Friday, February 4, 2011

Liberal Cafe in Disguise

The following article appeared in the pages of the Liberal Free Press this morning:

Here's how the article should have read:

The Winnipeg Free Press is going back downtown for a cup of coffee.

The Liberal Party of Canada and its 138-year-old mouthpiece jointly announced a deal with a local restaurateur to operate Canada's first “Liberal café” in order to convince more voters to support the Liberals and to promote the Free Press's artificially rosy image of Winnipeg.

The Liberal Free Press Café, which will be located in the Exchange District, is designed to be a community hub where Liberal supporters and bleeding heart socialists can not only grab a bite or have a drink, but will be encouraged to interact with Liberal candidates and their campaign managers on site.

John White, the paper's online editor and the driving force behind the café concept, said it will represent the first time the Free Press has had a downtown presence since it moved from Carlton Street to Mountain Avenue in August, 1991.

“It's important for us to get back into the community. There might be a federal election this spring, and it's very important for us to get the support out for the Liberals. There are a number of swing ridings in Manitoba, and we need to promote the Liberals' vision for Canada. Being downtown, it will be so much easier to meet people and host events,” White said.

White said the Liberal Café will also be used as a campaign forum. Other possibilities include hosting town hall meetings with Liberal candidates during election campaigns and interviews with performers on the eve of a show.

Among the first events held at the Liberal Café will be a skit based on a remake of the Omen series of movies. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be cast as Damien Thorn, the Antichrist, who has been sent to Earth and given power by Satan to destroy mankind.

The Liberal Party took possession of the space, situated at the northeast corner of Arthur Street and McDermot Avenue, on Thursday. Painters have already descended on the site, formerly home to the Jejomar Bakeshop, and the goal is a spring opening.

Bob Cox, publisher of the Free Press, said being a stone's throw from Portage Avenue and Main Street was a key consideration, too.

“A ton of people work in the area. It's very important for Liberal candidates and advocates to be in contact with the community, to tell the people what the Liberals want. That can be hard to do from the newsroom by telephone,” he said.

“All the while, we still have to keep up the mirage of the Free Press being a newspaper. We have a constant challenge to make what really is a Liberal campaign brochure look like news. We won't rest until the Liberals are back in power for good.”

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