We Made the News, the Real News, the American News - The Intrepid

Monday, June 01, 2009

We Made the News, the Real News, the American News

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There are two ways for Canada to make the U.S. news a) threaten to self-destruct, or b) do something weird or stupid. Michaelle Jean’s seal heart chow down with Inuit hunters definitely falls into the later. Last week, the Governor General’s act of defiance (or insanity) managed to sneak its way into everything from Foreign Policy magazine to the Slate Political Gabfest. The inane celebrity gossip site Gawker also picked up on the story, and accused Michelle Jean of being the Sarah Palin of Canada (a poor comparison, even by Gawker’s standards).

To American (and even European) news organizations, a Canadian news story is usually only worth printing if it’s weird. Consider some other Canadian stories that have recently made it big: Igor Kenk (Toronto’s extraordinary bike thief); the Greyhound beheading; Billy Bob Thornton’s CBC temper tantrum. All these stories went international, because they were bizarre. Legitimate Canadian news stories that manage to make it to the big time are also treated with this same curious fascination. A Canadian company is about to take over Opel? How quaint. Do they even have cars up there?

Sometimes it feels like Rick Mercer’s Talking to Americans was right on the money. Americans (and the rest of the world) don’t know anything about us, and don’t really want to.

Photo by Dr. Ilia

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