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Does this wikileak make my story look flat?

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The American embassy in Ottawa called me a crap journalist, but I don’t care. I made Wikileaks!

Among a batch of Wikileaks cables released yesterday is one chronicling, in painful detail, American Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson’s stopover in Winnipeg in the fall of 2009, shortly after he was appointed by friend and President Barack Obama, and just hours after Premier Greg Selinger won the NDP leadership race.

It’s a neat read. It talks about Manitoba’s inferiority complex, a warm meeting between Jacobson and equally-rookie Ambassador Gary Doer on a Via train and Selinger’s sheepish request for improvements to the Emerson border crossing. Jacobson also met with Gail Asper to talk about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. She made a plea for Obama’s endorsement and asked whether he would make an appearance at the human rights museum.

I did a short interview with Jacobson in a committee room at city hall after the affable ambassador met with Mayor Sam Katz. It wasn’t the most awesome interview I’ve ever done, and it turns out American embassy staff weren’t too impressed either. In the cable, they call my story "unexceptional and rather flat."

Zing! The story is pretty utilitarian, admittedly. But the interview was a little heavy on the platitudes, and my mind was embroiled in the Hydro whistleblower debacle at the time. But no matter. I made Wikileaks!

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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