But then I started to think about it. And I stopped laughing, and I started to think like this person in the Letters to the Editor on Thursday:
I’m writing in response to last Thursday’s article entitled ‘Raitt moved in MP shuffle.’
I found the choice of photo on the front page of my community paper very disturbing. The picture of Halton MP Lisa Raitt is horrible — unflattering to say the least. I think it was extremely rude and downright juvenile and malicious. I’m not sure who chose and/or approved that photo, but in my opinion it was a form of bullying. I almost felt that I was reading a gossip magazine.
In the three years that I have lived in Milton and read the Champion, I don’t ever recall seeing a photo of any member of our community that I thought one would be embarrassed by.
I don’t know much about politics and haven’t voted in 10 years, but I do feel that no one deserves to have a silly picture printed of them on the front page of their community paper.
Don't get me wrong. I think that Lisa Raitt is a terrible MP and an even worse Minister, and I was thrilled to bits when she was demoted to Minister of Labour. I've illustrated my blog posts with the Indecisive Lisa, the Pointy Lisa, even the 'I Almost Forgot My Binder Again' Lisa. And yeah, I've teased her a couple of times about the white suit.
But that photo crossed the line. It crossed the line because they didn't use it to illustrate a point about her political or ministerial performance, and it didn't just appear in some blog post read by a bunch of political wonks. This was on the front page of the Milton Champion. And the Burlington Post. And they just used it to make her look stupid.
I'm just a blogger. I have very few constraints on what I write aside from those I impose upon myself. I don't have any hard and fast rules beyond simple human decency, and sometimes I get carried away with my own wit and wander into the realm of spite. But I won't go after the family, I won't post the 'fat photo', and I do my level best to keep my criticism within the boundaries of political discourse. That's just the way I roll.
BTW, I was in the neighbourhood today, so I thought I'd stop by Raitt's constituency office and let her know what I thought of the photo. She wasn't there, and her staff had no idea when she would be back in the office.
I think that's worthy of criticism, even without a photo.