The winner is ...
Just in time for the New Year, we have news that Pierre Karl Peladeau, CEO of Quebecor, has been selected as the Canadian considered to be most prominent in the economic sphere in 2010.
We know that because of an online public opinion poll conducted by Leger Marketing for the news agency QMI.
Hold your applause though ... um, Quebecor owns QMI, meaning that the news agency commissioned a poll that somehow named its CEO as the leading newsmaker. That sure gives new meaning to the term sucking up to the boss.
And what did he win for? The "survey" asked people to decide who left the biggest mark on the economy. In Peladeau's case, that could have referred to his two-year lockout of Quebecor employees at the Journal de Montreal, or his buck-first ruination of most small English-language papers that he owns in Ontario. Newsroom cutbacks have given thousands of newspaper readers a new morning pasttime -- spot the typo.
Perhaps Peladeau's honour was for the digital broadcast license he squeezed out of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for Sun News. It has been referred to unflatteringly as "Fox News North," and it will soon offer employment opportunities for a lunatic fringe of right-wing journalistic yahoos.
Or perhaps it was for Peladeau's much ridiculed decision to sue the head of Radio Canada for saying that he "walked like a thug." Sylvain Lafrance was referring to the decision of Quebecor to suspend its monthly dues to the Canadian Television Fund.
Who knows? Leger did not release the sample size of the poll or say whether it was confined to Quebec. QMI, exercising its usual standards, did not bother reporting such unnecessary details either.
Anyway, it's worth noting who came second, trailing Peladeau by only 12 percentage points: Earl Jones the notorious ponzi swindler who was recently sentenced to 11 years in jail for looting the life savings of his clients.
By that standard, Peladeau's minions surely need to apply some vigorous polishing to the proverbial turd before he's able to count this as a win.