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Bloc blocks Maclean’s UPDATED

A certain cover story lands us on the the Bloc Québécois’s blacklist


 

UPDATE: Gilles Duceppe flak Karine Sauvé just called, apologized, something-something misunderstanding, and all is well. I’m going to get my interview after all. Hallelujah, as Leonard would sing.

Elections are fun, yes? At least, they’re meant to be for us journalistic types, who live and die by the relatively pointless day-to-day piss ups, delightful photo ops (There’s Iggy in Montreal, juggling a bagel! There’s Harper in Brampton with some salami!)  and the talking points that elections entail.

Part of writing about elections, though, is actually gaining access to those who are electioneering—something the Bloc Québécois has apparently decided not to do when it comes to Maclean’s. Or have they? They don’t seem so sure themselves. Read on…

On Friday I put a call into Shirley Bishop, the Bloc’s media relations person for Quebec City. I wanted to interview Michel Létourneau, the Bloc’s candidate in Beauport-Limoilou, for a piece I’m writing for the magazine. Ms. Bishop got back to me Sunday, saying that no interviews or exchanges with Bloc Québécois MPs would be forthcoming, given that Maclean’s “never apologized for the Bonhomme cover.” I laughed—I honestly didn’t think she was serious—and then hung up shortly thereafter, because a) I was driving onto the Eastern Townships autoroute; but mostly because b) I was mad.

Cooler heads prevailed, however, and I called Ms. Bishop a couple hours later, and asked her to reconsider. When I asked again why I wouldn’t be getting an interview, she said the candidates were “too busy campaigning”, which is a slight different from the previous answer. “You didn’t believe the first reason, so I’m giving you another,” she said, when I asked her why there were apparently two differing reasons why the Bloc candidate wouldn’t be made available.

She’s right: I didn’t believe her, mostly because Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe himself had a Twitter-rific exchange not three days before with Andrew Coyneyes, the same Andrew Coyne who wrote a column for the Bonhomme cover package. If there’s a ban on chatting (electronically or otherwise) with Maclean’s, it seems the news didn’t trickle up to Mr. Duceppe.

Ditto Daniel Paillé, the Bloc’s MP in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. You’d think, given the Bloc’s blustery attitude towards Maclean’s, that the BQ war room wouldn’t even want its MPs breathing the same air as my fair magazine. Yet there he was 10 feet away from me not three hours ago, as we debated the merits of the Bloc Québécois on live television (sorry, I can’t find a link to it on the TVA/LCN website…). I bitched and moaned, he stuck to his talking points. In short, democracy in all its glory.

It’s an odd thing to be on a blacklist with a political party. It’s odder still when the party itself doesn’t even know it. Memo to the Bloc: this is why memos were invented.


 

Bloc blocks Maclean’s UPDATED

  1. No big loss.

  2. No big loss.

    • The media is being paid to keep talking about a coalition. Keep the real issues off the front pages. Check out the CRTC Feb 9, 2011 ruling (google it) and see that the rules have changed to allow the press to mislead the public just so big business can have their puppet Harper give us FOX News North. Thats why we are hearing about these so called polls putting harper way out in front. It's bullsh*t. Talk about Power Hungry!!!! Canadian culture died on Feb 9, 2011. And the right wingers killed it.

      • There was never a ruling to allow the press to mislead the public. Please provide a link. Furthermore, the "ruling" was proposed by a committee (which included opposition MPs and senators) concerned that the CRTC's existing rule violated the charter of rights and freedoms.

        • Even if the ruling had passed by the "right wingers" (which presumably includes the Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs and senators on Parliament's joint committee for the scrutiny of regulations, that made the original recommendation to the CRTC –heck, it was even chaired by a Liberal MP), any media misinformation can easily be refuted and cause embarrassment to that news organization. It takes seconds to verify the validity of a statement nowadays. For example, when US Rep. Giffords was shot, some media organizations reported that she died. In a matter of minutes, those same news organizations were getting bombarded with criticism from bloggers, ordinary citizens, and other news orgs about the factual inaccuracy. Within minutes, those news orgs had to publish retractions, with their tails between their legs.

          The great "right wing" paranoid conspiracy theory about spreading misinformation is nothing more than a great lie perpetuated by those who have little knowledge about the CRTC's "ruling."

  3. Did you try bribing? Say $50 ?

  4. Wow. This is contemptible, even for the Bloc. Shame on all those who are responsible for this cowardly blacklist.

  5. Wow. This is contemptible, even for the Bloc. Shame on all those who are responsible for this cowardly blacklist.

    • What's worse, it's STUPID.

      If you're going to block reporters from accessing your candidates for a reason this contemptible you don't TELL THEM THAT'S WHY YOU'RE BLOCKING THEM!!!

  6. LOL

    $50??? They're from the most corrupt province in the WHOLE COUNTRY.

    I bet they'd settle for $25.

  7. LOL

    $50??? They're from the most corrupt province in the WHOLE COUNTRY.

    I bet they'd settle for $25.

  8. MEMO
    To: All Bloc MPs
    From: Shirley Bishop

    You must NOT give interviews or exchanges to Macleans because Bonhomme's feeling are still hurt.

  9. MEMO
    To: All Bloc MPs
    From: Shirley Bishop

    You must NOT give interviews or exchanges to Macleans because Bonhomme's feeling are still hurt.

  10. Wow…sounds like MacLeans is about as popular in Quebec as Michael Ignatieff.

  11. Wow…sounds like MacLeans is about as popular in Quebec as Michael Ignatieff.

  12. What's worse, it's STUPID.

    If you're going to block reporters from accessing your candidates for a reason this contemptible you don't TELL THEM THAT'S WHY YOU'RE BLOCKING THEM!!!

  13. Sounds like left/right hands don't know what the other is doing. Contact people directly, avoid press office, and you're golden.

    Or you can bribe, like suggested above, but not more than a few $$$ – $25/50 way too much when you are dealing with high level of incompetence. Offer to buy cappuccino or somesuch.

  14. Sounds like left/right hands don't know what the other is doing. Contact people directly, avoid press office, and you're golden.

    Or you can bribe, like suggested above, but not more than a few $$$ – $25/50 way too much when you are dealing with high level of incompetence. Offer to buy cappuccino or somesuch.

  15. Truly pathetic of the Bloc. I guess Macleans doesn't do a French edition.

  16. Truly pathetic of the Bloc. I guess Macleans doesn't do a French edition.

  17. This seems fairly straightforward; Bonhomme operates out of Quebec city and pretty much controls the city. Montreal is a different story and apparently still outside of his sphere of influence.

  18. This seems fairly straightforward; Bonhomme operates out of Quebec city and pretty much controls the city. Montreal is a different story and apparently still outside of his sphere of influence.

    • I understand he does have some connections with the New York families though. He moved into the Big Apple in a big way back when the Ghostbusters whacked the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.

  19. Yikes it a good thing they didn't use Youppi on the cover instead.

  20. Yikes it a good thing they didn't use Youppi on the cover instead.

  21. aying that no interviews or exchanges with Bloc Québécois MPs would be forthcoming, given that Maclean's “never apologized for the Bonhomme cover.

    Seems as though she is equating the BQ with the people of Quebec. Given her logic, all MPs and their provincial party associations should be boycotting Maclean's, because the Bonhomme is a Quebecois symbol, it's not a BQ symbol. Is anything and everything that is said about Quebec a slight against her party? Seems like the same old nationalistic mumbo-jumbo rearing its head in a new way.

  22. aying that no interviews or exchanges with Bloc Québécois MPs would be forthcoming, given that Maclean's “never apologized for the Bonhomme cover.

    Seems as though she is equating the BQ with the people of Quebec. Given her logic, all MPs and their provincial party associations should be boycotting Maclean's, because the Bonhomme is a Quebecois symbol, it's not a BQ symbol. Is anything and everything that is said about Quebec a slight against her party? Seems like the same old nationalistic mumbo-jumbo rearing its head in a new way.

    • Don't you know anything about Québec politics? The PQ and the BQ always (and I mean ALWAYS) conflate themsleves with the populations of Québec.

  23. You deserve it. MacLean's is a Harper butt-sniffing rag with a bunch of pundits working for it and barely any worthwhile journalism.

  24. You deserve it. MacLean's is a Harper butt-sniffing rag with a bunch of pundits working for it and barely any worthwhile journalism.

    • Subscriptions make great gifts!

      • You mean we should pay for butt-sniffing rags? Y'know, any time I go to the john for the number-two, I can generate alternate product for free. I recognize it ain't prime ministerial butt, but still…

      • Subscriptions to what? (ba dum tish!)

  25. Harper does the same and everyone here doesn’t seem to mind. Harper always decided what jounalist he would meet depending on what the journalist’s paper writes about him or his ideas. This Qc bashing should just stop. Patriquin change de cassette, t’es deja redondant. C’est de la mauvaise fou. Je viens d’annuler mon abonnement.j’en ai assez.

  26. Harper does the same and everyone here doesn’t seem to mind. Harper always decided what jounalist he would meet depending on what the journalist’s paper writes about him or his ideas. This Qc bashing should just stop. Patriquin change de cassette, t’es deja redondant. C’est de la mauvaise fou. Je viens d’annuler mon abonnement.j’en ai assez.

  27. They need to grow up and start acting like real adults.

  28. They need to grow up and start acting like real adults.

  29. Subscriptions make great gifts!

  30. Don't you know anything about Québec politics? The PQ and the BQ always (and I mean ALWAYS) conflate themsleves with the populations of Québec.

  31. Cool! Thanks!

  32. The media is being paid to keep talking about a coalition. Keep the real issues off the front pages. Check out the CRTC Feb 9, 2011 ruling (google it) and see that the rules have changed to allow the press to mislead the public just so big business can have their puppet Harper give us FOX News North. Thats why we are hearing about these so called polls putting harper way out in front. It's bullsh*t. Talk about Power Hungry!!!! Canadian culture died on Feb 9, 2011. And the right wingers killed it.

  33. WOW! The negitive comments towards our fellow Canadians, American Republicans comes to mind, no wonder they want to leave. The Bloc realizes that MacLeans is right wing as they come and you don't. The media is being paid to keep talking about a coalition. Keep the real issues off the front pages. Check out the CRTC Feb 9, 2011 ruling (google it) and see that the rules have changed to allow the press to mislead the public just so big business can have their puppet Harper give us FOX News North. Thats why we are hearing about these so called polls putting harper way out in front. It's bullsh*t. Talk about Power Hungry!!!! Canadian culture died on Feb 9, 2011. And the right wingers killed it.

  34. WOW! The negitive comments towards our fellow Canadians, American Republicans comes to mind, no wonder they want to leave. The Bloc realizes that MacLeans is right wing as they come and you don't. The media is being paid to keep talking about a coalition. Keep the real issues off the front pages. Check out the CRTC Feb 9, 2011 ruling (google it) and see that the rules have changed to allow the press to mislead the public just so big business can have their puppet Harper give us FOX News North. Thats why we are hearing about these so called polls putting harper way out in front. It's bullsh*t. Talk about Power Hungry!!!! Canadian culture died on Feb 9, 2011. And the right wingers killed it.

    • Due to a large number of Canadians telling the CRTC that misleading news stories were unacceptable, they reconsidered their decision and scrapped the plan. Now that's power of the people!

  35. Wô minute!

    I thought you guys DID apologize for the Bonhomme thing. Not for the overall Quebec-is-corrupt thing (which was fair game), but for the inappropriate use of Bonhomme (which, well, wasn't). I could swear I saw an apology over that.

    UPDATE: You did! You did apologize for the Bonhomme thing!
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2010

  36. Wô minute!

    I thought you guys DID apologize for the Bonhomme thing. Not for the overall Quebec-is-corrupt thing (which was fair game), but for the inappropriate use of Bonhomme (which, well, wasn't). I could swear I saw an apology over that.

    UPDATE: You did! You did apologize for the Bonhomme thing!
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2010

    • That is HILARIOUS.

      So, contemptible, stupid, and FACTUALLY INCORRECT.

      LOL

      • …?

        • D'oh! I did worry that that might not be clear, but I didn't want to ruin the one liner (LOL).

          CR said above that this was a contemptible move on the Bloc's part. I added that it was also stupid to admit to such contemptible behaviour (She actually TOLD HIM the contemptible reason that he was being denied access!!! Just came right out and said it!!!). And now, you've reminded us that not only was the Bloc being contemptible and stupid but they were basing the entirety of their contemptible, stupid behaviour on an INCORRECT PREMISE (i.e. Macleans actually DID apologize for the Bonhomme cover).

          It's like a hat trick of idiocy!!!

          • Thank you for the clarification, but, in light of the Habs' present shut-out-losing streak, you will please refrain from the use of such hurtful phrases as "hat trick." Merci beaucoup.

          • How about "meltdown"?

            /straight outta NDG

          • There's a whole different reason not to use "meltdown" these days, and it's actually a serious one.

            /still misses NDG

          • Yes, good point.

            /gonna walk past NDG Park to the dep now

  37. You mean we should pay for butt-sniffing rags? Y'know, any time I go to the john for the number-two, I can generate alternate product for free. I recognize it ain't prime ministerial butt, but still…

  38. There was never a ruling to allow the press to mislead the public. Please provide a link. Furthermore, the "ruling" was proposed by a committee (which included opposition MPs and senators) concerned that the CRTC's existing rule violated the charter of rights and freedoms.

  39. Even if the ruling had passed by the "right wingers" (which presumably includes the Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs and senators on Parliament's joint committee for the scrutiny of regulations, that made the original recommendation to the CRTC –heck, it was even chaired by a Liberal MP), any media misinformation can easily be refuted and cause embarrassment to that news organization. It takes seconds to verify the validity of a statement nowadays. For example, when US Rep. Giffords was shot, some media organizations reported that she died. In a matter of minutes, those same news organizations were getting bombarded with criticism from bloggers, ordinary citizens, and other news orgs about the factual inaccuracy. Within minutes, those news orgs had to publish retractions, with their tails between their legs.

    The great "right wing" paranoid conspiracy theory about spreading misinformation is nothing more than a great lie perpetuated by those who have little knowledge about the CRTC's "ruling."

  40. That is HILARIOUS.

    So, contemptible, stupid, and FACTUALLY INCORRECT.

    LOL

  41. …?

  42. D'oh! I did worry that that might not be clear, but I didn't want to ruin the one liner (LOL).

    CR said above that this was a contemptible move on the Bloc's part. I added that it was also stupid to admit to such contemptible behaviour (She actually TOLD HIM the contemptible reason that he was being denied access!!! Just came right out and said it!!!). And now, you've reminded us that not only was the Bloc being contemptible and stupid but they were basing the entirety of their contemptible, stupid behaviour on an INCORRECT PREMISE (i.e. Macleans actually DID apologize for the Bonhomme cover).

    It's like a hat trick of idiocy!!!

  43. I understand he does have some connections with the New York families though. He moved into the Big Apple in a big way back when the Ghostbusters whacked the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.

  44. Subscriptions to what? (ba dum tish!)

  45. I''m going to miss Quebec when it is gone.

  46. I''m going to miss Quebec when it is gone.

  47. Thank you for the clarification, but, in light of the Habs' present shut-out-losing streak, you will please refrain from the use of such hurtful phrases as "hat trick." Merci beaucoup.

  48. Hey Martin, payback time. The G&M picked up on the Bloc's new campaign slogan "Let's talk booty", lol!!

    “Parlons Qc.” Let's talk Quebec. That poor little c has already been cropped out by clever photographers. “Q” pronounced in French sounds exactly like “cul," French slang for the hind quarters, or sex.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

  49. Hey Martin, payback time. The G&M picked up on the Bloc's new campaign slogan "Let's talk booty", lol!!

    “Parlons Qc.” Let's talk Quebec. That poor little c has already been cropped out by clever photographers. “Q” pronounced in French sounds exactly like “cul," French slang for the hind quarters, or sex.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

  50. Best comment by far. Thanks

  51. Best comment by far. Thanks

  52. How about "meltdown"?

    /straight outta NDG

  53. There's a whole different reason not to use "meltdown" these days, and it's actually a serious one.

    /still misses NDG

  54. I hesitate even bringing this one up, but if one is denied access to certain people by the Bloc Quebecois, does this mean that one has been Bloc blocked?

  55. I hesitate even bringing this one up, but if one is denied access to certain people by the Bloc Quebecois, does this mean that one has been Bloc blocked?

  56. Yes, good point.

    /gonna walk past NDG Park to the dep now

  57. The Bloc biting the hand that supports them is not a well thought out strategy. Perhaps the Bloc are so isolated in their bubble of intolerance that they are unaware of the English Canadian media's support of a Liberal/Separatist coalition after they lose the election. The Bloc should play nice with their allies in the English speaking media, they are your friends.

  58. The Bloc biting the hand that supports them is not a well thought out strategy. Perhaps the Bloc are so isolated in their bubble of intolerance that they are unaware of the English Canadian media's support of a Liberal/Separatist coalition after they lose the election. The Bloc should play nice with their allies in the English speaking media, they are your friends.

  59. Due to a large number of Canadians telling the CRTC that misleading news stories were unacceptable, they reconsidered their decision and scrapped the plan. Now that's power of the people!

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