Watson Is Not The Only Person In The City



Sorry but I don’t give a rat’s pittoo about what Mayor Jim Watson thinks about the future of the former U.S. embassy.

And it’s not because I dislike Watson because I don’t. He is one of the most charming men you will ever meet. His air is disarming, informal and persuasive. When he talks to you, you think you are the only person in the room. He pays attention and knows how to flatter. Your agent could use a few of those traits.

But what Watson knows about Indigenous people centres, national portrait galleries, museums, fiscal responsibility, administration and money acumen you could put in a thimble and have lots of room for his vague expertise in baseball, hockey and football. Damn nice collection of hockey sweaters however. How do we know this? Because Watson is available for any media person with good news to tell and a feature story to write.

But kill a couple of people in the ByWard Market and His Worship takes a powder. He trots out his media person to issue a statement so his picture doesn’t appear in a gun-violence story when his actions on gun violence, despite all his noise, have done nothing to stop the carnage. In fact, the situation is getting worse. Two people dead in the market. Not good.

On the former U.S. embassy where the mayor has pronounced effusively, Watson does not have jurisdiction, no fiscal responsibility, no expertise, no skin in the game … absolutely nothing to do with the future of that controversial building. It’s a federal issue. It doesn’t matter what Watson thinks. Get it?

But there he is spouting on about something of which he knows absolutely nothing and for which has no responsibility. For people inside the media and not a few people outside it, Watson’s quotes on hockey sweaters, his photo-ops and his omnipresence in the media are embarrassing. Not for Watson, god bless ‘im, he’s just doing what he is absolutely brilliant at … getting re-elected. But this is journalism … really?

People sometimes wonder at The Bulldog’s preoccupation with Watson. It’s because he receives almost no critical media thought and because he is so ever-present in coverage, the mayor leaves no room for anything or anybody else.

Hey, how about that U.S. embassy? Ask Watson. How about that hockey playoff? Ask Watson. What about that break out of chapped lips around the city? Ask Watson.

The media go to Watson because he is perpetually available for good news and gives good quote. He’s easy.

Birds fly, fish swim, bears do-do in the woods and politicians grovel for good media. It’s what they do.

Maybe when the issue of museums or galleries appears, a reporter could ask an expert on museums or galleries. Or tourism. Or the Ottawa economy. Or architecture. Nope. Ask Watson … the universal expert on everything, though he’s not.

Break out. Ask someone who is responsible for the embassy about the future of the embassy. Not the mayor who has no power over it all.

There are lots of other phone numbers of people in the Rolodex whose names don’t start with “W”.

Give them a try.


Video above: Watson doing the PR thing. “How do you feel about skating, Your Worship.” This just in: “I feel fine.” More on this breaking story as events unfold.

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11 thoughts on “Watson Is Not The Only Person In The City

  1. Ken,
    Here is an alternative start to my favorite shaggy dog poem.

    I come here before you to stand behind you and to tell you something,
    something ’bout me.
    All are invited, admission is free,
    So pay at the door, please-
    Just pull up a seat, now sit on the floor.

    You see, you see,
    it’s about me.
    So he took his legless guide dog for a walk ’round the room,
    He stepped out in front of the cameras, the press and the microphone boom.
    He started his speech with a grin and a wink,
    Stood still on the spot and tried not to blink.
    I am here, I am here – – please take notice of me,
    I see, I see it’s time for my selfie.


  2. It is a sad commentary on the media that they take the easy route, i.e. going to Watson who they know loves a camera and a microphone.
    Have noticed that residents, who are not particularly interested in politics, are mentioning being tired of seeing him at every event, hearing him comment too often — overexposure might do him in politically.

    1. Fed-Up:

      Overexposure might hurt Watson a bit but the deficit played well by a solid opponent could be very damaging.



      1. A solid opponent would do well to tie the accumulated debt and the sorry state of our roadways, which are a very tangible manifestation of whether the right spending priorities were made.

        Where is Paul Dewar?

    2. Fed-up,
      “hearing him comment too often”

      That kinda reminds of some person in southern lands. Tweet, tweet, tweet – – oh, he is being so up-front and open. We want to hear from him. He’s a man of the people.

      Tides do turn. Tweet, tweet, tweet – – oh, do we really want to hear every brain-wave? He’s a man of the leave work to golf, jet-setting, fabulous chocolate cake eating class. Did we elect the man of the people or a man of the top 1% covfefe class?

      Only time will tell. Some kinds of exposure do, indeed, become overexposure. Sometimes, overexposure reveals a person’s talents ( or weaknesses therein ) in ways that are no longer hidden from view. Things were once cute quirks become annoying truths.

      You can have twitter-bot followers, but robots don’t vote.


  3. Has anyone ever informed Watson that he is not the only person in this City?
    In fact, he is an employee of all Ottawa citizens….one who ran out on this job commitment once before.

    Anne Marie

  4. Now that the media has done some work and contacted First Nations people about the new use for the former U.S. Embassy, seems there are differing opinions on whether it is a good idea or not.

  5. This week alone, having seen/heard Mayor Watson comment on the new use of the former U.S. Embassy and security measures for Canada Day (& may have missed others), decided to contact the media involved and express my displeasure, i.e. will find my ‘real news’ elsewhere.
    I wonder how Ottawa survived without Watson’s interpretation on all matters.

  6. Right on! There a few other bright lights at City Hall… like…hmmm….let me think….huh….

    Maybe another reader can help me out?


  7. Isn’t this the same guy who was in McGuinty’s cabinet and when the crap was going to hit the fan in Toronto, Watson ran like a scared rabbit so none would fall on him. When are people going to wake up? I am talking about those who keep on voting for these guys who say everything is rosy when they just keep on spending our money in every way possible to get themselves re-elected. Big debt gets big votes. It is all about power and to hell with those who do not like it. I do not like it.


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