ARMCHAIR MAYOR - Making way for Mr. Rightwing himself

Anyone, of any age, convicted of a crime should be shot. The Canada Pension Plan should be eliminated, not changed. Sick people, poor people, old people and addicted people should damn well fend for themselves without our hard-earned tax dollars supporting them. The HST is a wonderful thing.

Just getting my right-wing rant tuned up for the day. Ever since I was named as one of the top 10 most right-wing columnists/reporters/broadcasters in B.C., I've been practising.

In hopes, of course, of moving up the ranks. If I'm going to be on a top 10 list, I want to be somewhere in the upper half, not number eight.

Number eight is like, barely making the list at all. Charley Smith (I have no idea who he is but I'm sure he's a nice guy) created the list for the Georgia Strait "for fun."

I'm not sure of his methodology, though he says "the list is weighted by their influence."

My name is there along with a bunch of other guys I've never heard of or paid any attention to, though since they work for such esteemed publications as the Globe, the Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, and CKNW radio, they must be deserving of the recognition.

Maybe I'm the token guy from the Interior.

Jack Knox, who used to work at this paper but now slaves at the Times-Colonist in Victoria while sending in a weekly column for our pages, first alerted me to this new honour.

"Right wing?" he wrote me. "If I remember correctly, you were aiming for 'crusty but benign.'"

Knox is correct on that score. When he worked for us some 30 years ago I never once said anything about wanting to be known as a top 10 right-wing columnist. On the other hand, I aspired to the reputation of a "crusty but benign" newspaper editor.

According to some of the reaction to Mr. Smith's list, I don't deserve to be on it at all. Maybe they remember the time I endorsed Nelson Riis for MP - an event I rank among my Three Big Political Mistakes.

Their main issue, though, is that CHNL's news editor and editorialist Jim Harrison deserves the "honour" more than I do. I understand their point.

"To call Mel Rothenburger a right winger, while neglecting the hyperbole spewed by Jim Harrison of CHNL, is laughable," wrote one.

"You should replace Mel Rothenburger, who actually writes a fairly balanced blog, with Jim Harrison on CHNL; Harrison is an out-and-out clown and by far the most 'right-wing' political commentator in the province," wrote another.

And the cheque is in the mail to Tony Martinson, who wrote, "No doubt that Mel is a conservative writer, but he's also a fair guy and his newspaper is remarkably fair and hard-hitting. . . ."

Martinson also agrees that Harrison should be put ahead of yours truly on any credible list of right-wingers.

I'm not sure how Harrison feels about this. In my view, he probably needs his own list. Alaric the Visigoth was rightwing; Harrison is in a league of his own.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing. Just saying that, despite my ambitions to climb up the ladder of 10 most somethings, anythings, I'm willing to yield to the most worthy Mr. Harrison.

But please, let me know if Charlie Smith or anyone else issues a list of the 10 Most Crusty and Benign Journalists. I will take serious issue if I'm not at the top of that one.

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