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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)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christie Blatchford infuriates me

I have a love/hate relationship with Christie Blatchford. I think she is one of Canada's best reporters, and I was delighted when she recently returned to the pages of the National Post. She has a gutsy, no-holds-barred irreverent attitude that is unbelievably refreshing in the politically correct hot house environment of Canada's major news media. She frequently slaughters sacred cows and poses the questions that everyone is thinking but no one has the nerve to ask. Her columns on the terrorist attacks on 9-11 and the native occupation of Caledonia are unmatched.

Take her coverage of the Shafia honour-killing trial currently under way in Kingston, for example:
Mr. Shafia, in addition to being an exemplary father, if only by his own measure, is also a shameless brown-noser (“the police in this country is like family,” he said once cheerfully), compulsively flowery (“Dear lady” and “Respected lady” is how he addressed Ms. Lacelle), and the sort of fellow who is able to claim, when faced with a mound of pictures of himself with a chocolate-covered face, that he never touches the stuff, never has and never will.
However, she frequently has a tortured writing style that drives me nuts and makes me wonder what's wrong with her editor. She has a particular fondness for long-winded run-on sentences, like this one from her column Toronto, City of Sissies in today's Post:
This was about the time that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was all over the airwaves, with his anti-bullying crackdown, and poor old Doug Ford, a Toronto councillor whose brother Rob just happens to be the city mayor, was caught out (by the Toronto Star, of course, the newspaper in such a permanent state of nervous Nellie-dom about the Fords, forever crying in front-page headlines “The world is ending! Again!”, that it renders the boy who cried wolf a reticent little beggar by comparison) shilling for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, which of course was made legal in the province only this year by, wait for it, the government of Premier McGuinty.
Whew. Reading that is like going nine rounds with a prize fighter - I'm exhausted and need a drink. There are so many parentheses, quotation marks and subordinate clauses that I feel like I've followed a trail of bread crumbs through the woods by the time I reach the end.

Christie, on the off chance that you read this: I think you're great but you're making me crazy.


Onefineguy said...

Have a beer.

Satisfying yet simple.

Anonymous said...

You just wasted 17 seconds of our Saturday morning.

Blatch is fabulous and loves men. Even you pal.

dmorris said...

Agree with"ofg" and "anon". Blatchford may be guilty of the occasional run-on sentence,but her overall Message is the thing.

For a real insult to your intelligence,and a spike to your heart rate, go read one of Heather Mallick's articles first.

Blatchford, r-o-s-'s and all, will read like a dream after that.

Eric said...


What the hell are you talking about? Did you even read my post?

I complain about her run-on sentences and all of a sudden I'm accusing her of hating men?

Subtlety is lost on you apparently.