Thursday, March 09, 2006

From spinee to spinner

It seems one of the deans of the Parliamentary Press Galley, and its best impressionist, has crossed over to the Dark Side. This hasn't gotten much press but veteran Broadcast News reporter Dan Dugas is Foreign Affairs Minister Peter McKay's new communications director.

Dugas was a popular radio reporter on the Hill for many, many years, respected by his colleagues, and known for his devastating impressions of Jean Chretien and others as the regular host of the Press Gallery Dinner. It seems though that he, too, has succumbed to the lure of spinning.

Which I have no problem with, and I wish him well. I just mention it because Tories were always up in arms when a Hill reporter took a spinner job with a Liberal minister. Susan Murray leaving the CBC's Hill bureau to work for Scott Brison comes to mind. It was used by the usual suspects as further evidence of the media's, and specifically, the CBC's, Liberal bias.

One wonders if they will trumpet Dan's move as evidence of CP/BN's Conservative bias. I doubt it. Nor should they, just like they shouldn't have when Susan jumped.

And when I said the "Dark Side" I didn't mean the Conservatives, I meant public relations. It's a half-joke journos make when one of our own crosses over into PR. It's a decision many of us face as we get older, and have families and mortgages and bills. The higher salaries of PR becomes very tempting. In the case of political reporters, their background makes a government job a natural fit. I fully understand Dan's decision and I wish him well in what is sure to be a challenging position. At least he had the good sense not to go work for Michael Fortier or David Emerson – those guys are just unspinnable.

Embassy: Just for Laughs? (scroll down)

Globe and Mail: How the Tories tripped over Hamas (second half has an account of his first day on the job)

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