The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Drama

As I read, all the drama that unfolded surrounding the controversial part of our interview, I wondered, "What the hell is so controversial?"

I mean really, so what if he turned down Canadian Idol. I would have, wouldn’t you???!?!?

Quite frankly, I am grateful that George, didn't do anything else but The Hour. I have watched more interviews and learned more things, heard more new music, checked out more great stuff and read more amazing books, then ever before because of The Hour and George's influence.

If he hadn't taken the Hour, I never would have met such an awesome guy!

The drama was thoroughly entertaining though. I, for one was much, much, much more interested in what he regretted in his life. Not what job he turned down.

And as for Shinan Govani’s implication that George turned down Idol, uh, where was the implication it was Idol? If I remember correctly (from a personal meeting with George ) it was an American show. And if Canadian Idol is the biggest show in Canadian history, we sooo have major problems.

"I mean I took that show in the States and it bombed, and it was an amazing experience, and I was offered a show that's a huge show here now and I turned it down. And people said to me 'that's the biggest show in Canadian history, why don't you do that show?'Because I wouldn't have felt right, you know?...But I don't regret it. I think it was awesome. Because of that I was able to get this show here."

George’s career choices are not news.

And as for our choice to take down our video…

To our viewers/readers, if we caused you an inconvenience... we are sorry.

We run the blog though and we get to take down our interview that we wrote, directed and produced at our will. Just as any site can choose to do.

So stop criticizing us for making a decision we deemed necessary or just felt like doing. The video is up for all to enjoy. Edited as we saw fit.

So, watch it…. Don’t watch it…. Whatever.


Miss A said...

THANK YOU Janna for your post. To borrow from Shakespeare it "was much ado about NOTHING".

While people will watch and enjoy the interview, I think it regrettable that the effort was marred by boundless foolishness run amok.

For what it's worth, the part of the interview I found rather interesting was the guilty pleasures music...Don Henley ("The End of the Innocence"). Thank goodness - I thought I was ONLY one :-}

Allan said...

Well, let's not pretend we're in kindergarten here.
George's career choices ARE news.
If, for example, he chose Naked News.

Turning down Idol meant turning down a huge paycheque, and one tenth the workload. So look again at the expression on his face as he's slumped down after that revelation.
And telling the world at this stage (has it been four years?) is also very intriguing.
And why did he turn it down?
These are questions that may haunt George for years.
As the decision apparently has.
So yeah, it's a big deal.
The biggest deal of his career.

And can one honestly say that it was a smart move?
Would he have sold his soul to the devil if he had done it?
Lost street cred forever?
Or just been a lot wealthier, happier and idolized even more?

Now, why do you throw in that part about a private conversation to say it was an American show?
Why only part of the conversation?
And who are you that we should believe you?

The fact that George didn't want this information out there (I can read between the edits) means that he had a good reason to go ix-nay on what may be the biggest regret of his career.
Not to overlook his un-classy act toward Ben.
Not the coolest thing you've ever done, George.

And did he sign a non-disclosure before they made the offer?
If so, how much can George be relied on to keep his word?

A few things to think about there, kids.
And all quite fascinating to me.

Do whatever the hell you want with your own creations, but what did you do with mine? My comments.
"if we caused you an inconvenience... we are sorry"
Well, you can't give them back to me can you?
And trashing them was not necessary. AT ALL.
Yes, there's more where they came from, but that wasn't right.

Still, I forgive you.

Joe said...

Celebrity career choices are, in point of fact, news. Your efforts to erase your own scoop made it a “controversy.”

It's great you gals are trying out this Internet thing, but you’ll never be mistaken for reporters. Or, at the rate you’re going, for grownups.

Lauren said...

Allan and Joe?

Have either of you studied journalism? Do you have the training and credentials, the scoop on how it works? Or is it just your perception from distant observation? You THINK you know...

I have the training. I freelance where I can. Go me. Yes, nice, and neither of you could care, for your self absorbed and self righteous foolishness.

So let's have a lesson.

ANY news outlet has the right to modify or pull a story as they see fit. And they do!

Listen to a news radio station early in the morning for breaking news reports about suicides, and you'll find them pulled by 6 AM because of the nature of the person who committed suicide, how it happened... not every thing that happens should be reported.

Journalists should not be hacks, like you two. Sometimes there has to be some respect for your subject, and if something is awkward, you show RESPECT and alter your article or pull it entirely.

THAT is the choice of any media outlet. THAT is why papers can change from an early morning and a late edition. That is exactly why breaking news at Noon might be a minor story by 6, cut down to just a few facts and a few seconds of footage.

That is because the nature of news changes, and because real journalists have respect for the people they interview, and when something can be adjusted, it is.

Just because you want to make controversy out of nothing does not mean these fine people who work at putting together the Stroumboulopouli have to give in to your path of destruction.

They have every right to pull down anything posted, this is their site. Go start your own slander fest elsewhere. Show the world your desire to be a tabloid. Go feed from the bottom. I'm sure you already nhave. Good for you. Go play there.

Journalism has nothing to do with the Enquirer or any of those slander rags. And if George or anyone else interviewed sees the result and is not happy or asks for a change, then the interviewer can change it if desired.

No, media outlets do not have to honor the request, but then media outlets don't get to interview that person again for anything because of that lack of respect.

I have had instructors tell me about their interviews, and most of all they stressed the respect for the person being interviewed.

The moment you screw over someone for a story, that's the moment you move down in the world, become tabloid trash, and lose the chance to interview that person again, as well as many people that person might be connected with.

So go ahead, make a non issue into a huge issue, and watch your standing fall. We all laugh at you instead of admire you for it.

What do I suggest? Show some decency for once, and let the issue rest. It is not news worthy.

Seriously. It had to be a slow news day for the Post to pick up on it, and the article would have been a failing grade in any class. You can't just state spomething never said as fact then try and back up in the same article. That's bad form.

So what will you follow? Respect, or bad form?

Again, a challenge, and I expect it to be ignored. Surprise me for once! I challenge you to stop being petty about every little thing and move on to things that actually matter!

I am expecting some attack that has nothing to do with what I wrote, and everything to do with someone trying to be a big, fierce man who has to be right even when his ship is sinking fast.

Bullies are an endangered spieces, and I am here to make sure they end up extinct.

Anonymous said...

Well said Lauren! Très bien dit! :)

Miss A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss A said...

I found your statement "go start your own slander fest elsewhere. Show the world your desire to be a tabloid", rather interesting. Allan DOES have another outlet for his nonsense. Ironically, he keeps it hidden - although it can be found if one digs ever so slightly. I touched upon this here a while ago and Allan's response was "I was trying out something, and I haven't gone back to it since". That was a complete mistruth, yet he is quick to question George's credibility. I just love the irony in that.

Lauren said...

Well Miss A, the irony is quite apparent, but he's never going to own up to it.

One breath says George is great, the next is an assault on everything George is.

My assessment of Allan's situation is this: "When you love something so much and cannot have it, the common reaction is to destroy it so no one else can enjoy it"

I think this is part of the problem with Allan, but whatever. I expect an attack on myself very soon.

And for anonymous and the tres bien comment... merci beaucoup mon ami.

Allan said...

I think, therefore I am.

From my distant observation, of my journalism teacher, of seeing my stories in print, in a variety of newspapers, co-producing a THREE hour current events radio show on commercial radio, working for a legendary/street-dedicated-to-him columnist, I wonder what you can teach me about journalism, lauren.
(It's possible I just made all that stuff up, but you'd think if I was going to lie, I'd choose bigger lies, so it has a ring of truth.)

You make the point that "when something can be adjusted, it is.".
Fine, By all means, adjust away.
You are free to do as you wish,
And when you become Editor-In-Chief of CBC news, you can continue and adjust all you want.
Go for it.
And use ANY reason and justification you want.
I don't need to control you.
Because I don't need you.
And when you adjust news in a way that I don't respect or don't accept your reasoning, then I'm not going to choose you as a reliable news source, or someone I can count on to keep me as informed as possible.
I choose my news because I have choices.
If yours were the only choice then we'd have a different issue.
But, as things are today, do whatever you want.

You mention path of destruction.
Reminds me of an old song called "Eve Of Destruction", which was about the Viet Nam war, and it was a huge hit, and a very clear message that, simply, it's later than you think.
Meaning also, this is no time to pretend everything is alright.
So let's watch Entertainment Tonight.
And not think about the parent and sister and brother and children, who were told last night that one of the most important people in their lives will not be coming back alive from Afghanistan.
Let's get to that George Clooney interview, and we'll feel better about the war.
So keep playing games, lauren. Keep being silly with your life.
Keep pretending that what was there was not really there.
Keep adjusting, modifying, shortening the news.
Until al the bad stuff disappears.
And tell me about journalism.

I understand the concept of compromise.
How you hold back on certain questions and favor others, because you know how the game is played, and you want to play, because it will make you famous.
Famous certainly.
But fame is not automatically respect.
I understand how, as you transition away from news stories and toward celebrities, and from Canadians to Americans, you watch your ratings grow.
And feel that better ratings are an affirmation that you are right.
That you are smarter.
Bigger ratings, bigger compensation, bigger cars, bigger life-style.
Because you learned how to play the game, to make the right adjustments, the right compromises.
One hand washes the other.
And that's your version of journalism.
It's my version of propaganda.
It's my version of what constitutes a dis-service to your country, yourself.

It is not my definition of something that is really quite simple.
The truth.
The facts.
And then we can debate what really, philosophically is "truth".

You say "The moment you screw over someone for a story", what is in your head?
Lying to someone? or refusing to be lied to?
Nixon got kind of "screwed over" by Woodward and Bernsien wouldn't you say?
And what of Peter Newman and Brian Mulroney?

The issue was totally newsworthy.
It was a great story.
And very surprising that so few people saw it for it's implications.
That story was worthy of the front page.

Not me worthy of the front page. Not my standing increasing or diminishing.
The issue was to accomplish something. To actually score a point.
And it turned out to be a good one.
Got your blog, which seems comprised of holding the interest of less than a dozen people, a mention in a national newspaper.
What else have you done that took this blog to a larger audience?
And it was, as you concede, primarily my doing, though I had actually the smallest part in it.
This was not about me at all. I was incidental to the story.
The story started with George opening his mouth, you filming it, posting it.
George's comment is the story here, not me.

And you keep stepping around it, afraid to state what is so very obvious to everyone.

And you want to teach me about journalism.

And what I've written here has everything to do with what you wrote.

Go ahead and rid us all of bullies.
My mission is to rid the world of bullshit.

Except my own, of course.

Miss A said...


Your comment was clearly directed to Lauren. However, there were a few things YOU wrote that I wish to comment on. To be clear, I’m not “afraid to state what is so very obvious to everyone”.

“I don’t need you”:
Really? If you were being honest you would admit that this is the stage you primarily use to take a swipe at your favourite target. When The Hour, George and associates are not in the line of fine, you reposition your crosshairs to the people who contribute to or comment on this blog. As you keep your blog hidden from public view, you DO need this one.

“The story started with George opening his mouth, you filming it, posting it. George's comment is the story here, not me”:
Show me CONCRETE proof that George was offered Canadian Idol. Unless you are in possession of a top-secret document or an affidavit (a sworn statement of FACT) from someone at CTV, then you have NOTHING but assumption. Assumption is NOT fact. George answered a question. YOU picked up the ball and ran with it. YOU made that small segment of the interview about you by what you did and you know it. You even went to the extreme of offering a “tip” to another blogger. He credited YOU by name. Tell me again how YOU are not the story here.

“Keep being silly with your life”:
The same statement could be easily applied to you Allan. As I have written here previously, I question the intelligence of someone who claims to have nothing but abhorrence for something, but continues to focus on it. Comments about collecting a lock of hair, a raccoon costume, knitting a sweater and scarf...I suppose none of that’s silly, is it now?

Your “mission is to rid the world of bullshit”’s mine too.

Anonymous said...

well said miss a, well said.

Allan said...

well miss said a

Ouimet said...

Allan doesn't need me to defend him, and what he wrote is near perfect, but to be honest I have the time and this won't take too long.

I guess it's easy to judge someone who you don't know very well. But if you think this site is the only place Allan has to express himself, you really need to get over yourself.

He writes for my blog. He writes comments and messages all over the internet. In fact, he has a very vibrant online life, and I see his name regularly in newspapers and magazines as well. No reason not to believe that his real life isn't as vibrant and enriching.

He posts here because he wants to. So what? When the Hour blog linked to the video they said there was "an interesting discussion going on." It was mostly him.

Quite frankly, if you don't see the fun and playfulness in what he writes, you need to take yourselves a little less seriously.

All he did was watch the video, download it using the big ol' DOWNLOAD THIS button, and take out a clip for my blog. The clip had the full context. All I I did was ask a question on my blog.

Just a question.

Amazing that asking a question should cause such an uproar over here. After all, isn't that what the Hour is supposed to be about? Using your brain, asking questions, and getting closer to the truth?

After you took down the video, the Globe and Mail emailed me, and so did the Toronto Star. They wanted to know what was going on. I told them I had no idea. They were interested in writing a story about it.

So for a minute there this little blog has the nation's biggest newspapers beating down it's door. But were too busy trying to erase what happened to answer them.

I wonder what Lauren's journalism prof would have to say about that?

Allan said...

For a long time, I tried to avoid becoming too "real" here.
Thanks for ruining my jerk reputation, Ouimet!
But I'm very glad you added your part to this, and completed the story so well.

I wonder if any of it has sunk in.
Even more, I wonder how many "adults" exist here.
And that's not an age thing.
It's maturity thing, a common sense thing - the sort of stuff you see and read when, for example, lauren and miss a step forward to make a comment based on simple decency, and being big enough to admit when you've made a mistake - seems that's impossible with this group.

And not one, not even Stephanie has come forward to tell the truth about that edit and what happened in the unseen interval.

Why the cover-up?
Why go to such great lengths to make yourself look so foolish?

It only takes a moment, and a few sentences to redeem yourselves in the eyes of the larger community.

Where's the courage usually associated with youth?
Where's the honesty that hasn't been spoiled by the world, and the desperate need to curry favour with someone you think is so important?

I'm very disappointed in everyone's approach to this.
And the best point of all, as made by Ouimet, is that all you guys are "supposed" to point to a better world and a new direction that doesn't put up with nonsense and lies - but after this season of The Hour, I think we're all getting the real picture, aren't we?

Ladies, you're creating a history here for yourselves.
I still hold out hope that you can find a way to bring this discussion, and this issue, to a higher level.

Otherwise, you are one very sorry lot.