It is about a subject I understand, an area that Red Smith of The New York Times called "The toy department of life."
Let me set the stage. Quebec City is horny for a hockey team. Yesterday if possible. Even though they did not support the Nordiques last time out; no they did not, they wouldn't have moved to Denver, Colorado if they were killing it in QC; the boss, Pierre Karl Peladeau wants a hockey team so The Suns, QMI Agency and other Quebecor properties such as Le Journal de Montreal, TVA, TVA Sports et. al. have become very jingoistic in their support for da dream of da boss.
In today's paper Rejean Tremblay, the star hockey guy for Quebecor's french outlets, ends his piece on the probable demise and relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes thus:
My feeling after speaking with the commissioner [Mr. Tremblay went to NYC to meet Gary Bettman] and a few of his lieutenants? If the Phoenix Coyotes have to leave in the spring they will end up in Quebec. Even the people in his office are dreaming about it.
Wow. Mr. Tremblay can see what others are dreaming about. He is both a great hockey writer and a sikeik.
Or, like his coworker for Quebecor, Chris Stevenson, he is making things up. I will take door number two, making things up. Mr. Stevenson, who writes for the biggest paper in the group, The Toronto Sun, wrote a story a couple of weeks ago where he outlined the cities where the Coyotes could end up [Seattle, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Quebec City] and their market sizes. According to Baldylocks the hometown of da boss is 1.7 million. Yeah, not even close. The folks at Stats Can have QC Metro at a tad under 800 K, a discrep of a lot. He also under estimated the metro of KC by 400 K and Seattle by 100K.
Why is this important? I mean it is only sports and who hasn't kissed the bosses ass? I mean sucked up to the boss. Well here is why it is important. If they, Quebecor/TVA/The Suns/QMI cannot get easily verifiable facts correct, cannot even come close, how do we know that they are not making stuff up regarding not so easily verifiable facts such as crime statistics, Keystone, the oil sands and other issues of importance.
In many ways the sports pages are not just the toy department of the journalistic world but they are also the canaries in the mine.