By Andrea DeMeer, QMI Agency
One of the golden rules preached in journalism classes across our great land is this: There is no such thing as a stupid question.
Those who have actually graduated from journalism school, to say nothing of eighth grade, understand this to be a fallacy.
There are plenty of stupid questions and reporters ask them every day.
Top of the stupid hit list is the "how do you feel" question journalists are eager to pose to grieving relatives and other victims of misfortune.
"How do you feel now that your loved is dead?"
It is the equivalent of stabbing someone repeatedly in the gut and asking if it hurts.
Anything that can be answered with "duh" is by definition a stupid question.
An aside: There are many legitimate questions of news and human interest value that can and arguably should be asked of grief-stricken survivors of even the most unspeakable tragedies. "How do you feel?" just isn't one of them.
Running a close second on the interview idiot-meter is that newsroom favourite likely to be lobbed at anyone seeking political office: Have you ever smoked marijuana?
All questions that can be answered with the words "who cares" are by definition stupid questions.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark got the question last week and replied: "There was a lot of that going on when I was in high school and I didn't avoid it altogether." In political-speak that is a "yes."
A better answer would have been "who cares?"
According to a nationwide drug survey published by Health Canada, 44.5% of Canadians have tried cannabis at least once. Interestingly, Canadians use marijuana at a rate four times greater than the world average and, not surprisingly, most favour its de-criminalization.
Canadian leaders have tried pot. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty admitted it. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty admitted it. The late Jack Layton admitted it and joked: "I never exhaled." Prime Minister Stephen Harper maintains he has never smoked marijuana or any kind of cigarette because he suffered from severe asthma. Believe it. Don't believe it. Who cares?
Let's stop asking our politicians if they've smoked pot in the past.
Let's start asking: Are they smoking it now?
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