Last week, National Post published a column written by Atwood that lampooned Conservative attack ads against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau for his "nice hair " — and then promptly pulled it from its site just hours later. Atwood noticed the pull and responded to the Post on it, tweeting a cached version of the article and questioning whether she had just been censored.
The result of Atwood’s tweet to her more than 850,000 followers was threefold: Her post was put back up on the publication’s website (who cited "fact-checking" as an explanation for the error), the hashtag "#hairgate" trended nationally, and National Post was taught a publicly embarrassing lesson about censorship in Canadian media.
I can see where the Post may have been coming from; it’s election time in Canada, and Atwood’s commentary on the attack ads is sharp and subtly striking. It may have upset some important readers.
However, once you’ve published something from a prolific public figure (Atwood has been active in Canadian literary and media scenes for more than 50 years), you had better be prepared to stand by it. With a long, iconic career under her belt — and a real point (it is indeed odd for official political attack ads to be so hair focused, especially when the attacker has a taxpayer-paid personal grooming assistant on staff) — Atwood is clearly not afraid of ruffling any hairs.
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