Liberal reaction full of holes

Too illustrative, too offensive? The Liberal comms strategy on this IS full of holes I’m sorry to say.

Yesterday, I went on Evan Soloman’s Power & Politics show to talk Photoshop faux-pas and the illustration that was put on the Liberal Party website showing the PM in a Liberal partisan “assassination fantasy”. I mentioned that ad hominem always fails in communications; personal attacks such as the Liberal photoshop failed and the Conservative poopin’ puffin failed too.

Soloman mentioned another illustration (which was not available at airtime) of “bullet holes” around Stephane Dion’s head that appeared on the Conservative Party website.

Here is the is the illustration in question, held up by Kinsella on P&P yesterday and today on CTV’s Canada AM:

One of the tools in a web designer’s toolbox is the stock photo. For a buck or two, a designer can grab a professional illustration or photo to accent a base illustration or photo. In this case, a Conservative web designer grabbed a stock photo of
“holes” from a website called iStockphoto (a website I highly recommend, btw).

Here is the image from iStockphoto:

and the name of the file on the iStockphoto website? Not “Bullet Holes” but “Paper Holes“:

Holes in Dion’s plan, holes in Dion’s platform?

Why do the Liberals only see death?

Let’s consider the process of the Liberal apology:
1) An apology from “The Web Team” at if the assassination photoshop may have offended some people.
2) An apology from Ralph Goodale suggesting that social media does not allow for editorial control. This is so absolutely wrong and misleading. The photoshop contest had a screening process (ie. “editorial control”)
3) An accusation from Warren Kinsella that the other guys are just as bad so let’s all just forget the Liberal transgression.

When the poopin puffin was released, the Prime Minister apologized to Stephane Dion. When will Michael Ignatieff apologize to Stephen Harper for a mock assassination photo that appeared on the Liberal leader’s website?



  • east of eden

    Well, Stephen, you asked when Ignatieff will apologize to PM Harper. The answer is: “probably never”. There are reasons for this. First of all, our PM is highly intelligent, a real leader, a good man, a man of faith, a man with class, and a man who has his feet firmly planted in reality. Ignatieff, on the other hand, is academically intelligent but has no reality smarts, he has no class, he has no idea how to lead his party and he has no concept of what it is like to be Canadian. We are a polite country – something of which Ignatieff could not be aware since he is American (yes, I know what his passport says). Ignatieff is clearly not a leader and, as such, is weak and ineffective. He would not apologize because he has no leadership qualities.

  • Liz J

    It's apparent the Liberals are seeing only and the reason is becoming more obvious by the day.

    The Taliban detainee issue is all they've got and they're hanging on to it like flies to manure.
    Accusations are flying and they're zeroing in on the Harper government as being responsible for torture of Taliban, (the enemy), detainees. They will not sleep until the government of Canada is indicted for war crimes.

  • Liz J

    Damn, that should read: It's apparent the Liberals are seeing only DEATH and the reason is……

  • Janni

    Warren the depraved gets the usual last word on CTV. Warren´s pals at the Hill Times think this photo was “…Funny. Gasp! I said it”. (Harris McLoed).

    I feel like I live on Mars because these friendly folks think such a photo is fair game and somehow the same as a poopin puffin.

    Sorry to do this but consider changing the players around. In the photo, put Ignatieff´s head shot onto Lee Harvey Oswalds body and have Jack Ruby murder him in front of the FBI agents. Sparks do fly!

    How many days, how many angles, how much dialogue, how much ink of indignation would be spent discussing the ways that Conservatives have maligned the great thinker Liberal leader. I figure it would be dragged through the print and TV news for at least a week. A week of heavy coverage, most of which would be very sympathetic to the Liberal leader.

    I saw some comment at the Globe where a person said that kids play videos shooting people all the time and their kids would have no problem seeing this photo with the PM being shot. My kids do not know what politics are but they know the PM and they´d be shocked and upset. Rightfully.

  • Canadiansense

    Liberal math does not add up again. It listed seven vs six finalists. The assassination got pulled after it made the finalists list. I have the pics.

    I don't think making light of genocide by despots and calling our PM a dicatator is fair game either given the stink by the coalition regarding human rights abuses ignored by our military and our government.

  • Canadiansense

    If I am not mistaken his advice was to call the RCMP and let them sort it out back than.

  • Canadiansense

    Polls and fundraising fourth quarter results?

  • gimbol

    My guess is that the brains behind this contest is the guy that will also have to be the one with the task of explaining it away. Won't that be real kick in the backside. Let me stress that this in no way imply that Warren is the idiot that thought this up.

  • Bec

    The Liberals and their very anally aggressive “Copenhagen Contest' will soon be proven even more idiotic than Copenhagen itself. perhaps that is why they even did it, to take the attention off a leader and party that HAS NO POLICY. Other than that of the bandwagon.

    Someone very wise said today, “once you are 7 steps off of the 'Hill' nobody cares what is happening there” and I tend to agree.
    Canadians, are sick of this garbage and in particular these outrageous partisan attacks.
    This one however, will go down as the MOST DISGUSTING, ever and they had at least 1/2 of those 75 to chose from.

    On the LIBERAL WEBSITE, none the less.

  • batb

    ” … posting bullet shots around Dion during an election …”

    IF those were intended to be bullet holes, at least there isn't one through Dion's head. 'How about this being about Dion dodging bullets? G*d knows, there were enough of them coming from his own party members and his own ineptness.

    It's astonishing to me that Liberal$ can't distinguish between partisan cheap — though, sometimes, apt — shots and a staged assassination shot of our Prime Minister. There IS a difference, and no amount of trying to play gotcha is going to remove the distinct odour of desperation coming from the Librano Camp.

    Look, the Liberal$ have scraped the very bottom of the (gun) barrel by their Web Team's allowing this barbaric photoshopped image of Prime Minister Stephen Harper 1) onto their Web site and 2) as a finalist in their contest. They've badly blown it (sorry for the constant stream of double entendres, but they just keep slipping out).

    The very fact that they posted this image reveals a craven lack of morals or ethics and that they and their supporters just don't get it.

    As for “Colvin's latest damning testimony,” only the Taliban and the Liberal$ are worried about a shoe being thrown at their comrade. As for “the possibility that Harper will once again prorogue Parliament,” who says? Ralphie Badbeer? As for “the embarrassment in Copenhagen,” a lot of Canadians are saying “give us another fossil award! Please!” PMSH isn't falling for the manipulated stats supporting “Global Warming” and the real agenda behind carbon credits, which is a massive, internatilnal redistribution of wealth and a grab at one-world government centred in the UN.

  • Alberta Girl

    Where is your proof of that TED???

  • Liz J

    Bullet holes around Dion? I thought he was pushing up through daisies.
    Anyhoo, not a chance of Kinsella and his gang passing off the depiction of assassination of our Prime Minister as funny. In fact it could be dangerous if some deranged individual gets an idea from it.

    It's about time Ignatieff acts like a leader and take responsibility for his flock. Ralph Goodale , Mr know-all, may want to go off and check his facts before spouting off.

    If Ignatieff can't bring himself to apologize for such an outrageous posting on his website, he's not a real leader.

  • bigcitylib

    If you look at all the photos on istock you get when searching paper holes, you find many of them are .jpgs of bullet holes shot through paper targets and other paper objects. So that proves nothing. In context (against a stop sign red background) they are obviously gun shots, probably from a .412 shotgun.

    I'll give you the same advice I give everyone, Taylor, apologize now. Twice, for that Iggy with the shotgun thing. Otherwise it will never go away.

  • Nougat Christ

    @bigcitylib the keyword to the file that Taylor is saying is only “paper holes” is TARGET SHOOTING….

    Last time I did target shooting I used a gun… if anything is full of holes it is Taylor's explanation…

  • Stephen Taylor

    It is not obvious at all (paper holes, guilt by paper hole association with other paper holes — stop equals red? Or Liberal?). On the other hand, a Jack Ruby photoshop of the PM is quite obvious.

    Michael Ignatieff should apologize.

  • Devin Johnston

    I think you're stretching here, Stephen. What cause the holes in the paper? Why are they there? The illustration doesn't really make sense unless the holes are supposed to be bullet holes due to Dion's being shot at by his own party members.

    Let's just be gownups about this. The Liberals should apologize for publishing the photoshopped picture their supporter made on their website. The Conservatives should apologize for this one and pull it down, too.

    I really get the sense that issues like these wouldn't come up so ofter if political actors didn't feel the need to vilify each other constantly.

  • joannetb

    Why do the Liberals only see death?

    It's like a Rorschach test. Show them a pencil hole and they see bullets.

  • Nougat Christ

    Stephen, the keyword to that file is TARGET SHOOTING….
    What are you shooting at if not Dion?

    Your readers can continue with their cognitive delusions if they want and continue with “paper holes”…

  • Stephen Taylor

    Keyword loading is common for istockphoto in order for an image to be found for multiple applications.

    A keyword including is “punching” as in “hole puncher”. Is it target shooting or hole punching? Other keywords are “cut or torn paper”. Do you cut/tear paper with bullets? You an inferring intent. The Dion image is not so clear as the intent of the Jack Ruby photoshop.

    The Conservatives were punching holes in the Liberal plan. You perceive it as shooting. There is no room for interpretation on the Liberal photoshop.

  • platty

    It was always meant as shooting holes in Dions platform NC, nothing delusional about it, at least not on the Conservatives part…..


  • Bec

    And the question marks over the heads of confused looking Liberals would mean what?
    Colonel Mustard in the Library? Quick, hide the evidence!

    The obvious is just too obvious to Conservatives when nothing VIOLENT was suggested or intended but then Mr Dions' MATES, may have had another notion and Conservative had someone on the inside, hmm?

    Ridiculous thinking.

  • JCherniak

    If Harper apologizes for implying that all Liberals are Antisemites, then maybe it would make sense.

  • Ardvark

    Holes through paper cannot possibly be compared with holes through people, but yet this is what the Liberals are trying to do.


  • Anonymous

    Except, Stephen, to sustain your argument you need also explain why the Conservatives added gunshot sound effects and drew Ignatieff holding a gun.

    Clearly the paper holes are meant to be gunshot holes in a paper background.

    Nice try though.

    And generally nice attempt at changing the channel from Colvin’s latest damning testimony, the possibility that Harper will once again prorogue Parliament to avoid accountability, the fact that Harper is deliberately showing contempt for Parliament by ignoring the will and motions of Parliament, Harper’s use of our soldiers as props to help him cover-up his incompetent oversight of detainees, the embarrassment in Copenhagen, and Harper’s falling polls/Ignatieff’s rising polls.

    Canadians are smarter than that. And knowing you to be a reasonable and sane partisan, I don’t for a second believe you really think Ignatieff should apologize for a stupid ill-thought photo that appeared for about half an hour. If you really thought an apology was owing, I’m sure we would have heard you calling on Harper to apologize for: calling Martin a supporter of child pornography, posting bullet shots around Dion during an election, calling Navdeep Bains a supporter of terrorism because his step father knows one of the Air India bombers, saying Ignatieff and Bob Rae (of all people) and the other Liberal leaders as haters of Israel etc etc etc.

    Seems to me conservatives were whining away that the opposition was desperately grabbing at faux outrages because they have nothing else. Certainly, that is the case here.

    When is Stephen Harper going to apologize to Canadians?

  • Nougat Christ

    That's an interesting narrative but sadly so far from the truth…. Really it is demeaning to most Conservatives to even try to run with “it was only paper holes” story…

    I never told you how I perceived the ad, so the inferring is coming from you.

    You can try to argue that it's hole in the paper, but in the end, you are just insulting common sense.

  • Stephen Taylor

    How do you perceive the ad? In fact, it would seem that you have a different perception than me since you are arguing that these are shot holes. Ergo, different perceptions. This can be interpreted in different ways (by opponents in the worst possible way, and by the creators of the ad that describe paper holes via punching holes in a platform).

    Jack Ruby photoshop has one interpretation.

  • Nougat Christ

    Trying to disassemble reality into a nice little spin will not change what it is. Neither is trying to obtusely argue that these are paper holes.
    You'd have a better change are fooling people if your graphic artist had used any other shape except for the round one.
    The keywords clearly state TARGET SHOOTING – so are the Conservative trying to shoot Dion?

    It is rather “convenient” that that Conservative come out with the excuse of “ripping paper” months after many have complained of the bullet holes around Dion. What happened? Did the Connie spin machine get caught in another case of hypocrisy?

    Let's put it this way, if I were to take those same “paper holes” and place them on Haper's forehead and use the explanation that I'm just releasing hot air, it would not take long for the howler monkeys to claim that I was shooting Harper.

    The Liberals have already presented their excuses for the poor taste of posting that image – I have yet to see Conservatives offer the same for the bullet holes around Dion. At, lets be clear about this, the Ruby image was from a follower, the Dion bullet holes commissioned by the Conservative party.

  • Liz J

    I've got it, it's obvious those holes were punched from behind the red paper curtain, it had to be all those Liberals who were desperately trying to take a punch at Dion, scare him into stepping aside for the real messiah.

  • Liz J

    Hi there Cherniak, how's it going in the land of Oz which is where you must be making a statement like that?

  • Stephen Taylor

    I don't see a hole on Dion's head.

    The keywords say “punching” and “torn paper”.

    You're spinning.

    The Ruby image was given the seal of approval from the official Liberal Party website, a website Mr. Ignatieff is in charge of (buck stops with him, doesn't it?)

    When will Michael Ignatieff apologize?

  • Nougat Christ

    If you prefer, I could use the same layout and replace Dion with a picture of Harper and the howler monkeys would be outraged.
    The keywords are : Cut Or Torn Paper, Hole, Paper, Torn, EXPLODING, TARGET SHOOTING, Punching, Broken, Image Effect, Cracked…

    It is insulting that you'd argue that round hole in that shape are not bullet holes and at this point quite tiresome.

    It's a nice little diversion and I'm sure some of the more gullible BT will gladly reproduce.

    Maybe you'd like to blog about something with substance such as Colvin's rebuttal today?

  • Stephen Taylor

    So you acknowledge that you're simply a howler monkey with a partisan slant? If you presume that partisans on the other side would react as howler monkies if the shoe were on the other foot are you saying that you're acting like a “howler monkey”?

    No, no, the “howler monkies” on our side are outraged by the photoshop monkies on your side that depicted the PM getting shot.

    I await your howling response ;)

  • Hoarfrost

    The poopin puffin was a lighthearted spoof. Assassination was not light hearted in the least. I can understand the paper holes explanation but I cannot justify the assassination reference.

    Partisan political commentary can often be over the top. I loved the old Mike Duffy show because he had a grin and raised eyebrow whenever these guys in whatever party strayed.

  • jckirlan

    What's a .412? .410 maybe? If you fascists are going to ban guns in this old democracy , then at least know what you're talking about.
    It tells me your logic is flawed at best. The Liberal party is lost to this country for a generation or more. THANK GOD.
    In the words of Oliver Cromwell, to the looney Libs: “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

  • billg

    Ted…do you remember the good old days when if the Libs polled at 7 to 10 points behind the Conservative’s they’d look inside the party to see what’s wrong instead of blaming the guy that keeps winning elections, cuz, sooner or later your gonna have to give that a try.

  • eapr9

    Jason, interesting to see you come out of the woodwork. Your party is in an absolute shambles. There are a lot of grit antisemites. Some of them posting on liblogs quite recently.

  • Gayle

    OK. So because not every person will think they look like bullet holes, no apology is required?

    How many people have to think they look like bullet holes before the photo comes down?

  • Gayle

    Oh no, he said .412 instead of 410. How flawed his logic must be!

  • Gayle

    The liberals did apologize.

  • Gayle

    Who cares how many interpretations there are, so long as one of them is that these are bullet holes?

  • Stephen Taylor

    If we started to function by this standard, the automatic reaction to everything in politics would to be offended.

    Let's just say 100% of sane people find a photoshop of Jack Ruby shooting the PM to be offensive.

  • Gayle

    I am sure Harper regrets ever appointing him. Now he has to deal with someone who is not trying to suck up to him to get a senate seat.

  • eapr9

    Did the grits renew your trolling contract gayle?

  • wilson

    Did you know the media is referring to Iffy as LOL…… haha lol

    Having a loud straight talking East Coaster Conservative in the Senate is an ace.
    Duffy will shake things up, Harper enjoys that.
    And so do we!

  • wilson


  • 900ftjesus

    “Jack Ruby photoshop has one interpretation.”

    No. The contest, “Anywhere but Copenhagen” is supposed to have pictures of where Harper would rather be than Copenhagen. So with the Ruby shot, the person using the photo was very obviously trying to say Harper would rather be a murderous, scum traitor being shot than to be in Copenhagen.

    Had the contest been “where would you rather Harper be,” or “where should Harper be,” then you would be correct.

  • Liz J

    You've lost, stop digging.

  • Liz J

    Like your alter ego, 900ftjesus, you've lost, stop digging. The holes as depicted by the photo would have to be punched from behind, just what the Liberal hierarchy were doing to Dion, they punched him right out of office to make way for their chosen one.

  • batb

    BTW, where the He** is Iffy?

    I mean, aside from not appearing in order to apologize to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his party's inexcusable blooper, where is he AT ALL? He seems to have dropped off the radar altogether (I suspect to ease Bob Rae's ascendancy to LPC leadership status).

    Count Iggula is no leader.

  • Liz J

    Where's Iggy? He's probably off making F'Iggy pudding, doing family Christmas things, shopping for Mimi etc. He won't be missed, the kids are running the LPC.