The CBC is reporting that Premier Bernard Lord’s press secretary Chisholm Pothier has resigned after distributing a letter to the media that included a New Brunswicker’s personal information including drunk driving record.
Now, I’m not going to beat a man when he’s down but frequent readers to this blog will know that I am no big fan. But it’s not really targeted at the man but the position.
Press secretary’s now (at least the few I’m familiar with) are little more than attack dogs – protecting their masters with the the ferocity of a pit bull. They have become master craftsmen of spin and distortion leaving only the most seasoned and curious journalist able to unpack anything of substantative value for the general public.
Remember this famous quote on Lord’s national reputation:
Chisholm Pothier is quoted as saying “His government’s record of never before seen levels of social spending in health and education, combined with more people working, lower taxes, fewer people on welfare and balanced budgets makes him an attractive political figure. I can understand why there would be an interest.”
This is only six months ago. Wow. What a difference six months makes.
But I digress.
Back to the point. I believe that the next generation of press secretary should be a person that can talk openly and freely with the media (obviously respecting Cabinet secrecy). This person should be the one alerting the media to any challenges facing the province instead of spending every waking hour trying to figure out new ways to hide and spin anything that could even remotely threaten the Premier’s reputation.