Musings —03.30.2012 11:47 AM—
Angelo Persichilli is my big brother, as I wrote once before, and I’m a bit biased, but I would suggest that the Harper government’s relationship with the national press gallery markedly improved during his brief tenure as Director of Communications at PMO. Unlike all of his predecessors, Angelo’s life had been devoted to journalism, not the Conservative Party. He understood the job his former colleagues had to do, and he didn’t bitch or whine when they did it.
We spoke every week, sometimes more than that. Not once did he ever reveal a secret. Not once did he complain about the news media. And not once did he object to anything I’ve written about his bosses’ party – even though I have come to thoroughly detest it, as the Robocon scandal has unfolded.
As noted in this story by Stephen Maher – the guy who has made actual election fraud an issue in Canada, for the first time our history, by unveiling Robocon – the staff work load at PMO is extraordinary. It’s bigger and tougher than anyone could ever imagine. Angelo remarked to me often that it’s a younger man’s (or woman’s) game, and it is. When he took the job, I told him he was crazy – not because it wouldn’t be fun or educational, but because it is potentially lethal for one’s family and one’s health.
In our last phone call, I told him he had done a very good job. As usual, he demurred. “Name one story that’s been done, since you’ve arrived, talking about the bad relations between Harper and the media,” I said. “You’ve made it a more professional relationship.”
And, in a democracy, that’s all you can ask for, I think: a professional relationship between the watchers and the watched.
Angelo Persichilli is a good man, and I hope all the partisans will permit me to say this to my big brother: welcome home.