If you checked out P. 1 of Nova Scotia’s paper of record the other day, you would have thought it was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
But it wasn’t Jesus Christ spread out all over the top fold of the Chronicle Herald front page, it was Peter Stoffer.
Stoffer, 58, is the longtime N-Dipper MP for Sackville-Eastern Shore who decided to un-retire from The Trough before he actually did retire from The Trough. (Stoff Still At Trough, would’ve been my headline.)
Now, I’m not sure what Jesus Christ and Peter Stoffer have in common other than they were both miraculously conceived. JC by a Virgin Mother over 2,000 years ago and PS in 1997 by the inmates at the Halifax Correctional Centre, who after their ballots were counted ensured Stoffer’s 41-vote victory over former Buchanan-era cabinet minister Ken Streatch. Thank god for late returns and aggravated assaults!
Whatever the case editorial staff at the Chronically Horrid and their Ottawa-based reporter Paul McLeod conceive far more similarities between Mr. Christ and Mr. Stoffer than I have yet to discern.
You see, drama queen Peter Stoffer called his own live “news event” so he could announce with full fanfare that he would seek his seventh consecutive term at The Trough.
Well, the trained seals of the Ottawa Press Corps, as they always do, went for the bait. McLeod’s Twitter account blew up with Stoffer suspense and speculation. I don’t know how McLeod could possibly have slept the night before the big Peter Stoffer News Event. Must’ve been just like Xmas Eve.
Fortunately he recovered in time to deliver the stunning Stoffer news to an anxious world via the Herald.
Retirement-Leaning MP Throws Surprise Curveball, screamed the headline. And underneath a colossal three-column, seven inches deep pic of Peter Stoffer, the great man himself.
Wow. Bob Stanfield, when he died in 2003, didn’t get this kind of coverage out of the Herald.
How could it happen?
It happens because reporters drink the Peter Stoffer Kool-Aid.
Peter is a master of Kool-Aid dispensing. He makes himself accessible, which I think is a great thing.
But politicos are supposed to be accessible, which they routinely were long before the days of handlers, spindoctors, politics for the sake of politics and $200 haircuts.
Back when politics was more about people than package. Back when our politicians could think and speak for themselves. Seems so long ago now, doesn’t it?
The fact that Stoffer is always available for a quote to help hacks fill their days can turn some hacks into blubbering Stoffer sycophants.
McLeod’s piece, about 275 words, lauds the “typical Stoffer style,” the “popular NDP MP,” the “famously gregarious” parliamentarian.
I don’t share this unbearable, much less understood, fascination with Peter Stoffer.
Where in the handbook does it say hacks must fall in love with politicians? Guess I missed that section.
But Paul McLeod is not the Wanker of the Week.
Peter Stoffer is the Wanker of the Week for his 17-year backslapping, subtle but sublime manipulation of an unsuspecting press corps.
Pick on somebody your own size, Peter Stoffer!
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