Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Deathbed bully pulpit

OK, that's enough. We are very sorry that Rev. Harry Lehotsky is dying of an untreatable cancer. We believe he is a dedicated man who has worked hard doing things many of us would not choose to do. But listening this morning to CBC radio to Harry developing his old theme of questioning the merit of the social services and the people who deliver them in Winnipeg's inner city, he cranked it up a notch, attacking them as "incestuous".

What? Harry's own organization is run by a cadre of carefully groomed disciples -- hardly a paragon of democracy. And while he rails about the government-funded do-gooders around him, he accepted millions of dollars from the government for his own housing projects.

It's one thing for the media to build the guy up as the unusual inner city activist, whose conservative values seem at odds with things. But since the announcement of his upcoming death, he has been transformed into semi-sainted status where he is adulated at every turn and his every word is taken as a revelation of unquestionable truth.

But it should be no wonder, we suppose, that he is taking the opportunity of his own very public deathwatch to turn it into a powerful bully pulpit to knock down others, who also happen to be trying to do the right thing in Winnipeg's inner city.


Today, an interesting admission of error by the Winnipeg Freep Ress editorial section. On the weekend they decided to even further lower their own standards by matching Tom Bunk-beck's ludicrous attack on the premier's comments, stating a couple of weeks ago in Question Period that the number of patients in the hallway was zero.

In fact, that happened to be the official count that day. Zero.

But the dear old scribblers bought the crazy Tory belief that healthcare was better under them. (Can we have some of that to smoke, too? It looks like it packs a punch.) They went so far as to totally mangle the stats and claiming numbers of patients in ER hallways has gone up -- not down by 80% as it actually has.

Apparently, they were corrected on this gross error. Today, they made a rare apology.

At least that's better than Bunk-beck.