Tag Archives: Patrick Lagacé

TVA mad at La Presse for suggesting they have managers

The petty legal war between the francophone media continues, as Groupe TVA (read: Quebecor/TVA/Journal de Montréal/Canoe) sent a lawyer’s letter to Groupe Gesca (read: La Presse/Cyberpresse) demanding that they retract statements that suggested the whole blurring-the-face-of-Bernier’s-biker-girlfriend thing was done on orders from management, according to Le Devoir (subscription-locked, sorry).

Specifically, it takes issue with an article from Le Soleil’s Richard Therrien and a blog post from Patrick Lagacé, both of which suggest that the decision was suspicious (the latter suggests that a friendship between Maxime Bernier and Quebecor’s Pierre-Karl Péladeau might have something to do with it).

I honestly have no idea what’s going through the minds of people at Quebecor (or just TVA?). Are they suggesting that management was not involved in this decision, and that any statement otherwise libels them somehow? Are we to believe that some non-management person made such a controversial decision on a major news story without discussing it with higher-ups?

And are we just to take it as coincidence that the Journal and TVA, both owned by Quebecor, are the only two news outlets that have kept her name secret?

Seriously, what’s their problem?

UPDATE: The Gazette’s Liz Thompson is also like: Dude, WTF?

Who mourns for Todd?

Jack Todd 1994-2008

Friday was Jack Todd’s last day at The Gazette as an employee. You’ll recall he took a buyout earlier and is leaving his full-time job to pursue fiction writing. His last act writing this column looking back on his 14 years as a columnist. It talks about his love for the Expos (and his heartbreak at their downfall), his love for boxing, his time at the Olympics, a couple of throw-away references to the Habs (perhaps ironic that the greatest team in hockey didn’t win the Stanley Cup once during Todd’s time here), and his greatest hero Clara Hughes. It ends thusly:

Regrets? Of course I have them. By the dozen. Lost friendships, times when I was too harsh, times when I used bad judgment, times when I should have thought longer and harder about a column.

But I can say with complete honesty that I have always called ’em as I saw ’em: I never backed down out of fear, I never wrote a single line I didn’t believe at the time – and I never tried deliberately to create controversy, although heaven knows, it seemed to follow me around.

Now I’m out of here, although I will be back in a different guise at some point in the future. I will leave you with the words from Ezra Pound’s 81st canto: “What thou lovest well remains,/the rest is dross.”


And so it ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. No mention elsewhere in the paper that one of its most recognizable faces was leaving. No note from the publisher, no Aislin cartoon, no big goodbye ad from the marketing department. No notes of support from fellow columnists. Nothing.

Nothing except a single letter, printed in Friday’s paper, urging him to reconsider.

His colleagues at other media have similarly been silent, with the exception of La Presse’s Réjean Tremblay, who says despite their differences he really respects Todd.

I never met Jack Todd personally (sports writers don’t spend a lot of time at the office), though I’ve talked plenty with his son who’s a stand-up (and stand-up-tall) guy. I’ve never much been a fan of the grammatically-challenged MMQB columns. And his occasional comments about U.S. politics (even though I agree with him for the most part there) could have used a bit more thought and a bit less emotion.

But while a lot of people don’t like him (even if they’ve never met him), everyone knows who he is. Nobody ignores him. I, for one, would rather the former fate than the latter.

Besides, Todd is an excellent writer when he wants to be. I’m hopeful the weekly Monday sports column he’ll be writing as a freelancer will bring the better writer out of him.

Perhaps that’s partly why there isn’t much ceremony. He’s not really leaving, he’s just cutting down his hours.

Still, this post is much cooler if we pretend he’s gone forever, so let’s do that.

I will leave you with a link to a story that is iconic of Todd’s career and of those who oppose him: A Patrick Lagacé column (back when he was still at the Journal) printed side-by-side in English and French, explaining how Todd mistranslated one of his earlier columns in a column Todd wrote in The Gazette.

Mistranslating a text in your second language is one thing. Having Patrick Lagacé fill an entire page in a competing publication printing two copies of an article in which he criticizes you for mistranslating a single sentence? That takes talent.

Link to me!

I’ll admit it, I’m vain. I check my logs regularly and scour the Internet looking for people who are talking about me. I get giddy when other blogs (no matter how insignificant) link to mine, and even giddier when it’s praised by people more important than me.

This week Nicolas Cossette of the Montreal Social Media blog put mine in a list of seven important local blogs. It’s a very subjective list, and it doesn’t include some smaller but very interesting blogs about Montreal, but still yay me.

Included with the entry on me is this statement:

I would say that if (traditional) journalism has difficulties to reach a younger audience, that’s partly because of blogs like his where you can find all the news about the city plus a lot more.

There’s this idea a lot of people have that my blog (and/or others) serves as a replacement for newspapers. There’s two reasons why I disagree with this:

  1. This is not the place to get your news. I see a truckload of interesting news that I don’t post about because I have nothing interesting to add. Kate’s Montreal City Weblog does a much better job covering the local news, but then it’s just news about Montreal. These blogs are great sources of information, but they should be used in tandem with newspapers, not instead of them.
  2. The primary sources for information from both my blog and especially Kate’s are local newspapers. Without them, we wouldn’t know half the stuff we do, and those links we put in our posts to read the full stories would go nowhere. It’s amazing how much people forget this sometimes.

Speaking of Kate’s blog, every month she’s consistently one of my top two referrers (traffic that comes to my blog through links from other websites). The other is Patrick Lagacé. Both have me on their blogrolls and link to me occasionally.

But when Patrick links to my blog in one of his posts, I have to pray my cheap server doesn’t fail it dwarfs all my regular traffic with a flood of curious French-speaking people (who apparently all take one look at my blog and close it). So I’m expecting something similar this month as he linked to me in two consecutive posts.

The first calls Fagstein the best media blog in the city (thank you) in an unrelated post about some silly criticism of him. (Despite how vain I am, I’ve developed a pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism. Most of it is brainless loudmouthing, which should be dismissed. The rest is useful criticism which should be embraced.)

So yeah, I’m awesome.

Bid for a date with Patrick Lagacé

Some holiday charity schemes expect you to give away your money with only pride in return. They think you’ll be happy just knowing you’re a good person. But La Presse has a better idea. They’re offering this:

Patrick Lagacé = hot date

Up for auction are 10 lunch dates with their most popular journalists, including cartoonist Serge Chapleau, sports columnist Réjean Tremblay and teen heartthrob Patrick Lagacé (seen above with semi-exposed chest).

Though the auction is far from over, it kind of disturbs me that Lagacé and this woman:

Marie-Claude Lortie

(food columnist Marie-Claude Lortie) are bidding far below this guy:

Pierre Foglia

Pierre Foglia.

What does this say about our society?

The auction continues until Dec. 6. Proceeds go to Sun Youth, the Société Saint-Vincent-de-Paul and Moisson Montréal.

So far the leading bidder for a date with Lagacé is “R. Martineau“. Surely you can do better than his paltry $550.

UPDATE (Dec. 6): The auction’s over, and despite his incessant pleading on his blog, Lagacé brought in the least of the lots, only $1,900. (Foglia brought in $4,500.) He’s still a winner in our book though.

Francs-Tireurs aren’t that close (not that there’s anything wrong with that)


Patrick Lagacé wants to make it very clear that he and fellow Franc Tireur Richard Martineau don’t live together and aren’t attached at the hip.

Which is surprising to me because that show always seemed to have homo-erotic undertones, what with their matching wardrobe and the way they goof around together.

Anyone up for writing some Lagacé/Martineau slash fiction?

Plagiarized in your own paper — NOT

The irony is just too much.

It appears that La Presse’s letter of the week for Oct. 27, about the oversexualization of young girls, was plagiarized from quoted* a Patrick Lagacé column a month before.

As Lagacé puts it: Plagiarized in your own paper, c’est fort en ta

* The story gets better: The letter actually properly referenced Lagacé’s column. But the citation was cut from the letter before it was published, leaving only the copied text. Now Lagacé, and a copy editor somewhere in the La Presse editorial department, are eating a double serving of crow.

I’m trying not to laugh.

Cyberpresse bloggers shutting up

One of La Presse’s unions has sent its members a notice asking them to stop blogging on Cyberpresse as a pressure tactic. As a result, bloggers Sophie Cousineau and Marie-Claude Lortie have stopped their blogs with notices explaining why. Both are regular columnists who will continue their columns as usual.

Unaffected by this is star blogger Patrick Lagacé, who explains that he’s under a specific contract to do his blog (unlike other journalists who blog as part of their regular journalistic duties). Tristan Péloquin has a post about it as well, but it’s unclear if he’s stopped blogging or he’s just pointing out the situation.

The local union news blog has more details on the situation.

This isn’t the last we’ll see of this. Employees at the Journal de Montréal are already arguing over online rights to their articles. And as media outlets start expecting journalists to blog, shoot video and do other “online extras” as part of their regular duties (and without extra compensation), we’ll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of disputes over the next few years.

UPDATE: Heri and Steph have some interesting comments on the issue, but they seem to miss the main point: Unionized employees are being told to perform duties outside of their collective agreements, and for no additional compensation. Say what you want about Cyberpresse’s approach to blogging, but these aren’t personal blogs being updated out of the kindness of their hearts. It’s work, and employees deserve to get paid for it.