The Vancouver Sun mailed thousands of postcards to homes featuring this classic cover
When I checked my mail today something dropped out of the pizza shop flyers that was completely unexpected. It was a 6x9" postcard of Sam Sullivan's famous front page shot from the Vancouver Sun, an image shared around the world by international media, and taken during the indisputable high point of Sam Sullivan's poll numbers while in government – only three months in office.
For a split second I thought that the NPA was behind this, and had pulled the wool over our eyes and launching their first salvo in a comeback attempt. No such luck however – I turned the card over and the other side was a pitch for a Vancouver Sun subscription.
For those who pay attention to these things, you may have heard we've got a new government at City Hall. Sam Sullivan has moved on from public life, and there's a new sheriff in town. So it was indeed an odd choice for the folks at Canwest to be widely circulating a not-unsubstantial semi-gloss finish postcard with a very flattering shot of the former Mayor of Vancouver.
Or maybe it wasn't. I live in East Vancouver, which you may think is full of latté-swilling radicals in Che Guevera t-shirts, but Sam was well thought of in several communities including on this side of town. Considering that the Sun could have used a stock shot of Gregor carrying the flame off the plane in Victoria a few months back instead, maybe there's something to be read into here.
Was this, as Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight or TheTyee.ca might insist, a conspiracy by conservatives at Canwest? Was this idea cooked up in a smoke-filled backroom at the Terminal City Club over tumblers of 25-year old scotch to soften up the electorate for a swing to the right?
Or was this a shot across the bow for Vision Vancouver and their teflon leader, aka Gregor the Green? Were Canwest hinting that Vancouver's cute and cuddly Mayor couldn't sell papers?
It's most likely the latter, which is why we're hearing that Vision are just a little peeved at the newspaper publisher today.
There are those who will pine for February 2006, when we were younger, had fewer grey hairs, drank less, and good ol' Sam was the man to beat. And thanks to the Vancouver Sun's ad campaign we can all ride that time machine for just a moment.
On another note, the shot of reporter Jeff Lee on the Sun cover reminded me that the paper's lead Olympics reporter has posted some interesting commentary on whether reporters running in the Olympic Torch Relay is a conflict. You can check that post out here.