New study finds Canada's political satirists portray Dion as physically weak

    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - For Canada's political satirists, it matters how
much our leaders can benchpress. According to a study prepared by Cormex
Research, a Canadian media analysis firm that evaluated Canadian political
satire during the 2008 federal election, 20% of political satire during the
campaign portrayed Mr. Dion as physically weak. The study looked at editorial
cartoons in 30 newspapers as well as television satire from such programs as
CBC's Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Examples of this
portrayal included editorial cartoonists such as Cam Cardow of the Ottawa
Citizen depicting Mr. Dion as too weak to lift boxing gloves to face Mr.
Harper, Sun Media's Susan Dewar regularly drawing a skinny Dion wearing a
green elf suit, or Michael DeAdder putting a puny Dion up against the Prime
Minister-as-sumo wrestler. Even CBC's Rick Mercer has described Mr. Dion at
length as the "nerdy kid" from high school.
    "What makes Dion's portrayal more notable is that at the same time,
events conspired to produce the opposite portrayal of Stephen Harper: he was
the bully, the party strongman, the man too tough to wear sleeveless
sweaters," said Andrew Laing, president of Cormex Research. "It isn't
flattering, but it isn't weak either, and visually it puts before the Canadian
public a mano-a-mano contest between a 'weakling' Mr. Dion and a 'bullying'
Mr. Harper."
    The study also found that Mr. Harper was the most satirized figure in
Canada during the election campaign, with 25% of all political satire
featuring the Prime Minister, followed by Dion at 19%. Other political leaders
garnered little attention, including Jack Layton (5%), Elizabeth May (3%) and
Gilles Duceppe (2%). "Since he stopped wearing hair nets on the campaign
trail, nobody finds anything funny about Mr. Duceppe anymore," added Mr.
    The findings come from SatCan, a new weekly analysis report on the top
subjects and issues covered by Canadian political satirists. It is produced
each Tuesday by Cormex staff and is available to the public at


    Cormex Research is Canada's leader in news media measurement and
analysis, serving the country's top private, public and not-for-profit sector
organizations since 1989.

    SatCan is a weekly study of political satire offered by editorial
cartoonists in 30 newspapers and two CBC news satire programs. The election
survey is based on a sample of 892 satirical items between September 7 and
October 18, 2008. Results are weighted based on the estimated audience reach
of each item, using data obtained from NADbank and Nielsen Media Research.

For further information:

For further information: Andrew Laing, President, Cormex Research, (416)

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