond today to her defamation lawsuit.
“The Rover will not apologize for just and truthful reporting that helps Our Lady’s University stay true to its Catholic mission,” the editors wrote. “To that end, it has produced important stories for twenty years and will continue to do so, with determination and resolve, Professor Kay’s baseless public campaign and lawsuit notwithstanding.”
The complaint takes issue with two Rover articles, including one that quoted Kay’s comments at a panel and covered her public support for abortion. The second article included comments Kay made at an event hosted by the Notre Dame College Democrats in March.
National Review reviewed audio of the event and largely confirmed the accuracy quotes in the Rover’s article, though there was some deviation.
For example, the student newspaper reported that Kay said, in reference to abortion activism, “I can’t impose that on you… but I’m doing me, and you should do you.”
The audio of the event shows Kay said, “I’m doing me and other folks can do them.”
The lawsuit states that Kay was never asked at the March event about how she ended up at a Catholic university despite her support for abortion.
“A recording of the event obtained by National Review confirms a student asked Kay how she ended up at Notre Dame and how her experiences and beliefs affected her coming there,” the publication reported.
“The suit claims the two articles are ‘defamatory per se and establish a willful intent to portray Dr. Kay in a negative and disparaging manner consistent with a motive of bad faith and a reckless disregard for truth and falsity,’” National Review reported.
“I feel very confident that everything that we said in both articles is true,” Editor-in-Chief Joseph DeReuil told the National Review. “So I don’t have any fear about the lawsuit but it definitely is an odd situation to have a professor at a university — a tenured professor at a university coming after a student publication.”