Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Paul Jackson, Calgary Sun Columnist, Flip Flops on Support for Chandler

Jim Brown, the host of the Calgary CBC Radio One morning show the “Calgary Eye Opener” does a professional job today in interviewing Paul Jackson of the Calgary Sun. It is all about Mr. Brown trying to get a rational explanation from Mr. Jackson over certain events and some clarity as to where he actually stands on supporting Mr. Chandler's political aspirations.

The interview topic is how Mr. Jackson was apparently the victim of a crank call from the office of the Premier of Alberta. Mr. Jackson, a seasoned journalist, says he received a phone call from some one who did not give him their name. Mr. Jackson says he did not recognize the voice as anyone he knew from the Premier's office. The anonymous caller claimed to be from the Premier's office was apparently calling Mr. Jackson asking him to support a candidate in the Calgary Egmont PC nomination. That candidate was not Mr. Chandler.

Mr. Jackson acknowledges writing a column supporting the "other" candidate but "as a courtesy" he sent an email to Mr. Chandler advising him of the "call" from the Premier's office. Mr. Chandler jumps on this "opportunity" and goes to the media claiming interference by the Premier's office in his nomination bid. It gets even sillier and there is more, but best you listen to the whole radio interview and form your own opinions.
Putting the two events together and you are left wondering how a seasoned journalist like Jackson could become woven into such a tangled web of circumstances. Trying to square Mr. Jackson’s circle as he explains on the CBC what really happened and where he really stands on Mr. Chandler as a political candidate is a tad challenging to follow. Given the events, you can understand Mr. Chandler's astonishment at these events and what appears to be Mr. Jackson's inexplicable personal expression of cognitive dissonance. And these gentlemen share the same ideological base - way out there on the far right.

Mr. Jackson notes he has been in the media business for 43 years. Based on these performances and his explanation of events the kindest comment one can come up with is to suggest at the very least Mr. Jackson needs some serious media training.