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Dumont is no Anderson Cooper

by Archives September 15, 2009

Former ADQ leader, Mario Dumont, made his mark when he lead his party to become Quebec’s official opposition in 2007. It was only in last December’s provincial election that Dumont’s party faded in popularity, resulting in the ADQ only winning seven seats in the National Assembly and Dumont’s subsequent resignation.
Though he is through with politics, it seems that Dumont is insistent on being in the spotlight, for there is no other rational excuse for his new talk show, Dumont 360.
A far cry from CNN’s dark and slick Cooper 360, the set of Dumont 360 is light yellow and composed of multi-tiered circles. The lighting is so bright, it gives the effect of a morning show, and not one that airs at 5 p.m.
Dumont 360 focuses on a topic of the day (school dropout rates, white collar crime) and invites a panel of four to join him in the discussion. The problem in this segment stems from the quality of his guests. In his first episode, about dropout rates, he invited two high school students who seemed dazed and confused, while two education specialists had very little new information to offer. At this point, a good TV host would steer the floundering dialogue in a new direction, or at least try to make his guests comfortable. Dumont, however, decided to leave his guest do the heavy lifting and simply moderated the discussion by posing the same question around the panel.
As the show goes into commercial break, it is clear that Dumont’s show has little possibility of being taken seriously. The first commercial that pops up is for Distraction, showing contestants breaking eggs over their heads and pressing a button that electrocutes themselves, all for a cash prize. It is desperate and the lowest common denominator of entertainment.
Both shows air on V, formerly known as TQS. The station was bought out by Maxime and Julien Rémillard in 2007 saving TQS from bankruptcy in 2007 when it had accumulated $71 million worth of debt, according to MarketingMag.ca. The new owners decided to re-brand the third rate network to appeal to younger viewers and boosting their standards. V is supposed to stands for: vitesse (speed), verité (truth) and vedettes (stars). Besides for speed, V has been a let down on all fronts. The news department was cut due to its elaborate production costs, so there is little truth to be told and the biggest star on V is . . . Dumont?
Toward the end of Dumont 360, the show proceeds to a news portion, which Dumont himself does not partake in. There is some confusion in this, because the news is outsourced to ADN5 (an independent producer), yet reporters still carry around microphones with V logos.
The news is read by an anchor who moves each story by flicking her hand against the TV monitor stationed behind her; the effect is that she is showing the news on a large Ipod touch. If that weren’t cheesy enough, the motion makes a loud “swoosh” sound.
The news portion is baffling; why attempt to cover the news with only a portion of the budget? It not only ruins the pace of the show, it also takes away from Dumont, who is the main draw .
Dumont 360 concludes with Dumont giving a few minutes worth of his opinions. Unlike his CNN counterpart, Dumont is fidgety and overemphasizes every point of his argument.
Throughout the show, he ends up speaking more with his hands than with his lips, proving that he is a true politician at heart.
Dumont 360 airs weeknights at 5 p.m. on V.

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