Take this week's Conservative Party photo-op:
Conservative Party Supports Canadian Tire NASCAR Series
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2007
OTTAWA - The Conservative Party today announced a partnership with Whitlock Motor Sports unveiled at the Mosport Race Track in Bowmanville, Ontario.
The partnership will include the Conservative Party of Canada logo being placed on the hood and front side panels of car number 29 in the Canadian Tire NASCAR Series.
“This is a unique opportunity for the Conservative Party to reach out to Canadians,” said Conservative Party Member of Parliament Jim Flaherty. “The Conservative Party supports Canadians that work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules and those are the same Canadians that watch sports like NASCAR.”
“I am proud to be part of this partnership,” said Whitlock Motor Sports owner, Dave Whitlock. “It is great to see the Conservative Party support an entry into a series that is growing in popularity in Canada.”
The partnership will also include Canadian Tire NASCAR Series races in Edmonton on July 20-21, 2007 and Trois-Rivieres on August 17-19, 2007.
The item made it to the 6:00 news, pretty much verbatim from the above press release (which doesn't seem to appear on the Party website) and subsequently dropped off the radar.
Smilin' Jack mocked the Conservative Party's support of a race car that gets about two miles a gallon when they're supposedly trying to paint themselves green. Eyebrows were raised over the wisdom of financing a stunt that essentially preaches to the choir and further reinforces the image of Conservatives as a bunch of rednecks. Fruity F1 fans everywhere felt slighted.
It took the papers until today to actually make note of the driver's name:
It turns out the party logo - a big blue "C" - appears on the hood of the car driven by Pierre Bourque, whose popular Internet news aggregator sells torqued headlines to political operatives.
Bourque's website confirmed the connection Monday, linking to a story by Inside Track Motorsport News that noted his Dodge Charger is the sponsored Tory vehicle.
As the Inside Track story states: "Bourque's popular Bourque Newswatch site is on the daily 'must-see' list of favourites for Canadian news and political junkies."
Research on the business model for Bourque Newswatch suggests the federal Conservative party has just guaranteed itself favourable coverage for the foreseeable future by sponsoring Bourque's hobby.
Not that anyone has ever accused Bourque of being impartial, but this is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is the fact that it took 48 hours for anyone to notice the connection.
All of which confirms my conviction that television really is the absolute worst place to get the news. Not including Bourque Newswatch, of course: