By Ezra Levant
You know, sometimes radicals at the political center describe me as a hack, and that really hurts my feelings.
Because let me tell you something: on my solemn oath as a former tobacco industry lobbyist, you can trust that every word I say is the gospel truth.
That’s right. As someone who spent 2009 and 2010 lobbying the government on behalf of an industry whose watchwords are ethics, transparency and the public good, you can count on me to be a completely objective, impartial and independent journalist.
Not only that, but the specific company I lobbied for, Rothmans, was never found guilty of fraud and conspiracy after they supported black market cigarette smuggling as a way of forcing the government to lower taxes on cigarettes.
That’s because the company pled guilty, but my point stands: they were not found guilty.
You see, the beauty of big tobacco is, because cigarettes are a good product that help people, being a cigarette lobbyist means that you don’t have to develop some sort of bizarre, contradictory and hateful worldview in order to justify your career choice to yourself.
The other beautiful thing about it is, if somebody approaches you and offers you financial consideration for forwarding a particular agenda on your TV show, you can tell them, “buddy, I’m a tobacco man: my morals are not for sale.” Then you kick them out of your office so you can get back to doing real journalism.
So the next time you hear that I’m attacking a beloved and respected public figure like David Suzuki, Naheed Nenshi, or Desmond Tutu, just remember that they never spent a year of their life paying politicians to make it easier to sell the smooth, toasted, and (according to this one scientist who happens to get funding from a think-tank that gets funding from a former board member of Rothman’s) non-carcinogenic flavour of Rothmans fine cigarettes.
Remember, that’s Rothmans: the taste you can trust.