And today’s winner is…

The Gazette columnist who wins the coveted “Got Maggie All Riled Up” award for Saturday, October 5th, is Jack Todd.
Now, granted, I have never been a Todd fan, from his days as a bombastic “city” commentator through to his new-ish role as a purportedly intellectual sports pundit, but for the most part I just take the “don’t read his column, don’t get ticked” approach.
Today his column, headlined “TV host, agent offside”, dealt with the recent firing/rehiring of Ron MacLean by the CBC. So I couldn’t help myself. On the other hand, by the time I got the bottom of the first column of text I was frustrated enough to give up, and I have not read the conclusion on C2.
His point seems to be that MacLean shouldn’t be represented by agent Don Meehan, who also represents several hockey players. He questions MacLean’s journalistic integrity, suggesting that MacLean would never say a bad word about a fellow-reprentee, and that even if he did, “wouldn’t you wonder if he’s doing it not because that’s what he thinks, but because he is trying to prove that he’s not influenced by his relationship with Meehan?”
Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Personally, I would trust MacLean further than I could throw Todd.
The part that really rubbed me the wrong way, however, was Todd’s inaccurate and inflammatory reference to MacLean as “the leading greedhead in the world of Canadian sportscasting,” and to the CBC “bow[ing] to his ourageous demands.”
First of all, given that his co-host on Coach’s Corner, everybody’s favorite throwback Don Cherry, makes over $700,000 a year as a reward for being the only man on the planet still willing to wear those collars and for making the whole PC movement appear fruitless, I think it’s a little unfair to call MacLean the “leading greedhead” for asking for $600,000, from $400,000 last year. Secondly, the CBC did not cave, they repeated their original offer of $450,000, and the ubiquitous agent Meehan accepted.
Well, it’s my own fault. I could have read the headline and said to myself, “this is going to be an exercise in frustration, perhaps best to avoid it.” I just hope I remember that next time!

While we’re at it

And what’s the deal with Alexa McDonough and her handy blue box? Are we supposed to think that she was actually inspired by the speech to pop into a nearby office and grab a conveniently empty recycling box?
I thought the NDP were above such theatrics. While the point may be valid, I for one was completely unimpressed with McDonough’s use of props. Does she think that we need a visual aid to understand her point? The fact that just about every non-Liberal MP and most pundits used “recycled” as the key word to describe the Throne Speech just made her seem all the more small-time when she held up her plastic pal for the cameras. No one else felt it necessary to provide a physical manifestation of their point.
He’s done it again
So, L. Ian MacDonald has managed to get me riled again. In today’s Gazette, he claims that only in Canada would the non-renewal of the contract between a sportscaster (namely, Ron MacLean) and a network (i.e., the CBC) get front-page coverage in both national newspapers, taking precedence over the Throne Speech. As a comparison, he questions whether U.S. president GWB’s State of the Union address would have been overshadowed by a similar falling out between some guy I’ve never heard of and FOX.
But, I ask you, what if the American counterparts were Bob Costas and NBC? I suspect that Americans are as blase about their politicians as we are about ours. Not to mention that, as MacDonald himself points out (as did many others a day earlier), the Throne Speech was not exactly the Magna Carta, given that there’s not much new or radical or particularly explosive in what Chretien has laid out as his “legacy” plan.

He ain’t pretty, he’s my PM

L. Ian McDonald trashed the Prime Minister today regarding Chretien’s remarks before the UN and in various other venues. Chretien said, in reference to 9-11, that poverty in the rest of the world breeds contempt for the richer nations. McDonald and other critics have been blasting him for this, claiming that he’s blaming the victims.
What these critics are overlooking is the fact that Chretien is right. Granted, Bin Laden and many members of his organization and others like it are at least comfortable, if not wealthy. But it’s not that simple. I’ve heard reports that while Palestinians in the West Bank have to ration their water, their Jewish neighbors in the Israeli settlements are obliviously washing their cars, filling their swimming pools and watering their lawns. The average Palestinian is not Bin Laden-wealthy, and aside from having to live in poverty, suffers the indignity of watching the neighbors live high on the hog (kosher restrictions notwithstanding). To make matters worse, Israel is consistently portrayed better than Palestine in the Western media. No wonder extremist factions thrive!
My almost-five-year-old son, Colin, has a habit of not listening to my husband and me. Very frequently, we find ourselves screaming at him. Then he gets upset because we’re yelling. The point is, if he listened the first time (or the second or third, for that matter), we wouldn’t have to resort to screaming. Perhaps if more efforts were made to understand the situation in the Chretien context, fewer counter-efforts would be required.