I was surprised how saddened I was to learn that Christie Blatchford, a well-known Canadian journalist, had died this week. Surprised because when I first started to read her columns, she irritated me to no end. Apparently, I was not alone. She was a “love her or hate her” kind of journalist. Despite that, I continued to read her as if I was looking to pick a fight. There’s no doubt that if that fight had ever happened, she would have been the clear victor. Her way with words, her smarts and in your face style of writing were not things to be reckoned with.
Then she started to grow on me. I found myself agreeing with her opinions more often. Other times, even if I disagreed, I respected her perspective and the way she presented it. In response to a comment calling her a nasty anti-feminist, she denied being an anti-feminist then added, “I might be nasty, though. That might be true.”
She wrote with passion and clarity, two things that don’t always go hand-in-hand. She was Canada’s first female sports columnist at the Globe & Mail in 1973. She did a stint with Canadian troops covering the war Afghanistan. Most recently, she spent her days in courtrooms covering high profile trials and writing with fervour about how the justice system often fails victims. One headline in an article about her death read that she was “unafraid and unapologetic” and that was certainly true. I am only sorry that I didn’t discover her earlier. RIP Christie Blatchford.