Monday, March 01, 2010


Graham’s Thomson’s piece in the Edmonton Journal (and Calgary Herald) of March 1st deals with the departure of Paul Stanway as director of communications for Special Ed Stelmach. See:

In it, Thomson speculates as to whether Stanway was a rat leaving the seriously listing H.M.S. Dweeb, or told to walk the gang plank by Captain Dweeb himself. He poses the question, is Stanway the fall guy for the government’s lousy communications policy? Or is he actually taking the blame for it? Not that it matters anymore given that Dweeb is likely going down with the ship.

Thomson also observes that Stanway, and Stelmach’s press officer Tom Olsen, who are now leaving their employment at the same time, went to work for the Premier at the same time in 2007 and did so immediately upon leaving their posts as political columnists at their respective newspapers, Stanway at the Edmonton Sun, and Olsen at the Calgary Herald.

No doubt due to some misguided sense of professional courtesy Thomson fails to remind his readers that prior to the appointments of Stanway and Olsen to cushy government jobs both of them were shameless and consistent Tory propagandists who never wrote a word of even muted criticism of the inept and incompetent Alberta Tory administrations that they covered.
See: Darryl Raymaker blog Thursday, February 01, 2007 TORIES, STANWAY, 0LSEN: FINALLY CHURCHED

What Thomson finds interesting is not the pay-offs these political hookers received for the servicing of their Progressive Conservative johns, it is that there were two of them who came and left their well-paid, tax-payer funded jobs at the same time.

In fact Thomson even calls their hiring by Stelmach, “From watchdog to lapdog in a single bound.” Watchdog? Puleeeeze!!!! They were lapdogs, from beginning to end. He should have referred to the relationships as "From lapdog to lapdog via a thousand Tory kiss-ass columns."

Thomson says that their hiring by Stelmach rattled both reporters and PR types, who felt their professions had been insulted, and that they also added to public cynicism about ties between government and press. Well, it wasn’t so much their hiring that pissed off the discerning members of the public. It was because it was so obvious why they were hired. They were hired because they were Tory hacks!

Olsen’s case was even more flagrant. He was a young pup of a reporter who was present at the dawning of the bleak Conrad Black era of media dominance in Canada (which understandably coincided with the collapse of good and decent journalistic ethics). It has been said that Olsen was a Black favorite because he sided with management during the Herald’s infamous strike in 1999. The story makes some sense in that Olsen’s rise within the organization was inexorable from there on – from cub reporter, to legislature reporter, to bureau chief, to legislature columnist, and finally to senior columnist – all in a few short years with Olsen currying the favour of the Tory party all the way.

During Olsen’s tenure in the Klein years, as luck would have it, his brother Gordon served as a senior policy advisor to none other than Ralph Klein, as well as Executive Director of the Premier’s Southern Alberta office. The Herald concluded that such a comfy arrangement between brothers as they tended to their respective jobs - one protecting the subject and the other supposedly objectively commenting and reporting on the same subject - still passed the stink test!

For more on the careers of these two Tory mouthpieces read:

Anyway, Thomson goes on to say that Stanway is a nice guy and a gentleman. He is silent on Olsen.


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Anonymous said...

I was an original staff member of the Edmonton Sun. I have nothing good to say about Paul Stanway AKA Paul Stand-in-the-way.
Out of curiosity, is the Paul Stanyway, the Enbridge spokesperson the same Paul Stanway?

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