Montreal Gazette - In The Toilet?
Posted by Didi Miesen on Sunday, February 21, 2010 Under: Why the Montreal Gazette is In the Toilet
“Will the Potential New Buyers of The Montreal Gazette and Two Other Papers Finally add Balance?”  “Is it too much to ask?”  question asked on another site.

My reply on that site & edited here:

LOL... YES, it's too much to ask as long as the Managing Editor (Raymond Brassard and his Francophone management team) have control.

Here's why I feel this way:
I first ran across Monsieur Brassard back during the days of the referendum, when I called to ask him why he was putting so much French content into the Gazette. I reminded him that it was the ONLY English Daily we had left in the city.  I can only remember parts of the conversation we had, because his pro separatists demeanor blew my brains apart with shock,  but what stayed forever etched in my head was when he told me he'd come to Quebec from Vermont to 'Help save the French language'  and that the Gazette was NOT an English Paper.  I remember I hung up dazed and stunned.  After I managed to regain my breath, I called him back and got his voice mail.  So I left him a message asking what he meant by, the Gazette is NOT an English paper.

He left me a reply on my voice mail that said: "What I meant by that is:  The Gazette is not an English paper, it's not a French paper, it's not a Chinese paper, it's a Montreal paper."  I kept that voice mail for over a decade and played it for everyone to hear.  Probably because I couldn't  fathom that the freaking editor of Montreal's ONLY ENGLISH Daily left in the bloody Province, telling me on tape - the Gazette was NOT an English paper!!   That he or anyone for that matter - could even think such a thing let alone say it and leave it on my voice mail certainly isn't an Einstein move is it!

From there, I knew we were in big trouble (should have known it with past editor, Joan Frazier at the helm - who imo was rewarded with a Senatorship for NOT voicing her outrage over the language laws) in Montreal.  And I knew that further conversation with Vermont's French Quebecois Savior, Monsieur Brassard, would be a total waste of time;

So instead, I wrote Conrad Black who owned Southam at that time.  I faxed him a 3 page letter, after speaking with his wonderful secretary - whose name I sadly can't remember at the moment and lo and behold I got a personal signed reply asking me to be patient - he'd fix it.   A few months later to my delight, and I'm sure to the delight of ALL the readers of the Gazette, there was an added heading to the title.  It was:  Montreal's English Language Daily!!!

Unfortunately, Mr. Black being the democratic employer he was and is (even though he's a political conservative something , I still don't get)  -  he didn't fire M. Brassard as I surely would have, for not having a handle on the papers readership etc..  And for not being fired M. Brassard ran as many "Let's get Conrad Black' articles as he could - during the witch hunt Destroy Conrad Black, days.  Nice guy that M. Brassard, no?

Of course, ever since then, the Gazette has gone steadily down the toilet.  It's new owners Canwest and Astral Media - fired just about all its reporters that had a faithful following;  replaced English Management with French management (Gee do you think they discriminate in their hiring and/or promotion practices?)  because it seemed M. Brassard and pals believe they are the ones who KNOW what's GOOD for its English readership.  And that only they (our unbiased francophone English language paper 'save the French language disciples, are the ones that know what we Should Believe better than we do!

And off they went on their nouveau Gazette rampage.  They took all that made the Gazette GREAT and turned it into the piece of garbage its become.  Straight into the garbage,  where most readers put it, after enduring the years of  bile being foisted upon them.  You know, like Separatist, Josse Legault and her regular op-ed spot- singing the praises of the Parti Quebecois and the erasure of that dirty English language and its population.  The 'Move to Toronto - Take the 401 if you don't like it mantra.  The accusations of being one of those hateful 'anti French'  English elites, because we dared protest the erasure of  our entire community! 

Ah yes, opening up the Gazette every morning choking on my coffee  -  became typical under the Gazette's 'new management'.

What made me cancel my 3 decade long subscription was its public lynching of Steve Olynick.  You see Steve was  the  25 year long  beloved Mayor of Greenfield Park.  And he was the only Mayor in the Province who refused to remove the hated English STOP signs in his city and replace them with the boot stomping ARRET ones.  All the other English majority mayors had crumbled under the language loi hammer but not Steve.

Steve paid dearly for standing up for what's right.  And the Gazette was the medium that made sure he paid.   Within one year,  they destroyed the man and his reputation.  Imagine,  after 25 years of the Montreal Gazette singing his praises as a Mayor, the Gazette was suddenly out to get him.  It went on a year long hate campaign.  In one year, they published over 200 negative stories about him.  Two hundred negative articles in one freaking year!!

Steve was my friend  and I watched him crumble and get sick.  This big strong - best Mayor Greenfield Park ever had - a man who was always true to his word and true to his heart - was destroyed in one year, by the Gazette.  I still have copies of all those articles.  I was going to help him fight back but he DIED.  He aged 20 years in one year.  Do I have a personal beef against the Gazette?  You bet your ass I do.  Because the above examples are just iotas of countless other untold truths of what has taken place to 'Help Brassard, from Vermont save the French language in Quebec.
Looks like destroying the Gazette and unknown countless lives, wasand is, a small price to pay, to satisfy  Brassard's save the french language crusade.

Ah, the power of the press and the damage it can and does create.   I know, Steve wasn't the only one damaged by our once noble Gazette.  In my opinion, the English community has been dealt the same kind of blow and same kinds of wounds by the paper that's supposed to represent its ENGLISH community.  The ONLY ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAILY we have left.

To the new owners of the Montreal Gazette:  There you have it.    Why is the Gazette broke?  Why has its readership plummeted?  Read the above.

Till next time..