Sunday, December 23, 2007


Waugh: Time for a wedding?

Stelmach (left) with Olsen, now happily settled down.

The reader will recall my ribald and rollicking blog about the long overdue marriage between the Alberta Tory Party and two of its ink-stained flim-flam artistes Tom Olsen and Paul Stanway (Tories, Stanway, Olsen: Finally Churched, Darryl Raymaker Blog 1/16/07).

Stanway, you will recall, was for many years a scribe for SunMedia during which time he was a loyal and faithful shill for all manner of Tories. Ditto for the longtime Calgary Herald Legislative columnist Olsen. Olsen's Tory connections included his own brother working as a PR flack out of the Klein Premier's office. It was a sign of the times that it dawned on neither of the Olsens that both were in a real and perceived conflict of interest and that the honourable thing to do was for one to resign.

Special Ed finally stopped the charade. Realizing his run as Premier was off to an unpromising start, he felt he needed his shills closer at hand, and so he hired both Stanway and Olsen as press mouthpieces for his office. No longer were these two scribes merely illicit lovers and mistresses of the Tories, they were now married. No doubt each had a fat pre-nuptual contract complete with a sweetheart Murray Smith severance payment clause.

But left at the altar, surprisingly, was another working stiff at the Tory's SunMedia bordello - one Neil Waugh. Waugh, you will recall, was the subject of another brilliant piece, Weasel Words and the Art of the Big Lie (Darryl Raymaker Blog 2/1/07), which reflected on Waugh's aptitude in both of those subjects.

Among other services performed for the Tories over the years, Waugh and others among his colleagues argued that the Multicorp scandal (wherein many of Klein's associates were given shares of a company that was trying to do business in a Chinese city where the Premier was about to do some promotion work), was dead and buried and that opposition members were wasting their time trying to focus public attention on it. He also was one of the first scribes out of the chute to promote the message that the real story behind Premier Klein's egregious drunken behaviour at a homeless shelter just before Christmas a few years ago, was not the Premier's behaviour. No, no, no. According to Waugh it was that the Premier had quit drinking as a result.

Waugh is at it again. In this morning's Calgary Sun (December 23, 2007), in commenting on what he sees as the dismal state of opposition to the Tories in the Legislature, he writes about Opposition Leader KevinTaft:

"Taft's fall session was dismal - fixated on his madeup claim that billions in royalty money was missing from the treasury. It was a preposterous claim that lost media traction two days in."

Just as Waugh conveniently ignored the highly suspicious circumstances of Multicorp, and the scandalous actions of the Premier at the homeless shelter, he ignores the scathing report of the Tory appointed Auditor General Fred Dunn on the collection of royalties issue.

Dunn stated that the Alberta Government was losing a billion dollars a year by not collecting from the industry the royalties that should have been collected. Indeed, he noted, even though these losses were identified by government personnel, they were still not collected. Dunn further commented deploring the government's lack of "completeness and accuracy" of well production data for oil and natural gas. And in dealing with royalties, Dunn said that the government did not follow "principles of transparency and accountability."

So if Taft's claim is 'preposterous,' and a 'made up claim,' Waugh's logic would conclude that so is the report of the Auditor General of Alberta.

I have a message for Special Ed:

Eddie, this is yeoman service from one of your great Tory flim-flam ink-stained tarts. Lord knows, he's been loyal and faithful to you. A true Tory toady. And l hasten to point out that all isn't well in the SunMedia empire where he toils. There are those who are highly critical of its present management, and of course the Chairman of the Board of its parent company Quebecor Inc, is none other than Brian Mulroney himself. Think of poor Neil's reputation. It was bad enough having to lurk around in quiet bars as a Tory mistress. C'mon Eddie, church him, like you did Olsen and Stanway. Its time. And don't forget the contract. He might need the Murray Smith severance clause after the next election.


Herbert B. Patrotage said...

It is indeed disturbing in the one-party Banana Republic of Alberta that much of the media serves as a farm team waiting to be called up to the Public Affairs Bureau, the tax-funded propaganda arm of PC Alberta.

“Reporting on Klein has been difficult at the best of times. Ashley Geddes, a colleague at The Edmonton Journal, had to wait a year to get a story in print in the early '90s about cabinet minister Steve West's shenanigans in local bars. References to West's sometime drinking buddy of the day, Klein, were removed.
Geddes did get into print in 1991 a tale of Klein having a strange day in the Legislature Building — groggily answering what he thought was one question from a reporter when the reporter actually asked another. He also wandered into a closed New Democrat caucus meeting, mumbling later that he still found the legislature corridors a puzzle. The result was a wakeup call to Geddes from a "shrieking" Rod Love, who was Klein's right-hand man and chief media adviser for 19 years. Klein's people have always thought him strong, but never invincible. They try their best to stamp out any kind of unwelcome media attention. The Klein team approach over the years has also involved a mega-carrot and mega-stick: if you're in the club you get stories that enhance your career, if not, you're the doormat on a muddy day.” --Mark Lisac, “Oh Ralph,” Media Magazine winter 2002

“There can be no doubt that control over the media is crucial during times of political upheavel. Control can curtail the use of an unfriendly media and can be exercised to use the media as a tool of propaganda.” --Ralph Klein, “Allende, Pinochet and the Chilean Media”

Darryl Raymaker said...

Well put.

From what book did he crib that last quote?


Herbert B. Patrotage said...

Now, now, why won’t you just fall into line and laud Bozo’s “commitment to lifelong learning”?

Darryl Raymaker said...

You mean like the Alberta Academic Administration Establishment did? That was indeed a sad chapter in the history of this Province. They too were (and many still are) habitues of the Tory cheerleading bordello.

Herbert B. Patrotage said...

On the eve of Alberta’s 2008 election, looks like Eddie learned well at Ralph’s knee:

Newspaper brouhaha

Two members of a Conservative candidate's team in rural Alberta storm into a local newspaper office. The candidate wants the editor's head on a plate. His crime: the paper dared to print a picture of Liberal Leader Kevin Taft on its front page.
The editor agrees to tell this story to CBC News but stops at the last minute. That's because the paper's publisher tells the editor that "if he values his job," he won't speak about the incident.

trung said...

blog great

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