Wednesday, June 09, 2010

That liberal media

A follow-up here on the Teneycke post last night. Apparently the news that he was joining Quebecor was a little more fulsome than it was first presented. Accepting a VP post did not, in my mind, ring any bells that he would be playing a role of public importance in terms of media coverage or otherwise. "VP Development" was the title that was announced, one that wouldn't suggest some kind of journalistic role, but one of a corporate nature. Canwest reported last night, however, the following:
Kory Teneycke, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former communications director, is assuming a new posting as head of media giant Quebecor's Parliament Hill bureau, effectively overseeing coverage of a government for which he was chief spokesman one year ago.

Teneycke will become vice-president of development for the Montreal-based communications company, publishers of the expansive Sun chain of newspapers, and assume responsibility for the Ottawa bureau, where he will be located, said a joint Sun Media-Quebecor announcement Tuesday.
Sun Media's current national editor, Mike Therien, will be "relinquishing his oversight of the Ottawa bureau, effectively immediately," said the announcement. Therien will continue to be responsible for the Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg Suns.
This sounds like the equivalent of Ari Fleischer running the Fox News Washington Bureau. Or Gibbs running the New York Times' Washington Bureau. It's not to say that politicos can't change careers, they can, there's nothing stopping that. But the work of the news agency they're joining, particularly when they're joining in a leadership position, will be judged with intense scrutiny because of their presence. As will their role. This does not appear to be a position of a corporate nature, as "VP Development," as boss Peladeau seems to be suggesting/spinning in the report, and it will just bolster the perception of Sun Media as not exactly a pillar of impartiality.

Might this be the start of a Fox News north? Is that the aspiration? I'd bet on that...