Yep once the prestigious editor of the National Post hired by alleged racketeering crook Lord Black, Whyte now edits Macleans. In a toff to his old boss he has Mrs. Lord Black (Barbara Amiel) on staff as a columnist. She who allegedly drove her husband into a life of crime to keep her in the lifestyle she felt she was suited too. Mrs. Lord Black is long time fop for the rightwhingnuts and board member of the rightwhing thunk tank the Fraser Institute.
But this weeks issue exposes Macleans as just another issue of the Alberta Report little Kenny used to edit. Change the banner logo with the Report and the headline sez it all. "Let's Send Svend Packing". Humourous, no? No. Its a homophobic attack on Svend, cleaned up of the Mark Steyn prejorative of calling Svend a gay kleptocrat, (from his safe haven in exile in the U.S. where he can't be touched by Canada's hate laws) but saying the same thing.
But we are wholly unconvinced that Robinson is a changed man, or that his return to Ottawa is in the best interests of Canadian voters.Of course he has not changed, despite Kens litany of supposed crimes committed by Svend the real issue is that he is still gay and a gay advocate. And interesting while focusing on his attempt to get the word 'god' struck from the Constitution, Ken fails to mention what really got his rightwhing pals in a tizzy; his success in getting sexual orientation included in the hate literature law. Yep Ken is careful not to out Svend and face his rath. Rather he cleverly skirts the issue.
The Editorial written by Whyte comes from the Alberta Report school of journalism, huffy puffy self righteous indignation and psuedo outrage. Full of vile rancour dripping off the page cause Svend is a ho-mo-sex-ual. Its not really about the fact he stole anything, or that he is an NDP politician, nope its cause he is a ho-mo-sex-ual. Ken Whyte has something personal against Svend.Like the rest of his ilk at Alberta Report they have always had this thing about being manly men, no homo-sex here please, we are from St. Johns.
You see the magazine was orginally funded by the private St. Johns Boys School, a protestant religious school which Ted Byfield was an influential member of.
And well, only manly men go out and teach boys how to mountain climb, shoot white water, and if they get up to no good, well a good paddling on the bottom will straighten them out. Manly men. No homos or queers here.
Yep and lets not even get into the subject of feminism, well its ok if you are a feminist like say Mrs. Lord Black or even housefau columnists like Margret Wente and Diane Francis, ex Americans come to lecture Canadian ladies on why they should stay home and enjoy the good life like Mrs. Lord Black does. Cause if you don't you will become a lesbian.
Yep sex was always on the minds of folks at Alberta Report. You could say it was their obsession. They weren't pro life, heavens no bring back the death penalty, they were anti abortion, cause that was what happens when you have sex out of wedlock. Yep there's that sex thingee again.
The magazine itself was a roaring succcess in Alberta, every dentist office had a copy. Mind you the magazine went bankrupt three times, and was bailed out by Alberta Taxpayers at least once through the Alberta Venture Capital fund. Funny that, sorta like the Fraser Institute being a charity so its elite members can write off their donations for tax credits.
Anyways the sorid little tale of Alberta Report is that it was the first real Canadian Conservative redneck rightwhing weekly. And even the new Western Standard and the psuedo Report (aka Canada Report) pale in comparison for the really off the wall pronouncements made by the Byfields and their edotroial syncophants.
It appears that Macleans is another attempt by Ken Whyte to shape a publication into his old familar home, Alberta Report. The attack on Svend is a clarion call that the new Macleans is the Voice of the rightwhing in Canada. Even though the real crime story in Canada this week was all about Lord Black, but after all his little woman writes for Ken. Well you can expect Macleans under Ken to end up like Alberta Report, in your local dentists office.
It's just news, not brainwashingSaturday, December 17, 2005
Globe and Mail
The thing about the networks, though, is that they all insist they have no partisan agenda. On that score, if nothing else, you have to admire the honesty of the new Maclean's magazine under publisher-editor Ken Whyte. It makes no secret of where its preferences lie. The current issue features a cover shot of NDP candidate Svend Robinson and the headline "Svend him packing." A subhead urges Vancouver Centre voters to "please do the rest of Canada a favour."
"Svend him packing" is a brilliant headline, and if you're of that cast of mind, the new Maclean's will drop into your lap as though the national media have finally come to their senses. If you're not of that cast of mind, you will be repelled by it. It's too personal, too abrasive. You will not be inclined to buy a magazine with that kind of attitude. You might not be inclined to work there either.
So Maclean's, I guess, has decided to stake its future on a core readership of worked-up right wingers, convinced that a right-good read is key to growing that constituency. Good luck to them. Maybe it will work this time. As a business strategy, it didn't work at the last three publications where Ken Whyte had a guiding hand: the National Post, Saturday Night magazine and Alberta Report.
But, then, Ken Whyte is fighting for his life, no less than any candidate on the hustings. And his poll numbers aren't looking good. In the Decima-Carleton survey, when asked where they turn for election news, respondents mentioned everything from their local dailies to Internet blogs. National weekly newsmagazines weren't even a blip.
Christopher Dornan is the director of the Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication. The Decima-Carleton poll results can be found at