Sunday, 10 June 2007

Saturday's Sun

Saturday's Toronto Sun was a newspaper worthy in almost every way, tarnished only by yet another display of excess in P.H. coverage.

Kudos for:

Page 4 - The Kelly Pedro and Randy Richmond (London Free Press)/Joe Warmington combo followup to the London murder-suicide of a senior female cop and her ex-lover, a retired police vet. Page 4, where it belonged, not Page 18 where the initial story was buried.

Page 6 - Prime Mike Strobel tackling Bell for its embarrassing Americanization of Zed in those increasingly annoying beaver ads. "From A to Z, the calls are free?" Sorry, wrong number, Bell. Hopefully, Mike's column will shame Bell into pulling the plug on those ads.

Page 8 & 9: Kathleen Harris deserves an award nomination or two for her insightful two-page feature on Jack Babcock, Canada's last WW1 vet. After reading two pages, we wanted more of the life and times of Jack Babcock. It was a long overdue tribute to Babcock and, with Mike Strobel's full column on WW1 vet Dwight Wilson, 106, before he died, earns full credit for the Sun for highlighting their lives while still alive.

Page 26 - Thane Burnett's new look at the tabloid's old favourite, the Loch Ness monster. Thane's columns took us back to the early days of the Toronto Sun when sea monsters and UFOs were reader favourites and Sun writers obliged almost weekly. Those were the fun days of the Sun and we thank Thane for reviving the mood.

Page 46 - Jim Slotek's review of Hostel: Part II, simply for categorizing yet another Hollywood gore fest as "torture-porn." He gave it one star and his review should convince ticket buyers to give it a pass, but chances are it will be among the top box office draws come Monday.

Page S6 & S7 - Terry Jones provided an interesting twist in his two-page Aces In The House poker spread. Little did we know the NHL's Terry Bettman and Jeffrey Pollack of the World Series of Poker fame are half brothers. Great quotes from poker legend Doyle Brunson about the evolution of poker, plus quotes from Canadian poker pro Daniel Negreanu, whose Friday Sun column was axed recently.

All of the above stories and columns illustrate what the Toronto Sun is capable of doing daily.

And then there was the ongoing excess with P.H. - another Page 1 photo and another full page on Page 3.

We have come to the conclusion devoting front pages and full inside pages to P.H. is not a Sun newsroom decision, but has to be a directive from Quebecor.

We are confident Michael Burke-Gaffney, managing editor, wouldn't voluntarily be wasting that amount of precious editorial space on a woman the majority of Sun readers have repeatedly said is of little interest to them.

Why a directive from Quebecor? Perhaps it is prove its point that Sun readers will accept Hollywood drivel in place of community news, columns on local issues and investigative pieces.

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