What’s good for CNN isn’t good for CTV

•January 31, 2009 • 2 Comments

You've been caught!

You've been caught!

Life is short.  Have an affair.  Well television executives at CTV don’t believe so.  But Toronto-based dating service Ashley Madison does.  The result, CTV decides to pull Ashley Madison ads from their broadcast of the Super Bowl on Sunday and the president of Ashley Madison is screaming foul.


“We’re just really livid that it’s not being seen in the country where the business was born and where it’s focused,” says Noel Biderman, president of Ashley Madison.

In case you haven’t figured it out, Ashley Madison is an online dating service that encourages extra-marital affairs.  Their commercials are lustful and really clever.  You don’t realize you’re watching a commercial “openly” promoting adultery until you see their tag line or you hear the voice over (announcer) in the commercial.

 Despite the moral issues surrounding such a service – maybe there is a reason for Biderman’s dismay considering the 30 second ad obtained the green light from the Telecaster Committee of Canada to run after 9 p.m.  But CTV will not run it because of the moral implications of promoting adultery.

“An advertisement for a website promoting adultery does not meet the standards for the quality brands associated with this premier television property and major social event,” Scott Henderson, a spokesman for the network.

Oddly the Ashley Madison ads will run in the United States on prominent television stations such as CNN, FOX News and MSNBC.  So what’s the problem here?

Why is it okay for the ad to be shown on a U.S. television station but not in Canada?  Whether or not you agree with the services Ashley Madison provides – it is a service.  Whether you like or not – people will still find ways to cheat and that is without the help of Ashley Madison.  If CTV is trying to weigh in on the moral debate around adultery – blocking this ad appears like a band aid approach.  Nevertheless, you have to respect CTV for standing firm against their decision to not broadcast this ad.  What are you thoughts?

Feelings of lust are replaced with feelings of regret.

Feelings of lust are replaced with feelings of regret.


Sexy Canadian politics

•December 3, 2008 • 3 Comments

Party leaders after their debate last October.

Party leaders after their debate last October.

For political scientists watching the drama unfold in Ottawa – it is a sexy time for Canadian politics.  The American presidential race had its moments of high drama, but the action that’s happening in Canada’s capital is far more exciting.

I was a student of political science at one point and I studied all of the famous clashes in politics, but never did I image, I would live to see this kind of drama unfold.  If you haven’t been watching or reading the news, here’s my quick and dirty recap:

The minority government led by Stephen Harper is on the verge of defeat.  The opposition parties in the House of Commons (the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois) are disgruntled and they are willing to no longer support the government.  A minority government is all about cooperation because no majority government exists.  In order for the minority government in Ottawa to function, a vote of confidence is needed.  It’s like a stamp of approval – if this stamp of approval isn’t obtained – the current sitting government falls.  When a government falls (there is no confidence in the government) there are two likely options – call an election or allow a coalition government to form.  Nevertheless, calling another election is a waste of money especially when we had one in October.  Besides, who wants to throw another 30 million down the toilet?  And only to gain the SAME results – another minority government.

Although exciting to watch as a political scientist, it is a source of concern for the average Canadian.  It is evident the economy is plunging and most people are concerned about job security.  The average apathetic Canadian doesn’t want high drama in Ottawa right now.  But the politics continues at a shocking rate.  No longer is it a matter of just politics as usual it’s about major confrontations between Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and the now united left.  Imagine Harper’s government has even UNITED the left?  How bad can things be that even the Bloc Quebecois are willing to sign a coalition agreement with the Liberals and NDP? 

Canadian politics is sexy again, but at a price.  The actions of the now united left are troubling to an extent.  It appears almost self-centred to force the defeat of the minority government when the global economy is in turmoil.  The Canadian economy isn’t far behind – we are experiencing our own financial troubles and no one knows when this will end.

With all biases aside, I really hope whatever happens in Ottawa is in favour of the Canadian electorate.  The egos and self-centred politics of “self” will need to be put aside.  Our politicians need to remember why they’re in Ottawa in the first place – to represent the people.  Once they lose sight of this basic tenant – Canada is in a lot of trouble.


Master T: a community icon

•November 1, 2008 • 2 Comments
If you’re expecting former MuchMusic VJ Master T to come back on television to host an urban show and interview Lil’ Wayne – think again.  Master T isn’t that type of kat and his legendary show Da Mix wasn’t a program promoting commercial talent – it was about connecting with the black community. 

Master T who’s real name is Tony Young, was adamant in providing quality programming for his audience during his 11 year run as host of Da Mix (formerly known as X-Tendamix).  It was routine for him and his wife Paula, to spend hours in Much’s video tape library searching for quality videos for their viewership.  T was on to something big, he realized the void in the Canadian television landscape and he was willing to fill it.   He knew what the community wanted and he felt obligated to produce intelligent programming and to service the then budding urban music scene. 

Although Da Mix came off the air in 2001, T until this day has a massive grass roots following and fans constantly stop him in the streets to give him props for bringing urban talent to the forefront.

 But since his show came off the air, many viewers noticed an obvious void and this became apparent to T also.

“The community doesn’t have a connection anymore.  It saddens me because we don’t have that experience.  And I’m not praising myself for being the only connection.  It’s sad when I left, that was one of things that were lost,” he said.

As a consequence, there wasn’t a viable venue for urban programming.  Executives embraced commercialized shows to appeal to tweens.

“I call it manufactured programming.  Not everybody wants to see programs like that.  People still want content…some meat and potatoes.  For a lot of people that’s what’s missing.  Television stations are just feeding what is cheap to actually produce,” said T.

And this trend is disturbing to Master T.  So much so, T and his wife have created a black focused production company to address the emptiness.  The husband and wife team is currently producing a series of pilots and documentaries to address the needs of the black community.  Their production company, Esor Productions Inc. is in the process of trying to find a suitable network to launch a variety of shows (Kiddie Jam, Every Ting Reggae, Connexx and FebonOpus).

Although Black Entertainment Television (BET) came to Canada in the late 1990’s, T has yet to see programming he’s willing to embrace.

“I would love to see the content change.  I think BET is all about hits.  For me to sit here and bash BET, I don’t think it’s worth it.  I think they could provide much more for the black community,” he said.

And this is something; Master T has always been passionate about – the focus on community.

“People in their 30’s or 40’s were watching MuchMusic religiously.  Da Mix became a connection for family.  It became a real connection for us in the community and that’s how people relate to me,” said T.

Sarah Palin – my daily entertainer!

•October 1, 2008 • 4 Comments

Sarah Palin - my favourite modern day clown!

Sarah Palin - my favourite modern day clown!








I am tired of the Republican campaign shielding the lack of media savvy of vice presidential candidate – Sarah Palin.  Whenever I see her interviews on television – it reminds me of a never ending train wreck.  Nevertheless, I secretly enjoy watching her falter in front of the cameras.  You see I don’t feel sorry for Palin – not one bit.  Why?  She was a radio broadcaster and more importantly she’s a Journalism graduate. 


She is very familiar with the machinery of the media and more importantly how it works.  She understands the impact of 30 second sound bytes, images and the need to be clear and concise.  But I have to question, where she went to school because based upon her recent actions – you’d think she took one class and then dropped the entire course!


For her campaign to all of a sudden be up in arms and accuse the media of being biased or creating an image of Palin that’s less than desirable is insane.  Palin’s actions speak for themselves.  She has a lack of political knowledge and her foreign affairs experience is non-existent. 


I truly feel insulted as a woman to see this Gong Show in action.  For the McCain campaign to choose this woman out all of the available contenders is disgusting and disappointing.  She is far from a Hillary Clinton in terms of political savvy, poise, experience and knowledge.  I respect Clinton greatly but Palin – not so much.


If you’re not aware of the lovely Sarah Palin, check the video below.  She makes me want to run for VP!  At least I can name a newspaper!

Toronto’s mayor has an identity crisis

•September 3, 2008 • 2 Comments

So apparently David Miller, the mayor of Toronto has had an identity crisis.  His job title says mayor, but he think his role of father goes above and beyond that.  Are you kidding me?

There was a crisis in the west end of Toronto and some people described it as the most terrifying moment in their lives.  They woke up to explosions, fire and no answers. 

Homes were destroyed, families displaced and our mayor – no where to be found.  Surprisingly only two people died from this massive propane explosion and one being an off-duty firefighter.  Our mayor was vacationing in British Columbia and instead of cancelling his plans – he flew in to Toronto for one day and then left.  This is when residents were left scratching their heads, a public funeral for the fallen firefighter and Toronto councillors losing their professionalism. 

Miller’s reasoning for resuming his vacation in his city’s time of need – “I am a father.”  If I was his Publicist I would have freaked at his remarks.  Duh yeah, tell me something I don’t know.  But I thought you were a public servant and the mayor of Toronto.  What’s wrong with this twisted picture?  I am proud to say, I never voted for this idiot of a mayor.

Q & A with Hip Hop Abs creator Shaun T

•August 20, 2008 • 15 Comments
Shaun T, Hip Hop Abs creator

Shaun T, Hip Hop Abs creator

Shaun T’s love of dance and sports science at New Jersey’s Rowan University helped him to create Hip Hop Abs, a fun and motivational workout.  Shaun, who has been involved in athletics since he was six years old, gives fans his advice on fitness and healthy living.


Natasha C:  Many of our readers are curious about this one.  Before Hip Hop Abs, what were you doing for a living?
Shaun T: Before creating Hip Hop Abs (HHA) I was working for a pharmaceutical company in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.  I graduated college with a degree in sports science from Rowan University.  During a visit in Los Angeles I auditioned for a professional dance agency just for fun.  Well to my surprise they actually chose me to be a part of their agency.  This aided me to move to LA in 2003. From there the inspiration began!  I decided on the concept of HHA when I was in college because that’s when I struggled with my weight issue. I started dancing and with most dancers their main focus is their weight.  I needed to do something about my extra 50lbs! And so I developed tilt, tuck and tighten.


NC: You’ve created the most celebrated exercise program since Tae Bo, what made you develop this program?
ST:  I developed HHA because after high school, I went to college and stopped doing sports and gained 50lbs. I needed to do something.  I started dancing and during every show there was always the request for guys to have their shirts off.  I needed to do something about my belly so I decided to always contract my abs. After receiving my bachelors in sports science, I was able to scientifically prove that tilt, tuck and tighten works.


NC: What’s so revolutionary about Hip Hop Abs? 
ST: It’s so much better to not have to use gravity to increase your workout. With sit ups you have to lie on the floor and strain your lower back and neck.  But with absolute ab engagement you are creating the firing of the muscles all on your own.  That puts you in control and while you’re dancing.

NC:  In order to keep your body in such excellent shape, you must have a strict diet.  How many times of day do you eat and what are your favourite foods?
ST: First I would like to stress that my lifestyle is as follows: if I am trying to lose weight I burn more calories than I put in my body!  It’s really that simple!  If I wanna maintain my weight I balance my exercise with my portions and it’s much easier than you think if you just listen to your body.


Actually my “eating lifestyle” isn’t as strict as much as it is smart!  I just eat really smart to maintain the results. My calorie intake consists of high amounts of fish and other proteins like chicken and sometimes a good ol’ low fat piece of steak.  I, unlike a lot of other heath professionals don’t eat 5 or 6 meals a day because “my” body isn’t made for that type of intake. I have the type of body that packs on the pounds extremely easily. So if you wanna know my absolute honest regiment, here it is:

– Breakfast around 9 a.m.; granola cereal or egg whites, spinach, and wheat toast with the occasional cream cheese. I stress occasional!

– Lunch around 1:30 p.m. or 2 p. m.; sushi and or Japanese food.  And sometimes two small size turkey sandwiches with wheat bread.  And yes I will enjoy a small amount of baked Lays potato chips to satisfy that urge!

– Dinner is between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.; most of the time I have some sort of fish with salad.  Balsamic vinaigrette mostly but I also have that amazing low fat ranch dressing in the fridge!  And if I am still hungry after that I will have some cashews and or sugar free sorbet! Ahhhhh I love it!

NC: Working out and eating properly go hand in hand.  Nevertheless, many people struggle to do both or one of the other.  How do you stay motivated to keep in shape when you may have days of eating poorly or not working out as hard as you originally planned?
ST: There are so many times when I am travelling where I don’t eat as healthy as I would like and I get really stressed out!  I used to give up and continue to eat poorly and just start over the next day, but no more!  I call it an “enjoyment day” and I know I have to do a quick workout, no matter how short. Look people, it’s as simple as, you make the choice to enjoy the foods you like, make the choice to burn the calories. You have to make the choice.


NC: If someone wants to change their unhealthy lifestyle into a healthy lifestyle, how do you suggest they should go about doing it?
ST: The easiest way to change your lifestyle is not to go on a “diet” or say, “I will start my new workout on Monday.”  That Monday turns into a month of Monday’s!  If you want to start a workout program, the minute you decide to commit, do 20 jumping jacks or drop down and do 10 push-ups.  When I was overweight, I would workout for 10 minutes a day for two weeks and worked my way up.  In a lifestyle change toward healthy living there is no rush – just a better mind. That will take you further than any diet.

NC:  What are your top five tips for creating sleek sexy abs?
ST: Cardio with me!  Create a great eating lifestyle.  Make a firm commitment to training your abs 4 times a week for 10 to 20 minutes.  Remember to invite the pain of working out and don’t be afraid.  No pain no gain!  Lastly, relax and give your body time to develop.


*Excerpts of this article were originally published in SWAY Magazine.






John Edwards: the truth is out

•August 12, 2008 • 3 Comments
Another politician falls from grace.
Another politician falls from grace.

Can I say – I am glad John Edwards failed in his presidential bid.  I am glad because his wreck less actions could’ve ruined the Democratic Party beyond repair.  Imagine him campaigning all over the United States as a legit Presidential hopeful and his affair was unleashed in the press?


It would have been devastating and almost impossible to recover from.  Its unfortunate many politicians believe they are above and beyond the law.  As a consequence, they continue to do whatever they want not even thinking their actions will come to light one day. 


Edwards’s actions have further lowered the little trust most Americans have in their politicians.  I mean just the other day; New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign because of his affair with high-end call girl, Ashley Alexandra Dupré. 


It’s a sad day for politics when an allegedly squeaky clean politician has an affair, tries to cover it up and still believe he can run for the top job in the land.


Now I understand everyone is human and I should not judge.  Nevertheless, Edwards was a public figure running to be the President of the United States.  Proper discretion should have been exercised by him.  He should have never run for president knowing he had such an explosive past.


What do you think about the issue?