CTV brand management and Senate scandals
The recent scandals involving Conservative senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin are not a joyous event for CTV brand managers.
That's because Duffy and Wallin used to be two of the highest profile broadcasters at the network.
Duffy and Wallin have been accused of maintaining residences in Ontario as they represent other provinces in the Senate (Duffy acts for Prince Edward Island, and Wallin speaks on behalf of Saskatchewan).
Their former close colleague, veteran reporter Craig Oliver, has been reduced to referring to "Mr. Duffy" and "Senator Wallin" on CTV broadcasts to describe the pickle they've gotten themselves into.
Fortunately, the other ex-CTV reporter given a Senate sinecure, former Jean Chrétien press secretary Jim Munson, has so far kept his nose clean.
I'm sure all this has brought a smile to the face of Michael Bate. His now-defunct Frank magazine faced extensive litigation from the senator known as "the Puffster" after a satirical report that he attended a fat farm in the United States.
Frank's headline calling Duffy a fat-faced liar ended up costing the publication $30,000 in an out-of-court settlement.
In a recent article on the Toronto Star site, Bate recalled how the creator of the Puffster column in Frank, Geoff Heinricks, once wrote: “Duffy is the journo who told TV Guide that he knew where the bodies were buried in Ottawa, what scandals went untold, but that he would always keep silent about them, in the public interest. This isn’t a journalist, it’s a co-conspirator.”
Coincidentally in 2009, I wrote an article condemning the revolving door between journalism and the Senate, citing the appointments of Duffy, Wallin, Munson, and others as a stain on the body politic.
For that, I received a thrashing on a right-wing website called The Nexus of Assholery.
"The work of government—especially recently—is often conducted in various panels of inquiry, where a journalist's skills would serve them—and their country—particularly well," Nexus of Assholery blogger Patrick Ross wrote at the time.
Ross also noted that "the job of a political reporter is to dig in the dark corners of government and tell the citizenry what they find."
That sort of contradicts what Heinricks wrote about Duffy's comment to TV Guide.
But, hey, who's going to quibble about that? Duffy needs that Ontario residency for medical treatment at an Ottawa hospital.
As for the people of Prince Edward Island, they already have too many senators, given the province's tiny population.