Friday, March 09, 2007

Don't call me stupid

I’m a big West Wing fan*. Besides the wonderful characters, writing and situations, the part I really enjoy is how the political situations ring true.

For example, in the episode called "The U.S. Poet Laureate", President Bartlett “accidentally” calls his likely Republican opponent, Governor Ritchie of Florida, stupid.

After an on-air TV interview when Bartlett thought the cameras were off, he described Ritchie as having a .22 caliber mind in a .357 world. In doing so, he opened a debate on Ritchie’s intelligence without getting the flack for it.

Then Ritchie does something very dumb: rather than letting the matter die after a day or so, he keeps demanding an apology and initiates other related actions thereby keeping the story alive for far longer that it should have.

The story then became Ritchie and his staff running around proclaiming about how not stupid he was. But of course the real story was about exactly how stupid he was.

You would think that kind of thing could only happen on television and never in the real world but, as luck would have it, you would be wrong.

Today on VOCM, this story popped up. I think it's worthwhile reprinting here in it's entirety:
Hickey Considers Further Legal Action - March 9, 2007

Transportation Minister John Hickey has confirmed he's looking at legal action against a regular radio talkshow caller. Hickey is already suing former premier, Roger Grimes. Now, his lawyers have contacted Morris Budgell of King's Point. Hickey told VOCM Night Line with Linda Swain the double billing allegation has been dealt with.
Once again, Mr. Hickey is running around talking about how much he is not a criminal and how dare anyone call him a criminal because you know he's not a criminal because the police have not charged him of any criminal wrongdoing because he's committed no crimes for which they can criminally charge him.

Good for him.

But while merely being not a criminal is a fundamental part of his preferred personal self-definition, this does nothing to explain his basic incompetence in double-billing one item roughly every 6 weeks.

And as long as Mr. Hickey keeps the story alive, people will continue to wonder how a man who can't balance his chequebook can run one of the province's largest departments.

*My wife is also such a big fan that I bought her the entire series (135 episodes on 45 DVDs) for Christmas. She was thrilled to death which tells you how lucky I am in my choice of life mates

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