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dynamic_resizeThis is a the first of a weekly entry into the most sensationalized story of the week in Canadian politics.     By:  James Di Fiore  


It takes a special kind of tabloid, the partisan slanty stuff, to make my Dumb-dar kick into ludicrous speed, detecting the invented and highly ideological spin pertaining to Justin Trudeau.

And that’s a steep slope to climb if you are keeping score. Yes, the sometimes precocious one liners from ‘Justin’ often come off as misguided or un-PR, there’s no doubt. But immovable ideologues – that is to say those who will never, ever vote un-Conservative, are playing the kind of PR game where the sole tactic is to smear, animate and distort. ‘Trudeau,’ say the sensible flame throwers of the right, ‘is a commie-loving, dim-witted and privileged miscreant, whose father, incidentally, destroyed the country through his anti-western hatred!’ (that’s right HATRED!!)


Justin Trudeau stopped to take a few photos on the way to the Jim Flaherty funeral. But, the vitriolic flag bearers have spun it by relentlessly publicizing the word ‘selfie’. Apparently they get their advice on slang from tweens, seeing as these are merely first person photographs. It’s also worth mentioning the other politicians who stopped for photographs and interviews: John Tory, Jason Kenney, Peter MacKay, Stockwell Day, Rob Ford and various other politicians. Those are just the ones I witnessed personally.

Jack Layton’s funeral never resulted in people chomping at the bit for the smiles, photographs and interviews that were taken that day. Wait, my bad. Yes they were. The feel-good tributes were simply too much for the same rodeo clowns who are moaning about selfies today. This method of deliberately enraging the electorate is shameful. And yes the left aren’t exactly innocent in the age where everything is public relations.

Existing on the airwaves and digital frequencies are merely a customized, post-contextualized spin of recorded soundbites and portrayals. It’s becoming noticeable. And it needs to stop. Remember, selfies are just photographs taken by the person who owns the camera. Nothing more. So if those are inappropriate, then every photograph and digital video are too.

Colleagues and political rivals share fond memories at the Flaherty funeral in Toronto


They say public service is thankless, but if the Jim Flaherty funeral is any indication, public service can be recognized by friends and foes alike. Flaherty was laid to rest today at St. James Cathedral in Toronto in a service attended by familiar faces of Parliament Hill from all the major parties, as well as the thousands who lined the streets of Toronto.

Several cabinet ministers, former politicians and political rivals shared their thoughts on the man known as ‘Jimmy’ in a send off not seen since departure of Jack Layton 3 years ago.





The Far Left Proves it can be just as shameful as the Far Right in Canada

By: James Di Fiore



When Jack Layton died his legacy was such that many people who did not share his politics felt the deep sadness one feels when a member of the family passes away. Layton had a quality that blurred political lines and embraced emotional collectivism instead.

Today, another man in politics passed away, and he had much of the same effect on those he worked with, and the people he represented. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty suffered a massive heart attack and died at his home at the age of 64.

Immediately the news carried sentiments from people on all sides of the aisle. Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair could barely hold in the tears as he expressed his condolences. One after another non-conservatives told stories of the lovable leprechaun and his ability to connect with his political opposites.

But of course, like seagulls with irritable bowel syndrome on a precariously windy day, bombs start falling from the vitriolic fringe. “Good riddance,” said one genius. “I guess he won’t be able to mess up another budget,” said another. And while we all know the Internet is a place where taking things personally is both silly and pointless, it still remains depressing to know there are people in our midst who have lost the ability to censor their virtual selves.

I am reminded of Christopher Hitchens when he absolutely destroyed Jerry Falwell on the day the good reverend died. I think the difference between Falwell, Layton and Flaherty is twofold: first, Falwell was repugnant and used religious dogma to judge other people. Second, Hitchens was so much more intellectually clever than the sloped-brow contingent online.

It’s been about an hour since Flaherty passed away. I had to stop reading the comments. I had to do the same when Layton passed away. Instead, I’d like to point out something that should give us all pause.

As when Layton died, the one demographic who demonstrated the most poise, the most civility and the classiest sentiments is the same demographic whom we universally chastise on the regular: politicians. Politicians are often dishonest, almost always self-serving and probably wouldn’t blink an eye if their policies made you lose your job. But in a time of mourning they are precisely the embodiment of how people should behave, like in the immediate aftermath of Layton and Flaherty’s deaths.

So do yourself a favour…don’t read the comment section of any media outlet for the next few days. Then, never read them again.

Veteran Broadcaster Blames the 2013 Jays on ‘lack of chemistry’

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By: James Di Fiore

Former Toronto Blue Jay catcher and current Jay broadcaster Buck Martinez is hopeful baseball will return to the city of Montreal, and if it does he believes the best place for the Expos is the American League East.


“The entire eastern portion of Canada, they’re either Boston Red Sox fans or Yankees fans.” Martinez said. He also believes the success of the Tampa Bay Rays on the field while having a lacklustre box office total means the Expos’ return could be justified.


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Giulia Arena Visits Mayor Rob Ford at City Hall, Says She Did Not Know About Scandals

By: James Di Fiore

Several photographers were pointing their lenses at one woman on the south foyer of City Hall. I had just finished interviewing Councillor Doug Ford, tv host Ezra Levant and pundit Mark Steyn, a trio of lumpy conservatism and bombastic key messages, so I was ready to head home.

But when I found out it was Miss Italy, I decided to stick around for one last interview.

It’s not terribly compelling, but she was both beautiful and the complete opposite of how my day had gone until that moment.

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Doug Ford also claims to work 18 hours a week as a city Councillor

By: James Di Fiore


Toronto Councillor Doug Ford raised eyebrows yesterday when he confessed to calling his brother, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, a “social NDPer” (to his face, mind you), a label Doug says relates to Rob’s constant appetite to help out the less fortunate.


Councillor Ford also said both he and his brother do not employ a public relations team to help with their public images, an unsurprising claim given the off-the-cuff style the brothers tend to utilize when dealing with the press.


“What you see is what you get, what you get is what you see,” Councillor Ford said with a chuckle.


Ford also made the dubious claim of working 126 hours per week (“I work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week!”) and had some interesting about the Toronto Maple Leafs, attributing the blame for missing the playoffs on the players and upper management alike.




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Free Speech Pundit Also Says Duelling Should Replace Human Rights Tribunals

By: James Di Fiore

Mark Steyn says Canada should go back to a duelling system to settle defamation disputes. The Canadian born author and political commentator made his remarks as he walked back into the courthouse where his ideological brethren, Ezra Levant, was wrapping up his trial for libel.


Steyn, who has had his own run-ins with human rights courts after he wrote a piece for Maclean’s titled “The Future Belongs to Islam” , looked to drive home his point with the following; “Calling somebody totally racist is totally gay,” a tongue-in-cheek declaration meant to spotlight his view that name-calling has become a wasteful expenditure for Canadian taxpayers.

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Right Wing Commentator Makes Inflammatory Comments During His Defamation Trial

By: James Di Fiore

Ezra Levant took another shot at Justin Trudeau outside a Toronto courthouse today where the commentator was wrapping up his defamation trial. In true Levant form, he accused the Liberal leader of “siding with dictators”, referring to an interview given to Iranian journalists where Trudeau criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper for pandering to ethnic communities for votes at the ballot box.

Levant was pressed after several prominent Jewish leaders backtracked on their initial criticism of Trudeau after they were emailed by the Huffington post to expand on their original comments. He continued to accuse Trudeau of pandering to voting groups but eventually conceded that Trudeau was not an anti-Semite, a rare admission from the pundit who is known for his tar and feathering tactics, especially against non-conservatives.

Headphones piano music for ads


Music licensing is the best play for artists in the new music digital age

By: James Di Fiore

“Music will never go away, and I will never stop making music; it’s just what capacity and what arena you decide to do it.”   Dave Grohl

The Internet gave birth to two undeniable realities. First, everyone believes they’re musicians. Second, lots of people are both super talented, and completely unknown.
For years, the music industry was the digital pilot project whose online evolution taught other digitally-based industries what should and should not be done when ushering in new business strategies. David Grohl’s words ring true for musicians at every stage of their career, and the ever-changing online promotional and distribution methods for musicians to scratch out a dollar.


By now, if a career musician has not adjusted their approach on the business side to reflect modern technology and different distribution ideas, they are not going to last very long. In their defense, no other industry has had to make so many adjustments since the digital age began, a reality that creates as many victims as it does revolutionary ideas.


One of these revolutionary ideas is actually a fairly old method of getting paid for making music. Film and television will always need to find appropriate tunes for their programming, and today that demand is not only growing but the ways companies find music has never been more ‘artist-friendly’. It has been a long, ever-changing relationship between productions houses and musicians. It used to be a very exclusive club, where a relatively few number of composers were on speed dial, or the major record labels offered either up-and-comers or a select stable of hit makers for TV, movies and commercials. But this became expensive for producers who wanted catchy tunes but didn’t want to allocate half their budget to do so. Before the financial crisis in 2008, hearing a well known pop tune inside a commercial was not uncommon, but when the recession hit, with the exception of automobile ads, this trend became too expensive to justify. Licensing a hit song was no longer a viable option.


So, keeping in tune with the ever-changing landscape in the digital music industry, music catalogue outfits specializing in housing quality music began popping up online. Of course, lots of these companies were specializing in pretty mediocre stock music, and most reputable music supervisors are looking for quality, not filler. No problem.


Jean Anfossi is the CEO of, a company specializing in linking production companies and agencies with artists and composers. Anfossi has seen both sides of the coin, as a musician and as a businessman for the past 15 years. He believes artists are on the brink of normalizing their inflows by licensing their music to television, film and commercials.
“There is so much talent out there that you have to be meticulous about what you can offer clients,” says Anfossi. “To remove the needle-in-a-haystack environment we hand pick what artists we want to showcase.”
Anfossi is one of several entrepreneurs who have succeeded at providing appropriate music for ads, film and television. His stable of artists, which includes well known composers like M1, Neil Busby and Indie label Ubiquity, have realized the importance of licensing to the overall career inflows of artists. This is what the future looks like for professional musicians. Licensing music to the ad industry and Hollywood used to be considered selling out, but when music became saturated, free and digital, everything changed.
“Musicians need to make money. You can’t live off ramen noodles and dreams anymore, especially in cities like Toronto and New York.” Anfossi, who is a Berklee-educated virtuoso jazz musician, knows the terrain inside out and is trusted by his clients to find the right composers for their projects. Artists simply upload their music or Anfossi’s clients request an original piece. And, as it should be, quality matters.



When Napster ushered in a new age of digital promotional strategies, it forced independent artists to create interest in their live shows through giveaways, remixes and other digital-only campaigns. When labels stopped signing artists the landscape contained a hodge-podge of strategies to get noticed. Internet radio was developing into an aggregate system where variety was king, but variety doesn’t mix well with trying to stand out. With thousands of options online, the undertaking of self-distribution had to be customized to fit the profile of each artist. That customization has been determined, and savvy artists are now making the bulk of their income through sites like


This is the new arena in making money in music.


By: James Di Fiore

Joel Zimmerman, AKA DeadMau5, who in 2012 engaged in a Twitter war with Madonna over her reference to club drug MDMA and the EDM scene, took another unprovoked shot at the pop icon after Mau5 publicly scheduled a coffee-run with embattled Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford.

Zimmerman offered to take Rob Ford out for a ride. Nobody knows why, but Rob Ford eventually accepted and that was that. But after posting a photo of his Ferrari’s customized paint job, Zimmerman posted the following tweet in response to my inquiry as to why hanging with an admitted crack smoker is acceptable but Madonna’s pro-drug comments was an affront to clubland culture:

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Zimmerman has a lot of fans, but many big names don’t seem like him at all. Howard Stern, Flo Rida, Joe Rogan have all had online run-ins with the Canadian DJ or have expressed their genuine dislike for him. It seems Joel’s reputation as a troll is well deserved. Last year there was an especially scathing comment from fellow DJ Afrojack for ‘pressing play’ after Zimmerman had spent years dissing other DJs for precisely the same offense.

Is it publicity? Is Deadmau5 simply a Twitter troll? And wait, is lil Joel still pretending he’s offended over people talking about drugs?

I mean, being drunk is fine…but doesn’t Deadmau5 seem a little Mollied in this interview with Joe Rogan? The eyes …they don’t lie.

But I think Deadmau5 probably does.


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