Friday, 3 June 2011

The End of an Era

Christie Blatchford is leaving the Globe and Mail. "It was just time for a change for me," she said in an interview. "I don't think the Globe was ever a particularly natural fit for me and had become less so over the last while. The Post was always my natural home, I thought."

Thus marks the end of an era. I started this dopey page five years ago. As I've said elsewhere, my sensibilities were offended that a writer as horrendous and inept as Christie Blatchford could earn a pay cheque from the best newspaper in Canada. It's like the Three Stooges (in full medical attire) being hired by the Mayo Clinic. Unthinkable!

Blatchford says that the Globe was never a "natural fit." For once I'm in complete agreement with her. The Globe and Mail staff has a number of world class reporters and columnists. I may not always agree with them, but the vast majority of the Globe's writers are consummate professionals. Christie Blatchford, on the other hand, always resorted to the same lowest common denominator garbage writing. Overblown, cloying drivel about murdered children, our mighty, glorious armed forces or her farting dog. Putrid, stomach churning rubbish.

Imagine my surprise when I heard that the Age of Blatchford was coming to an end. Was she fired? Did she quit? We'll probably never know. But I do have some thoughts. Have a look at The Blatchford Bad Writing "Hall of Shame". In 2008 alone there are twenty examples of Blatchford's deplorable writing style. Slightly fewer in 2009. And then, as Salieri says in Amadeus: "A miracle happened!" Blatchford's writing became uncharacteristically . . . well . . . not terrible. Only one Hall of Shame example in all of 2010 and only one for 2011. What happened?

To me there can only be one explanation. The editor of the Globe told Christie that she had to tone down her blood drenched, treacly drivel. "I'll try," I imagine her saying through gritted teeth. And for a year and a half Blatch gave it a good go. But eventually the pressure to produce competent writing day in and day out must have been too much for her. It was time for Blatchford to say goodbye.

(It would be interesting to see what Blatchford's first few columns are like at the Post. I imagine that they'll be complete blood baths with enough Anne Geddes-esque saccharine to rot one's teeth out. Blatchford, like an active volcano, is ready to explode--in this case, crap writing rather than deadly lava--but the analogy is fair I think.)

Over the years I received many e-mails (see the Mailbag) from people both fans and detractors of Blatchford. The fans, with the exception of one or two complete lunatics, were decent enough folks (just, if I may say, misguided). But I would always issue them the same challenge: go to the "Hall of Shame" page and choose any example of that appalling writing and then reply back explaining how this could be considered competent journalism. No one ever took the bait.

Will I continue to follow Christie Blatchford's atrocious writing at the Post? In a word: no. I'm not a fan of the Post and find that I have my hands full with the Globe and Mail, the New Yorker and the Sunday New York Times. No, this truly is the end of an era and I'm retiring from these web pages and from the Facebook group "Fire Christie Blatchford". I won't delete either, though. Both can remain a beacon to the aspiring journalists of tomorrow; a repository of what every decent newspaper man and woman should avoid--the worst trash writing ever to pollute the ether of the Fourth Estate. Learn from these pages, future journalists:

"Here be dragons."

Christie Blatchford

(at the Globe and Mail)

Meet Christie Blatchford. The worst journalist in the history of mankind. And when I say "worst," I mean worst on so many levels.

Christie Blatchford is vile. A foul, despicable creature. The world is a sad place: starvation, poverty, terrorism, disease, hopelessness . . . . and Christie Blatchford.

Christie Blatchford is a Canadian journalist (I should really say "journalist") who works for the newspaper the Globe and Mail. Reading one of her articles is like staring into the sun. After a few seconds you have to turn away or risk suffering permanent damage.

I wish I had kept a collection of samples of Blatchford's bad writing from the beginning. There have been uncountable doozies over the years. Blatchford loves writing about murdered children (well, about any tragedy really, but more on that in a moment). She once described a murdered Asian girl as having "straight, jet-black hair as only orientals have." So wrong on so many levels. Who calls Asians "orientals" any more? And, more to the point, what difference does this poor girl's hair make? She's dead for crying out loud! Another time Blatchford described a baby (murdered probably, or at least horribly abused--I can't remember) as being pudgy and adorable with a chin having "chub after beautiful chub." God, it truly makes you want to vomit.

Why dear God? Why does Christie Blatchford have a job? How can someone who writes such grating, saccharine drivel day in and day out continue to receive a pay cheque? If there was any goodness and justice in the world Blatchford would win the Bulwer-Lytton Award for the most horribly bad writing.

And not only is the writing beyond terrible, Blatchford only writes about one subject: human tragedy. Christie "Vampira" Blatchford never met a human tragedy she couldn't suck dry. There she is: Blood-sucker Blatchford is sitting at her desk faced with writer's block when suddenly word comes to her that a man went crazy and butchered his three young children--all under the age of six. YEAH!!!! roars Blatchford as she salivates at the thought of wringing another tragedy for every drop of cloying prose she can excrete out of her laptop.

Dear God in Heaven, hear my prayer. Put a stop to Christie Blatchford. In thy mercy have the editor of the Globe finally wake up and fire her sorry ass. Before Blatchford can write another "her skin the colour of cocoa" or "a huge, perfect tear rolled down her chubby, rosy cheek," for the love of all that is good and right in this world, stop this madness. I beseech you. On my knees I beg of you: stop this journalistic abomination. This thing. Stop her. Today. Right now!

La Blatchford was recently on assignment in Afghanistan. Only days after her arrival another Canadian soldier was killed in combat. Needless to say Blatchford jumped on this story with her usual leech-like enthusiasm. More of her heinously bad and overblown writing desecrates the pages of the Globe and Mail. Hasn't this poor young man's family suffered enough?

Sweet merciful Jesus, I pray unto you: send Christie Blatchford to work for a newspaper in Greenland. Or Slovenia. Anywhere really. But stop the bad writing and the tragedy-milking madness of this unholy aberration of the Fourth Estate. Send her off to a newspaper more deserving of her journalistic talent: the Pennysaver perhaps.

Silence her hideous writing now and forever. I beg of you. Please, dear Lord on High.


Table of Contents

The Blatchford Bad Writing "Hall of Shame"