Oh, dear, I see the hall monitors for journalistic ethics at Canadaland are at it again.
This week they’ve wheeled out David Akin to play chief scold, and dish out detentions to errant Parliament Hill hacks.
Among them is Akin’s colleague, Mark Bourrie, whose name showed up on a cheque entered into evidence at the Mike Duffy trial. It seems the Puffster paid Bourrie $500 in 2010 for “web site analysis.”
This was all too much for Akin. The former Sun TV hack noted that Bourrie had recently published Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know, “a polemic which argues in part that the Ottawa press gallery has a too-cozy relationship with the politicians its members cover.”
Enter the obligatory academic, Christopher Waddell of Cartoon U. J-Skool, to tut-tut about the impropriety of Bourrie accepting paid work from Duffy.
“If you have a financial relationship with a politician that would lead your audience to question your impartiality when writing or reporting about that politician or perhaps his or her party or the institution they represent,” quoth Waddell.
Shurely Akin’s slag off has nothing to do with the fact that it was Bourrie who, a few years ago, blew the whistle on Akin’s celebrated gaffe that Gordon Lightfoot had died. The aging tunesmith had done nothing of the sort, of course, but “MistAkin”, as he’s been known ever since, ran with his scoop, quoting unnamed “sources close to the family.”
Later, Akin blamed his cock-up on “Twitter rumours” and an Internet hoax.
Er, you know, the kind of sources even a Cartoon J-Skool student wouldn’t use.
Bourrie did some consulting for Duffy five years ago and got paid $500, and this is an issue?! Do they honestly think a $500 contract a half a decade back is going to influence him in writing a book about Duffy’s boss? Does this mean that anything any of us has ever done for anyone who might be connected by six degrees of separation or less to anyone else about whom we may be considering writing …. Guys, take a deep breath. Because this is really, really, really stupid.