Lowe and behold, Rob gets a bum rap from the ‘Peg

Does the fuss over Rob Lowe’s Winnipeg tweet say more about him, or the city’s defensive citizens?

by Colby Cosh

Evan Agostini/CP Images

If you’re a journalist, sometimes it’s more interesting to come to a story later rather than sooner. (It’s also way easier!) When I first heard that Winnipeg was ablaze with mob fury about a Rob Lowe tweet that described the city as a “hellhole”, I sort of chuckled to myself and thought “Welp, right or wrong, he is definitely talking about the ‘Winnipeg’ that’s in Manitoba.” It wasn’t until last night that I saw what good ol’ Dean Youngblood had actually written.

@RobLowe The local affiliate is interrupting the 4th quarter of the#NBAFinals to show city council election results!!!#TrappedInAHellHole

CP’s Steve Lambert did a good job of arbitrating the resulting furore. With no council elections happening in Winnipeg, the immediate problem seems to have been that the sports bar Lowe was visiting had tuned to a network feed from Grand Forks, N.D. TSN, which carried the game uninterrupted, would have been a better choice.

Lowe indicated later that he was referring to the bar, and not Winnipeg as a city, when he joked about being in a “hellhole”. And, in fact, if you look at what he wrote, he never did say that Winnipeg was a hellhole. (Parts of it are not remotely like hell at all during several months of the year!) But for some reason, an awful lot of Winnipeggers immediately assumed that that’s what he meant. Am I wrong, or does this say more about what they think of their city than it does about what Rob Lowe thinks of it?




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Lowe and behold, Rob gets a bum rap from the ‘Peg

  1. Winnipeg – striving for mediocrity, and consistently coming short.

  2. If he didn’t think it was a hellhole before, he sure as sh*t does now.

    • For goodness sakes, he is shooting a made-for-tv-movie about Casey Anthony, the so-called “tot-mom” from Florida who was found not guilty of murdering her child despite over-whelming evidence to the contrary. Maybe it isn’t the location that is causing him agitation but the recognition that his career is at an all time lowe!

  3. Speaking as a Winnipeg basketball fan, I don’t think the sports bar was to blame, and I also don’t blame Rob Lowe. If the Sports bar had Shaw cable (like I do) the only channel that was listed as playing the game that night was the ABC affiliate even though I found out part way through that it was also on TSN. (I had PVR’ed the game and started watching a half hour after tip-off. I witnessed a brief interuption of election reporting during the first half, but luckily I was able to catch up to real time and switch to TSN.)
    If anyone is to fault it’s the combo play by TSN and the cable company not getting the listings right, which is common.
    A lot of the time it IS hell trying to find a basketball game in Canada (not just Winnipeg) because any of 5 or 6 cable channels might be the one that has the rights to re-broadcast a US feed and the schedules aren’t always accurate. More than once I have PVR’ed a game to come home and see Moto-Cross or poker in its place.
    And that’s where the problem lies; regulations prevent direct broadcast by ESPN or TNT, the actual producers, so the cable companies can sell us mutliple sports packages to get a dozen channels all owned by the same three broadcast/cable companies. It’s rampant protection for a crowded market of re-run artists who provide little value and poor service and has zip to do with Canadian content or culture.

    • Yes what is it about Canada and basketball. A Canadian invented the game and we can’t get it on tv? Not to mention that a Canadian, Steve Nash is one of the most talented players in the NBA.

  4. The black-flies all rave about Winnipeg.

    • Get your facts straight. There are no black flies in Winnipeg, just mosquitoes.

  5. Portage and Main 15 BeLowe!

  6. People need to give the man a break. This shows how Twitter’s character limit can twist the message. I refuse to use it. I love my ‘Peg but I’ve felt like I’m in hell waiting in traffic/construction. Doesn’t me I hate the city.

  7. This reminds me of when Dylan McDermott (The Practice)…who???…..trashed talked Calgary and the “hick towns” around it after he shot an uninspired flop call “Texas Rangers” in the area. Meanwhile, REAL starts like Anthony Hopkins (who had back surgery while in Calgary), Brad Pitt and Clint Eastwood were nothing but complimentary about southern Alberta when they were shooting blockbusters in our beloved province. What happened to the old adage…if you don’t have anything nice to say….

  8. Somebody should point out to Rob Lowe that turnabout is fair play — I was in LAX a few weeks ago, I wanted to catch the Flyers-Jersey playoff game on the tube, every single watering hole in LAX (many with multiple TV screens) had nothing but basketball on. I’m not one of those knee-jerk Anti-Americans, but when that happens, at that moment, I am. They just don’t get how intrinsically lame basketball is, compared to hockey. It’s almost sad, really.

  9. After four years of self imposed blood loss to mosquitoes and memory loss to wind chill excesses I was leaving Winnipeg about the same time the Jets left in the mid 1990s. I remember the collective depression gripping the city from the loss of the NHL team. The anguish of a caller to a local radio show summed up the funk that had encompassed the Peg. The caller lamented that “without the Jets Winnipeg had become Regina” ! Not all hellholes are created equal.

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