Dear Jim


(aka – Mayor Jim Watson)
It was a bit of a shock to receive your recent letter. Much appreciated, though I have to admit it really did take me by surprise. Of late, after decades of reporting on you, you’ve recently decided to freeze me out. I can’t get you or your office to even acknowledge my emails – let alone respond to them. Knowing you as I do, of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. You don’t like negative press.
You don’t like criticism, you turn real nasty in the face of it. Just ask College Coun. Rick Chiarelli who dared to criticize your budget.
Is it just a coincidence that your former assistant Ryan Kennery is now running against him? Don’t think so.
(And certainly, that’s not to disparage the fine qualifications of Kennery.) Chiarelli of course is just one in a long list of people you’ve turned on over the years.
It’s really just an endless list of people you seem to enjoy freezing out because they disagree with you or criticize you. Of course, you don’t generally freeze out people you perceive are in a position to help you or who could really hurt you. You put up with them. Of course, you keep files on most everyone. I learned from you that keeping emails is smart thing to do.
You used to say I was tough but fair and one of the few reporters who would listen to reason. You’re right. I am. But now, being simply a blogger in your eyes, there’s no longer any reason for you to pretend, is there? It’s really part of your modus operandi. You don’t hesitate to take an opportunity to diss me, to criticize me, to malign my blog.
We could certainly ask popular blogger Ken Gray what it’s like to be on the outside of your circle, couldn’t we? Under you, the city even tried to deny him access to routine emails the city sends out. How paranoid of you!
Longtime, somewhat friendly relationships, can be a tricky thing when they’re between a politician and reporter. As we’ve often talked about the first time I quoted you was when I was news editor of Carleton University’s student newspaper The Charlatan. I was the news editor, you were president of the Rideau River Residence Association.
You suggested you wouldn’t make a very good politician! But you of course were always a politician, even back then.
All to say, our relationship goes way back. I distinctly recall a phone call we once had several years ago where I explained to you – that as a reporter – I don’t call any politician a friend. You said you considered me a friend. But here’s the truth. I didn’t believe you. And your recent cold shoulder is more than proof I was right.
So Mayor Watson, again, thank you for your letter.
And as much as a “behind-the-scenes look at Team Watson’s new Campaign Office” sounds fascinating, I won’t be able to make it.
Thanks anyway,


  1. I learned years ago that there are few genuine friends in political circles. Genuine friends are the exception.

  2. Wonderful summary of how I believe Jim operates. He seems to love the role of being the mayor, opening events, gladhandling but if there is dissent or controversy he crushes it quickly or ensures he isn’t implicated.

    I wish that there was a credible opponent or another level of government that could entice him away into some sort of QUANGO role .

    The Bulldog has been sent through the ringer by Jim.

  3. Susan:

    I even hear he has a email file on little old me 🙂 Sad really that HE HAS CHOSEN to show his petty side in such a public manner. I didn’t always like what you wrote from your City Hall Desk but I did find you for the most part to be fair and accurate. What else could we ask for?

  4. Reporters are shallow people that are constantly promulgating an agenda that is wholeheartedly counterproductive from the standpoint of politics. If I were Watson I would not trust reporters whatsoever. Furthermore, reporters erroneously think they are above it all and are somehow more intelligent than politicians. Frankly, reporters have sold their profession down the river to slaughter just for a lousy buck.

    It’s no wonder that newspapers are going under after all the reporters sold their profession down the river for monetary gains.

    Welfare must be looking good to most reporters these days IMHO.


    1. This is all ridiculous. You have no idea what you’re talking about. And there are so many people like me, who believe in the craft and spend an inordinate amount of time writing for free. I’m one of the few bloggers who actually goes to council, watches the meetings – and I spent much of Friday with reporters I really care about who get paid for their time – and they don’t treat me any differently. Don’t say crap you don’t know anything about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *