The Denials of Strombo and Blago

A confession.
Nothing fascinates me more than listening to Strombo when he’s not on the air.
Away from the tele-prompter and microphone, George delivers statements so removed from the reality that surrounds him that you’d think it was a press conference with Rod Blagojevich.
To wit, and witless, these gems from a recent interview:

when I say “us” and “we”, I mean “me”
“The show’s not bullshitting at all. We’re not pretending to be anything we’re not. We don’t make ourselves the stars. It’s not about us. People can like us or not like us, but no one can ever say we’re being disingenuous.”

why dull interviews are not his fault
Of his interview with U.S. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Stroumboulopoulos said she was “alright.” “[Palin] clearly gave me a lot of non-answers and was very aware of it. She was nice enough,” stated Stroumboulopoulos, unconvincingly.

his commitment to his “boyfriend”
“I got a letter from a guy who didn’t like it,” Stroumboulopoulos explained. “He says it confuses him when I call myself his boyfriend, so I just went, ‘I’m going to do it every damn night!’”

Not disingenuous?
Exhibit #412 – bring the phony
“Genuine” George signals the innocent Nickelback to play along, and not let the home viewers know that this is being taped on Friday in front of a last-minute rounded-up audience of CBC staffers.


  1. Allan
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If there were a middle point between volunteering and being pushed, that would be a lot closer to the mark. Feel free to ask the people who were there. I don’t think you were one of them.
    But that’s water under the bridge.

    Tod wasn’t there either. Not that it mattered. The guy simply cannot stay away from these things. And too, he has a reputation to protect . (And inflate! Something I’ve devoted many happy hours to, as you seem to know).

    Tricks are for kids.
    Everyone knows who I am and where I am (thanks joe!) and could not care less.
    There have days I question whether it was the right choice to provide an identity with what I contributed, let alone a real one.
    When I think of all the mischief I could have had. I’m ok with it.
    I knew that if I put part of my real name to it, I’d have to take real responsibility for what I wrote. Not just sit there treating the exercise as an easy shooting gallery of fools, with me virtually untouchable.
    I chose to give it a good try mainly for one reason alone, whether you buy it or not.
    Out of respect for Ouimet.
    I said it once before, I fell in love.

    And I do sincerely make an effort not to discuss Tod on these pages.

    I hate that word shitcanned.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ouimet and a select few other people know why I’m here, but if I had to say it out loud I’d feel like I was “cheating”.

    This job fell into your lap because you volunteered, and you have a lot to say. Don’t trick people into thinking you’re some kind of secret operative, tasked with some ulterior mission. That is just plain creepy. And not the case.

    Also, Tod Maffin is not stalking you. Tod is a pretty troubled dude, granted. But he does just fine embarassing himself by just getting out there and claiming he’s a bit media savvy. Surely, you know what that’s all about. You ARE that! You’ve done a service with your other blogworks. But don’t try to pull the wool over the eyes of readers here, implying he’s exacting his revenge via anonymous Teamakers comments.

    Although it has been fun to be a troll on a few of your recent posts, I think it’s time for me to retire. Hell, I’m too tired to even dream up anonyms. Have fun with your dumping ground.



  3. Allan
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Re-visiting some of my best work?
    Enjoy yourself.
    It's tempting to say 'get a life", but that of course would apply equally to me.
    And if I didn't write something, Kev would have nothing to fill his boring life.

    Hundreds of people read Tea Makers, but only a few make comments.
    And it seems that each person has their own view of what the purpose of the blog is. And every explanation is valid and true.
    Both joe and I have specific reasons for doing this, but since I've never met joe I can't speak for him. I can assume it's vanity and payback-time, but that would a bit facetious since he often brings attention to real issues. And, admittedly, he's a lot more smarter than me.(<–go for it Lynne Truss!)
    Ouimet and a select few other people know why I'm here, but if I had to say it out loud I'd feel like I was "cheating".
    I could say that what goes on here is a lot more serious than it may seem, but then someone would jump in with "get over yourself". Eh.
    I actually think that the ones who 'get it' are the least likely to make a comment.
    I believe this because one of my best friends at the CBC has been there more than 10 years and holds a fairly important job, reads everything, enjoys some of it, and never ever says boo in the comments.
    I think she sees it pretty much for what it is, a bit of Zen for the CBC. Not at all serious, and yet quite serious actually. Stursberg I suspect sees it the same.

    Sometimes you'd think that there was a sign on Tea Makers reading "you don't have to be an asshole to write here but it helps".
    Then a grown-up comes along and posts a short commentary and you're reminded that's not always true.

    You can tell people that 'this is your blog' until you're blue in the face. You can invite them to contribute but then you run the risk of looking desperate.
    If people really had something on their minds that was worth sharing then I assume they will when they're good and ready.

    I loved everything about Ouimet too, but there's no lock-out today as there was the day when she started this blog. The dramatic CBC Drone blog and many others were created for the same reason. And when that unfortunate episode ended, she had to make a choice. Everyone else packed it in.
    Her choice was to keep the door open, as a very unique space for those who wanted more than the manipulative insidecbc or the huge forums at And that's where it remains today.

    Ouimet is still around, watching joe and Allan do whatever strikes their fancy.
    If I criticize George instead of fawn over him, it's not the end of the world.
    It's one thing to write comments, but we try to put a bit more into the actual posts.
    So far, we've had to do most of it ourselves, but we're not complaining. The pay is great and it can be quite fun sometimes.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 8:53 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Check out these old school comments from Allan, as he enters the Teamakers arena, circa ’06.

    Pay attention to his eerily prophetic final comment!

  5. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 7:03 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    In a Dentist’s waiting room, somewhere in Toronto …

    A: So, what do you do in your spare time?

    B: I run a blog about working at the CBC. Well, it used to be about working at the CBC. Now it’s mostly about George Stromboulopolis, and recycled articles I find in Canwest newspapers.

    A: Hmm. Sounds interesting.

    B: Actually, nobody likes it. Most of the commenters hate on me. But I just put up a big long rant, and keep on adding things. I just do it my way.

    A: I hear that! Screw them if they’re too stupid to understand what they need and want. Half the time they don’t even know what’s good or bad …

    RECEPTIONIST : Richard Stursberg, the doctor will see you now.

    A: … well, good luck with the blog, buddy. I gotta go for this root canal, then it’s off to Banff.

  6. Fake Ouimet
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 7:01 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It isnt a race, Kev. The Tea Makers does not exist to publish scoops.

    When a crises (sic) emerges, I trust you will be the first to write a guest post.

  7. Kev
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 1:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    At the moment, there’s no crises at the CBC.

    Well, none that you’ve heard about. Or are likely to ahead of the rest of the population.

  8. Allan
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You’re the one who draws attention to me.
    Instead of to the point.

    You’re wrong.
    There are so few points these days that relate to the CBC.
    Contributors contribute when they feel motivated.
    Tea Makers is special, yes, but no one is pretending we’re anything more than a blog.

    At the moment, there’s no crises at the CBC.
    No crowds outside the building.
    Hubert has smoothed over the surface rumblings of discontent, using good communications skills and accessibility.
    People at the CBC are doing their jobs and happy to be working. In the spirit of co-operation they have accepted the 1.5% extra disposable income, and management their usual bonuses regardless of actual performance.
    And, this may surprise you, some people actually have other things to do than to think about the CBC.
    Have you seen the documentary on Edward Hooper, the Discovery channel special entitled “Understanding Bacteria” or Valzer.Con.Bashir, or read “The Shack”?
    Me neither.

    Am I wrong in my reading of the current CBC mood and morale?
    Is there some issue that you think is being overlooked?
    Something beyond the realm of those who dwell at insidecbc?
    Please share.

    But of course your comment is largely an arrow directed at me.
    I’m to blame for your frustration. I’m too macho for you.
    You or anyone else is allowed to and can throw the word shit at me.
    But when you do, you may have to endure my response, telling you how truly deep and wonderful I am.
    That’s fair, isn’t it?
    Some insults may be ignored, so I make no promises.

    Rather have Fake Ouimet editorializing than me?
    Now you’re being just plain cruel.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Actually a couple of anonymous commenters have busted off the Marina Cleaning crack. It’s an easy jab, true. But you should get Ouimet or someone official to let you see all the commenter IPs. Cause it ain’t all one person!

    Anyway, adressing everything you wrote plays the ‘look at Allan’ game, and that’s tiresome.

    I guess what you’re saying is that no, Teamakers is not safe from being irrelevant to, well, tea makers frankly.

    And that sucks, and that is why no contributions are coming in, I guess. And also why some weird outdated 1970s male chauvinist ‘tough guy’ bullshit is a pretty un-inviting call for submissions.

    In retrospect, even Fake Ouimet’s editorial tenure seems weirdly comforting.

  10. Allan
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You keep leaving the same footprint with the Marina reference, and a string of lame insults.
    Is it your mission to convince me that I’m a worthless, no talent hack and the least popular contributor at TM? Everyone in the free world knows that already, and no one is arguing otherwise. Of the several hundred who still read this blog (apparently only during Mon. to Fri.), most are in complete agreement with your distaste of my efforts.

    You seem to know tons about me, and I so little about you.
    All I know is that you’re a generic pinhead with very typical views, who lacks the nerve to contribute anything to a blog that you keep coming back to.
    joe says the door is open.
    Ouimet says she’s hiring even during this weird economy (or whatever the hell it is they tell us is going on). The opportunity for you to share your views is there every day.
    But you don’t step up. You have nothing.
    What’s holding you back big shot?
    I truly don’t care who you are or who you want to pretend to be. Whether you work at the CBC in some self-important job or not is immaterial to me. All I care about is the quality of your contribution and that you always remain free to be heard.
    Show us all how it’s done. Put just one posting on the table at joe’s email, asking for the front page.
    Make me green with envy. Humiliate me with a demonstration of how easy it is to surpass my inane wit. Blow everyone away with your relevant perceptions, and sit back while the multi-star ratings and accolades flood the comments page, all in awe of your mature wisdom and prophetic vision.
    What’s stopping you? No one is standing in your way.
    Cat got your tongue? Dick in a vice?
    Too shy to join the circus in the center ring?
    Eager to shoot your mouth off as long as it doesn’t cost you anything?
    That puts you in a league different from George, Tod and me.
    We’re willing to pay the price, however small it is, to remain legends in our own minds.
    And to give mental wimps like you something to think about.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 8:47 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    you think this is a restaurant, and we’re your waiters?

    I think of you guys more as the cooks. Allan, most of the dishes you cook are unpalatable, burnt, underdone, or just plain taste like shit.

    While we’re on the subject, Joe has improved by not posting so much and trying to think outside of the bubble of his own interests.

    As for Anonymous, The Desk of Hubert and William Findlay Maclean, thanks for nothing. Especially you, Anonymous, who pledged to bring it with some insider dope on the old place, but have come up empty.

    The real question is, why have all the contributors pretty much dried up? My theory is that Allan monopolizes and (I’m laughing as I type this) lowers the level of discourse generally. He does it by beating the same tired topics to death, knowing not of which he talks, or generally polluting the place with 1997 style spinning Jesus-es and other web clutter.

    Way to go Allan, you’re a superstar who doesn’t know when to quit. Now come back with some more chest-thumping about anonymous cowardice, then bore us with some more of your twisted Strombo-worship. Or regale us with one of your many brushes with greatness like when Mary Walsh engraved something into the back of your ipod, or you saw Antonia Zerbisias at a sidewalk cafe that you just ‘co-incidentally’ ran into.

    Do the world a favour and get back to your Maffin Blog for a while (great reading BTW and I’m not being sarcastic). Your second priority should be MArina Cleaning, then finally, and only of there is time, AND you have REALLY thought about its contents, do a post on teamkers.

    Just a little friendly advice on what your priorities should be.

  12. Fake Ouimet
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 10:40 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I think we would need really knowledgeable insiders to write about the contract. The door is open.

  13. Allan
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    you think this is a restaurant, and we’re your waiters?
    How about selecting an item from the column to your right, where joe opens up the topic for a new thread, and finds all of us yawning.
    So, Anonymous736, if that is your real name, what have you got to say. You’ve had the new contract in front of you for a month, you voted on it, and now passed it with 93% approval. And in all that time you’ve had nothing to say.
    Even now the best you can come up with is to slag my “genius”, and say nothing about your view of the contract. That speaks for itself, and to your motives.
    Looking for relevance?
    Try our darling AZ.
    Want discussion that will boggle your mind?
    Try the insipid insidecbc, where blogmiester Maffin has all of this to say to enlighten the drones: “Very glad to hear it. Nobody wanted a repeat of 2005.” Hope he didn’t hurt himself coming up with that assesment.
    Well I’d like to see a repeat of 2005, just with the roles reversed. Until that happens, carry on being fascinated with my abilities.
    Really, who can blame you

  14. Anonymous
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    No, the horror is that the George (when is Jian! coming back as guest? Is Donlon too long in the tooth to be a MTV babe on the George show?) show now leads into the soft porn show “Fashion File” from the Newsworld collection of fake news.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Pure genius, Allan. George is exactly like Blagojevich. Can you do me a favour and please go back to tying up the lines at CFRB or whatever it is you did before teamakers came along? Nothing fascinates ME more than your ability to be completely irrelevant. Can someone at teamakers please write about something that matters to CBC’ers. The latest CMG agreement was ratified today and we get ‘The Denials of Strombo and Blago!!!!???! Are you fukkin’ kidding me!


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