Monthly Archives: September 2009

Want to watch the city council meeting? Tough

I was invited for a short interview on the Ric Peterson Show on CJAD today. For those who missed it (which I imagine is about everyone), the audio is here: Me on the Ric Peterson Show (MP3)

Apparently Mr. Peterson finds this blog interesting and informative about local issues (joke’s on him, I’m just some moron on the Internet), so he asked me a few questions about the big city council meeting tonight and the city’s new ethics hotline. (My uneducated take in brief: it sounds cool, but experiences in other cities show such hotlines aren’t worth the cost.)

I started off the interview pointing out that even if people were interested, they couldn’t watch this meeting live. No electronic media – TV, radio or online – are broadcasting this meeting. Not even VOX, LCN, RDI, Info 690 or CJAD. There was plenty of live coverage of tonight’s preseason Canadiens game (two television networks and three radio stations, by my count), however. Gives you an idea about priorities.

Even the city’s own website doesn’t provide live streaming. The best you get are video clips posted online after the fact.

So if you want to watch the meeting, you have to be in the building. That’s kind of sad. Not that most people would sit down and watch a council meeting from start to finish (especially when there’s the season premiere of House), but you’d think we could find some space in the 500-channel universe to what news people pretend to be the biggest news story of the week.

The media is, of course, at the meeting and will report on it. The Gazette is quasi-live-blogging it. Radio and TV are providing updates as part of regular news reports.

But all of them are providing a filter on this news, instead of letting us see it for ourselves.

Free transit on Tuesday (with coupon)

This week, the national Super 7 lottery was replaced with a new one called Lotto Max. Loto-Quebec, which handles this voluntary tax on the stupid here, has been using some of its vast fortune to promote the new gambling scheme.

Among them is sponsoring free passage on all Montreal transit networks on Tuesday, which is the AMT’s car-free day (in case you haven’t paid attention to the news, that means a few blocks of downtown will be closed between the two rush hours, providing minimal disruption to commuting traffic).

To take advantage of free transit, people have only to clip the coupons that appeared in major newspapers, or download one from Loto-Québec’s website (from a PDF so compressed the fine print is illegible).

This might be of little use to people who already have monthly passes, but because this also applies to RTL, STL and AMT transit, it means you can freely travel on commuter trains and on off-island transit networks. Want to take a trip to Carrefour Laval? Dix-30? Or just take the comfortable train to the West Island after work? Might as well take advantage.

Montreal’s MP3 experiment

UPDATE: Read about how this event went.

It’s called “Love Mob Montreal“, which sounds kind of weird, but it’s actually a Montreal version of Improv Everywhere’s famous MP3 Experiments (Improv Everywhere prefers people not use their names for independently-organized events, to avoid confusion).

The idea is that all the participants download an MP3 audio file to their iPod or other portable media player. They gather in a common place, and at a specified time they all press play simultaneously. The audio file contains instructions for what the participants should do. Since bystanders can’t hear the audio, the experiment gives a sort of surreal image of a bunch of people doing crazy things in unison.

The Montreal event, organized by a “flash mob” group with some pretty poor web design skills, takes place today (Sunday) at Place des Arts, at what appears to be 3:30pm (the event lists the time as 3:30pm in English and “13h30” in French, but it had previously been established as 3:30/15h30).

Unfortunately, that puts it squarely in conflict with the Day 2 afternoon sessions of PodCamp Montreal. At first I figured the events would be related because they were on the same weekend and I had heard about the Love Mob from someone involved with both. But that’s not the case, and I’ll have to ditch at least two PodCamp seminars in order to participate.

The MP3 files themselves have just been put online: English, French (UPDATE: Links fixed, sorry). Participants are asked not to listen to them before the event. Instead, remember to bring a watch or other timing device that’s accurate to the second, a media player with the MP3 loaded, and a white, red or pink T-shirt, and be at Place des Arts for 3:15pm.

Facebook has over 400 people “confirmed”, which means about 40-50 will actually show up, give or take 200.

Union Montreal’s new website

Union Montreal's "English" website

Union Montreal's "English" website

I got an email Friday morning, just as the municipal election campaign officially began, informing me that Union Montreal has redesigned its website.

So, of course, I checked it out with my usual critical eye. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The design was clean and simple, the page looked fine even with the style sheet turned off. They’ve got the usual Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and Flickr accounts. They’re even releasing their content under a Creative Commons license.

Great, I thought. So where’s the English version?

After a bit of searching, I could find some pages that had a link at the bottom that said “English”. That would bring me to an English version of those pages. But then I’d click somewhere and it would bring me back to the French website. Or it would be the English page and all the navigational text would be in French.

I asked the guy who emailed me, Marc Snyder, what’s up with all that. He said they’re working on it:

We’re progressing in the right direction: I think this is what a work-in-progress is all about ;-)

Building a website that’s bilingual isn’t easy. Most cool content management systems don’t think of building in support for bilingual websites. So many do so through third-party plugins. In this case, the website is WordPress based and they’re using the Qtranslate plugin.

But to launch a website so publicly without even basic information in English (at first, there wasn’t even an English bio for the mayor) seems a fairly major gaffe. Even now, most of its content isn’t accessible in English. Instead, you get a short apology with a link to the French version.

Remember, this is supposed to be the anglo party, embracing both languages of this diverse metropolis. Vision Montreal, with ex-PQer Louise Harel who speaks little English, and Projet Montréal, which doesn’t even translate its name into our language, both have better English versions of their websites.

Maybe next time someone from Union Montreal criticizes Louise Harel for alienating anglophones, she can point out the fact that people don’t need to look up what “Arrondissement de militantisme” is before they can donate to her party.

Oh wait, she can’t. Neither can Michel Richard Bergeron. Because both Vision Montreal’s donation form and Projet Montréal’s donation form have random untranslated bits of French on them.

I realize this is small-time politics and we’re not dealing with real big budgets here, but these are forms people fill out to give you money. If you’re so careless about translation, I can only imagine what kind of controls you have on the $100 I’d be putting in your campaign fund.

Colour me pas impressionné.


Inside a new elevator at Lionel-Groulx

Inside a new elevator at Lionel-Groulx

In case you haven’t heard, the STM opened elevators in two metro stations on Monday.

They made a big splash of it (two press releases), bringing out adapted-transit-user-representing board member Marie Turcotte to demonstrate them for the cameras.

Media coverage was light: CTV, CBC, Metro. The Gazette had a photo after the fact, but a Bluffer’s Guide that morning (written by yours truly) explaining a bit of background, like the fact that only the orange line is accessible, and this little matter with the trains themselves:

The suspension system on the train cars doesn’t keep them perfectly level with the platforms. Depending on how many people they are carrying, the floor level could be up to five centimetres above or below the platform level, making it difficult for wheelchairs (especially electric ones) to cross the gap. Right now, they’re having people accompany wheelchair users with special ramps that cross the gap (riders can refuse this help if they feel they don’t need it). The next generation of métro cars, which are still years away, will solve this problem.

I took the elevators at Lionel-Groulx a couple of times for fun. Ran into an old lady who got confused and took the wrong one. Use of the elevators was very light, which is either a testament to how well designed the station is or how little people know about the elevators so far. (They’re not reserved strictly for those with low mobility.)

One thing I only noticed when I travelled there today was that the Lionel-Groulx station now has an automatic butterfly door:

Automatic door at Lionel-Groulx

Automatic door at Lionel-Groulx

For those who don’t know, the butterfly swing doors are installed at entrances to metro stations because they can be opened despite a difference in pressure on either side, which happens often when you have trains coming into and leaving the station pushing all that air around. But this is the first time I’ve seen one that’s attached to a motor.

Quick redesign

Oh, and remember that point I made about the design of the panels next to the elevators potentially leading people to confuse the emergency button for a call button? Well, it looks like there was a quick redesign of that panel:

Panels at Berri-UQAM (left) and Lionel-Groulx (right)

Panels at Berri-UQAM (left) and Lionel-Groulx (right)

It’s possible this was part of the plan all along and these decals just didn’t get installed until after the elevators opened, but to me that seems unlikely.

CBC Montreal to start 11pm newscast: sources

It’s not a secret at the CBC, but it’s being treated that way with the outside world: CBMT, CBC’s Montreal television station, is planning to launch an 11pm newscast next month.

According to multiple sources within the CBC, the new 11pm newscast would be a short, 10-minute recap of the top stories, similar to what airs currently in Vancouver.

You can see an example of Vancouver at Eleven here. It’s five minutes long, sandwiched between The National and The Hour. Vancouver’s newscast will be expanding to 10 minutes, which should hopefully give the anchor an opportunity to breathe properly. Other markets are also planning similar newscasts.

CBC Montreal news director Mary-Jo Barr was coy when I asked her about the new newscast, neither confirming nor denying its existence. She would say only that “there’s some excitement over here at CBC Montreal” and hinted at an upcoming announcement.

Ten minutes might not sound like much, but when you add local news in the evening newscasts together, you get to about that figure. Vancouver at Eleven contains no advertising, and only a brief weather segment. It’s not clear whether that would still be the case in a 10-minute newscast.

CBMT hasn’t aired an 11pm newscast since Newswatch was cancelled in 2000. Drastic cutbacks at the CBC led to the idea of “Canada Now”, a one-hour evening newscast whose first half-hour was hosted by Ian Hanomansing in Vancouver and the rest by local anchors. That finally ended in 2007, when plummeting ratings forced the CBC to reconsider and bring back one-hour local newscasts. CBMT has been slowly building back the audience it forfeited to CFCF ever since.

Sources tell Fagstein the 11pm newscast should begin around Thanksgiving (in other words, mid-October).

CKMI cuts News Final in half

Global Quebec's new news set

CKMI-TV, a.k.a. Global Quebec a.k.a. Global Montreal, has cut its one-hour 11pm newscast down to 30 minutes.

“What we’ve heard from viewers is that at that time of day they prefer a more compact formula that provides them with all the news of the day but that they just can’t stay up that late,” station manager Karen Macdonald tells Fagstein. “So… Local, national and international news as well as sports and weather from 11 to 11:30 p.m.”

The second half of the hour on weeknights is being filled with HGTV’s Designer Guys.

The format of the condensed News Final gives about as much local stories as the previous one did. Local news makes up the first 10 minutes of the newscast. The second 10-minute segment has national and international news, plus weather (still done out of Toronto), and the final segment has sports (still done out of Vancouver) and other stories.

By the numbers

The newscast slashing comes mere days after CKMI’s licence renewal, which dropped its local programming minimum from 18 hours a week to 14 (consistent with large markets across the country).

The cut drops 2.5 hours a week of original programming from the station (the weekend 11pm newscasts were already 30 minutes long). With a half-hour Evening News and half-hour News Final every day, plus the half-hour Focus Montreal once a week, CKMI is producing a grand total of 7.5 hours of original local programming a week (assuming you count local newscasts produced out of Vancouver as “local programming”).

How are they filling the other 6.5 hours? Repeats.

According to the station’s schedule, CKMI re-runs the Evening News and News Final the morning after at 6am and 6:30am, respectively. (Except that’s not what’s been happening this week. Instead, CKMI has been running News Final twice back-to-back. It’s not a huge deal since the station isn’t seriously trying to attract viewers at that time, and the contents of the two newscasts are mostly the same, but still.)

The morning repeats add seven hours of local programming to the broadcast schedule, bringing the total to 14.5 hours.

Ringside Report: the little radio show that could

Ringside Report hosts Dave Simon (left) and Kevin McKough

Ringside Report hosts Dave Simon (left) and Kevin McKough

It started off with an email. Some guy I had never heard of, who hosts some radio show I had never heard of, wanted me to be aware of the fact that it was expanding. There was no big press release or media coverage of this, so he was hoping to at least get a mention of it on the local anglo media blog.

I decided to do one better and find out what his show is all about. So I interviewed him and observed during (most of) a broadcast in studio last Saturday.

It’s called Ringside Report. Until this week it was a weekly show on the Team 990 about professional wrestling and mixed martial arts, on Saturday nights from 10pm to 1am.

Continue reading

Peter Anthony Holder starts podcast

Peter Anthony Holder is a clairvoyant, predicting in 1987 that these new cellular telephones would be all the rage, though suggesting that using them doesn’t increase the risks of accidents because people drive slower when they’re using them.

A little more than a month after he was unceremoniously canned as the overnight host on CJAD radio, Peter Anthony Holder has struck out on his own, starting a weekly podcast that can be downloaded from his website.

The inaugural edition, released Tuesday, runs just under an hour and features weird news, emails from listeners, and interviews. Familiar fare for those who listened to him.

The podcast was the idea of Mitch Joel, the new media marketing guy. He published a blog post suggesting that Holder and other former radio hosts start their own podcasts to keep their names (and voices) out there. (I was a bit skeptical about that advice, which sounds a lot like people should just work for free when they’re fired from their paid jobs.) Holder took Joel up on the idea and Joel became the first guest on Holder’s podcast.

You can listen to the first podcast here (MP3). Unfortunately, there’s no podcast feed setup yet (Holder’s website long predates content management systems and is flat HTML), but hopefully he’ll set one up soon so people can subscribe.

Holder went dark when news of his dismissal broke, giving terse responses to questions and refusing to comment further. Eventually he opened up to The Gazette’s Kathryn Greenaway and published a post on his blog about it, saying that he had vacation planned and was going to take it easy for a while before deciding on his next move.

(via Radio in Montreal)

Global, CBC join CTV’s “Save Local TV” campaign

A few months into its campaign to “Save Local Television”, CTV has managed to get its competitors CBC and Global to join its rebranded campaign “Local TV Matters” (there’s even a Twitter account!), trying to get public support for CRTC regulatory changes that would allow conventional television stations to charge cable and satellite companies for distribution of their signals.

The website’s FAQ lists PR-generated counter-arguments to some common complaints, but seems to ignore the history of conventional television and why it’s free in the first place.

Decades ago, before there was cable, conventional television was all there is. Most stations were locally-owned and had powerful transmitters to reach as many homes as possible. Revenue came from advertising, which was fine because everyone watched TV in primetime, and everyone watched the local news.

In the early days of cable, the specialty channels were low-budget affairs and highly specialized. Music videos on MuchMusic, live sports on TSN, non-stop weather updates on the Weather Network. Quality primetime programming came from the conventional networks like CTV, which was back then a cooperative of local stations. Local programming gave way to network (Canadian and U.S.) shows in primetime, but mornings and early evenings were still largely local affairs.

Canadian television network breakdown

The proliferation of specialty channels is a large part of why conventional television isn’t what it used to be. The audience is fragmented, and the conventional networks’ piece of the pie has diminished, along with advertising.

Specialty networks don’t have to provide local programming, though on the other hand they cannot accept local advertising and they cannot transmit over the air.

Now that more than 90% of Canadians have cable or satellite service, the advantage of over-the-air transmitters is outweighed by their cost. And because most advertising is national in scope, and targetted to specific demographics that specialty channels are better at reaching, that advantage too has disappeared.

What’s left to give conventional television stations an advantage is the programming itself. But while many people still watch the news, it’s not enough to pay for it. In very few markets does local news attract enough advertising revenue to pay for itself. So those newscasts (especially in smaller markets) have been drastically cut. Local news has been replaced by more pre-packaged news packages from the networks. Programming outside of the local newscasts has been all but eliminated.

So what can we do about this? Should we just shut down the conventional networks? Obviously the networks don’t agree with that idea, because conventional television is still making them money.

How about a government bailout? Consumers would be opposed to that, and it creates all sorts of problems (should broadcasters be paid equally, or based on the ratings of their newscasts?). Besides, there already is one in the form of the Local Programming Improvement Fund, a 1.5% tax on cable and satellite companies’ revenues that goes to help programming in small-market stations.

What CTV et al are proposing is that broadcasters and distributors negotiate a fair market value for carrying their stations. It’s not entirely clear what the details are, such as whether consumers would be able to choose which conventional television stations they would pay for (they could pay for none of them and just hook up the rabbit ears to get them free), or whether they would be forced to pay for them like we’re forced to pay for CBC Newsworld and CPAC whether we want to or not (such mandatory carriage would leave cable and satellite companies without a bargaining chip, making negotiation difficult).

It’s the economics, stupid

The networks’ prime argument in launching this campaign is this:

One of the campaign’s concerns is that cable and satellite providers continue to charge viewers for our services, yet they pay nothing to local television stations. However, Canadian cable companies pay U.S. cable channels in excess of $300 million a year for their services, and these cable channels are not required to produce any Canadian content. The campaign members are standing up to change this system because they believe local stations deserve fairness so viewers can continue to enjoy local television programming now and in the years to come.

The argument about channels like Spike and CNN not producing Canadian content is valid. Of course, the CRTC takes this into consideration when approving a U.S. channel for distribution here. U.S. networks aren’t allowed to compete with Canadian ones on (basic) cable, which is why we didn’t have MTV to compete with MuchMusic or HBO to compete with the Movie Network until Canadian versions of those channels launched recently.

But the comparison to conventional television is based on a faulty assumption. People don’t pay for conventional television stations as part of their cable bills. People get cable because they want CNN and Spike, not the local news. The bills for basic service cover the physical cable service as well as CRTC-mandated specialty channels like Newsworld and CPAC. Cable and satellite companies don’t charge consumers to give them local television stations, because you can’t charge people for something they already get for free.

The big irony of the argument is that the CRTC mandates that cable and satellite companies distribute local television stations as part of their basic service at the request of those television stations. In cable’s infancy, local TV wanted to be on cable to reach larger markets and get more advertising revenue. They even got the CRTC to guarantee they’d get the lowest spots on the dial, which back then were considered prime electronic real estate.

But I understand times change. Things are different now, the model is broken.

At least, they say the model is broken. CTV and Global haven’t released detailed financial reports showing how much money they’re losing on conventional television (or if they’re losing any at all). We have only their self-serving word to go on here.

The CRTC will be debating the future of local television in November.

Comments enabled

A side note about the “Local TV Matters” campaign: the website (which is WordPress-based) has open comments on its posts, and there’s already a lot of them from incredulous consumers asking why they’re being asked to pay more when their local programming is being cut to the bone. I’m a bit surprised the comments are still up there, and wonder what it will take for them to shut down dissenting consumer opinion.

Ex-TQS employees get full severance: ruling

When TQS went into bankruptcy and was sold to Remstar, the struggling network laid off dozens of employees, including its entire news division. Remstar offered 20% of their contractually-obligated severance pay, arguing that the station was in bankruptcy and the layoffs happened before Remstar took control. It treated former employees as creditors instead of employees.

Now, the Canada Industrial Relations Board has ruled that Remstar must pay 340 former TQS employees 100% of what they are owed, which Hugo Dumas has put at between $3,000 and $50,000 per employee, for a total of $8 million.

Coverage from Presse Canadienne, Radio-Canada, Richard Therrien and Rue Frontenac.

Remstar says it is analyzing the decision.

A grievance challenging V’s use of subcontractors for news gathering is still under way.

A tale of two documentaries

It was seven years ago this month – Sept. 9, 2002 – that a controversial speech planned by a student group at Concordia University turned into an out-of-control riot that became a major turning point in student politics.

For all the media attention it received, the Netanyahu riot didn’t cause much lasting physical damage. There were no serious injuries, and the 2008 Habs riot caused much more in the way of property damage than the two windows and emptied fire extinguisher cost Concordia. But the political and media fallout was enormous. The riot led to an unprecedented ban on all organized events related to Middle East issues on campus. After that ban was lifted a few weeks later, the Concordia Student Union pounced on a controversial flyer and some amateur legal analysis to hastily suspend the Jewish student group Hillel. The next spring, students voted en masse to expel the left-wing radicals in charge of student politics. For the next half-decade, students continually decided that a corrupt moderate student government was still better than bringing the leftists back.

Two documentaries were produced about the Netanyahu riot and the political conflict around it.

One was called “Confrontation at Concordia”, by Martin Himel, which aired on Global TV. There’s no official version online, but it was uploaded to Google Video in its entirety (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) by a white supremacist group (it’s unclear whether they take the side of the Jews or Palestinians in this debate – one would assume they despise both). Himel’s documentary makes Michael Moore look reasoned and unbiased. He clearly takes the side of Hillel, even comparing actions of Palestinian supporters on campus to actions in 1930s Germany that preceded the Holocaust, asking rhetorically how far Concordia’s tensions could escalate in comparison. The film invites experts from only one side of the debate, and includes a lot of voiceovers in which Himel makes bold statements based solely on his own opinion. Himel even appears multiple times to talk into the camera.

The documentary caused outrage among Concordia’s left, and even moderates (such as myself) decried it as biased. It was the subject of complaints to both the Quebec Press Council and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. Both dismissed the majority of the complaints, finding only that Himel and Global should have made it clear to viewers that this was a point-of-view opinion documentary and not a news piece.

The other documentary, called Discordia, was a production of the National Film Board and the CBC. Directors Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal took a radically different approach to their film, focusing it more on three figures involved and the personal, emotional rollercoaster they went through in those months. Addelman and Mallal do not appear in their own film, and there are no voiceovers. Only a few subtitles give dry, matter-of-fact statements. All the opinion is given by the three stars: Noah Sarna of Hillel, Samer Elatrash of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, and Aaron Maté of the Concordia Student Union. Though it is slightly biased to the pro-Palestinian side because two of those three are on one side of the debate, the film makes no grand hyperbolic statements and gives no clue to its directors’ political views.

Neither documentary, of course, tells the whole story. Such a thing would be impossible in an hour-long film. But the latter, at least, gives a slice of the nuances of the debate, while the former shows the real (if outrageously exaggerated) fears that Israel’s supporters had about what was going on at the activist university.

Concordia has calmed down considerably in those seven years, so the closest the younger generation will get to the “viper’s nest” is through such historical documents.

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 53

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 53

This intersection, whose directions are only slightly off from the cardinal directions, is actually the intersection of four streets of different names.

What are the names of those four streets?

UPDATE: NDGer gets it right below: It’s this intersection in St. Leonard.

The streets are Rue Lionel-Groulx to the west, Rue Valéry to the east, Boulevard Lavoisier to the north and Boulevard Provencher to the south. All four enter the intersection after about a 45-degree turn, and street numbering changes going through the intersection as each axis completes its 90-degree rotation, to reflect the addresses’ new orientation on the grid.

Death to the lip dub

I got a short email today pointing to “a pretty cool video on YouTube”: students from UQAM doing a lip dub to the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling (a song also responsible for the wiping of all meaning from the term “flash mob”).

My response: sigh.

For those of you unaware of this concept, it all began (or, at least, it grew online fame) with an iconic video by the staff at Connected Ventures (they’re the people behind College Humor, BustedTees and other young, hip online properties). It starts off with a young woman (Amanda Ferri) pressing play on her iPod, and then follows as a bunch of people, one after the other, lip sync to Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta:

The music cuts out at the end to reveal the staff singing the end of the song a capella. The video is well done, well choreographed (you notice it’s done entirely in one take) and creative, but despite all the planning that went into it you get the sense that everyone had lots of fun making it.

Ferri uploaded the video to Vimeo on April 20, 2007, and it has since been seen about 2 million times, not including all the views on the College Humor site and elsewhere. (There’s even a making-of.) That’s far more than is needed to be branded viral (and certainly a lot for a 2007 video on a non-YouTube site).

For some reason, rather than simply admiring the video for its creativity and entertainment value, some people decided they wanted to create their own versions. The first such video I saw was done by Hochschule Furtwangen University last year. It was more professional, and clearly involved a lot more planning than some drunk college kids bored after work. But despite picking a different song, it was still the same concept.

Earlier this year saw the first such video produced in Quebec, by students at HEC (at least according to Dominic Arpin, who tracks these kinds of things). I thought it was cute, but the fact that it basically copied the same routine (albeit with a different song and a different cast) kind of bothered me. HEC followed with another one. There was one by Buzz Image Group (jazzed up with some special effects), and another by Sacré Coeur Hospital. Hipsters around the world have copied the concept.

It’s not even that many copied the original idea, they copied the original script. Many copied it exactly, from the single person with headphones to the crowd singing at the end with no music (all in one take). It’s as if they were prohibited from making any changes to that formula.

The result is something that, while no doubt incredibly fun to produce, lacks any originality. And without that spark of wow-this-is-cool, the videos become little more than a bunch of kids mouthing the words to a pop song one at a time. And lip syncing by itself is not fun to watch.

So please, to those people considering doing something like this: Put some of that energy and talent into coming up with something new.

Don’t expect me to be impressed by a bad copy of something someone else has already done, any more than I should be impressed with Wipeout Québec or the new Melrose Place.

UPDATE: Dominic Arpin, Patrick Lagacé and others seem to love them still, so maybe I’m out on a limb here. So be it. I’m not preventing anyone else from enjoying these videos.

UPDATE (Sept. 22): Global National, which apparently has run out of real news to cover, also sent a reporter to cover this.