An ArmchairMayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
WHO WOULD have thought a national debate over a prominent politician’s Instagram indiscretion would come down to the length of his femur.
That’s one of the more absurd angles to reaction emanating from B.C. Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson’s now somewhat infamous Instagram photo showing his bare legs with a wide-eyed rosey lipped emoji super-imposed.
Gottfriedson resigned this week from his position as chair of a National Assembly of Indian Chiefs portfolio on missing and murdered indigenous women. In doing so, he apologized for the Instagram, acknowledging that it was inappropriate.
While he was strongly criticized by indigenous women’s organizations for the post, public reaction has been broadly supportive, putting it all down to a little fun. Several readers reacted to an ArmchairMayor editorial on the matter by questioning whether the location of the emoji was where Gottfriedson’s detractors portrayed it.
“Does anyone know the difference between where the groin is and where his knees are?” asked on supporter. “’Cause it looks like it is closer to his knees than his groin.” Several others chimed in on the question of the emoji’s exact location, agreeing with the knees vs. groin conclusion.
Which begs the question, perhaps, whether the concern over the Instagram would have been different had it clearly been aimed at Gottfriedson’s knees. In our view, it’s obviously above the knees and pointed upwards.
But which is which really isn’t important, though, is it? We can debate the finer points of anatomical measurements and the intentions behind placing the emoji where it was, but the thing that’s important is Gottfriedson’s own recognition that it wasn’t something to be proud of.
To his credit, he didn’t try talking his way out of it by discussing his knees, nor did he try to fake his way through it with claims that his personal social media account had been hacked or any such thing.
No, he said he shouldn’t have done it and apologized. That will go quite some distance toward containing this as a mini-scandal rather than a career ender.