This morning, I was jarred by the headline above Mike Smyth's column in the Province newspaper.
In reference to new NDP Leader Adrian Dix, it said: " 'Dour Stalinist' the leader Libs were hoping for".
Dour Stalinist? That's a bit harsh. After all, Joseph Stalin was one of the most ruthless, murderous, and paranoid dictators of the 20th century. He executed thousands, if not millions of people, and sent millions of others to slave-labour camps in Siberia.
Dix, on the other hand, is the twice-elected NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway who has stood up for kids in government care, kids with diabetes, and kids on the East Side whose elementary school was threatened with closure.
Expect to see more of this type of framing of Dix from the corporate media in the coming months.
At a news conference this morning, Dix laughed off the Province's below-the-belt attack with this comment: "I have to say, I saw that headline and I think that’s a little bit redundant. It could be that Mike Smyth thinks that Beria was a happy warrior."
For those unfamiliar with the name, Lavrenti Beria was Stalin's head of the secret police.
It seems that in this era of concentrated media ownership, only the new leaders of right-wing parties get a honeymoon from the headline writers.