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.
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." LinkThere's a lot of nervous editors over at Maclean's, you can bet on it. They deserve to be.
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