CBC comic falls flat amid job losses

ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

TORONTO -- An attempt by CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes to punk Premier Dalton McGuinty over his five-foot rule for media went awry.

In character as Single Girl from the CBC show, Geri Hall was attempting to poke fun at McGuinty's new rule requiring reporters to stand five feet back when they question him.

Hall asked to enter McGuinty’s space - the premier insists on keeping reporters several feet back during scrums.

“Who needs a hug?” Hall asked, trying unsuccessfully to encourage reporters to give McGuinty a hug.

"I'm going to come a little bit closer and you tell me when you feel nervous," she said.

"I get your point OK, because if a pack of guys I didn't know approached me every day, shoved their stuff in my face and expected me to just stand there while they recorded it, I'd be a little freaked out too."

But there were few laughs as Hall vainly attempted to get McGuinty to hug one of the reporters after she walked into the middle of questions on U.S. Steel's decision to shut down the former Stelco mills in Ontario.

NDP MPP Peter Kormos began shouting at comic Geri Hall after she interrupted a media scrum that was questioning the premier on the loss of jobs at U.S. Steel Canada in Hamilton and Nanticoke yesterday.

"Get the hell out of here," yelled Kormos as McGuinty, looking uncomfortable, stood beside Hall, who was arrested last year for trying to approach Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Single Girl.

“Two thousand people just lost their jobs,” Kormos yelled out. “We’re trying to hold the premier accountable.”

Hall said, “Okay, I’m going to go. Good luck.”

Halifax Film, which produces “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” for the CBC, did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.

With files from The Canadian Press


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