Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Don't deny the obvious

Not that it really changes anything substantially, besides whose name is on the invitations to those lavish parties thrown for all the right sort of people in the Queen's name and on the public dime, but... OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Haitian-born female journalist from Quebec will become Canada's new governor general -- the representative of head of state Queen Elizabeth -- CBC television said on Wednesday. The public broadcaster said Prime Minister Paul Martin would formally unveil CBC television journalist Michaelle Jean, 48, at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) on Thursday. Jean, who will become Canada's first black governor general, will take up her new position on Oct 1. ...Is there any way this could be more of a pandering laundry-list affirmative-action pick? She's meant to be appealing to Quebeckers, immigrants, women, urban professionals, and the black community - a new record. It's like someone said, "Can we get another Adrienne Clarkson, but in French?" Oh, wait: that's exactly what seems to have happened. Ms. Jean will replace the outgoing Adrienne Clarkson after an exhaustive search that focused almost exclusively on candidates from Quebec. She will become Canada's first black governor-general and the third journalist (broadcaster) in a row to be selected after Romeo Leblanc and Ms. Clarkson. She also follows in the steps of Ms. Clarkson in that she is an immigrant and a non-politician. I'm curious; did the PMO consider their strategic handiwork might be a bit too blatant if they'd picked someone also gay and wheelchair-bound? (Also interestingly worrisome: GG-designate Jean will be, as the Globe notes above, the third journalist in a row to hold the office. The CBC is probably the only media outlet in the world to offer - unofficially, of course - promotion opportunities going all the way up to viceroy...)


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