Lowe and behold, Rob gets a bum rap from the ’Peg

Does the fuss over Rob Lowe’s Winnipeg tweet say more about him, or the city’s defensive citizens?
Actor Rob Lowe attends the world premiere of "Knife Fight" during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 in New York. Did Lowe call Winnipeg a hellhole? Lowe has been in the Manitoba capital to shoot a made-for-TV movie and wrote a message on Twitter Tuesday night that ended with the hashtag "#Trappedinahellhole". THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Evan Agostini
Evan Agostini/CP Images

If you’re a journalist, sometimes it’s more interesting to come to a story later rather than sooner. (It’s also way easier!) When I first heard that Winnipeg was ablaze with mob fury about a Rob Lowe tweet that described the city as a “hellhole”, I sort of chuckled to myself and thought “Welp, right or wrong, he is definitely talking about the ‘Winnipeg’ that’s in Manitoba.” It wasn’t until last night that I saw what good ol’ Dean Youngblood had actually written.

@RobLowe The local affiliate is interrupting the 4th quarter of the#NBAFinals to show city council election results!!!#TrappedInAHellHole

CP’s Steve Lambert did a good job of arbitrating the resulting furore. With no council elections happening in Winnipeg, the immediate problem seems to have been that the sports bar Lowe was visiting had tuned to a network feed from Grand Forks, N.D. TSN, which carried the game uninterrupted, would have been a better choice.

Lowe indicated later that he was referring to the bar, and not Winnipeg as a city, when he joked about being in a “hellhole”. And, in fact, if you look at what he wrote, he never did say that Winnipeg was a hellhole. (Parts of it are not remotely like hell at all during several months of the year!) But for some reason, an awful lot of Winnipeggers immediately assumed that that’s what he meant. Am I wrong, or does this say more about what they think of their city than it does about what Rob Lowe thinks of it?