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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who is Eric Duhaime, freelance editorial writer for The London Free Press?

Today's Free Press carries an editorial on the Comment page: "Right-wingers aren't the scary ones." It was written for the paper by freelancer Eric Duhaime.

I've been suspicious of right wing-left wing labeling since watching Mort Sahl on the family black and white television decades ago. I sat transfixed, sitting on our patterned faux carpet, it was actually linoleum, while watching Sahl explain and clarify the right-left political divide using his trademarked blackboard.

Saul would quickly scribble a name above a line representing the political continuum, placing the name to the left or right of centre as demanded by the person's stated political beliefs. As I recall, the simple exercise soon expanded past the boundaries of the original blackboard and two more boards were brought on stage to handle the overflow. (Maybe Glenn Beck could be hit for copyright infringement.)

In the end, the names written on the far left and far right of the original board appeared more central after the addition of the two extra blackboards, one to the right and one to the left of the original board.

To add to the chaos, as Sahl recalled more statements from well known politicians he would erase their names and reposition them. Sometimes Sahl found it impossible to simply place a person on one point on his line. For these folk Sahl wrote their names on the political continuum line in several places. On this issue they were right but on this one left and on this one they were really on the extreme right.

I decided to google Eric Duhaime.

I discovered that Eric Duhaime is not a Londoner. He's a Montreal-based writer. The Toronto Star says "Duhaime is currently a political consultant and columnist for Quebecor’s papers." I wondered why The Free Press didn't say so.

If you are interested in knowing more about Eric Duhaime, here is a link to the Toronto Star article:
Quebec's 'Tea Party" is born

I also found an attack on Duhaime, but it is way more personal than I like. Still, I found one line in the post on Sister Sage's Musings that made me think. I had read: "Eric, in your right winged world, folks are supposed to work for a living, but it helps if there are actual jobs; companies that are hiring."

This brought to mind the more than 250 workers at Le Journal de Montreal who are now well into their second year of a lockout at the hands of the media giant Quebecor that controls The London Free Press

I thought how the largest French language newspaper in North America has been published for the past two years in what many argue is in defiance of the Quebec labour laws in order to maintain a lockout. I understand many in Quebec see Quebecor's use of its QMI news organization as an end run around labour laws written decades ago, before the birth of the Internet.

Click on image to enlarge and view.
If this sounds like a big story, it's not. Or at least, it is not a big story in the eyes of The London Free Press. The Le Journal de Montreal story has gone almost totally unreported in my local paper. I can't help but wonder if this story is dead because of its negative Quebecor connection.

If interested, you can read a recent article in The Montreal Gazette: PĂ©ladeau would welcome Labour Code changes to trim union power.

Now, what was it that Duhaime was saying about right-wingers not being the scary ones?

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