If you had the sense to not listen to radio call in shows or read the comments sections of blogs and news websites in Newfoundland and Labrador in recent weeks you might have missed the torrent of abuse heaped upon the province's news media by the Disciples of Danny Williams. This anonymous digital lynch mob that swarms those who dare ask questions about the premiers mysterious heart surgery were calling for media censorship and publicly being encouraged by cabinet minister Tom Hedderson to abuse journalists and media outlets. So much for the defenders of democracy bullshit. What is it about Newfoundlanders that they don't like democracy?
You might even have missed the part where Deputy Premier Kathy Dunderdale and vengeful cabinet ministers repeat that the Premiers health is a private matter and is sacrosanct. That is unless it is them or Mr. Williams' communication staff that is talking about it. Yes, you can use the word hypocrisy if you like.
The fact is the premier has a history of talking about his health problems and once government officials speak its name publicly it is in the public domain and fair topic for the news media. It is news. If fact, I doubt there is a culture or society in the world where the health of their leader is not of the highest public interest and concern. This applies from any third world dictatorship to the mighty USA and its presidents.
Speaking of which, the guy in the photo is US President Lyndon B. Johnson. He is lifting his shirt to show reporters and the famous AP news photographer Charles Tasnadi, his cholecystectomy scar after surgery in 1965. Charles Tasnadi is a great story himself and you can find out about him and his career at Visual Editors.
Tune in to the NTV news on Monday night when Fred Hutton gets an exclusive post-operative interview with Premier Danny Williams at his Sarasota, Florida home.
I'm guessing Mr. Williams won't show off his scar on the NTV news (although, stranger things have happened) but I hope we get to find out what this mysterious medical procedure is that the rest of us can't afford.
Let's hope that this leads to MCP putting medical tourism in their schedule of services as a line item and we can all enjoy that awesome resort hospital on the beach in Goa, India. I'm booking my knee replacement now.