Mike Duffy proved himself to be effective on the after-dinner speech-and-shakedown circuit, and in exchange for this service the Conservative Party of Canada was willing to turn its gaze from the very things which are now threatening to bring the party down.
I WAS NEVER an enthusiast of Frank magazine, but no one living in Ottawa at the height of its notoriety — from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s — could entirely ignore it. By the time of its demise it had sunk, in my view, to the mental and moral level of a frothy mob. Good satire is a matter of discernment, knowing just who to attack and on what foundation. An example is condensed in the brilliant coinage The Puffster, Geoff Heinricks’ name for the journalist-turned-trough-feeder Mike Duffy. In the ’90s, he was the subject of an ongoing satirical campaign which culminated in a defamation lawsuit (a common occurrence at Frank) later settled out of court. “Puffster” economically and comprehensively summed up the self-regarding Duffy, capturing in one word his swollen ego together with his lack of moral and intellectual gravity.