TSF didn't realize we were taking sides in posting Zach Bussey's response to a lack of links in Mike Strobel's column about Canada's federal election hotties.
We certainly didn't mean to offend our favourite Sun Media T&A specialist, who justifies our plunking down $1.50 - plus six cents tax - daily for the Toronto Sun out here in the boondocks.
But we obviously hit a nerve, as felt in this overnight email to TSF from Mike, who writes:
"You side with this blogger, which should not surprise anyone.
“But read my column and the blog and please identify the 'content theft' he talks about and which you repeat. There isn't any.
"The sexiest candidates idea?
"A quick Google finds such polls and lists have been used in elections from New Brunswick to Hungary. Mike Bullard did one a few months ago on Toronto radio. There are numerous sexiest elected politician lists. The Sun's done them. The Hill Times' is the best known.
"Hard as it may be for you to believe, the inspiration for my little bit of fun originated in the Sun newsroom.
"The blog is a straight poll, though it is well-done, which is why I gave it a plug, then a link. It does have dozens of names, a useful list for me to cherry pick, especially the males, but they're just names and hardly exclusive content.
"Besides, most of mine came from the call I put out to Sun Media papers, which I believe you carried. My column was about the leaders' lack of sex appeal, with my own (and a female colleague's) simple top 10, with much different results than the blogger's.
"The photos? Virtually all are from party sites.
"Of course, if you'd contacted me for comment, I could have told you all this.
"My mother always taught me not to get into a pissing match with a skunk, but I couldn't let this post go unchallenged.
Thanks for your signed response, Mike. Cheers to you and the newsroom vets.
But it is a stretch to say TSF sided with Zach. We replayed his position, included your email to him and told Zach to dream on if he expected financial compensation for original blog content.
(Whatever degree of original content that might be.)
Kudos to you, Mike, for doing more than most columnists would do in having torontosun.com add a link to Zach's blog after your column was published. Getting torontosun.com to use links has been a challenge.
But that is the considerate, adorable, Sun-tattooed Mike Strobel we have known and admired for 20 or so years.