Saturday, 3 February 2007

Brioux & Ben M.

Bill Brioux's frequent jabs at CTV's Ben Mulroney made the Toronto Sun TV critic a Quebecor target for the layoff list, informed sources say.

It sounds petty and thin skinned, but let's put it to the test:

Google Bill Brioux + Ben Mulroney and Bill's Sun TV columns with Ben jabs in them will appear. A jab here, a jab there, all focusing on Ben's capabilities as a CTV host.

Exhibit A: "100% BEN Mulroney Free!" That's how I'd sell Toronto1 on billboards across the city now that it is to be owned by the same folks who own this newspaper."

Exhibit B: "Anyway, it was good to see Ben Mulroney shouting in both official languages."

Now Google Quebecor World board of directors and you will find The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Chairman, Quebecor World Inc.

For the uninformed, Brian, the former Canadian prime minister, is Ben's poppa.

Would Brian use his influence at Quebecor to silence Bill's constant criticism of his son? The thought gives us goosebumps.

If it was personal, not business, Quebecor's credibility sinks even lower in the eyes of other media, who have praised Bill Brioux as a TV critic.

John Doyle, in a Jan. 4 Globe and Mail article on the decline of quality TV criticism in Canadian media, said this:

"The Toronto Sun recently laid off Bill Brioux, one this country's best, most cogent and shrewd writers about the TV racket. Like the CanWest chain of papers, the Sun chain appears to be retreating from consequential coverage of arts and entertainment."

In the same article, John also mentions another ex-Sun staffer, Lee-Anne Goodman, now with Canadian Press.

"Canadian Press, thank goodness, exists, and in TV writer Lee-Anne Goodman has a first-rate reporter and observer of Canadian TV."

The parade of talent walked out the front door at the Sun boggles the mind.

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