Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heads Will Roll Over Foolish Macleans Article

We've all seen the movie where the editor of a newspaper or magazine comes under undue pressure from a big client who demands that the newspaper kill an unfavourable or unflattering story or else face the prospect of losing a big advertiser.

It's more than an urban myth, it's a reality that the media faces when it reports on its own advertisers.

Now Maclean's magazine doesn't seem to have a lot to lose in writing a completely unflattering article accusing Quebec of being the most corrupt province. There aren't a lot of subscribers here and not a lot of advertisers that could be affected, or so it seems.

Whether the story is actually true or not, is entirely beside the point. Foolishly, the magazine never really considered the consequences of printing such an inflammatory piece, or worse, using outrageously inappropriate and insulting cover art.

Quebeckers are seething.

To be honest, most can't even read English, but seeing the image of Bonhomme Carnaval being abused in such a way, was enough to send them into a justified fury.
It isn't a great leap to conclude that given the trash treatment of Bonhomme, the article would likely be as unfair.

While Maclean's defenders tells us to look past the title of the article and cover artwork and instead concentrate on the gist of the article, they are badly out of touch with reality.

I don't know what Maclean's was thinking. Apparently nobody overseeing the magazine had the good sense to anticipate the reaction. In that respect, they are rank amateurs.

Let me be the first (to my knowledge) to predict that heads will roll in consequence. It won't take long for the link between the magazine and it's parent corporation, ROGERS, to be made.

And Rogers has a lot to lose in Quebec. Any sort of boycott, or even a talk of a boycott would be devastating and don't think it isn't coming.

Right now, somewhere in Toronto the midnight oil is burning at Rogers headquarters and the damage control consultants have been summoned and are in full battle mode. A plan is brewing.

Someone is going to be thrown under the bus. Someone will pay.
It's coming, just you wait and see.

Just ask Jan Wong, whose career nosedived after writing an article claiming that the Dawson shooting could be blamed on Bill 101. Link
"Jan Wong, it seems recently freed of any restrictions on speaking about matters surrounding her departure of the Globe, confided in the large group of student journalists that she was fired while on leave for depression. Link 
There's a lot of nervous editors over at Maclean's, you can bet on it. They deserve to be.

P..S
I was going to write a piece myself denouncing the Maclean's article for various reasons, but there's enough being said by better writers than myself.

For the very best piece on the subject read what Carole Beaulieu, the editor of L'Acualité, a French sister publication of Maclean's, had to say; LINK

29 comments:

  1. Mississauga Guy said...

    MacLean's has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to apologize for what they wrote. At worst, using the Bonhomme was not the most appropriate decision, but Quebec is the where the highest ranking kingpins of organized crime best operate.

    It's not to say corruption does not exist outside Quebec, far from that, but no doubt about it, Quebec leads the way. Quebec is protectionist like no other jurisdiction in Canada and easily gets away with it.

    Between the Office de la construction, Quebec's security commission that is strenuously resisting international investing recommendations that Canada have one securities commission are just two examples of Quebec's lack of cooperation within the federal system and they deserve all the criticism that comes their way.

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  2. Editor said

    "L'Acualité, a French sister publication of Maclean's, had to say"

    Notice their totally missleading cover:

    'Who sacrificed Pierre Laporte'

    The ramblings of a conspiracy theorist/novelist
    but that's not what the cover says. So, editor,
    which is worse.

    Macleans with a little grandstanding, or
    L'Acualité (the novelists' opinion is the FLQ
    wasn't to blame - quelle suprise) outright
    bullshit.

    Both were to sell copy.

    DD

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  3. Macleans did the right thing. There is nothing wrong with that cover. We should not bow down to the noise created by Quebec separatists and nationalists. Their noise is nothing more than the equivalent of Muslim fanatics that we see on TV upset about anything said that they don't agree with.

    Macleans should even do another story exposing even more of the mess in this province for all Canadians and the world to read. YOu can write a epic.

    And by the way Mr. editor of this blog. If you haven't noticed. Since that magazine has hit the newsstands, even more Quebec nonsense has been going on. Why not write about that instead of playing the Quebec media mentality of being stuck on non-issues such as the Macleans cover. Yes, it's the Macleans cover that is driving this province into the hole. Not the people running this crazy province.

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  4. "Quebeckers are seething."

    Who cares?

    We cound not are less about what Quebec thinks any longer.Until you language NAZIS repeal the racist, xenophobic, anti-English language laws in Quebec, no one outside Quebec gives a damn what you clowns think any longer. If you can’ the truth and we know you can’t, too bad, complain, foam at the mouth all you want. We are laughing at you language NAZIS, you are just getting what you deserve after decades of racist, bigots language laws al la bills 22, 178, 101…

    We can only hope that more media exposes more of what is really going on in Quebec, you know, daily government fraud, spin, lies, corruption, bigoted language laws…money in brown paper envelopes, language NAZIS.

    The truth hurts, eh Kebec, booh, hoo.

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  5. Look that, it's about de bilinguism in New Brunswick, it's funny !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSfsa5cSFHY

    Have a nice day !

    ReplyDelete
  6. "...running this crazy province."

    Justement : nous ne voulons plus être une
    province "anormale",nous voulons être un pays normal.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "...money in brown paper envelopes, language..."

    I prefer money in brown envelopes than anglos wearing brown socks in their scandals...sorry...sandals.

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  8. What’s this, in Quebec the Bonhomme Carnaval is like Mohammad? So Macleans supposedly went too far and ruffled some feathers, big deal. The Quebecois nationalist have been aggravating Canadians for decades with their blatant animosity and duplicity. They had it coming, and then some. Actually, I can’t believe how restrained Canadians have been over the years, as the Quebecois openly wage this war of attrition. They have been denigrating Canada in words and deeds forever. The Quebecois’ indignation over any sort of criticism is repulsively hypocritical. As far as Macleans goes, I wouldn’t be surprised if heads roll. The politically correct drones will bow to the all mighty dollar and marginalize all dissenters. Freedom of speech is a myth in Canada. If you express your feelings and frustrations with Quebec, be prepared to pay the price. Many people feel that the Macleans article was foolish, and maybe it was, but it is worthwhile remembering that many other people are fed up and annoyed with Quebec and articles like this voice that sentiment, no matter how misguided. Keep the articles coming; let’s get the fight started and out in the open, so we can finally end it once and for all.

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  9. "Quebecers are seething"
    It was completely inappropriate for Macleans to use Bonhomme Carnaval as the symbol for a corrupt Quebec.
    He's always smiling and never says anything. A picture of some surly buffoon with a cloud over his head whining about the latest imagined insult from the ROC would have been far more accurate.
    It's amusing, and predictable, that they'd get into a lather about BHC and be mute about the effective restriction of freedom of speech that comes from the latest incarnation of Bill 101.

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  10. I prefer money in brown envelopes than anglos wearing brown socks in their scandals...sorry...sandals.

    We know...and therein lays your problem. You're preoccupation with Anglophone stereotypes and superficial prejudices preclude you from comprehending your own reality. You’re a good little soldier, Pauline would be proud of your efforts.

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  11. To DARTAGNAN:

    "nous ne voulons plus être une
    province "anormale",nous voulons être un pays normal."

    A sovereign Quebec would be even more abnormal than the province of Quebec is now. It is already the fifth or sixth most indebted jurisdiction in the world and the most highly taxed jurisdiction in North America. Many, many more companies would leave. If Quebec loses the huge transfer payments from the ROC it will become even more impoverished. Its human rights violations would undoubtedly become much worse.


    "I prefer money in brown envelopes than anglos wearing brown socks in their scandals...sorry...sandals."

    Francophones have so much thick hair on their feet, you can't even see their sandals.

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  12. Heads will roll!!! Why? For honest reporting on the corruption in Quebec. Note that they also touched on corruption in other provinces as well. They are just saying which a great many already know in the ROC. Quebec is corrupt. Even federal government departments in Quebec are corrupt and dishonest. If you have ever had any business dealings in Quebec you learn to count your fingers after you shake hands. This, I know to be true from first hand experience. It is just and accepted way of doing business in Quebec from what I can see. No big deal so it should be no big deal when they are accused of being more corrupt than other provinces as the facts clearly seem to indicate. There is no slander or Quebec bashing with this story. Facts reported are not slander.

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  13. Why should they apologize? What for? Too bad if people are offended. It is the truth - or not - of the article itself that is at stake. Maybe the Quebecois just can't handle the truth? Let Quebec disprove the allegation or shut up. The Toronto guy.

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  14. More from Macleans a couple of years ago. Didn't here much of an outcry over this.

    http://www.lillusiontranquille.com/revue_presse/Lillusion_Macleans_19mars2007_p1.html

    http://www.lillusiontranquille.com/revue_presse/Lillusion_Macleans_19mars2007_p2.html

    http://www.lillusiontranquille.com/revue_presse/Lillusion_Macleans_19mars2007_p3.html

    http://www.lillusiontranquille.com/revue_presse/Lillusion_Macleans_19mars2007_p4.html

    I think it was Martin Patriquin who was part in parcel with this excellent article.

    I see Jean Charest is coming out swinging and demanding apologies. This from one who will not convene an independent inquiry into the construction sector. what does that tell you??

    Read the linked articles. Sorry I couldn't seem to find one link to the entire article.

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  15. "It is already the fifth or sixth most indebted jurisdiction in the world and the most highly taxed jurisdiction in North America"

    Also to get out from this debt they have the 55th worst GDP/capita of 60 states and provinces in North America. Whats wrong with this picture when you consider the lavish social programs in Quebec. Quebec has been living beyond their means for many years and have used other peoples money to subsidize their standard of living. Part of the whole problem.

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  16. Justement : nous ne voulons plus être une
    province "anormale",nous voulons être un pays normal.

    I prefer money in brown envelopes than Anglos wearing brown socks in their scandals...sorry...sandals.

    So let me get this right. You would prefer to live in an improvised country run by corrupt politicians rather than hear someone speak English every once in a while? From where will your politicians (I say yours, because my kind will become illegal in a Quebec state) steal their money from when the transfer payments stop? I know where, from your pockets, but you won't care, you'll be too busy burning English books....You are so racist you don’t even realize it. Hatred is so ingrained in your culture that you forget to ask why you hate Anglos so much. Why do you hate Anglos so much? Because more people in North America speak English than French? Than why not hate Hispanics like Americans, oh, you probably do. You hate any non-white, non-French speaking, non-Catholic, gay person. Shame on you. I don’t hate French people, I hate bigots, and you are bigots.

    Also, I don’t think French Canadians should be giving anyone lessons on fashion, although I’m not surprised your grand arguments boil down to petty name calling.

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  17. I see absolutely nothing wrong with the article, or for that matter the depiction of Bonhomme (if you really want to nitpick, perhaps there's potentially a fair use of image copyright at stake? Doubt it). Bad taste though? Had no right to publish the article and depiction? Absolutely, positivity NOT! Quebec is literally a criminal state, it MUST BE EXPOSED FOR WHAT IT IS. All it's dirty secrets.

    As a matter of fact, I would *encourage* McMacleans to do a third article on Quebec, discussing its racist, xenophobia and hateful laws that go against the Canadian Character of Rights and Freedoms. Or even freedoms and rights set by the United Nationals. Not to mention the blatant lies and excuses it uses to claim protection of its language and culture. How about Bonhomme wearing a white pointed hood, burning cross and swastika-like arm band with the Fleur de Lis? If I were running the magazine, I would print that!

    Editor: I don't understand your defense of Quebec in this situtation. This isn't a case where there's slandering or exaggerations printed, so what is the issue?

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  18. Le tueur de Virginia Tech était sud-coréen d'origine, est-ce que l'hostilité des américains vis-à-vis les nouveaux arrivants était en cause ?Pourquoi Jan Wong n'a pas pensé écrire sur cela ? Je ne crois pas que cela était le fruit du comportement des américains, c'était plutôt un acte triste et désolant.

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  19. Dave: "So let me get this right. You would prefer to live in an improvised country run by corrupt politicians rather than hear someone speak English every once in a while?"

    Many in the Quebec nationalist movement would prefer exactly that.

    I recall 6 years or so ago, just prior to the expansion of the EU to the east, a member of a nationalist movement in my native Poland said that according to him, it's irrelevant whether Poland is prosperous or poor; the only thing that's relevant is that Poland remains Catholic. His claim was that the EU will dilute our national character and therefore we should vote No in the EU accession referendum. Of course the majority of Poles voted Yes, and Poland entered the EU in 2004.

    Quebec nationalists think exactly the same. To them it's completely irrelevant whether Quebec is a prosperous province or not; what's relevant is that Quebec be French.

    Einstein was right. Nationalism is an infantile disease, a measles of mankind.

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  20. @ Dave:

    "Why do you hate Anglos so much? Because more people in North America speak English than French? Than why not hate Hispanics like Americans, oh, you probably do."

    This 'anonymous' poster formerly known as Dartagnan does indeed hate Americans too. He has indicated such in past comments.

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  21. Quebeckers are seething.

    To be honest, most can't even read English,


    Tx for another example of the disingenuousness that is a trademark of your blog, NoDogs.

    So who are all the unilingual francophones we've been treated to who are "seething" over this ND? Some farmer in Bellechasse quoted on TVA? Some métallo in Rouyn-Nouranda quoted on « Dumont »? How about showing us some? Or are the Québec personnages who've expressed their indignation over this in fact people with a very competent if not flawless command of English who were perfectly capable of reading the article and understanding its slimy amalgam technigue? eg Gilles Duceppe, Jean Charest, among *numerous* others?

    The top points on this one should go to M. Duceppe for at least seeing what you fail to see, which is that just as with Wong's discount sociology, this latest idiot blather from English Canadian journalists has occasioned essentially *no* significant ostracism from their peers in the EC press corps, and this in sharp distinction to what would have ensued very quickly had they been defaming just about any other group. Just as was the case with Wong. (see Duceppe's commentary here:

    http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/medias/296914/le-canada-est-il-un-pays-xenophobe )

    So who's head's going to roll over this ND? Care to venture a prediction about that? Will it be lead author Patriquin? If so, he will have had to recidivate quite a bit to finally bring this about, since he's also come up with such gems as Montréal being the "Palermo of the North."

    I wonder if Patriquin's inspiration was fellow English-Canadian fulminator Michelle Landsberg, who called Québec the "Mississippi [or Alabama - I forget - tom-ay-to, to-mah-to] of the North" during the Oka standoff, which, ironically, was caused by Canada's staunch refusal to give the Mohawk their land back. She never used such strong words to refer to her own province when Dudley George, an unarmed Ojibwe protester, was murdered by Ontario cops, or when angry white mobs tried to start a race riot over the Mohawk prostest at Caledonia.

    Do you recall Martin Patriquin or MacLean's (a product guaranteed to whiten and strengthen English Canada's PR enamel) ever calling Ontario the "most corrupt province in Canada" over the revelations in the Walkerton tragedy? Or after the revelations of how Ontario Hydro turned Port Hope into a cancer-ridden (albeit still picturesque) nuclear wasteland?

    And speaking of public works kleptocracies, if we're to be so scandalized by road contracts costing more in Québec than in Ontario, should we also be scandalized about electricity rates being 70% higher in Ontario than in Québec, not to speak of "regulated" car insurance rates which McGuinty's mafia state has allowed to go up over 40% for people who've never even had an accident nor made a claim, and this in just the last 2 years alone. How does one of the most poorly managed and indebted electric utilities in the world afford to pay its *average* employee over 100k$ a year and multimillion dollar bonuses to its useless executives who "reward" consumers with double digit rate increases year over year in return for the latter using much *less* energy?

    How about Ontario's exorbitantly higher tuition fees, which leave its graduates the most indebted per capita in the industrialized world?

    Does this make Ontario the Sicily of the North? The Paraguay of the North? The Enron of the North?

    But we can hardly blame the Landsbergs and the Patriquins and the Coynes for not reaching for such analogies can we? After all, why waste all the money Mommy and Daddy spent putting you through private school by writing something that will *lose you your job*? Pour vrai.

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  22. "So who are all the unilingual francophones...this in fact people with a very competent if not flawless command of English who were perfectly capable of reading the article and understanding its slimy amalgam technigue? eg Gilles Duceppe, Jean Charest, among *numerous* others? "

    Oh you must be referring to those who are, as you say, fluently bilingual and have attended english schools but reflect that Quebecers be restricted access to English education in Quebec. Just as Parizeau and Landry and numerous others.

    " So who's head's going to roll over this ND? Care to venture a prediction about that? Will it be lead author Patriquin? If so, he will have had to recidivate quite a bit to finally bring
    this about, since he's also come up with such gems as Montréal being the "Palermo of the North."

    I suspect no heads will roll. After all, the content is factual. On Palermo of the North, maybe you should have an inquiry into the construction debacle or political funding. Even Harel got caught up by her second hand man and his known associations. Of course in Quebec, deny deny deny. If you deny long enough the lie becomes reality.

    "Do you recall Martin Patriquin or MacLean's (a product guaranteed to whiten and strengthen English Canada's PR enamel) ever calling Ontario the "most corrupt province in Canada" over the revelations in the Walkerton tragedy? Or after the revelations of how Ontario Hydro turned Port Hope into a cancer-ridden (albeit still picturesque) nuclear wasteland? "

    What about the mines over in "thetford" if you wnat to criticize. Exportation of death to third world countries and to think there is funding applied to continue this practice. But yet, you criticize Alberta,,,hypocrite.

    "should we also be scandalized about electricity rates being 70% higher in Ontario than in Québec"

    Could have something to do with Quebec buying cheap power from Ontario during off peak times and selling it back at four times the price. Such a good neighbor!

    "How about Ontario's exorbitantly higher tuition fees, which leave its graduates the most indebted per capita in the industrialized world?"

    Ontario does not receive 8.5 billion dollars in equalization payments per year. Not a wonder they do not subsidize university tuition as is the case in Quebec, with other peoples money. This obtained by fraudulent manipulation of the equalization formulae such as hydro revenues artifically sold below market values.

    Canada would be a much better place without the negative influence of the dishones rogue province of Quebec. qui sucez le teton du canada.

    Now tell me what Quebec has done to improve anything for Canada in the last 50 years. Has Quebec contributed anything other than the FLQ, repeated referendums and continued attacks on the rest of Canada.

    You should really take your verbose and misplaced English and shove it up your Quebecois ass. Have a good night.

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  23. Well Mr. Goebbels, I mean Mr. Anonymous, as it happens the net federal transfers to Québec are chump change and have been for years (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0639-e.htm#fedtransfersprov) and numerous English Canadian provinces receive far more per capita in federal transfers than Québec does, and yet never seem to produce affordable Hydro or day care or car insurance or post-secondary education. But then that's of course neglecting all their great contributions to Canada. Why just inspiring Trailer Park Boys must justify PEI pulling in several thou net per capita every year.

    And a big Sief Heil to you too.

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  24. "Well Mr. Goebbels,"

    Chump change you say. Amounts to over 13% of your provincial revenue. This from an industriaized province which should be taking care of themselves. Of course, if you can't then you are a welfare province, N'est pas. I have heard the big companies like bombardier, the phamaceutical industry, etc etc. But still you need equalization which is a sign of your productivity (or lack of). Why does Quebec need equalization at all with you supposedly vibrant and trained work force? If there were not the equalization which is 60% to Quebec for only 22% of the people I suspect your day care and other social programs would be lost, of course you could pay higher taxes which would cause and exodus of productive people out of Quebec.

    On the Nazi theme of your post I would remind you that it is only in Quebec where laws of language exist which clearly discriminate against other languages (including the official other language of Canada) through laws which restrict language and even to the extent of commercial signs which is against freedom of expression. In actual fact, it is you, who wear brown shirts. Look in the mirror and learn some German as you got it wrong.

    tu as un bon journee a demaine.

    douce reves a vous.

    J'oublier...what has Quebec done for Canada. You didn't comment on that! Pour quoi pas, car, il est rien.

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  25. "Trailer Park Boys must justify PEI pulling in several thou net per capita every year."

    A successful show, albeit not my cup of tea. What is the success of the Quebec sitcoms outside of Quebec. Virginie, le auberge de chien noir, idiot 3600 du extase... must admit that I like Mon dieu Crea La Flaque with the continued bashing of policitians both anglais et francais. On this point, many Quebecois shows are simply recreations of American shows in Joual comme "le momente du verite" etc. Not much originality with that.

    Je penser que ce est assez bien pour cette fois. Desole pour ma mauvais francais!!

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  26. Heads will roll for sure, how about the one of Jean Charest for a good start on washing our dirty Quebecker hands from corruption.

    Not too popular when good friends are at stake eh ;)!!

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  27. "and yet never seem to produce affordable Hydro or day care"

    Your famous day care progam is now 1/2 billion in deficit. What a measure of success. ouuff.

    Hydro, already indicated the facts revolving around the subsidies which artificially reduce the income to Quebec in order to qualify the province for welfare from the ROC.

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  28. Why does the author of this blog think the article is "foolish"?

    Does the author think the article is wrong or false?

    Does the author think Quebec is NOT the most corrupt province? No more corrupt then any other? The least corrupt? Why exactly is the article considered "foolish"? If North Dakota was the most corrupt American state and Time magazine wrote an article about it would that be "foolish"? Why?

    To me the only plausible objection is the use of the carnival mascot instead of some other unique to Quebec symbol. But that is a minor point and not about the substance of the article itself. Isn't the truth an absolute defense? The Toronto guy.

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  29. tout est dit :

    http://www.vigile.net/Bonhomme-strikes-back-La-replique

    ReplyDelete