Robyn Doolittle doesn’t like comparisons between herself and Zoe Barnes.
Considering the character’s very different path to success it should come as no surprise that the new face of investigative journalism in Canada would be a bit irked when fans tell her she is just like the fictional reporter from House of Cards. With a quick spoiler warning she stressed to the crowd that the character sleeps with Kevin Spacey’s politician character to get her stories and that is certainly not the case for her.
Doolittle’s full house Ramsay Talk event at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema as part of the launch of her first book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story focused more on her real experiences in meetings with editors and sniffing out leads from busboys at the Bier Market, the grounded and tested investigative reporting techniques that are easy to forget in a story that is oftentimes stranger than fiction and more tumultuous than anything Hollywood has produced in recent years.
The talk, introduced by organizer Bob Ramsay and featuring Twitter Canada head Kirstine Stewart flawlessly steering the conversation, showcased a comfortable Doolittle recounting the experiences in her life and career that led her to the publication of the book and touting the advances in social media that made the whole thing possible.
My only criticism of the event stems from Doolittle’s preamble where she described allegations that the Star had fabricated the story and made a joke about switching from Gawker quoting Ford as saying Pierre Trudeau is a ‘fag’ or Justin Trudeau being a ‘fag’ to switch things up. My instant reaction was shock. While causing offense may not have been intentional I hope that she takes pause before saying the word again, regardless of her coverage of an incident in which it was spoken by a public official it has absolutely no place in a joke and should be treated the same way as the n-word.
Doolittle has come into her own as a media personality, no doubt fashioned by countless television appearances both in Canada and abroad as the go-to expert on everything Ford. It isn’t difficult to envision a future for the writer in comment if her ease of presence in front of crowds and cameras translates to topics beyond Toronto’s City Hall sideshow.
Robyn Doolitle will continue to promote her new book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story this week on CNN’s AC360 and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.