In a revelation that has sent shockwaves through Montreal’s journalism community, MTL Blog has been outed as the twisted masterwork of a single non-sentient being.
“It’s a robot,” announced police commissioner Marc Laframboise at a press conference earlier this morning. The SPVM began investigating MTL Blog after neighbours complained of strange noises coming from their office late at night.
“Since its inception, MTL Blog has continually set the bar for journalistic excellence in this city. Whether for their hard-hitting investigative journalism, their strong editorial voice, or the work they’ve done for charitable causes, MTL Blog has stood out as the example par excellence of what journalism should be,” explained CBC Montreal’s Kate McQueen.
“All I can say is that I am extremely relieved that it was a robot behind it this entire time, and not an actual human being.”
“It was just an unfair comparison,” explained Ricochet Media’s Ian Deepier. “MTL Blog was prolific. It was prodigious. It’s like trying to compete with the New York Times. You just can’t do it.”
In addition to being impressed by the robot’s legendary output, Deepier was also impressed by how well the robot could market its articles.
“Have you seen the likes they get on social media? If it wasn’t a publication as reputable as MTL Blog, I’d suggest they were buying all of those Facebook and Instagram likes from sketchy vendors on the internet.”
After entering MTL Blog’s tiny office on St. Laurent Street, police investigators found smoke pouring out of the six-foot-tall robot. Its display panel read “Error 36: No More Lists Available.”
Shortly after the press conference, #MTLBlogBot became a trending topic on Twitter.
“I’ve been trying to get a job writing at MTL Blog for five years now,” explained 2011 Concordia Journalism graduate Derek Wong. “Now that I know they only employ robots… I feel like I’ve gotten some closure.”
It wasn’t just Anglophone media who reacted to today’s revelation with sadness. Montreal’s Francophone media were just as wistful:
“Narcity, man… that was a good blog,” remarked Urbania’s Tomas Bonaparte. “What I’m most impressed is that in MTL BlogBot’s four short years, it was not only able to publish thirty thousand listicles about Montreal—but it was able to learn French, too.”
Narcity, of course, was MTL Blog’s attempt to break into the French market. Although the French publication was nowhere near as successful as MTL Blog itself, French Montrealers still appreciated the effort.
Now, as both French and English Montrealers come to terms with the fact their favourite blog was written by a robot, it’s important to look back and ask ourselves: what will we miss most about MTL Blog?
“Definitely the lists,” answered a staff writer for Cult Montreal who asked to remain anonymous. “Best burger spots. Best washrooms. Best places to do your laundry. It was the best of the best, as far as I am concerned. And I am concerned. Where will I now go to get fresh original content about my city?”
Eater Montreal’s Ian Harrison voiced similar concerns: “Without MTL Blog, how am I supposed to systematically rank Montreal establishments in order of susceptibility to bribe requests?”
Montreal restaurant owners felt Mr. Harrison’s pain,
“I’ll definitely miss getting all of MTL Blog’s emails. They were so well-written. I didn’t think I’d ever enjoy being asked to pay $800 to appear in the 6th spot of a listicle. But I did.”
Such were the words of Louis Di Lallo, who runs the Di Lallo family burger shop in Saint-Henri.
“You wouldn’t believe the foot traffic an appearance in MTL Blog could generate for my restaurant,” explained Di Lallo.
“The number of mindless plebeians in this city desperate to try the restaurant recommendations of a robot who can’t even eat… it truly is astonishing.”
A funeral will be held for MTL BlogBot tomorrow night at Apartment 200. The eulogy will feature sponsored content from Maisonneuve Magazine and Metatron Press. In lieu of flowers please just go and like our page on Facebook.