After the Amanda Lang shitstorm over her horizontal RBC connections, you’d think Canada’s Giants of JournalismTM would go out of their way to avoid being seen consorting with big business.
But there was Peter Mansbingo (CBC) and David Walmsley (Globe and Mail) last week lapping up patronage dosh from major corporations and lobby reptiles.
The occasion was the Mar. 11 Politics and the Pen gala at the Chateau Laurier, sponsored by the likes of SNC Lavalin, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Canadian Bankers Association, Imperial, assorted banks and lobby weasel firms Earnscliffe, Crestview, Hill & Knowlton, etc.
The gimmick is that each table has one author and one politician, who are comped. Other journos are expected to pay the $250 ticket price, but gala insiders tell Frank that high-profile hacks, including Mansbingo and Walmsley, were guests on the corporate dime.
The P&P clusterfuck is such a success that Parliament Hill hacks, led by Liz Thompson, are sniffing around for corporate sponsors for the penurious annual press gallery dinner.
In times of need, it seems that every journo has a price.