THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED:
I'm no gossip columnist -- and I am very much a romantic -- but I hear that Conservative foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay and Jana Juginovic, Director of News and Programming for CTV Newsnet, were recently seen together at a cozy Nova Scotia hospitality establishment. (Juginovic used to be Mike Duffy's exec producer.)
Says my source, "Indeed, it was confirmed that Jana was seen, er, fluffing the Honorable Member in the vicinity."
Now I am not saying anything untoward is going on but, if there is some canoodling happening, it may explain why some people perceive a pro-Conservative bias in CTV's news coverage. Or why CTV is scoring more scoops. Or uncovering more stories. Or whatever.
Draw your own conclusions.
UPPITY DATE: A colleague at CTV News wrote this to me, while asking to remain anonymous. My comments are in blue.
I feel bad for Jana. What you blogged was a helluva smear and for what? So you can make a point about Conservative bias at CTV?
Well, prove it.
If --- and I don't know if it's true -- all you got is Jana and Peter then, consider this:
- See the latest UWO alumni magazine which features profiles of many journos who graduated from UWO's j-school. Among them, Ravi Baichwal, our Newsnet anchor and former political worker for Greg Sorbora and the provincial Liberals.
- Who hosted the last Confederation Dinner in Toronto for Jean Chretien, raising millions for the Liberals? Bell Globemedia CEO Ivan Fecan. (Fecan was also vice-chair of the record-setting fundraiser for Paul Martin in December 2003, chaired by Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman.)
- Who ran the Ontario campaign for the federal Liberals in the last election campaign? Michael Bird, who took a leave of absence from his job as BGM's Ottawa lobbyist to do just that. He didn't return to his old job.
- Who masterminded those Liberal attack ads in the last election? Jack Fleischman, the top editorial guy at BGM's ROBTv, who took a leave of absence to 'mastermind' Liberal marketing strategy. He DID return to his old job!
- Who went canoeing with Pierre Trudeau and all the old Liberal boys? Well, of course, you know the answer to that one. (Yes, former CTV News VP Tim Kotcheff who left the network in the early 90s to run news at CBC-TV. He left CBC in 1995.)
Maybe it was a cheap shot. I didn't mean it that way -- but it was a highly bloggable item. And still is, just like any high-level media and political connection would be.