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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Does the Toronto Star have editors anymore?

I was in a coffee shop today with nothing to read, so I absent-mindedly picked up a copy of today's Toronto Star that someone had left behind. It made me want to take a shower afterwards.

Case in point - the appalling Heather Mallick. How this woman has found a successful career as a writer defies explanation. She had two articles in today's Star - the first was an obituary of Elizabeth Edwards. We are treated to salacious details about her husband John, including this tidbit from his career as a trial lawyer:
“Help, my stomach hurts,” a five-year-old North Carolina girl named Valerie called out to her mother as she sat on a swimming pool drain cover that a company named Sta-Rite knew would be improperly installed. She was feeling her intestines being sucked out. John won lifetime care for that girl, and rightly so.
Good God, did we need to know that grotesque detail in an obituary of his wife? Of course no quality obituary of Ms Edwards would be complete without a graphic description of her husband's affair with Rielle Hunter while she was fighting breast cancer:
In 2004, he ran as vice-president on the John Kerry ticket (George W. Bush won), Elizabeth got the breast cancer that would kill her, John ran again in 2007 while sleeping with a crazy, rapacious woman named Lisa Druck, a.k.a. Rielle Hunter, who filmed him performing oral sex on her, and after she had her unfortunate baby he paid her off, for which he may go to jail. In the meantime, Elizabeth was herself excoriated along the lines of, “Elizabeth Edwards not as nice as thought.” It sounds like an Onion headline.
Yuck. Poor Elizabeth - she deserved better than this from Canada's biggest daily.

Later in the same issue, Mallick writes an opinion piece on Julian Assange & the Wikileaks scandal. The tortured sentences she composes are so long & full of gear-shifts that I lost track of what she was talking about by the time I arrived, exhausted, at the finish:
As WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange is jailed in Britain on weirdly convenient rape charges and denied bail lest he flee the charges of WikiLeaking he does not in fact face though every government security service is gunning for it—lo, he hath made truthful information available unto citizens of the planet—the scum is rising.

Here's another gem, which somehow works a reference to JFK's assassination & Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin into the discussion:
I speak as a person who has still not recovered from the Daily Mail last week publishing online huge clear detailed photos from the littered rough pine interior of Lee Harvey Oswald’s empty coffin. I stared at the small oblong space where the American Dream went to die—how ironic that the death cavity should be so shabby—and was overturned by sadness.

But I’m not out to shut down the paper for publishing it. I’m not Amazon, Visa, Mastercard or PayPal—which have targeted WikiLeaks out of venom or cowardice—or even an irate subscriber. It’s my job as a writer to look at the photos and my duty as an adult.

Americans don’t care. You can go to the former School Book Depository in Dallas, Texas, and take pretend aim at JFK’s head, you can rent a floor of the building for your wedding reception, it’s all clean fun to them.
All this is bad enough, but Mallick holds herself to a higher standard. She's the self-proclaimed living embodiment of journalistic standards:
I recently turned down an offer to appear on a TVO panel to talk about the trial of Col. Russell Williams because the producer, the person responsible for mapping out the show, told me she hadn’t read the stories in the Star. She found the plea hearing gross and the news reports too icky for her sensibilities. “As a journalist,” she felt she didn’t need to know. She actually emailed me that.

I was embarrassed for her and politely declined to appear, me and my nauseating newsgathering. Then I banged my head hard on my desk until the pain went away.
Bang away, Heather.


Ww said...

Head banging huh? So that explains it. Her brain is bruised.

CanadianSense said...

I imagine she spend a great deal of time banging her head as most of ignore her articles.

Anonymous said...

For once I agree with her: Elizabeth Edwards was far from a saint. I find the articles about her have failed to mention her temper tantrums and the way she treated her staff.

The_Iceman said...

Did you go to the hospital to get vaccinated?

Anonymous said...

So Heather has resorted to head pounding now in order to mitigate her pain... poor girl. (real conservative)