12.01.2019 10:10 AM

I’m sorry

I am sorry.

You haven’t seen me in the mainstream media for a while. Not because I was fired or anything. Just because I haven’t submitted anything.

So, right off the top, that’s what I wanted to say to you, the person reading these words: I’m sorry.

I owed you better. I let you down. And – even though I’m just a freelance newspaper columnist – I owed you something really important.

Disclosure.

I won’t bore you with all the details. So: here’s the short version.

I run a political consulting firm. We’ve got staff from every political stripe. We’ve done work for just about every political party, federally and provincially.

This year, we got hired by two different political parties. One of them hired one of our guys to run their war room during the election.

The other political party hired us to do research on extreme racism. Specifically, racists who were running in the election.

That’s fine. We are an opposition research firm, so we do opposition research. We are firm with a reputation for fighting racism and bigotry, and we often get hired to do that.

Here’s the problem. I told my media bosses about the war room work. But I didn’t tell them about the racism research.

We did it for a few weeks. It ended months before the election. Two junior staffers did the work, with little involvement from anyone else.

But we were paid to do the anti-racism research. And I didn’t reveal that to my media editors.

Worse than that: I didn’t reveal it to you, reader. So you could make a decision about the opinions I was offering you. So you could know.

It doesn’t matter that the client didn’t want (and still doesn’t want) their identity revealed. We shouldn’t have taken the work if I couldn’t disclose it to my editors.

And you.

I’m proud of the anti-racism work we do. We’re pretty good at it. But, back in the Spring of this year, I needed to let you know that we were getting paid to do it.

I didn’t. And, for that, I say to my editors, and you:

I’m sorry.

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