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So then Gerry sez…


 

I can’t help it, I find Gerry Ritz a funny guy. Like back in 2002 when Stephen Harper and Stockwell Day were slugging it out for the Canadian Alliance leadership. Harper’s campaign had been warning that Day was relying too heavily on evangelical Christians, threatening to isolate the party from a broader electoral base. I ran into Ritz, a big Day backer, and asked him about the issue. “If Stephen Harper controlled federal infrastructure money,” Gerry said, “he’d be building colosseums and importing lions.” Ha! Funny. And a bit risky, as good jokes, even humour about, say, religion or death, often are.


 
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So then Gerry sez…

  1. Mr.Geddes.

    I think Ritz comment comment was dumb,but if they where so bad why did the person who leaked this wait intill the middle of the election?

    I find it odd that if the CPC where so evil and mean that the person who leaked this would be outraged that day. Not wait a month.

    Also did the media sit on this joke and wait till the election to save the media prefered pick Dion?

    I just don’t get why if this was so bad someone would wait till the middle of the election to leak this joke.?

    But then again this is Canada.

  2. CONSERVATIVE VICTIM COMPLEX ALERT.

  3. JK, my point exactly. This was a setup that the media is happily buying into. Nobody on the call was truly outraged by this or they’d have gone pubic with it immediately. This was someone with a grudge against Ritz manipulating the media.

    I’ve had no problems with the coverage of the other Tory war room gaffes, but this one stinks.

  4. there are probably very few people who’ve spent any time in politics – and quite possibly there is no one – who hasn’t made a casual remark or black-humor joke that, were it revealed to the nation, would result in calls for their dismissal.

    the key is context. if ritz had made the jokes in a bar, to a friend, in his office, whatever – i’d be completely sympathetic. this is what people do. but he made them, in his role as minister, on a conference call with employees of the food inspection agency, at a time when canadians were dying (arguably because of his government’s decisions).

  5. as for going public immediately, that’s very doubtful. This is a government that did a perp walk in handcuffs no less to the one government employee and to another, well let’s just say people remember the name Linda Keen.

  6. He apologized. If people have a problem they can express their view in their vote on October 14. Let’s move on.

  7. Mr.Feschuk

    I understand what you are saying it was a dumb joke and he should say sorry(which he did) and take his hit’s.

    But why wait intill the middle of an election(well I think I know why)? If this joke was so bad this should have been news right ater the conference call.

  8. John G says..

    “I’ve had no problems with the coverage of the other Tory war room gaffes, but this one stinks.”

    I did not have a problem with the coverage either, but this whole thing is just odd.

    But I think we all new this type of stuff was coming, I bet there will be more.

  9. I’m waiting to hear MacKay’s one-liners on dead soldiers.

  10. If a Liberal tries to fool a media outlet and gets caught does anyone other than those fooled pick it up?

  11. Didn’t Flanagan tell you guys to quit the victim complex? It makes it really hard for you to portray Dion as wimpy when all you can hear is Conservative whining.

    “If a Liberal ate a baby, the media would do nothing” is not an acceptable defense to baby eating.

  12. I’m with Feschuk on this – it was a pretty cringeworthy couple of remarks in any context, but he can’t do this as a minister and expect to survive.

  13. Why wait until the middle of an election? Oh I don’t know, say you’re a CFIA staffer who’s just had your workload doubled by the cuts?

    So okay, maybe the motive behind the release isn’t noble of intent. Does that make it any better?

  14. I agree – the victim complex is extremely lame. It’s cognitive dissonance at its worst, but what do you expect from partisans? Consistency? Rationality?

  15. Nice story to add to the growing pile of things that smell bad about the CPC. Harper can conveniently just drop him from cabinet in October. A concern though should be about the number of CPC MPs unsuitable for cabinet. How do these bozos get elected in the first place?

  16. I’m simply disappointed at the press and opposition’s attempt to make a controversy out of a harmless joke. A JOKE!!! Do they not understand how jokes work?!?

    Lame.

  17. How do these bozos get elected in the first place?

    Beats me. I mean rank-and-file Conservatives are just so rational, and calm and insightful and stoic and non-paranoid…

  18. I’m simply disappointed at the press and opposition’s attempt to make a controversy out of a harmless joke. A JOKE!!! Do they not understand how jokes work?!?

    I think we’ve all heard the “blame the media and/or the opposition” rationale enough already. Try working the “treasonous civil servant who blabbed should be FIRED!1!” angle for a bit.

  19. I’d be even more distressed by the “gotcha” mentality of the Canadian media if I hadn’t been reading all the stories about lipstick on a pig in the US media.

    I guess the media all over the world is preoccupied with trivia.

    This is the result of the 24 hour news cycle and the need to have a “new story” every hour.

  20. “I’m simply disappointed at the press and opposition’s attempt to make a controversy out of a harmless joke. A JOKE!!! Do they not understand how jokes work?!?”

    Don’t you CONs know how common sense and decency worked, and weren’t hiding plans on your intentions on food safety, at the heart of the whole incident, perhaps you could call this a ‘joke overblown.’
    But your team is also hiding something here and hoping to tip-toe past it to the finish line. Last election you had the help of the RCMP – now you want the MSM (not like many aren’t complying — BC Global didn’t even have a whiff of the story last night) to cover your asses? Talk about ‘Lame’.

  21. I’m simply disappointed at the press and opposition’s attempt to make a controversy out of a harmless joke. A JOKE!!! Do they not understand how jokes work?!?

    1. Think up crude joke about people dying WHILE IT’S HAPPENING (make sure the joke suggests that your political misfortunes are the real issue, not the dying)

    2. Throw in another joke about your opponent dying to spice it up a bit.

    3. (Now this one’s important) TELL the joke in a very professional setting with both political staff and public servants present – no points for telling it to your friends etc.

    Do I have it? Do I understand how jokes work?

  22. The reaction of the Opposition parties to this event demonstrates clearly why Prime Minister Harper called Parliament dysfunctional.

    Ritz’s comment was indeed tasteless and inappropriate. However, the overreaction of the opposition parties, and the jumping on by the media (Don’t they have anything serious to write about?), is precisely the type of problem that we needed to flush out of the system by having this election.

    The people of Canada can make their choice on October 14.

  23. The delay was probably because Ritz had his staff working 24/7 to find a way he could blame it all on the Wheat Board.

  24. stewacide,
    The jokes are actually not bad – it is just that you can’t make them about people dying from things that you are publicly responsible for as a minister of the crown.

  25. It isn’t just a stupid remark when we’re still wating to hear what the minister plans TO DO about the problem. So far we have the secret report and this stupid remark. I think we can be forgiven for drawing the inference that the remark reveals a general insensitivity to the problem.

    An apology without real contrition (i.e. better CFIA inspection and enforcement to prevent the problem from recurring)is as empty as the “open and accountable” promise.

  26. Wow. Now the G&M has a story about how once in 2003 Ritz made a comment about “peeing in the wind”.

    What’s next? That he told some kid that he had “fart-breath” on the playground when he was 5 years old?

    Remind me again how the media is not artificially trumping up this story???

  27. What I find offensive about Ritz’s comments is his lack of professionalism. It’s not just the so-called jokes he made but the time he spent worrying about how this bad news could be spun to make the Tories look better. And then there’s the comments about the Green Shift.
    For crying out loud, the only thing that should have been of concern during this conference call is the fact that people were getting sick and dying because of contaminated meat! Nothing else. No jokes. No talk about spinning. No talk ncern about the Green Shift.
    If Ritz had, in fact, kept concern for public safety at the forefront of his mind then we would be congratulating him, not criticizing him.

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