Megalomedia: Now with nougat!
Before I get into today's post (and there's a lot to talk about), I want to send the proverbial "shout out" to Globe and Mail letterwriter Michael Warden, who writes: "If Christie Blatchford is as fed up with Karla Homolka as she claims (Are You As Fed Up With Karla As I Am? - June 25), why does she keep writing columns about her?" Amen, my brother. Replace "Christie Blatchford" with any Canadian columnist and "Karla Homolka" with an appropriate noun of choice and you have one of the biggest problems with Canadian pundits. They dwell, they dwell, then the complain about over-coverage of an issue. Preach on, Mr. Warden. Fill that ethical void with the creamy goodness of Caramilk Eight CanWest papers ran glorified press releases on behalf of Cadbury today, trumpeting the release of eight new chocolate bars and a rebranding of the entire line in Cadbury's trademark purple. Two papers (Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Windsor Star) saw the story as A1 material, while five (including the Ottawa Citizen and National Post) saw fit to toss in a photo. The Citizen and StarPhoenix actually ran photos of Cadbury's products for them. Only the Calgary Herald ran the story where it might be justifiable - in the business section. The papers tried to mask this as a news story by citing a StatsCan report on chocolate consumption, a marketing prof and a "nationally recognized candy commentator." But honestly, where's the news value here? I know that a few Megalomedia readers work in CanWest newsrooms, so if you're not bound by some sort of confidentialty agreement, please post a comment and explain how this story was brought up in the pitch meeting. 'Cause in my mind, there was a big box of free chocolate on the desk. I'd link the story, but all the papers seem to have buried it behind their subscriber-only wall of protection. We're here. We're Queer. Let's play up the stereotypes Wow, Rosie DiManno's A1 column in the Toronto Star on the Gay Pride parade in Toronto is an insult to anyone who favours gay rights - even us straight folk. I can't link to it because the website requires registration, but allow me to quote a few gems: "Pride Week in Toronto is a time when straight women can fill their eyes - if not their arms - with luscious, lip-licking, libidinous masculinity, running the entire gamut from he-man to girly-man variety.
"None of whom, alas, gives a toss about us.
"The old adage that the best-looking guys are all gay never feels truer than during this annual celebration of all things queer. Or, to be more formally inclusive and gender-permutated about it, all things LGBTTIQ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex and queer. We don't know what intersex means, to be honest, but we like the sound of it."
She then went on to lament the fact that the parade has become more mainstream - as though the normalization of gay culture is a problem to her.
"If anything, yesterday's parade could have used a shade more rude, lewd and crude.
"Not to promote stereotypes, but Pride Parade - that's the correct term for it, nowadays, as we are reminded by a glossary of terms contained in the Office Pride Dictionary included in our media package - has grown up so much, become so mature, it is verging on the downright PG-rated conventional."
Actually Rosie, that's exactly what you're doing - promoting stereotypes. And if I were gay, I think I'd find it all rather patronizing. Hell, I'm straight and I find it patronizing.
The Post doesn't like the Globe? Who knew? The Post dedicates two columns/opinion pieces to their ongoing petty war with the Globetoday. The first, by George Jonas, attacks a recent Jan Wong column in which she spread wallets around the city to see if they'd be returned. The second, an opinion piece by a Ron Podonly, criticizes recent Globe coverage of the Middle East dispute.
Both pieces actually raise legit points, but they both discredit themselves in an attempt to tailor them to the newspaper war. Jonas focuses on Wong's decision to throw a wallet over the gate at one of Conrad Black's properties. Rather than attack her fabrication of news (something Wong does far too often, remember her "I snuck a knife onto a plane once, while travelling on a VIP ticket?) he goes after her for attacking Black - the Post's founder and friend of Jonas. Podonly singles out the Globe for inaccurate reporting to serve an agenda - and overlooks the fact that the Post was blasted for inserting the word "terrorist" into wire copy from the Middle East.
There are many reasons to attack Jan Wong. I may at some point soon dedicate an entire post to her. And there are many reasons to criticize media coverage of the Middle East. But to do so in a way that smears only the Globe just smacks of petty bickering and does nothing to advance their case.
And finally There's a whole flurry of torture-related stories flowing around the U.S. that have largely been ignored in the Canadian media. I'll toss a few links your way, they're worth checking out. First read this. Then compare and contrast with this. You have 30 minutes. Begin. Please double space.