Monday, November 07, 2011

When Does a Single Interview Cancellation Constitute a Ban?

The attention-hungry continue to falsely martyr themselves

There's no martyr like a self-made martyr. Over the last year, Canadians have seen far more self-made martyrs than anyone really needs.

Now Margie Gillis, Franke James and Brigette DePape have some strange company among them: Fog of War author Mark Bourrie.

According to Bourrie, he'd been scheduled to appear on Michael Coren's show on the Sun News Network. Later on, that interview was cancelled.

Quickly following the cancellation of his interview, Bourrie wrote a blog post for Ottawa magazine claiming he had been banned.

"Well, that’s it. I’m banned," Bourrie claimed. "I am lower than low, mere scrapings from the bottom of the dog walker’s boot. Yes, I’m not fit to be on the Sun News Network."

"My publicist booked me on Michael Coren’s show a couple of weeks ago. Last Wednesday, I got an e-mail saying the interview had been cancelled by Sun TV," Bourrie continued. "It wasn’t Coren or Coren’s producer who made the decision. Someone higher up had killed the booking and banned me from Sun TV."

The evidence Bourrie offers? Precisely none.

This author hasn't yet had access to Bourrie's book to give it a fair consideration of its merits. So your not-so-humble scribe won't automatically lump Mr Bourrie with mediocre self-made-martyrs like DePape, James or Gillis.

But Bourrie's martyrdom seems no less self-made.

Simply put, one interview cancellation does not a ban make. Bourrie's planned interview on Sun News could have been cancelled for any number of good reasons. Here's a very good one, and a very plausible one: perhaps the topic of episode on which Bourrie was scheduled to appear was changed.

This author doesn't know this to be the case. Nor does this author have any evidence to support it. However, under the evidence already offered -- Bourrie's complaint that his interview was cancelled -- this explanation is no more and no less plausible than Bourrie's.

The obvious difference is that Bourrie's explanation simultaneously lionizes himself while portraying himself as a victim. Bourrie's explanation unfortunately precludes any other possibility that doesn't require Sun News to be the bad guy of the story.

If Mark Bourrie wants to know what a real media ban looks like, this author has a story for him. Unfortunately for Bourrie, it doesn't make him out to be the martyr he seemingly wants to be so desperately, so he may not be interested.

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