I realize I'm going a little inside baseball here, but I wanted to share with you extracts from the "Statement by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on the occasion of the 32nd National Magazine Awards Gala."
First, a little context.
This year's annual piss-up and fish fry, conducted last Friday night, saw one of its main corporate sponsors (Rogers) drop out, thereby diminishing the quality of nosh (or so it was reported to me) by a considerable margin. ( I know, I know - poor benighted journos forced to eat free cocktail weenies instead of oysters on the half shell). Still, it was in the face of the ongoing economic catastrophe, an occasion to celebrate an important aspect of Canada's journalistic endeavours. And of all things an Alberta-based magazine (AlbertaViews), with no connection whatsoever to Ted Byfield, won magazine of the year.
Back to the Honourable James Moore:
"On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, I congratulate the winners of the 32nd National Magazine Awards, and I commend your dedication to conveying accurate, pertinent, and interesting information to your Canadian readers. Your contribution to our society's great debates as well as to the development of our culture is essential, and I invite you to pursue your efforts in this direction."
First of all, to characterize the beneficial content of a magazine as "accurate, pertinent, and interesting information" is like congratulating a surgeon for having washed his hands before the operation. And that bit about "inviting" journalists to do journalism puts Canada on a par with such paragons of free expression as North Korea and Fox News.
That said, I can only imagine that a similar message to the equivalent assemblage in Pyongyang might at least be delivered with the Minister's tongue planted somewhere near his or her cheek. Hereabouts, not so much.