Liberal Leader Stephane Dion appears over-saturated and out of focus in the tape provided to Canadian networks on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008.
Liberals apologize for late delivery of Dion video
Updated Wed. Dec. 3 2008 10:48 PM ET
Josh Visser, CTV.ca News
The Liberals have apologized for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's taped televised address, after it was delivered to Canadian networks almost an hour past deadline and in near-cellphone quality.
"I apologize for what happened tonight. I apologize for the poor quality and the lateness. I am livid and am doing an investigation as to how this happened," Johanne Senecal, Dion's Chief of Staff, said to CTV News tonight.
Dion was supposed to deliver the networks a pre-taped statement to the nation Wednesday between 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 ET. It was to air after Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the country at 7 p.m. ET about the political crisis on Parliament Hill.
CTV, along with other major Canadian networks, pre-empted regularly scheduled programming to deliver the addresses. Harper went to air shortly after 7 p.m. but networks were left scrambling to fill airspace when Dion's tape was nowhere to be found.
Alphée Moreau, a senior Liberal communication staffer, explained how the series of technical mistakes on their part resulted in an embarrassing snafu.
The timeline (all times ET):
"We missed our deadline," Moreau said. "The shot was not all that professional. It was soft-focused."
CTV received angry emails within minutes of signing off. Some viewers thought CTV was ignoring the Liberal leader, while others thought Dion was purposely snubbing the network.
Dion's coalition partners were both angry and embarrassed by the Liberal address.The NDP said Wednesday's fiasco undermined the credibility of the coalition, CTV's Robert Fife reported.
"I'm told that (Bloc Quebecois Leader) Gilles Duceppe ran into Mr. Dion in the elevator and asked 'What the hell happened?' and Mr. Dion said, 'We're not used to being in opposition," Fife said.
Jean Lapierre, broadcast journalist and former Liberal MP, mocked the party's video address.
"This was the cheapest video. I don't know if the Liberal party has financial problems, but they didn't have to go to a high school kid to get their video made," he said on CTV's Mike Duffy Live. "You ask people to forget about their normal TV show tonight. We did that on TVA."
A million people were waiting for a show called "La Poule aux oeufs d'or," he said, adding "We didn't even get the egg!"
The blogsphere was quick to pounce on Dion's bumbling performance.
"Stephane Dion was late for the show, looked kind of red faced, and seemed to be getting a couple of bucks for the bankrupt Liberal Party for the product placement of a book entitled, and I kid you not, "Hot Air," wrote the Alberta Ardvark blog Wednesday.
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