The Canadian media are in an uproar over comments on CBC by Richard Fadden, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Fadden told interviewer Peter "Bilderberger" Mansbridge that CSIS is aware of municipal and provincial politicians who have come under the influence of foreign governments.
This will send reporters on a chase to find out which municipal politicians have accepted free trips to China.
Mansbridge didn't ask Fadden about MPs who've accepted free trips to Israel, Taiwan, and other countries.
Some cynics might wonder if Mansbridge himself was acting on behalf of a foreign government when he conducted a softball interview with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late May.
Lower-level CSIS and RCMP officials have raised the spectre of Chinese espionage in the past, most notably in the Project Sidewinder investigation, which was derailed by their superiors.
What I find curious about the whole affair is the timing.
CSIS chose to make this revelation and CBC chose to broadcast it the day before the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland. The attack killed 329 passengers and crew.
CSIS's shameful conduct in the period before and after the bombing was thoroughly chronicled in retired Supreme Court of Justice John Major's recently released report following a lengthy inquiry.
The 25th anniversary of the bombing will generate a great deal of media attention, as it should.
But somehow, CSIS has managed to change the lead story on newscasts across the country by making an unsubstantiated claim that puts a cloud over many politicians.
As a result, CSIS will come under less scrutiny from the media over its contribution to the largest mass murder in Canadian history.
During the 1980s, a great many security experts, politicians, and media commentators were questioning the competence of CSIS.
Journalist and author Richard Cleroux would tell tales of how RCMP and CSIS officers would refuse to share the same elevator.
Years later, the Globe and Mail carried a shocking report explaining how CSIS burned surveillance tapes from the Air India investigation on top of a building on West Broadway in Vancouver.
It's clear that since those sorry days, the security service has become far more adept in one important area: media relations. The proof was on display in Fadden's interview with Mansbridge.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.