Lots of news going on around the world with government, scandals, ethics, and this and that.
Sometimes it strikes close to those you know. It’s staggering to watch the media storm that is today’s news as it unfolds in real time.
So let me tell you a story that involves my good friend, Pamela Wallin.
Twenty years ago, I caught the edge of the Internet explosion, and wrote a few books (actually, about 30) that made their way to the #1 bestseller list in my home country, Canada. Before I knew it, I was in the whirlwind that was media at the time : TV, newspaper, radio interviews, book tours. It’s a time I would much sooner forget. It was pretty bizarre. I don’t do much anymore, since much of it just seemed to be so shallow. (If you look hard enough, you can find a lot of it, such as the time Peter Mansbridge interviewed me in January 2000 for an hour about the future of the Internet — it’s in the CBC archives.)
Along the way, I was interviewed many times by someone who always struck me as someone who was just plain nice. Class. Sincere. Honestly interested in the topic at hand. A real journalist. Someone who didn’t just read the show notes and make shit up. Someone who really got into the story.
That person was Pamela Wallin.
I think I was on her Pamela Wallin Live show at least 5 times during the dot.com era. We covered fascinating topics; the politics of the Internet. The emergence of Mp3 technology and the impact on the music industry. The future of government in an era of global communication. How the world might change when everyone was connected. I have a lot of the show at home on a computer somewhere, and should digitize them one day and put them up. Most of what we spoke about came true. The Arab spring. The surveillance society. The upheaval and change in the global entertainment industry.
Here’s the thing. Somewhere during this time, I realized that Pamela didn’t know that she hadn’t registered the Canadian version of her domain name. She had owned pamelawallin.com, but no one thought to tell her that she should own the Canadian version, pamelawallin.ca.
So I told her I would register it on her behalf. I would take care of it. Make sure that no one used it for a nefarious, slanderous intent. Friends do that type of thing.
And so for about 10 years, each year, my wife and I would pay the bill to renew the domain name, and send her and her office an email. We all lived well in the knowledge that her good name was protected.
Eventually, we transferred all the details of ownership of her domain over to her office. I was always happy I did this. (And I did it for a few other high profile people too. Friends do this…)
Today, my friend Pamela Wallin is under attack. It seems to be a very complicated affair. But I’m with Pamela on this.
When you live a life in the public spotlight, you live a complicated life. I sent her an email the other day and said “there will be better days.”
I’m pretty happy I guarded the Canadian version of her domain name for a decade or more. And I would imagine that there are a lot more of her friends out there who have done things through the years to help her manage a complicated life. With no nefarious intent. With no dastardly scandalous thoughts in mind.
Simply because friends look out for other friends.
So I’m with Pamela on this, and I think all the other folks who know her for who she is should also stand up and say so.