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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 broadcasting network. 

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 Post-Mortem page.

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 Toronto.

"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," Kenney said.

"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 multicultural viewers."

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 election."

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