Oh, you mean that Omni
[PoliticsWatch Updated 6:00 p.m. November 30, 2005]
|Omni the once popular science magazine (not
to be confused with the Toronto-based Omni multicultural
OTTAWA — Chalk
another one up for the Conservative war room.
The gang that brought you the "Paul Martin Supports
Child Porn" news release in the 2004 campaign made another
embarrassing error on the second day of the election campaign.
Early on Wednesday, Press Gallery reporters
were informed about a press conference with Conservative MP Jason
Kenney shortly after noon regarding an offensive item on the
Liberal party Web site.
The press conference was to be held at the Centennial Flame on
Parliament Hill as the temperature hovered around zero.
About five minutes later, reporters were told the press conference
would be held in the Charles Lynch Press Theatre on Parliament Hill,
which is heated.
Conservative MP Kenney stepped up to the podium and informed
reporters about a disturbing thing the Conservatives discovered in a
blog kept by Scott
Feschuk, a Martin speechwriter who is blogging while following
the PM around the campaign trail.
Feschuk is a humorist who once edited the National Post's very funny
According to Kenney, Feschuk "exposed his true feelings for
Canada's cultural diversity by referring to Omni Television
subscribers as 'socially awkward people who believe in UFOs'"
in his blog.
Omni Television is a multicultural television channel based in
"Omni subscribers represent the tremendous
diversity of Canada's ethnic communities and they would be
rightfully concerned and insulted by these kinds of pejorative
remarks coming from the prime minister's own speech writer,"
"What's he saying? That ethnic minorities who are the
television viewers of Omni are paranoid, abnormal, are ungrounded in
reality? What's he saying?"
Reporters rushed back to their offices to check out whether the
Liberals had lifted Feschuk's controversial and rather bizarre
comments about multicultural communities.
When they arrived at their desks they were shocked to see Feschuk
was already addressing Kenney's criticisms.
"It wasn't a joke, Jason," Feschuk blogged. "I was being serious. Of course, I was referring to subscribers to Omni, the magazine for science buffs and those who believe they've visited Alpha Centuri, not viewers of Omni television.
"In the spirit of interstellar goodwill, I make this offer: if Jason apologizes, I'll send him a free subscription to Omni and a tin foil hat."
One reporter chuckled that now he had to change his lede from
"Paul Martin doesn't care about multicultural communities"
to "Paul Martin doesn't care about science geeks."
The Conservative war room's response was to send out the media
advisory announcing Kenney's press conference three more times. Then
at 5:28 p.m. they sent out a Reality Check blasting their opponents
in a news release headlined "Liberal War Room insults
Duceppe doesn't think Liberal Star candidate has the right stuff
Prime Minister Paul Martin was in the Montreal area on the second
day of the campaign where he unveiled a new star candidate, Marc
Garneau, who was Canada's first man in space.
Garneau will be running in the Montreal-area riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
The riding was once held by Liberal MP Nick Discepola but he was
defeated by Bloc MP Meili Faille in the 2004 Adscam election.
Duceppe was asked by reporters if he felt the seat could swing back
to the Liberals because of Garneau's candidacy.
"He's used to being high (up)," said Duceppe. "I'm
just thinking of his job as an astronaut. But I think he will be
lower on the day of the election. And Madame Faille, our member, is
a great member, and she's doing a tremendous job in the riding and
she has her two feet on the ground.
"Marc Garneau will learn that in the next
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