Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

It must be a painfully slow news day in Canada when a letter to the editor from a disgruntled “youth” in the Stratford Beacon Herald makes it to the top of the roster on the National Newswatch aggregator.

How it’s “news” at all is somewhat difficult to fathom. Perhaps the folks at National Newswatch will soon be scouring the small town newspapers of the nation to discover similarly newsworthy features such as, for example, scathing reviews of area bake-sales by a superannuated food critic or the negative impressions of some lonely heart who was “disappointed” by the Bridal Fair held at the local Community Hall.

11 Replies to “Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel”

  1. I’m not inclined to think so, although it seems like an odd thing for a high-school student to do. I can’t imagine any of my kids when they were that age being sufficiently concerned about it they would write a whiny letter to the editor.

  2. There’s a lot of rural people that would beg to differ, who tend to think that their lives are just as newsworthy as urbanites. Live out here in the boonies and bushes involves more than just bake sales and fall fairs.

  3. I live in rural Ontario and from time to time a teen writes the editor …. does happen.

    It’s the misleading headline that people remember – she did say she’s still a Liberal and Dion is going to speak to her personally….but that gets lost.

    Must be a conservative leaning paper…..actually Sun Media has bought a lot of the rural papers – they bought ours.

  4. RuralSandi… “she did say she’s still a Liberal and Dion is going to speak to her personally….but that gets lost.”…

    Umm, sorry to pick at details, but nowhere in the article does she say that she is a Liberal, nor does is say that Mr. Dion is going to speak with her personally. The article says that she hasn’t given up on them completely and mentioned that the candidate there was going to try to get Mr. Dion to answer her directly. In fact, in the letter to the editor that she wrote, Ms. Arkett wrote “I’m not even a member, nor do I want to be. Since when does the fact that I want to be informed mean I want to join the Liberal party?”.

  5. Something more news worthy?:

    With another apparent recent blitz of Conservative propaganda flyers – I mean mail pieces – or “10 per centers” as they are sometimes known, all paid for by Canadian tax payers, some may wish to review the below noted edit of an article published earlier this year when the issue first “came to light”.

    CON MP Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, Ontario) has his name ‘stamped’ on at least one of the recent flyers.

    Conservatives Under Fire For Partisan Leaflets Mailed At Taxpayer Expense

    By Bruce Cheadle, THE CANADIAN PRESS

    April 17, 2008 (EDIT)

    OTTAWA – The secretive panel that polices House of Commons rules is taking a look at free MP mail-outs amidst complaints over a blizzard of partisan Conservative flyers blanketing Canadian households.

    The Tories are being called out for what is an unprecedented abuse of taxpayer-funded parliamentary services – and the Commons board of internal economy is examining the matter.

    At issue are so-called “10-per centers” – black-and-white flyers produced on Commons printers that MPs bulk-mail to their constituents and others beyond their individual ridings.

    All federal parties use the practice, but the current Tory campaign is unprecedented in its scope and tone.

    At least one recent mail-out in Ottawa clearly appeared to be in breach of the rules governing such flyers.

    Critics say the Tory practice is the latest example of a party that pushes every rule to the brink and beyond..

    “We’ve never seen this kind of concerted abuse of the system.”

    “I’m absolutely outraged at the abuse that’s going on on the taxpayers’ dime.”

    The Conservatives appear to be doing mass mailings on a monthly basis.

    The sheer volume of Conservative flyers, combined with their highly provocative and patently partisan content, is raising eyebrows.

    The return address – postage paid by the government – is CRG Government Caucus Services. CRG stands for Conservative Research Group.

    Some say the real goal is Conservative party data mining – obtaining names, addresses and e-mails of return senders who can be put in the party database and approached in future fundraising drives.

    One recent mailing in the Ottawa riding of Tory MP John Baird arrived without any MP identified on the flyer, a clear breach of the rules.

    One rough estimate put the number at 30 million to 50 million flyers that have gone out this calendar year, at a cost of $8 to $10 million.

    Canadians who have complaints about any political flyers can write to both their MP and the board of internal economy.

  6. The Beacon Herald paper sends the Toronto Sun to our door , free every Sunday and the Beacon Herald is a Conservative paper

  7. That’s the problem with the National Newswatch… do I really need to be constantly reminded that Michael Coren and Peter Worthington continue to be published?

  8. RT

    I had the exactly same reaction when I saw this on NNW. It’s actually still top of the board. I hope the Liberals are able to move beyond this latest hiccup, but I suspect a long night for party strategists. I’m sure they are issuing clarifications as we speak, to try and contain it. Will the girl sue? This has legs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s