Perhaps the graphics department at CTV News decided to have a little fun at the expense of embattled Senator Mike Duffy this week. It's gotta be tempting. I mean, he is a pretty big target, just like Rob Ford who is constantly shown in a gonzo state on the late night shows.
If the graphics team was to blame, that might be CTV's best excuse for running this photo last night of Mike Duffy, shown in hues of pink and grey, resembling one of the Gargoyles that dress the stone facades in front of Parliament Hill.
While Lisa Laflamme solemnly read the story that Duffy's court case was ripening and finally being hatched, the graphic was a clear signal that Old Duff was still a pretty fine piece of catnip for the news cats to play with, have fun with, to swat back and forth before finally being consumed in bite sized pieces.
While some people in the newsroom might have had a great guffaw over this -- the stoning of one of their own who had embarrassed the profession -- many people didn't think it was very funny.
For those who still believe in, and cherish, our system of government, the Duffy-Wright Harper affair is serious business. It will be messy, it will show some of our highest members of elected and appointed office to be opportunist, lying fowl. Duffy is just one player, a big one, that's for sure, but why is he being vilified in this manner, tarred and feathered, ridiculed beyond measure?
It's as if George R.R.Martin has suddenly turned the news into a made-for-television blockbuster, a Game of Thrones for the masses, and Duffy has been added for comic relief.
Interesting, that we do not see Mr. Harper portrayed in this manner. Or Nigel Wright. Or Marjory LeBreton.
Whatever the reason, it was a cheap shot, that's for sure.
There are a lot of people who put together a newscast -- reporters, editors, producers -- but the blame for this one should be placed squarely on the expensively decorated shoulders of Lisa Laflamme who is the chief anchor and senior editor at CTV News.
It is her face we see every night, her brand. In that seat, Laflamme should look at every image as well as every story before it goes on the air. If she did see this one, and maybe had a chuckle, she is no better than Ezra Levant and the trolls over at Sun News Network.
For all his transgressions, Mike Duffy deserves a fair trial not a continued drubbing at the hands of immature and spiteful tastemakers.
And Canadians should expect more of its top-rated newscast.