In 2004, when I arrived in Ottawa to cover politics for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, I was lucky to get a desk in the press gallery between Maurice Godin, a canny Radio-Canada veteran, and Mike Duffy, who was then the host of CTVâ€™s political show.
Both Godin and Duffy were kind to the East Coast greenhorn, and since Godin was on the Hill in the morning and Duffy in the afternoon, I was often able to get help with a story from two of the best reporters on the Hill without leaving my desk.
I got to be friends with Duffy, a twinkly-eyed storyteller with a love for gossip and cold white wine.
He was kind enough to have me on his show a few times, including the night of Oct. 9, 2008, when CTV decided to air some outtakes from an interview in which Liberal leader Stephane Dion struggled to answer a confusing question.
I thought CTV was right to air the clip, since Dion wanted to be prime minister, but I thought Duffyâ€™s take on the interview was way over the top. He treated it like the biggest gaffe since Robert Stanfield fumbled a football, and Iâ€™m embarrassed to say I squirmed through the panel discussion without saying that.
Duffy was in the tank for the Tories because he wanted Harper to appoint him to the Senate.
Saying Duffy did the Dion interview to get in the Senate was like suggesting that Steve Smith scored on his own goal in 1986 because he wanted to play for the Calgary Flames.
(that video never gets old)
Bonus link: Here is a video of what looks to be an intoxicated Mike Duffy attacking MPs and the Canadian Press.Â The best part of the video is Duffy attacking Peter Stoffer on his expenses while defending his own.