WORST MONDAYS: with Warren Kinsella

At JUICEBOX HQ, we’ve never really had a case of the Mondays because we don’t have real-people jobs. But for those feeling a bit garfield this A.M., feel free to wallow in other people’s most hated things. Every Monday! (Except for, you know, last Monday. Sorry.)

worst3.jpg

When combing the internet provides you with a photo of some politico in their office with a huge Joy Division poster on the wall (see below), you know you’re not dealing with your run-of-the-mill high-ranking Liberal Party insider. We say that because, as Young People, we are disenfranchised with “the system” and listen to a lot of “Rage Against the Machine.” Anyway, Warren Kinsella makes us want to to trade in our Che Guevara shirts and get some nice slacks with anarchy patches on them.


Photo by DZGNBOY

Kinsella is many things to many people. Best known to Canadians as the Liberal Party spin-doctor who helped lead Jean Chretien to a blagillion landslide majority governments in the ’90s (earning him a reputation as our own little James Carville in the process), he’s also a best-selling author, political consultant, and a veteran punk rocker. Nardwaur‘s band even covered one of his songs. Peep that shit.

So he runs an insanely popular blog, fights nazis, and told The National Post (his former employer) where to shove it. We don’t always agree with him (guy hates Wikipedia!), but we respect him. Plus, he’s actually very tall, and could probably beat us in a fight:

Worst day-job
Probably at Corporate Death Burger — you know, McDonald’s — in Calgary at age 15. I ended up writing a big expose about the experience for the school paper, and was threatened with a libel lawsuit. My first!

Worst haircut
Any of the ones in which Nature is turning me, involuntarily, into a skinhead. I don’t like any of those.

Worst subculture
Hippies. I always despised hippies. Self-obsessed, self-centred, selfish. Forget about “peace and love” – hate and war, like the Clash said.

Worst date
I actually got two front row tickets to see Queen at the Jubilee Stadium in Calgary (I was more interested in seeing Thin Lizzie, and actually chatted with Phil Lynott while there, but I digress), and took Bonnie, the then great love of my youthful life. When we left, she said: “Where’s your car?” I told her I didn’t have one. She left with someone else. Nice.

Worst invention
The iPhone, naturally. IT’S A PHONE, PEOPLE. It’s an EXPENSIVE phone. Do you all have to be such consumerist victims all the time? Sheesh.

Worst purchase
The iPhone. No, just kidding; I didn’t line up for one, and nor will I ever. Worst purchase? I would say those Queen tickets.

Worst way to die
Tied to chair, being forced to watch successive episodes of American Idol. Sweet Jesus Almighty, I loathe that program. Unfortunately, my view is not shared by the women who live in our house.

Posted on July 21, 2008 by | Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | 39 Comments »| Tags:


39 Responses »

  1. Here’s a different spin on Warren Kinsella.

    “Debunking the Cult of Warren: Liberal strategist getting more credit than he deserves”
    By Paul Wells. National Post: Jun 26, 2001. pg. A6

    OTTAWA – In a torrent of news releases, press conferences and newspaper and magazine columns, the slumbering Canadian nation is being enjoined this week to ponder the magnificence of Warren Kinsella. As trivial pursuits go, Warren-worship at least has the virtue of being entertaining.

    Mr. Kinsella is a lawyer just past his 40th birthday with a nice view of Toronto from his office in a shiny Bay Street tower. He used to write speeches for Jean Chretien when Mr. Chretien was doing a bad job as Opposition leader, although not as bad as the job can be done. He has stayed in touch with Mr. Chretien since the boss found better work. He was present in the rapid-response “war rooms” during the Liberals’ 1993 and 2000 campaigns. In 1997 he was absent, busy losing as a Liberal candidate in British Columbia.

    At a Toronto news conference yesterday, Mr. Kinsella was “revealed” as the “mystery” author of a fab new book, Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics. The book isn’t actually available yet. It will be in the autumn and Mr. Kinsella’s publisher figures it’s never too soon to start beating the drums. His publisher has collected a number of media quotes about Mr. Kinsella’s place in the politico- punditocratic firmament.

    “He has been called ‘The master of the Liberal war room’ (Montreal Gazette), ‘the architect for the Grit victory’ (The Hill Times), ‘the Liberal party’s resident pit-bull politico’ (Canoe) and ‘a political hit-man’ (The Toronto Sun),” the promotional material informs us.

    Once we scribes convince ourselves of a figure’s importance, we can be hard to dissuade. Here’s Peter C. Newman informing us in this week’s Maclean’s that “Perhaps [Allan] Rock’s most astute move [in the Liberal pre-leadership race] has been to sign up Warren Kinsella,” a fellow Mr. Newman adjudges “impressively networked.”

    With the advent of a weekly Kinsella column in The Ottawa Citizen and the attention of the bored press gallery turning to internal Liberal politics, the Cult of Warren threatens to become even more overwhelming than it has already been. So perhaps it is not too early to do a little truth-squad work.

    Fun facts: Mr. Kinsella was not “the architect for the Grit victory.” He was not “the master” of the war room. In private moments, he has even been known to admit as much. (Full disclosure: We had lunch in a swishy Hogtown bistro last week, our second lunch date in three years.)

    The election was won by a smallish army of Grits whose distinguishing feature is an aversion to self-promotion. The main campaign organizer was John Rae, a Montreal lawyer so self-effacing most Ottawa scribes couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup. Mr. Rae would chair morning campaign meetings with a stern warning that nothing said around the table could leave the room. The first thing he did when the staff moved into campaign headquarters was to hang signs on every floor: “When losing, say little; when winning, say less.”

    The “war room” — the communications and quick-rebuttal side of the campaign operation — was run by John Milloy, who is on TV even more often than Mr. Kinsella: As a senior advisor to Mr. Chretien, he can generally be seen trailing behind as the Prime Minister strides into the Commons. Mr. Milloy is hard to miss. He’s the tall, nervous-looking guy whose mouth is shut.

    Under Mr. Milloy’s organization, the campaign message was honed by Francie Ducros, Mr. Chretien’s much-maligned communications director. She was helped by Ken Polk, a speechwriter who came up with most of the funny lines that get attributed to Mr. Kinsella; and by the campaign’s undisputed MVP, a bespectacled Albertan named Kevin Bosch.

    Mr. Bosch was responsible for opposition research against the Alliance. He showed up at Liberal HQ toting a pile of briefing books taller than himself, each crammed with quotations from every important Alliance official stretching back more than a decade. He is said to have the sort of eerie memory that allows him to remember everything Stockwell Day ever said, when he said it, and in which context.

    He was a devastating weapon. “I don’t know that I can say enough good things about Kevin,” another war-room denizen told me yesterday.

    Mr. Kinsella? He was designated a “floater,” which means he had no specific job at all. He was there because of Jean Chretien’s personal affection for him. He chipped in, as everyone did, at idea- generating bull sessions. He went on TV because the other Liberals, terrified of Mr. Rae’s gag order, wouldn’t.

    And what do you remember about his TV appearances? Precisely: the Barney the Dinosaur toy he hauled out of a gym bag to mock Mr. Day’s beliefs about creationism. Except the Barney analogy wasn’t his. It came from Sophie Galarneau, yet another near-anonymous Grit. Mr. Kinsella only acted it out.

    The Cult of Warren is only partly Mr. Kinsella’s fault. It also demonstrates a perennial flaw in journalists’ psychology. How many times have you seen “senior sources” or “high-ranking sources” quoted in a news story? Thousands. Now how many times have you seen a reporter hang a quote off an unnamed “mid-ranking source of uncertain influence,” or a “hack addicted to his Rolodex?” Less often. Reporters are addicted to grade inflation: Anyone reckless enough to talk to us becomes the most important guy in sight, because the fact he talks to us makes us feel important.

    Which is how a floater becomes king and a nation becomes even a little more ill-informed than it already was. As for Mr. Rock, he should be at least as grateful to have nailed Raj Chahal and Randy Pettipas as he was to get Mr. Kinsella. Never heard of them? Precisely.

  2. as long as he still likes Joy Division

  3. Thanks for the chat, Sam. Was fun.

    You have already attracted the interest of someone with InfoMart access, it appears: with their stock price nearing junk bond status, you’d think Post editors would have better things to do.

    Guess not.

  4. Can’t say for sure that he could beat you in a fight, but he’d certainly litigate you into the seventh ring of Dante’s hell.

    RG

  5. yeah warren is a total poseur – if I had met him back in the punk rock days, I’d beat his pasty armchair asshole facade back into the pavement.

    what a fucking moron – hate and war, little bitch guess he doesn’t know much about that shit to praise it – middle age crisis anyone?

    I’m no hippy dipshit, and would love to prove it to his face….

    this guy believes his own pr, total weenie,

  6. I bet you would love to “prove it to his face”, “anonymous hater”.

  7. He’s a strange character with lots of plusses: his band, his interviewing a fish, the way he reminds me of Bill Murray, his fairly open blog. But then he is so damned litigious! This is someone I would rather see tearing his foes apart with logic and rhetoric, rather than with the clumsy and less appealing club of libel suits and such. I want to believe.

    But I don’t.

  8. I just love lengthy missive’s against Kinsella by those who are scared shitless to post their name in the comment section of a blog. Come out into the light anonymous Kinsella haters – bathe us in the warm glow of your righteous Kinsella loathing. Show us why you are right and Kinsella is wrong… all are welcome here, all are welcome….

  9. I’d be more afraid of the hippies. They are bumpy when you drive over them.

  10. Conservative bloggers and journalists use him for a punching bag at will.

    I still have to laugh about the time he found a swastika in the boy’s washroom and figured the nation was being taken over by nazis. The jokes about this effeminate retard lurking in the washrooms wrote themselves. If he were truly shaker and mover in the liberal party, they would have been defeated much sooner than they were. Clearly, smarter men than he are at the helm of the Party, and he was little more than one of Cretin’s fart catchers and yes men.

    I am not surprised that it turns out ol’ Warren is an ass kisser and not an ass kicker. Check out his blog, he proves himself a poseur every time he humps his keyboard.

    He is actaully a chit stain on Canadian politics. It’s truly a shame that this nation can’t find better leaders.

  11. Hey Warren – what’s with all the cars?

  12. One of the things that is so awesome about the internet is that it makes mouth-breathers who live in their parents’ basements and spend all day wearing an XXL bathrobe feel all tough. So you get losers like Anonymous Coward, his alter ego, Anonymous Hater and the incredibly hilarious Rusty P. Bucket (lol! Get it? It has to do with pee!! LMAO!!) posting messages, secure in their knowledge that their identies will remain hidden and the Zoodles that Mom is making for lunch will be nice and hot. B*tches.

  13. Warren angry! Warren ego hurt.

    Memo to Warren’s clients, he is billing you while he protects his precious ego on a website that only about a dozen people will actually read.

    Gotta love how he calls all these web pundits losers but he is the one who is really concerned about their opinions.

  14. When a man’s greatest claim to fame is the Barney dinosaur incident, I find it difficult to accept his self-appointed role as the great defender of human of rights. I am not a religious man but I find it very ironic that he is comfortable insulting the (ridiculous?) religious beliefs of one group while staunchly defending another. I would love to see Warren show up to debate a Muslim with 72 virgins as his prop so he could discover first hand how Islam is a religion of peace.

  15. Yup.

    Liberals fellate terrorists whenever the opportunity arises. The Khadrs are a case in point. And like terrorists, they hide behind the law when it is time for some pay back.

  16. Lyndon Dunkley on July 22nd, 2008 at 10:22:

    When a man’s greatest claim to fame is the Barney dinosaur incident, I find it difficult to accept his self-appointed role as the great defender of human of rights. I am not a religious man but I find it very ironic that he is comfortable insulting the (ridiculous?) religious beliefs of one group while staunchly defending another. I would love to see Warren show up to debate a Muslim with 72 virgins as his prop so he could discover first hand how Islam is a religion of peace.

    Lyndon, the National Post’s smear job said his greatest claim to fame was the Barney incident. And what does that have to do with his defending human rights? Defending human rights is a worthwhile cause no matter what smear artists decide made you famous. And when does he insult religious beliefs? Are you calling “White Power” a religion?

    To Warren Angry, plenty of people read his blog (check the number of comments he gets, and I’d bet that far more people read than comment), and if you actually bother to read the articles and such he has on there, there’s plenty of good reading available.

    TAD, you can’t discount him just because of his tendency to use law as a weapon. He’s trained as a lawyer! Also, logic and rhetoric don’t work all that well in the real world, because in the real world you don’t have a bunch of educated people listening and understanding the good points you are making. Often you can’t win in an argument because the listeners don’t understand a damn word you’re saying and keep coming back with the same b.s. talking points fed to them by some attack ad. I do understand what you’re saying, but I’m guessing that like me you’re young (you’re probably a bit younger), and so the lustre of a well written rhetorical masterpiece hasn’t been lost for you yet. Once you get older and you’ve dealt with the fact that there are so many stupid people out there, you might end up having to change your tactics if you want to have an impact beyond the smallish circle of intellectuals who actually care about politics.

    Anonymous Coward, your source is a bit out-dated… well, 7 years outdated, so I guess more than a bit.

  17. I find it interesting that there is such passion when it comes to Warren. That tells me he is doing something right. I became a Kinsella fan after reading “Web of Hate”. He took on the worst element of Canada’s neo-Nazi movement and didn’t have to. I mean he is a nice Irish Catholic like me why become a target of these assholes? The fact he stands shoulder to shoulder with the voiceless minorities targeted by bigots and haters tells me all I need to know about Warren Kinsella.

    And so to Warren I offer this old Irish toast:

    A toast to your coffin.

    May it be made of 100 year old oak.

    And may we plant the tree together, tomorrow.

  18. I’m a fan of Warren’s. Don’t get me wrong. I just don’t agree with him on every issue and I think he makes himself look like an idiot when he gets all defensive about comments that he himself says are from basement dwellers.

    I’ve read most of his books and I’m a long-time daily reader of his blog. I just think it’s really amusing the guy can’t take a punch without getting his Joy Division boxers in a bunch.

  19. Michael B – I hear you loud and clear. Admittedly, yes, I am young enough (22). I feel that there are reasonable limits on free speech, somewhere around the area of explicitly inciting violence. Otherwise, I am very pro free speech, so I personally find it awkward that, given his positions, he alienates me a bit. Again, that’s just from where I stand, and I otherwise certainly applaud and comprehend the Macchiavelian ethic.

  20. Mr. B, if you don’t understand how the Barney prank insulted Christian Fundamentalism (which I believe still qualifies as a religion in this country) then I can’t help you.

    The unfortunate thing about “claims to fame” is we don’t always get to choose our own. I understand as VP, Social Events, for the WK fan club you may wish to think your hero is world reknown for his epic role in crushing the imminent Nazi threat in Canada. However, any member of the unwashed masses who may have stumbled across the man’s name will have done so only in regards to the Barney prank.

  21. “Liberals fellate terrorists” – Right, Piss Bucket …. I suppose we should “fellate” the folks over at blackwater for the high-density, high-velocity freedom rations they are deploying in iRack ? So child soldiers are “terrests”, I bet you are just aching for Canada to put on a texas style execution of a mentally disabled 16 year old. Please Piss Bucket, stop killing small animals to achieve climax !

  22. If there is meat to suck on, Nathan, then yeah -I am sure you and your liberal butt blasters will be first in line.

    As a matter of fact, were the decision mine, yeah – your little fig farming goat molestors in Gitmo would be shot and fed to the sharks. As would you, Dellaire, and any other fwench or liberal POS that supports terrorism.

  23. The man is an icon!

    I mean literally no one else on the Canadian, and very possibly, the world net is so despised that people actually created a forwarding website http://lyingjackal.com simply to avoid having to directly link to him when he tells a particularly large whooper or trashes a Liberal pal who calls his ethics into question. A net God!

  24. Well Lyndon, I guess I’ll just have to take your word for that. I stumbled across his name in some article about politics, which I’m guessing is where many people will know him from. And if his only claim to fame was the Barney incident, why did a NP journalist spend an entire article attempting to “debunk the cult of warren”? Do you really think this supposed “cult of warren” is entirely obsessed with one incident?

  25. I am a cockless loser. I blow Harper. I love to swallow. Please give it to me hard.

  26. I REPEAT: I am a cockless loser. I blow Harper. I love to swallow. Please give it to me hard.

  27. WHY MUST I CONTINUE TO REPEAT MYSELF: I am a cockless loser. I blow Harper. I love to swallow. Please give it to me hard.

  28. DID YOU HEAR ME: I am a cockless loser. I blow Harper. I love to swallow. Please give it to me hard.

  29. PERHAPS I DIDN’T MAKE MYSELF CLEAR: I am a cockless loser. I blow Harper. I love to swallow. Please give it to me hard.

  30. Kinsella is a legend in his own mind and reminds me of an immature high school student when he tries to talk all tough. His obsession with the NP, and thinking ‘they’ are out to get him is laughable.

    I’m sure in his mind the only people who dislike him, and his childish antics, are knuckle-dragging mouth breathers and editors from the NP.

    Rest assured I am neither and think that Kinsella is a putz. The fact that the CJC has aligned themselves with this court jester is appalling.

    Got any proof Kinsella that Anon. Coward is from the NP?

  31. The lyingjackal? I hear he’s parking cars for the CJC now.

  32. The only reason this Frank Burns look-a-like calls himself a “punk” rocker is because his reality of being a “twerp” rocker is just so sad.

    He’s like the guy who scores a dozen goals in a road hockey game and whines when he isn’t considered for the Hockey Hall of Fame. He only picks the political fights he knows he can win: i.e., Chretien vs. a divided right, McGuinty vs. Tory (not Harris). Geeze, a 10th Grade political class could take on Tory and at least get a minority government out of it.

    I did note in the interview here he hates hippies. Consider the fact that Kathy Shaidle also hates hippies. Hmmm…using the WarrenLogic he so often deploys, this of course means that he is now responsible for defending everything she’s ever written and thought, and will write and think.

    You know, birds of a feather, and all that…

  33. What’s pathetic is the actuall fanboys posting here about the guy.

    Michael B.

    Have you actually read the “smear job” ? Can you point to an inaccuracy?

  34. Bill, smear jobs don’t necessarily require factual inaccuracy. I’ll submit a few points about why it’s a ‘smear job’

    “In 1997 he was absent, busy losing as a Liberal candidate in British Columbia.”
    –Very snide, written specifically to make WK look bad (smear)

    ‘ “He has been called ‘The master of the Liberal war room’ (Montreal Gazette), ‘the architect for the Grit victory’ (The Hill Times), ‘the Liberal party’s resident pit-bull politico’ (Canoe) and ‘a political hit-man’ (The Toronto Sun),” the promotional material informs us. Once we scribes convince ourselves of a figure’s importance, we can be hard to dissuade. Here’s Peter C. Newman informing us in this week’s Maclean’s that “Perhaps [Allan] Rock’s most astute move [in the Liberal pre-leadership race] has been to sign up Warren Kinsella,” a fellow Mr. Newman adjudges “impressively networked.” ‘
    “Mr. Kinsella? He was designated a “floater,” which means he had no specific job at all. He was there because of Jean Chretien’s personal affection for him. He chipped in, as everyone did, at idea- generating bull sessions. He went on TV because the other Liberals, terrified of Mr. Rae’s gag order, wouldn’t.”
    “Which is how a floater becomes king and a nation becomes even a little more ill-informed than it already was.”
    –The author was obviously attempting to negate everything good said about WK through the adjective “floater” and his description of the nation after reading what was said about WK as ill-informed. This, once again, constitutes a ‘smear job’ as the only purpose of it is to reduce WK in public stature.

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  39. You were asking the wrong questions…never trust a guy who cheats on his wife.

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