Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Day 12 - The Two Kinds of Stupid

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NOTE: but for a technical glitch, this would have been posted on Day 12. Now you get two posts on Day 13.Friends and colleagues are aware that I am fond of a joke about the two kinds of stupid.One is running around naked in your living room.The second is running around naked on the front lawn.As a journalist, I don't care about the first one. The second one is a front-page story.I was overheard to tell this joke on a couple of occasions yesterday as everyone discussed a particularly healthy dose of stupidity. First there was Conservative Ag Minister Gerry Ritz, who during a conference call with reporters cracked a couple of tasteless jokes about the listeriosis crisis. He suggested the food crisis was the "death of a thousand cold cuts." When told there was another death in Atlantic Canada, Ritz asked jokingly if it was Wayne Easter, the federal Liberal ag critic who has dogged Ritz on the listeriosis crisis.Gerry Ritz - buck naked on the front lawn.Then of course there was Dana Larsen, a NDP candidate from British Columbia who previously had been co-owner of a store that sold, among other things, coco seeds. Seeds that theoretically you could use to make cocaine. Turns out he was also a former marijuana party candidate, and someone had produced video of him dropping acid and driving under the influence of drugs. Since this information became known, the party has asked him to step down as a candidate.Ladies and gentlemen, Dana Larsen and the candidate selection staff at the NDP, all buck naked on the front lawn.From now till the end of the election, I'll try to pay tribute to other political naturists.-30-

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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