Will ‘TNR’ get all cuddly with Canada now?

In our globalized economy, few people care when an American-based media outlet is bought by a foreign company. The last thing such owners will care to do is impose their national sensibility on the property. However, AdFreak is concerned by news that Canadian-based CanWest Global Communications has bought full ownership of The New Republic. (CanWest had acquired a minority stake last year.) After all, one of TNR’s finest hours came a couple decades ago when then-editor Michael Kinsley declared “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative” to be the most boring newspaper headline ever written—thanks in part, of course, to the middle of its three words. The phrase, which had run atop an op-ed in The New York Times, has since entered the vernacular as a shorthand term to denote high-minded tediousness. (A Google search for “worthwhile Canadian initiative” yields more than 54,000 hits.) Having fallen into Canadian hands, will the magazine feel obliged to stifle such northward jibes? We’ll take it as a sign of editorial independence in the new regime if TNR’s pages again employ the phrase, in suitably derisive fashion, at the earliest opportunity.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver