When Ken’s away, I’ll do whatever it takes to not be boring. Our morning show – a talk show, may I remind you – eats up so much more content when there’s just one person at the helm. Without Ken there to keep the conversation going, there’s only so much I can do alone that’s interesting. Oh, I could prattle on incessantly if I loved the sound of my own voice a bit more! But “interesting” is the key!
So, I sometimes pepper in edited versions of previous interviews we’ve done that are still relevant and compelling. And I throw out the rule book on in-studio guest segments and invite people I’ve always wanted to talk to. Last summer, that’s how I got to interview the fascinating and brilliant Chief Leslee White-Eye of The Chippewas of the Thames. It’s also why I reached out to Amir Farahi (columnist, London Institute co-founder) for the first time, and now he’s a media staple of the London airwaves.
Last week, I did the same with MP Karen Vecchio of Elgin-Middlesex-London. She’s based in St. Thomas, but she has a massive riding, the biggest in the area. She’s energetic and smart and was a wonderful interview and a delightful person. I’m happy to have met her and to add another Conservative voice to the mix of our show which admittedly bends toward Liberal views.
But here’s my question. What kind of a person can put themselves through what politicians must face these days? Some of the off-air discussions I’ve had with city councillors, MPPs and MPs about the abuse they take from constituents would turn your head on its axis. Some people have no self-editing skills and their insults and threats are truly horrible. Councillor Phil Squire admitted on air with me last week that it can make him feel defeated to start his day with an email telling him he sucks, or worse, that he should get out of politics altogether. If only they put it that nicely.
People have always criticized politicians. It’s our right in a democracy and free society. But it never used to be so easy, so direct. It would take an especially infuriated person to pick up the phone and call in a terrible insult. Now it’s available to everybody in the very moment that they’re at a peak of anger.
I understand the desire to serve and to make tangible, positive changes in people’s lives. And I’m grateful that there are those who are resilient enough to take abuse for just doing their jobs. What’s happening to Justin Trudeau right now over the Omar Khadr payout is especially unfair. The apology and $10.5-million aside, groundwork for the court’s decision was laid several governments ago. And yet it’s Trudeau who will bear the political brunt because almost no one wants to educate themselves on the story’s history. His government will suck it up. How, is a mystery to me.