Duffy: Controversy’s Cashier

Many people within Prince Edward Island, as well as those who work within certain political circles, see recent comments made by newly appointed Senator Mike Duffy as offensive.  

     Duffy has had some less than flattering things to say about P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz, by insinuating that he was in bed with the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and that he may get the “shaft.”

      There are also the comments Duffy made regarding Ghiz’s father and how he is not on the same intellectual plane saying the premier is a “Rambo wannabe” who couldn’t match his father’s intellect. These comments are unfourtunate.

       Now both of these comments have sparked a fair bit of controversy the media. The infamous “shaft” comment for its seemingly vulgar image and the comments about Ghiz’s father seem to be an unwarranted cheap shot.

       Now the complaints against the comparison between Ghiz and his father are well warranted. No one likes it when someone’s family is brought into an argument and I personally would be angry as well if I were in Ghiz’s position.

       However, I don’t understand why the “shaft” comment is seen as so grotesque. I mean isn’t it just politics as usual? Of course it is.

        Is it not hypocritical for the media to constantly report on something they deem as inappropriate. Of course it is.

       It has always seemed odd to me that media outlets will constantly complain about stories like this one but they keep reporting it over and over again.

      Why do they do this? Well, stories like this one always  seem to be very sexy to them. Meaning that they will find any story that has the slightest bit of controversy and latch onto it like there is no tomorrow. Controversy always equals cash.

       One example that instantly comes to mind is the imfamous “idiot” comment made by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s assistant towards, then United States President George W. Bush.

       Take a look at the idiot comment. This was played over and over again in the American media after it was made public. Reporters were so disgusted by what was said and the idea of a Canadian government employee making such a comment about their president was so terrible and offensive that instead of making it a minor news story and letting it drop into obscurity, they played it up for the entire day and had experts and analyst after analyst talking about how horrible it was.

         It truly was a great little story to fill an entire slow news day because any story that is controversial or can be seen as upsetting to some people always equals big ratings. Too bad that Chretien’s assistant, who was a more than qualified official, was forced to quit after apologizing.

         Now bringing the story back to Mr. Duffy. Being in the media for so many years as a journalist himself, he knows the media’s mentality to be drawn to controverisal stories and these comments are clear evidence that he has remembered everything he has learned from the time he spent as a journalist.

       He has manipulated the national media’s love for these types of stories to generate a lot of buzz about the provincial politics here on Prince Edward Island. With all of the controversy he caused by insulting Ghiz, he has drawn the national spotlight onto himself and his fellow Conservatives in the dominantly Liberal P.E.I. and this is one brilliant political strategy for which he should be applauded.



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