Volume 91, Issue 29

Tuesday, October 21, 1997

Something fishy


Odour eaters

The recent six-toed Mike Harris scandal has come and gone almost as fast as it took the media to jump all over the northern Ontario photograph of 11 piggly-wigglies on the Premier's conservative tootsies.

Now it is time to put things back into perspective after a revealing photo of Harris sitting on a London bed (used during the Conservative Party convention on the weekend) has been exposed. The premier may have proven he has 10 toes, but he has shed some light on plenty of good, bad and ugly odours that resulting from this incident – issues that tickled and trampled a lot of toes in Ontario.

The good little piggy: Toes were tickled with $1,050 at Camp Trillium as a result of the foot unveiling. Media had to foot the bill by making a donation to the premier's favourite charity, before he would show how many little piggies went to the market. Harris turned something of no importance whatsoever into something of actual benefit for some unfortunate children – a very good step indeed.

The bad little piggies: The issue as to whether someone in the public eye should feel obliged to expose themselves is a touchy one. Harris shouldn't have been made to feel accountable to the public whether he has 10, 11 or no toes at all. Mike Harris is a political leader, not a circus act who must be challenged to prove he's not physically abnormal. If toes were an issue, they would be brought up at election time and not by a touched-up photograph from 30 years ago.

The ugly little piggies: Ontarians have more important issues which need to be addressed before Harris starts counting his blessings, let alone his anatomy. Why should such an irrelevant topic push aside the education issues that are approaching a boiling point? This form of verbal diarrhea only diverted the attention of anyone within reach of a newspaper or radio.

However, in this case Mr. Harris was the innocent victim and the media was the hideous monster. It was not his choice to face such an immature attack by the media and by showing his foot right away, he smartly took his tootsies out of the spotlight – a move placing the sole responsibility for Ontario's wasted time on the media.

There is a justification for why the blurry, likely-doctored photograph of Ontario's political leader belongs in trashy tabloids or on the Internet, but no explanation (aside from creating sheer gossip and a few laughs) as to why this story found its way onto the daily news.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997