Why do people so often seem to think that I have some great love for tobacco companies? Most of the e-mails I get from the raving antis ask questions like: “Don’t you know that tobacco companies are scum?” Well, as a matter of fact, I DO know that! I’ve been saying that forever. I have made a concerted effort to explain this, in no uncertain terms, on my website, in print, in interviews, and whenever the subject comes up. I’m always very vocal about my distaste for big tobacco. Still, I constantly get the pea-brained antis hounding me with: “Why are you defending the tobacco companies?”
I want, once again, to make this as clear as possible: I DO NOT support the tobacco companies. I absolutely DO NOT support the tobacco industry in any way. I believe they are, for the most part, and speaking in general terms, greedy bastards who care about nothing but their precious profit margins. I believe the general behavior of many representatives within the tobacco industry has clearly demonstrated this throughout the years. Hell, I even believe that they are evil enough to play in the same league as the banking industry, pharmaceutical companies and the oil industry… to name but a few.
Time and time again I have vociferously made my opinions regarding big tobacco known. So, imagine my surprise when upon checking my e-mail I find a message from a producer of a nationally syndicated television show, asking me if I’d like to be a guest on the program that very evening. It seems they were putting together a panel to appear on the show in order to express their views on the recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada — in which the court unanimously upheld the right of provinces to sue the tobacco industry for health costs associated with smoking. After reading the first couple of lines, I got the impression that they were attempting to form a panel of people with diverse backgrounds and widely differing opinions on the subject. “Ok!” I thought, “I’ll take a trip down to the T.V. studio and offer up the eccentric smoker’s rights advocate, centrist-liberal artist perspective.” Then, I got to the last line of the e-mail, which read:
“I hope you’ll consider appearing on our panel. Please get in touch with me as soon as possible if you’re available for the show. We would really like to have someone speaking on the side of the tobacco industry.”
“Speaking on the side of the tobacco industry”??? Fucking idiots! Why would you even invite someone onto a television program to offer their opinions on something if you hadn’t done the research required to find out exactly where they stand on an issue? MORONS!
And, this is a nationally broadcast weekly ‘news-magazine’ type of program produced by a major television network: “Mike Duffy Live“, on CTV. I.e. — It’s a professional journalism sort of thing. Shouldn’t it be expected that their investigative skills would at least be somewhat better than average? Yet, they failed to discover my hyper-critical tendencies toward big-tobacco?
Oh, well. I didn’t appear on the show anyway. The brainwaves contacted me about two hours before the show went live, and only through e-mail. By the time I got the e-mail there wasn’t enough time to make the show. I suspect I was probably a last minute replacement for someone who had to back out, or something. Too bad. I would have liked to have shown up and given them an ear-full live on network television.