02 March 2006

March Madness hits Larry King Live

Friday, March 3rd will go down in history as the night Danny Williams went all the way to New York (either in person or via satellite isn't clear at time of writing) to appear on Larry King Live to meet Sir Paul McCartney and talk about the annual seal hunt.

Apparently, Danny didn't agree with the Bond assessment that participating in clubbing Canadian sealers was a bad idea.

According to some reports, Larry wanted a federal government representative on air. The Prime Minister's Office, or Loyola's handlers, made a smart political decision and referred the King booker on with the words "Dial +1-709-729-3570. Ask for Danny."

This is all just part of what local author Ray Guy dubbed March Madness, the annual influx of celebrities decrying eastern Canadians as barbarians that has been a fund-raising staple for animal rights groups since the 1970s.

In order to get ready for the Big Show, try checking some of these links:

1. First of all, CBC has a great archive feature from the fifth estate that documents fairly well how the International Fund for Animal Welfare skillfully thwarted Frank Moore's pro-seal hunt news conferences in London and Washington, all the while bringing in millions of dollars to IFAW's coffers.

2. Then for good measure, try out this account by Ray Guy of a 1999 sally by John Efford; imagine Efford and Williams of one mind on any issue. Now admittedly Efford's views are extreme and the real value of Guy's piece is the foreshadowing of Efford's later self-destruction over the offshore, but take a look at the whole piece and you can see a decent account of the long struggle for seal hunt cash.

3. Once you've digested that stuff, let's take a walk into the Bond archives. During last year's March Madness, the Bond Papers managed to get a couple of swipes in.

- This one was aimed at Paul Watson and Richard Dean Anderson.

- My personal favourite was the silicone comment in this one about Anna Nicole Smith deciding not to come to protest the hunt for fear of being shot.

- The ones that got the most hits, aside from the Paul Watson thing, turned out to be a series on former child stars and their current preoccupation with animal rights groups. There's one on Pam Ferdin and her hubby, and then this one that includes some background on a woman from Newfoundland and Labrador now intimately involved in the anti-seal hunt crowd.

4. Finally, for those who still think Danny's Crusade is a good idea, go armed with the knowledge that he will be facing a host who is already good chums with the other guests on the show, namely Paulie McCartney and his wife Heather. She was a guest host for CNN's coverage of the Chuck and Camilla wedding and she's guest-hosted the show before and appeared as a guest as well at various times. Paul's been on a few times as well.

About the only positive thing I can say is that Danny's international television debut will give new meaning to the term March Madness.

Too bad he didn't look for some air time with Larry to boost the campaign against foreign overfishing.

Then again that would involve thinking outside the box or learning from experience.