02.11.2013 07:20 AM

Welcome to the Dark Side

I was a bit surprised by this part of Harper’s column:

“To Ottawa-based journalists, Duffy betrayed the tribe, insulting those of us who believe our job is to try to hold our elected representatives to account, not to turn on a dime once a patronage plum is dangled.”

Hmm. Except that Ottawa is overflowing with former journalists who have taken positions within government, no? They’re everywhere – as directors of communication and press secretaries and whatnot. Off the top of the head, in fact, I can recall at least two former Star guys (Graham Fraser and Bill Fox) who took a big government appointment. There may be more.

I think the reason why so many journalists target Mike Duffy is because he became such an enthusiastic advocate for a government which openly dislikes journalists. It’s not that he crossed over to the Dark Side – it’s that he crossed over with such glee.

Anyway. The public see politicians and media as all part of the same problem. They don’t see a distinction. They’re all on the Dark Side.


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    Koffi says:

    I don’t seem to remember such concerns being voiced when Adrianne Clarkson or Michele Jean took government appointments. I guess it’s only the Dark Side if its a Conservative government appointment.

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      smelter rat says:

      Well, in theory the role of GG is non-partisan. Big difference.

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      Attack! says:

      You missed WK’s point: it’s not (just) because a journalist accepted a partisan appointment that many in the media now seem to be only to happy to pile onto Duffy — it’s because he *continues* to betray his profession by slamming the profession & dissing them for seeking his own accountability.

      There are at least four other ex-journo’s now in the Senate — two Liberal (Joan Fraser & Jim Munson); two CPC (Linda Frum & Pamela Wallin) — and the last of them is even caught up in this as well (it’s questionable whether *she* was actually a resident at the time of her appointment, as well), but she’s been treated with kid gloves, because she hasn’t been nearly as much of a jerk to her ex-colleagues.

      This is also why many journos have such little respect for Peter Kent now, since he’s been so willing to gag scientists & civil servants & attempt to manipulate & deny access to the media

      (and why many are appalled by Dr. Kelly Leitch’s conspicuous silence on the CPC’s shameful handling of the deadly asbestos file.)

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        bluegreenblogger says:

        I was outraged by that scumball Kent, representing CTV at the broadcast consortium, where (rumour has it) he was alone in applying CTV’s veto to the Green Party participating in the televised debate, two days later, he takes his leave of absence, and runs for the CPC in, I think it was St. Paul’s in Toronto? He is generally a p.o.s. IMHO. There is an interesting story about Duffy that Elizabeth May could tell about the next time that (reputedly) CTV cast their veto against the Greens at the broadcast consortium. Duffy knew it was coming, and had her in for an interview, because he wanted to sandbag her on camera with the news. Journalists really should try to contain their glee at a purely partisan outcome like that…..

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    J.H. says:

    Well said WK! Called a spade a spade. No ‘journalists’ today anyway, just lemmings in pursuit of the gotcha! moment.

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    Eric Weiss says:

    Journalists taking jobs in government is only wrong if the journalist in question isn’t a part of a partisans particular tribe.

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    J.W. says:

    Aside from Maher, I can’t think of a mainstream media investigative reporter let alone muck raker. We could learn a lot from the US. Remember Gary Hart?

    In Ottawa the press reports, government talking points, press releases, and stuff the Opposition digs up and stuff they get from the Auditor or the PBO.

    I haven’t heard how Wallin’s situation is any different from Duffy’s. Does anybody have the facts on her: health card, taxes, time is Saskatchewan residence?
    Ottawa press like Tim Harper like her more than Duffy- a lot more. Question: will the Senate audit cover everybody, or just the famous 3?

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    Peter says:

    Lest we forget…Duffy hurt a lot of people and unjustly so. Prior his appointment, the Federal Election he was covering, knowing full well that he already had the appointment to the Senate in hand….if he followed the script for services rendered…which was to besmirch and tar Liberal Candidate and Incumbents alike at every opportunity. So much so that Duffy the Bully went after Elizabeth May. Duffy completely misrepresent her position on an issue in his intro leading up to an interview with May. May, rightly so, took issue with Duffy and called him out him on his bullshit hyper partisan slant…what was Duffy’s response…a smirk and cutting the interview short.

    Some people look exactly like what they are…and Duffy has live the life of an overfed self indulgent opportunist that had never missed a meal in his life.

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