Friday, July 22, 2005

BEN CHIN GOES INTO POLITICS, SAYS THE TORONTO STAR

Well, in a strange twist Ben Chin is quitting TV news... to join the Liberals! AAAAARGHHH!!!

I read in the Toronto Star that Chin is joining the Dalton McGuinty government in an as-yet undefined role, reporting to the executive communications director. The report states that he could run for office pretty soon, following in the footsteps of fellow media personality/Liberal Jennifer Mossop, who had been an anchorwoman for many years at CH in Hamilton and also at CBC. She now is an MPP at Queen's Park for McGuinty.

This follows on the heels of Peter Kent's decision to run for office for the Tories, in St. Paul's, whenever the next federal election will be held. Why the heck are so many of these media people leaving TV news for politics?! Is the TV business in that bad a shape? Who's next, Jacqueline Milczarek? Diana Swain?! Ken Shaw?! Don't tell me, let me guess: Graham Richardson!! Covering those local news stories over at CTV must be getting old by now for that political junkie. I'll bet these Liberals will try and go after him next.

I have a feeling that a lot of people in TV news get fed up with the business. They normally put up with a lot of nonsense that people with real jobs wouldn't put up with. You know, Jennifer Mossop went through a miserable, controversial firing from CH (people writing letters in protest trying to reinstate her and stuff), and Ben Chin saw his whole show cancelled at Toronto 1, and even though they got jobs elsewhere in TV I think those bad experiences factored into their decisions whether they want to admit it or not. I wouldn't blame Chin for being burned right out after trying to build up a news program at Toronto 1, only for it to be cancelled. If I were in Ben's shoes I'd be feeling mighty low. Having your evening newscast cancelled has got to be the worst thing that can happen to you in TV news. It's worse than losing your job, even, because you're fired AND cancelled! It's pretty difficult to stay motivated and keep your enthusiasm for the news business at 100% after that. Better to recharge your batteries by doing something new. Even if it is politics!

I think Ben Chin will actually enjoy it in politics. I sure did on these campaigns. Sad to say, but in politics people are generally paid better and deal with more interesting issues, plus they can be free to voice their own opinions and don't need to hide behind any pretense of "objectivity" or "fairness" or any of that nonsense. And if you miss having your ego stroked, you can always run as a candidate and get elected, and then get yelled at by your constituents on a regular basis.

The irony though is that Chin had just gotten another job, as Toronto bureau chief at Global TV. Now he's gone after a month. That was fast. But you know, he probably wasn't going to be too happy as a Toronto bureau chief anywhere anyway. Heck, he was a national anchor at CBC and a main anchor at Toronto 1, and did some anchoring over at Citytv for a lot of years, too. Being a Toronto bureau chief for Global was probably a step down for him. It's obvious that anchorman Leslie Roberts isn't about to drop dead any time soon, so Ben Chin might as well quit and go into politics.

But really, joining the provincial Fiberals? That sinking ship? Why didn't Chin hit Paul Martin up for a job like Belinda and Ken Dryden and everyone else?! Instead he's joining sure-fire loser McGuinty. Yecch. I guess the provincial Liberals are in dire need of expert media help to explain away all their lies and broken promises, etc. etc.

One less Liberal on the air. I guess that's good.

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