Yesterday I wrote a post of which I am now not particularly proud. In that post I wrote about a Globe and Mail article in which Brian Laghi and Gloria Galloway quoted Carol Jamieson as a “Party Organizer” for the Conservative Party of Canada.
First, let me provide the context:
The quotation, as it stood, implied that a senior party organizer was livid about the party and its leadership. When you continuously read about anonymous “senior party sources” placed in national newspapers which have an arguable bias against Conservatives, you get angry and question the sources.
“Who questions leadership at a time like this?”
“How senior is this source?”
“What’s the agenda here?”
I received a request from a “senior party source” of my own which asked me to clarify this error. “She’s not even a member!”, my source claimed.
This claim was even backed up with what appeared to be compelling evidence that now appears to be misinterpreted.
Carol Jamieson is no friend of the current folks who call the shots for the CPC in Ottawa. She worked in Joe Clark’s office and ran Belinda Stronach’s CPC leadership bid. It wasn’t evident at the time but I later remembered that I had even seen Carol at the national convention in March. The things that come to light when I should have double-checked…
The Globe and Mail still crafted the quote in a dishonest way by suggesting implicitly that Carol Jamieson works in senior circles and that there is turmoil among the senior staff. Juxtaposed with the news of the “shakeup” in the OLO, this had the effect of dishonestly amplifying an outsider’s perception of a situation which existed in a much smaller sense. Jamieson is not a top-down organizer for the party and this should have been made clear by the Globe and Mail. While she supports the party (yet not the leader), she could be referred to as a bottom-up organizer. There is a clear distinction and it is very important. I am also a “bottom-up” organizer and while I have friends in the OLO, I still feel as though my opinion about OLO internal politics isn’t valid for consumption by the entire readership of a national newspaper (for numerous reasons).
With that being said, I received a copy of a membership receipt for one Margaret Jamieson. Carol’s legal name is Margaret Carol Jamieson. The compelling evidence of an expired membership was for “Carol Jamieson”. While “Carol Jamieson’s” membership had expired, “Margaret Jamieson” started a new one. Both my source and I got everyone in this mess by one clerical detail: Carol signed up as Margaret this time around and left us all with egg on our faces.
In an OLO where staff are being axed and where the Leader is constantly under fire from every facet of the media, the occurance of such a mistake is understable in such a frantic atmosphere. Yet I have no excuse for leaping to a defense which I wanted to be true, and for compromising whatever integrity my readers have come to perceive of me during the life of my blog. I admit that yesterday I let my own bias cloud my judgment. Compound this with my still strong belief that the media isn’t giving Stephen Harper a fair chance; I felt compelled to defend a good man and a great leader. While I am openly partisan, I should never let that hinder the pursuit of the truth, wherever it may reveal itself.
I’d like to apologize first to Carol Jamieson, for asserting that she was without party membership. I don’t agree with Carol, but we are a grassroots party and her input is necessary (even when it’s not helpful).
I’d like to apologize to my readers who don’t need to stop by and read about my latest belly-ache. I’d like to thank any of you who will stick around.
Finally, I’d like to apologize to my parents who raised me properly and told me to own up to my mistakes. (thank you)
There are also a few lessons that I’ve learned which I hope will guide me in the future.
1) Never hatchet other Conservatives. I became a hypocrite yesterday by doing exactly what I was criticizing someone else for doing.
2) No matter how attractive the prize, always be cognizant of where the truth may actually reveal itself (if not in your original assumption).
3) Don’t jump to conclusions.
4) Always double check your sources.
Whenever a mistake like this is made, a good blogger should own up to it. I regret labelling Carol a non-member of the Conservative Party and hope that while I’m unlikely to have such an influence, that I haven’t injured Carol’s reputation or soured her day. While I question her practices and methods, I don’t doubt that Carol shares the wish of all Conservatives to elect a Conservative government and improve this great Canadian country.