The newsworthiest breast in Canada

The newsworthiest breast in Canada

At this time last week, l’affaire Bernier was taking wing and sending a Canadian news story flying around the world: “Over the course of 72 hours in midweek,” reported the Globe, “Ms. Couillard was the subject of thousands of articles and 821 TV reports in no fewer than 61 countries.” Moreover, “she took sole possession of a remarkable six per cent of all U.S. news coverage.” But in the blogosphere—where currency is the, uh, currency—sometimes it takes a solid week for a particular issue to come into focus. Take, for instance, John Barber’s “satire” of this coverage in last Saturday’s Globe. It was printed under the slug “Analysis” and titled “Thousands of articles, 821 TV shows, 61 countries and one breast.” That “breast” is the first of seven mentions (eight, if you count the cutline) in the piece, accompanied by two instances of the more ribald “knockers.”

Barber’s opening sentence gives a sense of the yearbook horse laughs that ensue: “Helen of Troy’s face may have launched a thousand ships, but Julie Couillard’s left breast has captured worldwide attention to a degree never before achieved by any Canadian body part.” The supposed humour here is that, really, the public was only ever fully acquainted with Ms. Couillard’s left breast. Barber goes on:

The amazing thing is that there never were knockers—only one, the same one, all the time. The absent right breast became a legend in its own right—more mysterious, reclusive, indeed enigmatic than its well-exposed twin.

But some foreign-affairs mavens complained, understandably, that the coverage was badly slanted.

In the interest of journalistic balance, therefore, The Globe and Mail is pleased to provide concrete evidence that Ms. Couillard’s right breast is not only real, but, like its twin, spectacular.

Hilarious? I thought I’d choke. The opportunity for the press to poke a little fun at its own predilection for the boob shot (which of course requires that the story be accompanied by yet another bodacious Kodak moment) is the quintessential illustration that you can have your cake and eat it, too. But what about those editorial efforts at describing the breadth of Ms. Couillard’s ambition? How many times can a gal “claw” her way up “from humble roots”? Quite a few, apparently.

Funny thing, then, that when Grand Prix boss Max Mosley “flagellated” a squadron of hookers by engaging in sadomasochistic, Nazi-tinged “eccentric sexual activity,” I don’t remember anybody in the press illustrating their coverage with a money shot of his undersized and/or oversized John Thomas. In fact, as reported in yesterday’s New York Times, when it came down to it, the Fédération International de l’Automobile voted 103 to 55 in favour of the guy keeping his job. (First Sarko, now this?!)

Like James Brown said, it’s a man’s world.

Thousands of articles, 821 TV shows, 61 countries and one breast [Globe and Mail]• Vote Lets Grand Prix Boss Keep Job, Despite Scandal [New York Times]