Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Puffin-Speak Infects Top Journos

Today, in our quest to root out Puffin-Speak in the national media, we're looking at a typical article in the Trawna Star, headlined PM again sticks it to Liberals.

Chantal Hébert says that "Stephen Harper has taken advantage of an official opposition empty net to aggressively advance his agenda." Apparently our throne speech "thumbed its nose at opposition demands on the environment and the Afghan mission. Then the government put an election gun to the head of the other parties to ensure passage of its law-and-order policies.... The Liberals had been musing about corporate tax cuts. That rug has basically been pulled from under them.... The Conservatives also served notice yesterday that they were opening a new front in their war on Dion's image."

Jeez, that's scary. It's enough to make all those loving, caring, Starbucks-swilling Torontonians run and hide under the bed when big bad Stephen bangs on the door, even if he is bearing tax cuts.

Now Mme. Hébert, I want to address you personally on this. I have a great deal of respect for your writing, and never thought for a moment that you were a member of the "Stephen Harper Eats Babies" school of journalism. Hey, you may even be right about our motives, which history will judge.

I love the empty net metaphor, but otherwise I'm quite disappointed. I know you have to file something most days. That's your job. But even if Torostar editors are happy to let breathtaking strings of cliches pass into print, that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. And I know tonight is Halloween, and I know you have to scare the kiddies, but you really should go easy on the scary Puffinalia. It just dumbs down your message.

Perhaps you would be happier at some other paper...
Pix: Radio-Canada, Tout le monde en parle