Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Colby Cosh

Babble on.

Colby Cosh writes red meat for those of us on an all-protein political punditry diet. So when he announced his output at the National Post was being scaled back to once column per week, I was left with an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Why has the otherwise sane Post management taken this ill-conceived step? To make room for Sheila "Nobody's-Baby-But-Everybody's-Braying-Leftist-Twit" Copps. If you're shaking your head in puzzlement right now, you're not alone.

Which brings me to my point: if enough of us are shaking our heads, and if we tell The Post we're shaking our heads (and our wallets), do you think we could get them to reconsider? I can see you shaking your head again, and you're probably right.

Still, I've always believed some battles you fight because you can win, and others you fight because they need fighting. Here's how to contact The Post's Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Fraser. Keep it polite (put the baseball bat down, SD) - they didn't escort Colby to the door carrying his desk contents in a box - but let Fraser know how you feel.

Babble off.


At 7:35 p.m., Blogger Shannon said...

Baseball bat? What baseball bat? I don’t even own a baseball bat. How about a tennis racket...or skis...yeah, skis might work! Or I could go Happy Gilmore on them with my figure skates (although I’m not sure they would work as well as hockey skates).

Seriously, though, I have no desire to attack or even threaten anyone at the Post with any sort of sports equipment –- not even Sheila Copps. I sent an e-mail last week, and I was very polite. In fact, I’m kind of concerned that I was too nice. I think maybe at the time I was feeling too optimistic that they would listen to their loyal readers and change their minds if we just let them know how much we like Colby -- but since you obviously don’t share my optimism, I’m starting to wonder if I should have been meaner.

Still, I think the odds of the Post changing its decision in response to readers’ feedback are greater than the odds of, say, the Liberals stopping the CRTC from shutting down radio stations that say “offensive” stuff in response to comments from ordinary Canadians who support free speech. That’s one reason I prioritized sending an e-mail to the Post about this over the e-mail I have yet to write to the government about the stupid CRTC (the other reason being that Colby’s column matters more to my daily life than some French radio station in Quebec City –- but I still intend to get around to sending a message to the government, even though I’m sure it will accomplish nothing).

Anyway, in my e-mail to the Post, I wasn’t “ranting like [I was] trying to save some crappy sci-fi TV program that's already been cancelled three times” as Jerry Aldini warns people not to do, nor did I threaten anyone with a baseball bat. In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit, my e-mail reads like part suck-uppy fan letter and part whiny plea for them to reconsider their decision on Colby’s column. I wrote in reply to a nice e-mail I had received from “David Asper” (yeah, I’m so sure he had time to send me a personal e-mail) in June, asking for feedback on the paper. My rather extensive feedback could be summarized as follows:

“The Post is great.
Colby Cosh and Andrew Coyne are especially great. [Followed by lengthy explanation as to why they are so great, which I realized upon re-reading makes me sound like some 14-year-old girl writing about the Backstreet Boys.]
I like a lot of your other columnists too.
You are doing a lot of things right.
I’m very very sad you are cancelling one of Colby’s weekly columns.
Please reconsider.”

(At least I had the good judgment to refrain from using any sad-crying-face emoticons in my message.)

I’m still hopeful the Post will remember who its loyal readers are and what attracts them to the Post –- and I’m sure for a lot of us it’s columnists like Colby. Frankly, I remember thinking the Post was kind of going downhill before he came along. I remember looking at his first column a little suspiciously, wondering “who’s the new guy with the messy hair and the funny name?”, but he won me over right away with his intelligent commentary, excellent writing, and great sense of humour, and he quickly became my second-favourite columnist. His column is always the first thing I read on Mondays and Fridays, and I’ll really miss that Friday column if the Post doesn’t change their mind on this.


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