Christie Blatchford: Whose views was NDP staffer Shawn Dearn tweeting? (Not his, he says)

As a clever reader sniped, this of what NDP staffer Shawn Dearn tweeted about Roman Catholics and the Pope versus what ex-Tory candidate Jerry Bance did in an unsuspecting homeowner’s coffee cup, the latter “Pissed in customer’s cup,” the former “Pissed on whole .”

It’s a brilliant synopsis — sadly, the reader asked not to be credited — of how the two kerfuffles played out on the campaign trail and were handled by the pair’s respective leaders, of the New Democratic Party and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Dearn, of course, is the fellow most recently hoist on his own tweetard.

He’s Mulcair’s most senior communications aide and, as it turns out, a married gay man. Two years ago, well before he went to work for the New Democrats, he was apparently deeply annoyed at Pope Benedict for saying that Britain’s human-rights police on gay equality violated natural law.

“Go f–k yourself,” Dearn tweeted.

RelatedTom Mulcair defends top aide who apologized for telling pope to ‘go f— yourself’ in a tweet

Another tweet read, “Memo to CBC and all media Stop calling the misogynist, homophobic, child-molesting Catholic church a ‘moral authority’. It’s not.”

Since the old, bad tweets were quickly deleted, it’s unclear what particular thing led to that tweet, or if it was a general rage.

Somehow, in that mysterious campaign way — the same way that three years after the fact someone twigged that Bance, who is a plumber, was the “Jerry” caught on a 2012 CBC Marketplace hidden camera show taking his leak in a customer’s cup — Dearn’s aged tweets miraculously surfaced.

Bance, as the world now knows, was barely allowed to stick around long enough for social media to have time to use all the good jokes and funny lines about his kitchen sink episode; the party dumped him, and Harper’s only comment was that he was no longer a candidate.

But Dearn, ahhhh, that’s a different matter.

He quickly apologized by Twitter (some people never learn).

What he said, aside from apologizing sincerely, was this: “Some tweets that pre-dated my current role were offensive and do not reflect my views.”

Really? Well, whose views did they reflect then? Dearn went on to say, of the bad, old tweets, “They are being deleted …”

What transparent horse manure this kind of thing is. Of course the tweets reflected his views, unless, by chance, he was temporarily possessed by a demon spirit or suffering a mental breakdown, both of which would surely be better stories and even bigger news.

Dearn is a gay man who believes in marriage. Pope Benedict’s pronouncement (near as I can tell, it appears to have been in reaction to his bishops telling him that half the Roman Catholic adoption agencies in Britain had closed when the law made it illegal to discriminate against gay applicants) would have been wounding and galling. Why didn’t he just say that?

And as for them “being deleted,” so what? That means, what, he never said what he said? What has their deletion to do with the price of eggs?

Mulcair Wednesday said he had no plans to throw Dearn under the bus.

Sean Kilpatrick / Canadian PressSean Kilpatrick / Canadian PressNDP Leader Tom Mulcair's director of communications Shawn Dearn, right, speaks with George Smith, Executive & Media Assistant to the Leader on the sidelines of a news conference in February.

“He felt very bad about it and I’m more than willing to move on from that,” Mulcair told reporters in Niagara Falls, Ont. “He’s made a mistake and he has apologized for it. For me, that’s enough.”

Dearn, who was 41 at the time of his appointment to Mulcair’s office last February, has had a long and interesting career.

According to a Hill Times story at the time, he’d come to the NDP from the Colleges & Institutes of in Ottawa, and before that, spent years on Parliament Hill as a radio broadcaster for various stations. In 1999, he was the president of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

He left Canada for a couple of years to manage Radio FERN (Free Exchange Radio Network) in Sarajevo, and returned in 2001, working first in media relations for the Treasury Board and then for various federal government departments.

At the time of the Hill Times interview, Dearn was excited about working for the party and Mulcair, particularly the freedom the job offered after years of public service.

“I’ve always been in positions that have been such that you weren’t really able to have opinions,” he said. “As a public servant, you need to be able to serve the government of Canada regardless of who is in that position, same thing as a journalist.

“This is going to be the first time in my professional career where I’ll be able to have an opinion and fight for things that I really strongly believe in,” he said.

And how much better it would have been if he’d done that — either stuck to his guns and fought for gay marriage or gay adoption, say, or truly resiled from the hateful views (and when you slam a whole religion, as Muslims are quick to remind us, you are being hateful) he once espoused.

At the very least, if they really weren’t his views, Dearn might explain whose they were, and why he felt compelled to share them.

About Christie Blatchford