Feb 102013
Mike Duffy.
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Reporter’s ethics were stronger than Senator’s

by Stephen Kimber

The old Young Mike Duffy would have been all over it.

A Senator playing fast and loose with parliamentary rules of residence, claiming as his full-time home a modest bungalow of a summer cottage that hasn’t seen a snowplow in a year’s worth of winters.

A Senator pocketing more than  $30,000 for the inconvenience of residing in rustic, rural Cavendish, PEI, 1,333 km (as the Google crow flies) from his Senate workplace at 111 Wellington Street in Ottawa — while actually bedding down in a nearby Ottawa suburb.

Not to forget the spectacle of a Senator – having been caught with his fingers in the fudging and futzing jar — applying for a fast-tracked Prince Edward Island health card in order to make wrong appear right.

Sorry Mike. Those who live by the microphone sometimes get hit on the head with it on their way out the door.

The former Mike Duffy would have been in his element.

One almost has to feel sorry for the old New Mike Duffy, now being brought low by all those new Old Mike Duffys.

Young Mike Duffy launched his career in the mid-1960s as a deejay – the “Round Mound of Sound” — at Amherst radio station CKDH. After discovering his nose for news, Duffy moved on to then-Halifax station CHNS where his gleefully non-partisan, neither-fear-nor-favour scoops from City Hall and the provincial legislature earned him an enviable reportorial reputation, which earned him a position in CBC’s parliamentary bureau, which earned him his own star billing at CTV, which…

Well, that’s where things soured.

Duffy began to believe his own publicity hype — and in his own self-worth. He lobbied for his Senate appointment and, when he landed it in 2008, assumed himself entitled to his entitlements. Including $900 a month to live part of the year in Ottawa where, of course, he has lived virtually all of the years since the 1970s.

New Mike Duffy, of course, is less than amused by his  latest turn of misfortune, chiding reporters after a speech in Halifax last week to do some “adult” work instead of bothering him with trivial matters about where he lives and how much he claims for not living there.

Sorry Mike. Those who live by the microphone sometimes get hit on the head with it on their way out the door.

So long, Senator.

About Stephen Kimber

Stephen Kimber is the Rogers Communications Chair in Journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax. He is an award-winning writer, editor and broadcaster.

His writing has appeared in almost all major Canadian publications including Canadian Geographic, Financial Post Magazine, Maclean's, En Route, Chatelaine, Financial Times, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the National Post. He has written one novel — Reparations — and six non-fiction books. Website: http://www.stephenkimber.com.

© Copyright 2013 Stephen Kimber, All rights Reserved. Written For: StraightGoods.ca

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