Christie Blatchford, Editors' Choice, Obituary, Rex Murphy

Christie Blatchford, Editors' Choice

Rex Murphy: Christie Blatchford was hard as a rock, soft as a teddy bear and Canadians will miss her

Rex Murphy: Christie Blatchford was hard as a rock, soft as a teddy bear and Canadians will miss her

14.2.2020

Rex Murphy : Christie Blatchford was hard as a rock, soft as a teddy bear and Canadians will miss her

She was instinctively kind, had an alert and well-exercised radar for the plight of the underdog, the ‘little guy,’ the person or group never near the head tables of life

It is very difficult to accept that Christie Blatchford is no longer with us. It came as a shock to me that her illness had progressed so rapidly, that so vital a spirit had been quenched with such abruptness. In some ways, that was because her vitality — the vitality of manner, vitality of her work, vitality of her affections — was the central element of her whole person. She was a real journalist. She loved this sometimes dubious craft and was one of the very few who lent it lustre, lifted its practice and endowed it with trust. She was like that occasional politician of whom we say that he or she provides the rare example that redeems the profession. She was sharp, clear and unbendable on her principles. She courted no group, bowed to no fad, curried no favour and always said what it was she thought should be said without equivocation, always getting straight to the heart of what was at issue. In the trade as I know it, she was the bravest person out there. This is a time when, sadly, we have turned direct talk into a kind of taboo. People trip over themselves to find ways around saying what they mean. They wrap any opinion they think might get them in trouble with the Twitter mob in cowardly euphemisms, or fail to say anything at all because they are too afraid. Not Blatchford. If she saw something needed to be said, she said it powerfully, without cover or squeamish qualification. She was the empress of straight talk. And if that otherwise ridiculously over-invoked phrase, “speaking truth to power,” has any serious application in First World journalism, then Christie Blatchford is one of the select few who can lay serious claim to its meaning. She was as tough as a rock, and soft as a teddy bear. What she loved, she loved with fullness and intensity, and could be — in her own way — as sentimental as Little Nell. To hear her talk about hockey players, some man or woman she admired or her relish for the male of the species (a typically contrarian attitude in these woke feminist days) was to hear the rapture of pure enthusiasm and delight. She was instinctively kind, had an alert and well-exercised radar for the plight of the underdog, the “little guy,” the person or group never near the head tables of life. For those who only knew her from her stringent columns, perhaps this aspect of her personality was not as vivid as it was to those who worked with her, or were friends with her. As a writer, she had one of the cleanest lines in the business. She wrote with directness, punch, wit and beautifully managed colour. She understood the great first principle of all writing, journalistic or otherwise: the reader must be first hailed, and then held; the prose must beckon and then delight. To read the lede sentence of a Blatchford column was to be locked in instantly for the whole ride. She could be formal and demure, then throw out a haymaker of pure vernacular, offer the most gentle and considerate of compliments — who wrote with more depth of feeling when tragedy, personal or social, struck? — and put words in a blaze when an injustice called for condemnation. In the art of column writing, simply put, she held full mastery. The fighter loved our fighters, and they loved her And the military — how she loved the Canadian military. The veterans were her friends and the young men and women in uniform summoned a rhapsody when she spoke or wrote of them. The fighter loved our fighters, and they loved her. It was a special thing to see the welcome she received at military events. I got the opportunity to witness this on occasion, and it was a wonder and a treat. If affection and support for Canadian soldiers were the qualification, Christie Blatchford should have a regiment named after her. So it is a sad time. Journalism is measurably diminished by her departure. But her example, her books and columns, will continue. Journalism schools could vastly profit by highlighting what a real spirit of independent thought and courageous writing can do for a career, and for the profession. The Canadian military will more than miss her voice and presence. And Canada has lost a rare and special person who lived so many of the virtues — integrity and intelligence, bravery and kindness — of a truly exceptional human being. Read more: National Post

I sure will miss her. She loved her dog. There are very few real journalists left in Canada Now there is one less Would love to read her article on what is happening with the Teachers strike and blockades, miss her

Longtime Canadian journalist Christie Blatchford dies at 68Longtime newspaper columnist, author and firebrand Christie Blatchford , a hardnosed scribe known for deep-sourced scoops and biting opinion pieces, has died.

Canadian journalist Christie Blatchford has died at 68Longtime newspaper columnist, author and firebrand Christie Blatchford , a hardnosed scribe known for deep-sourced scoops and biting opinion pieces, has died.

Longtime newspaper columnist Christie Blatchford dead at 68Longtime newspaper columnist, author and firebrand Christie Blatchford , a hardnosed scribe known for deep-sourced scoops and biting opinion pieces, has died. One of a kind. A straight shooter. I sometimes very much disagreed with her view on something but she was a great writer who told it like she saw it and never left you wondering what she really believed. One of a very few that I wish I'd met in real life. RIP Christie Blatchford Didn't always agree with her but I loved her insightful columns RIP. She was a real investigative journalist, unlike so much of the fluff and puff you read/hear today.

Canadian journalist Christie Blatchford dead at 68Longtime newspaper columnist, author and firebrand Christie Blatchford , a hardnosed scribe known for deep-sourced scoops and biting opinion pieces, has died.

Lisa LaFlamme on Christie Blatchford's deathCTV National News Chief Anchor LisaLaFlammeCTV shares her memories of award-winning journalist Christie Blatchford , saying she was 'a woman who never lost her spirit.' Full video: LisaLaFlammeCTV Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. LisaLaFlammeCTV Government run media

'Tough, but fair': Journalists remember award-winning columnist Christie BlatchfordKnown for being compassionate, but 'tough-as-nails,' longtime newspaper columnist Christie Blatchford has died at the age of 68. Who? hateful and atrocious Who?



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