Like Lorne Gunter, but with a conscience

I was looking for something on the National Post’s website this morning and noticed that Lorne Gunter has a blog called “As I Please” – a suitably arrogant title for an arrogant prick like Lorne. I often wonder why columnists feel they also need blogs, as though their daily (or weekly, or whatever) soapbox doesn’t give them enough time to impart their pearls of wisdom upon the masses. Oh well, heaven forbid they look out of touch.

What does Ed the Sock have to do with sex?
There’s a story in the Citizen today about the importance of warm feet for good sex. Researchers at the University of Groningen (I’ve never been prouder to have visited that city) determined that people have better sex when their feet are warm. This was part of the same study that told us all yesterday that the section of a woman’s brain that controls fear and anxiety shuts down when they have an orgasm. What a great study. This story is pretty easy to find online, but I chose this link for the headline.

That’s all well and good, it’s an interesting enough story and sex sells, so what the hell, run it (the Citizen ran an above-the-banner tease to it on A1, of course). But what gets me is that the story ran with a photo of Ed the Sock. Umm, what? Granted, they couldn’t very well run a picture of people gettin’ all freaky with their socks on, but why Ed the Sock?

Because he’s a pop culture icon. It’s part of a trend I’ve noticed recently where papers will run pop art to illustrate stories. The facing page in the Citizen has a story about a StatsCan study comparing rural and urban lifestyles and mindsets, underneath a giant picture of American Gothic. The Globe’s article on the study is here, the Citizen is a subscription-only link. Yesterday’s Citizen tease to the Saddam Hussein story had a photo of Doritos and Raisin Bran, while their article on the biology of romance on Monday had a huge picture of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.

It is laziness? Or are they hoping to increase readership by including unrelated but easily recognizable images? Either way, it seems like bullshit pandering to me, use that space for something important.

Post takes a pass?
When I read a Citizen story about a CSIS report that said the war in Iraq is breeding more terrorists and that Canada is a likely target, I really expected it to be on A1 of the Post. TERROR THREAT TO CANADA, or AL-QAEDA EYES THE GREAT WHITE NORTH, or something. But no, it wasn’t reported at all. Since the Montreal Gazette also had it, I assume they could’ve run it as part of their CanWest story sharing, but they didn’t. That really surprised me. Why would the Post pass up such a great opportunity to fearmonger on their cover?

“The CSIS characterization of Iraq as a source of future extremism contradicts the position of the United States government, which has always insisted military action there is advancing its ‘war on terrorism.'”

Oh right. That’s the war the Post wanted Canada to fight too. We can’t say anything bad about that.

Agent Orange, Agent Smorange
When I wrote the MediaScout last week, I noted that only CBC and the SunMedia chain had covered the Agent Orange and Agent Purple sprayings at CFB Gagetown. The post is here, the Gagetown stuff is at the bottom. I really thought that the rest of the papers were just waiting for an easier angle on the story before getting on board. Well, a Commons committee is hearing testimony about the matter, but still nobody else is on the story. It’s here, courtesy the Sun’s Stephanie Rubec.

Is it just my DND coverage bias acting up? Does nobody else think this story deserves coverage? SunMedia’s Greg Weston did all the legwork on this story, then CBC broke it open even further with some good ATI work, but nobody else wants to cover it, even when it’s dished up in a nice, easy Commons committee. What gives? Seriously, am I out to lunch on this?

Okay, that’s enough for today. The Post and Sun both gave me some big-ass CFL previews to read, so I’m going to crawl into bed and find out how badly my ‘Gades are going to do this year.


  1. So many columnists, so many blogs…besides Gunter there’s Andrew Coyne, Adam Radwanski, Paul Wells, Antonia Zabberbabbermess (can’t pronounce her name, but from the Star) and David Frum. Rick Mercer launched his blog a couple days ago. Everyone’s joining in on the fun.

    Remember that whole thing with Don Boudria complaining that same-sex marriage opponents bought up his and other Liberal MP domain names? Jason Kenney bashed Boudria, et al. for not being smart enough to buy up those rights…. so what does Rick Mercer do? He buys and links it to a Marxist-Leninist website. Awesome.

  2. At least they didn’t run a photo of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise with the cutline “It is entirely possible that Holmes and Cruise, pictured here for the 90th consecutive day in our publication, do it with socks on.”
    Today in the Journal’s letter section there’s some letters about a story Trish wrote about how someone is upset nurses don’t wear white uniforms. The picture? “Renee Zellweger donned a white uniform for her role in Nurse Betty.”
    Also, Mason, you made my day.

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