Saturday, November 03, 2012

Susan Riley

Yesterday, Susan Riley published her last column for the Ottawa Citizen; and, in bidding her readers farewell, she revealed a secret:

I am not a Liberal, closeted or otherwise, and never have been. Nor am I a socialist, a Harper-hater, a feminazi, or a “moronic bimbo” as one discerning reader suggested recently. Well, not a bimbo for sure.

I would probably qualify as a “radical” environmentalist in official circles, given my early and enduring concern about climate change. But, for the most part, efforts to categorize my views over the years have been, while often amusing, somewhat off the mark.

Truth be told, Riley has been -- and is -- a voice of reason in a town that has forgotten its purpose. She sees all sides of an issue; and she has been willing to give credit where credit is due:

I have also written positively about politicians from all parties. Favourites among the current crop include the urbane and sane interim Liberal leader, Bob Rae; idealistic, but adroit, New Democrats such as Nathan Cullen and Megan Leslie; fiercely intelligent and independent-minded Green Party leader Elizabeth May, and the new premier of Alberta, Alison Redford, a conservative with a social conscience.

But Riley gave the Harper government no credit for anything remotely redeeming. In fact, she reserved her most caustic comments for the people who are now in charge:

Bombastic Dean Del Masto, unctuous Pierre Poilievre, glowering Peter Van Loan and preachy Kellie Leitch, along with John Baird and most of the front bench, are among the worst. In return for media profile, they will read anything put in front of them, eyes dead, ears closed, rigid as robots.

She long ago figured out who these people are. And I, for one, will miss her astute observations.


The Mound of Sound said...

Sue's final column set me back a bit, Owen. She was part of a gang of us who all got into journalism in Ottawa at the same time and wound up on the same beats, covering the same stories and listening to the same dissemblers.

She was as straight up at the start as she has been all these years, resolute in her convictions.

Owen Gray said...

I remember you mentioning her in an earlier comment, Mound. I first started paying attention to her when she was one of three commentators for TVO. I then began reading her columns.

She always struck me as very bright and very fair. I will miss her.

Perhaps she'll turn up somewhere else.

The Mound of Sound said...

I received an e-mail from Sue today, Owen. She's apparently heading into semi-retirement, not packing it in entirely. It doesn't sound like she's done quite yet. After the thrashing she gave Harper & Co. in that last column I'm sure they would be happy to see her heels.

Owen Gray said...

That's good news, Mound. I'm sure that Harper and Co. will not dodge her censure.