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Saturday, January 16, 2010

tom olsen on ted morton in 2005: "smug. arrogant."

In the bizarre world of interrelationships in Alberta politics, former Calgary Herald columnist Tom Olsen, who is now Premier Ed Stelmach's spokesperson, had some severe words for now-Finance Minister Ted Morton when he chose not to invite the media to breakfast with his supporters. Mr. Olsen penned a vicious critique of Morton on his Herald blog on April 8, 2005:

You might start to believe the whispers that Ted Morton isn’t planning on running for Ralph Klein’s job if his treatment of the media is any indication.
Ted’s having a breakfast Saturday April 9, bright and early (so it doesn’t conflict with any Tory annual general meeting stuff) but he didn’t want to talk about.
“I have breakfast every morning,” he told reporters asking why the early morning event.
“I often meet with friends,” he said, when asked who’d be there.
Smug. Arrogant.
Those are just two of the applicable terms.
Maybe he’s intimidated by the cameras, so has to cover up his insecurity with what he perhaps believes is cleverness.
Bad strategy, though, to anger the media.
“Doesn’t make you want to write anything nice about him,” said one hack, after witnessing Morton’s brief performance.
You need us Ted. Alienation is not step a leadership hopeful should take.
Five years later, it now turns out that Mr. Olsen's boss needs Ted. I understand that people's opinions change from time to time, but this was some pretty irrationally harsh commentary and biased journalism on behalf of Mr. Olsen.

Read much more at Civitatensis.


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Guess Mom was right when she said, "If you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all".

Anonymous said...

While everyone is chuckling at the delicious irony of how what comes around perpetually goes around in the digital age, did anyone pause to notice what a pathetically insubstantial piece this is? I mean, Ted Morton's political career to date has not exactly been a flop. It would seem as if alienating the mighty Calgary media is not the career limiting move Tom Olsen thought it was. By the sound of it, indeed, Morton hit exactly the right note with that bunch of clowns. That a writer the caliber of Tom Olsen was considered a star in the CanWest chain tells a great deal about how CanWest got to be where it is today. He seems to have had a much the same effect on the prospects of the current premier of Alberta. One wonders, whatever will he do next?

Party of One said...

5 or 6 years is a long time in politics. People make accomodations with each other, change their minds about things, the political landscape shifts, people change their roles in the political process.

I'm not sure how relevant Olsen's piece written as a columnist (and with an obvious interest in promoting the "media") is to anything he writes now as a spokesperson for the leader of a political party, where his own thoughts are not what are being communicated.