06.19.2010 08:50 AM

Harper-related bits and pieces, with bonus alliterations!

  • The Summit Scandal: The fake lake, the roads to nowhere, the airport no one will use: where these revelations hurt the Harper government the most, I think, is with their own base.  I’ve received quite a few emails and comments from card-carrying Conservatives who are perfectly livid about the summitry excess.  I mean, even Pierre Bourque – whose race car bears the CPC logo – has been alleging 80 per cent of the G20 supplier contracts have been issued without competition (is that true?).  The Reformatories have become, fully, what they said they were coming to Ottawa to eliminate.
  • The Secret Circle: Laureen Harper was very kind to my daughter, a few years back, and I’ve been a fan ever since.  I may disagree with many of the policies of her husband’s government – but the Canadian First Lady is one of the nicest folks you’d ever care to meet, hands down.  A great Diebel read, comme toujours.
  • The Sinister Stories Syndicate:  My God Almighty, why have so many knickers gotten in a knot over the plans of former Harper spokesman Kory Teneycke and Quebecor to (i) invest in Canadian journalism and (ii) provide more choice for news consumers? I mean, why is Don Newman – who is a nice man, but who has never exactly been the most exciting thing ever seen on television – so apoplectic about Kory’s plans?  Why is Official Ottawa so aghast and atwitter?  Christ, you’d think someone had forgotten to remove the crusts from the cucumber canapés at a Kingsmere garden party! Read Wells for an account that doesn’t hyperventilate.


  1. Joseph says:

    Canadian First Lady

    That would be Michaelle Jean.

  2. Bryan Peeler says:

    Where do you get “so apoplectic” in ANYTHING Newman said? Is it the mere fact that he has the temerity to disagree with you?

    • Warren says:

      His column, his appearance on Power and Politics, etc. He sure seems awfully upset.

      Do you know him? Is he not?

      • Joseph says:

        I think Newman just likes using Kory as a punching bag. Kory TV or Tory TV, especially with Ezra Almighty on board, will be just as successful as some of his other ventures.

        However, we now know what Harper will be doing once his accidental tenure at 24 Sussex comes to an end. That’s right, folks, get ready for the O’Harper Factor!

      • Bryan Peeler says:

        No, I do not know Mr. Newman (I’m not sure what that has to do with anything). The column, the appearance on Power and Politics etc. all suggest that he merely thinks it’s a bad idea – not that he’s “apoplectic.” This just is an obvious misuse of the term.

        • Warren says:

          Holy Super Boring Commenter, Batman!

          • Catherine says:

            re: Newman unplugged – It’s the perfect (and likely expected) reaction to spur Kory and co. on. If there was ever a demonstrated need for more Canadian news Newman provided it IMO. The more choice viewers and voters have the better.

  3. bigcitylib says:

    I don’t think Bourque is driving for the Tories anymore. I think he lost the contract to torque their stories, too. If anything, that may explain his recent change in attitude. If he still is driving for CPoC, someone let me know. I’d make more fun of him whenever he spins into the snow fence.

    • Jan says:

      Bourque is definitely no longer pro-Con, whatever the reason is. Honeymoon is definitely over. I believe he is now sponsored (the race car)by Telus.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Can Pierre ever live it down? I wonder. He had octane off the charts in his tank for them. Who would have seen this coming — unless, of course, he was somehow deemed journalistically expendable…

  4. Sandra says:

    Perhaps it’s advice from the older, wise and experienced – Newman knows the possibilities and it ain’t pretty.

    Teneycke has gone around insulting and cocky like a obnoxious 16 year old and showing no respect whatsoever to the older folks in journalism. Not a good start for a 39 year old acting like a cocky know it all 16 year old.

    And, he tries to convince that the new Con media will be fair and balanced – c’mon people can’t be that stupid.

    Try acting like a respectful grown up there Tory – maybe people will be convinced.

    I know I would ‘t take that attitude crap from a 16 year old nevermind a so-called grown.

    • Jan says:

      Kathleen Petty took him down a few notches today on the House. Wow – is he sensitive about why he was hired. Reading between the lines it seems to be to get Harper to overturn the CRTC.

      • Jan says:

        Now, on Twitter he’s defending himself by claiming Petty has a fetish for CRTC minutiae. The minor detail of obtaining the licence they need. Harperites and rules – they never met one they didn’t think they could ignore, drive over, around or demolish.

  5. William M says:

    Kory TV will not work.

    The political divide is not as divided as the US. Most of the country here lives center and center/left.

    When Harpo polls at 31% and the National Post has never made a cent, Kory TV will be short lived.

    But it’s nice to see the anti Quebec Harpercrites taking their marching orders from Quebecor!

  6. JH says:

    oh never mind

  7. JH says:

    Well maybe I will mind – I agree with Warren on this one. This is not only good news for the reasons he’s stated, but I would think it should stir the competition to do better. Looking at Fox’s ratings in the US, I don’t doubt there’s plottings in the MSM boardrooms every day as to how to compete better with them. I should think this will give us improved service and a wider range of opinion etc. to choose from. What can be wrong with that? As for Kory’s attitude he’s only following the first rule of PR – Think Bonnie Raitt – “Let’s give them something to talk about baby!”

  8. Sandra says:

    Challenge – Warren, why don’t you start a Liberal News North.

    • Warren says:

      Sure! Got $100 million or so you can spot me?

      • Joseph says:

        You don’t need that. If KoryTV gets “must carry” designation, you can get the Star, Rogers, and a whole bunch of others to pony up the seed money from you for “must carry” designation for KinsellaTV.

  9. Namesake says:

    re: why DN’s probably so disgusted by this, it’s not just how KT has been going out of his way to insult the CBC at every opp., biting the hand that just fed him, in the process, but it’s also a snake & mongoose, instinctual animosity at work, b/w the one who tried to make the spin stop there, & the one who starts the spin every time he opens his mouth, & who now wants to do it FT on a national scale… twisting everything right, & driving the discourse & tolerance down in a divisive & hateful way.

    but re: your wishing him well nonetheless out of personal loyalty: ok, maybe you could pass this along:

    Tell you want, Mr. Teneycke: some of us CBC Newsworld-lovers will back off trying to strangle your infant FoxiNetwork in the cradle, in exchange for a trade (so we can keep being ‘bored’ and you can get all the ‘interesting’):

    you take Evan Solomon off our hands… _and_ Suhana Meharchand. And since that’s asking a lot, we’ll throw in Reshmi Nair to sweeten the pot, to be a bookend to your other Sunshine Girl, Krista Erickson. (But leave Mercer alone, you hypocritical poacher! You can have ’22 Minutes,’ if you want.)

  10. John W. says:

    Harper gets majority. Harper dismantles and sells off CBC pieces. Kory and Sun buy CBC Newsworld or NN they call it now at a bargain basement price..
    Presto! Fox North. Or maybe Fox will buy it?

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Laureen may be a great person, and kind – but she is not the “First Lady”. We don’t have one – we’re not Americans; so please don’t push it on us.

    I think KT has a really high opinion of himself, quite inflated – and he lacks class – so I think the TV station will end up about the same as the National Post.
    We’ll have to see how it turns out, but judging just by him – he’s lousy quality — I don’t see great things in the future.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I’d like to know why Al-Jazeera isn’t getting this kind of media attention.

    Democracy – alive and well in the Canadian media. What a laugh. Somebody at least bring us a decent satirist; we’re sorely in need of real satire. Rick Mercer isn’t it.

    This station start-up would be great fodder. Should be.

  13. Darrell says:

    All jokes aside, I would love to see a Kinsella and Powers Hour on Sun TV News.

  14. Sean says:

    I think Fox News North is great for Liberals… Take all the yahoos who Harper has tried to shut up for the last five years and give them the biggest microphone of all time…

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      There goes half of Conservative caucus — no longer available for “duty” in the House! Politically really does lead to something after all.

  15. vish says:

    Just watched the clip,

    Kory Teneycke: The CBC gets over 1 billion dollars a year Evan, thats a lot of money, its like an annual billon dollar boondoggle per year….to compete with , I should add, private sector broadcasters…..I don’t think its OK, many Canadians don’t think its OK..”

    Unexciting Don Newman: “Well you didn’t mind taking it when you were getting paid to come on TV, but anyway…”

    Don Newman FTW!

    • Sandra says:

      Good grief – do you not understand “hypocracy”? Newman pointed out Teneycke’s huge hypocracy. If Teneycke stood by what he says about CBC – he wouldn’t go on and get paid. Get it?

  16. Namesake says:

    re: The ‘First Lady’ article: Thanks for the link to that. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have had much use for or even read a puff-piece like that, but it was actually quite revealing and has got me thinking.

    You may not feel spun by her personal attentions to you & yours, WK, but then, that just shows she’s good at it. It’s really quite insidious what she’s doing with this systematic charm offensive of hers: systematically and furtively ingratiating herself – and, by extension, her husband – to the press and even the Opposition, in order to disarm and deflect criticism.

    And it’s working! Not only because no one has been calling her on it, until now, when it was largely inadvertent (maybe because the Rules of Engagement are that spouses and family are supposed to be off-limits; but not if they’re injecting themselves into the political process like this with an ongoing under the radar “let’s be Facebooks Friends!’ campaigning),

    and the various reporters & other-party-spin-meisters have evidently been gushing to themselves, “Gawrsh! that Mrs. Harper, she’s so nice! Why, she sent me this homespun, personal email the other day….”

    …but also because, in retrospect, it has clearly had the effect of getting the press to treat her hubby with kid gloves and give him a free ride on things she’s been engineering to ‘humanize’ his image, like his “With a litle help” routine, or posing with Nickelback & Bryan Adams, etc.

    Sure, there was some derision in some quarters, but hardly anyone in the press raked him over the coals about how hypocritical he was given his “stuffed shirts at gala performances” comment about arts funding cuts, or how he scoffed at Martin’s schmoozing with celebrities, re: Bono.

    Instead, he got as big a 2-week bounce out of that little Ringo at the opera routine as Obama did with his hunt for the new puppy for his allergic daughter. And who knows how many things the people in her wide circle of admirers have been pulling their punches on, since she’s so gosh darn nice.

    Another thing the article brought out which I don’t recall hearing about before is that Laureen only took on his surname just before he became PM, after several years of marriage. Presumably that was to mollify the base, but that seems to be a betrayal of the original principles that led her to keep her maiden name in the first place. Maureen McTeer would have been faced with a similar choice, and evidently felt it would set a bad example and be disempowering to women to do so; or maybe the country and/or the base (and certainly the Party) was Progressive enough then that she really didn’t think she would or should be expected to do so. Either way, it seems a giant step backwards for women in this country.

    • JStanton says:

      …they are both kinda creepy, actually, and when paired together, the effect is exponential. Evidently both are sly, manipulative and artificial. And, to use Mr. Gomery’s phrase, there is something “small-town cheap” about them.

      I’m looking for redeeming qualities – really, I am. Intelligence, wit, wisdom, gravitas, style, good taste, empathy, humor – all appear absent. And what we are left with is dull and cheesy.

  17. Jon A says:

    Judging from what I’ve seen in Calgary, Quebecor tends to think less of journalism than CanWest. I personally cannot wait for the two minute “Sunshine Girl” spot every half-hour and the weekly “random group shots of bar stars.” Lorrie Goldstein can duplicate his success in writing columns by just repeating the same five-minute clip of his “climate change is a fraud” punditry. The Charles Adler drinking game will take colleges by storm: do a shot every time he calls someone by their first and last name.

    I do, however agree with the notion of competition. Comedy Network has been stale for years could use a good rival.

  18. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    What the hell. Might as well start up my own “Conservative Alternative”. All I have to do is kiss a little ass over at the regulator.

    Eureka! I’ve got it — tabs on the name — How’s about The “Defensive-Arrogance”-Really-Loving-Canada-Network.

    Hiring now, give me a call!

  19. Nick says:

    Actually we don`t have a First Lady because neither the Prime Minister or the Governor General are Head of State. A First Lady is the Spouse of a elected Head of State and seeing are Head of State(Queen E) is not elected we dont have one. If anything Laureen Harper is the Second Lady and the Spouse of The Governor General is the Vice-Regal Consort.

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