Andrew Potter affair: Maclean’s make a statement and Montreal Gazette decries Quebec bashing

For those who have been following the fallout in the aftermath of the Andrew Potter piece in Maclean’s magazine about social malaise in Quebec, take note of a couple of interesting columns published today.

Maclean’s itself has an editorial with the headline What the Andrew Potter affair was really about. Its subhead pretty much sums up the column: “Maclean’s continues to believe in the vital importance of a free and open exchange of ideas and opinions — even if McGill University does not.”

What I (as a copy editor by trade) found particularly interesting in the Maclean’s piece is the following statement: “Along with correcting the factual errors, we apologized to Mr. Potter for an editing process that fell short.”

Indeed. That was something I blogged about here, i.e. that Maclean’s editors let Andrew Potter down. I’m glad to see they apologized to him and admitted in public that they dropped the ball. It happens sometimes; things get by editors, like a weak shot gets by a goaltender. We feel like crap when it happens — but we have to move on. You know Maclean’s won’t ever let the editing process fall short again. Live and learn, eh?

But Maclean’s is unrepentant about keeping the piece on its website . . . Read all about it on their site.

Meanwhile, Montreal Gazette editor in chief Lucinda Chodan addresses some of the Quebec bashing that has occurred in the storm of controversy over Potter’s column.

She says “There has been a wave of criticism of Quebec and Quebecers,” much of it from “under-informed” people outside of the province.

Ms. Chodan advises the bashers to “Get the facts right before you call Quebecers ‘thin-skinned’ and ‘tribal’.”

Never a dull moment in my beloved Quebec, eh?

And to think this all started because snow-clearing crews waited too long to plow Highway 13 during a snowstorm. Talk about snowball effects. Hundreds, if not thousands of people’s lives have been affected . . . BUT, no lives were lost. Maybe that’s the most important thing to remember. Ultimately, it is the proverbial tempest in a teapot, but it could have been so much worse.

Meanwhile, 23 million people are starving to death in Africa. We need to think more about that.

— Jillian

Photo: Quebec City. Credit: archer10 (Dennis) 88M Views via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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