With Rob Anders soon gone and mercifully forgotten, who will step into the feckless booby’s boots as Canada’s Worst Member of Parliament?
Frank hereby nominates Joan Crockatt, the accidental Tory MP for Calgary-Centre, who last Sunday established her bona fides as Anders’ successor by tweeting:
“Yes @EnrightCBC you missed the truth in ignoring the most important death in journalism this week was the #SunNewsNetwork.”
Crockatt was responding to CBC’s Sunday Edition host Michael Enright’s remarks on the deaths last week of New York Times columnist David Carr, 60 Minutes reporter Bob Simon and former Toronto Star baseball writer Alison Gordon.
The Twittersphere immediately exploded over Crockatt’s comparison of the loss of 200 jobs to the deaths of leading journos.
“Take a backseat, actual human deaths,”–Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star.
“This tweet is offensive to the families of those lost. Delete it now, beneath office of an MP,”—Calgary constituent.
Crockatt’s idiocy brought back unfond memories for former Calgary Herald hacks, recalling similar imbecility when Joan was the paper’s managing editor, a job for which she was spectacularly unqualified.
*Prior to her unaccountable rise to the top of the Herald slag heap; Joan was known by her maiden name of Natrass.
Her inaugural attempts at journalism included a regular small town gossip column in her hometown rag, the Lloydminster Meridian Booster, where she toiled in obscurity (until her enthusiasm for backstabbing and providing corporate fellatio was discovered by Conrad Black.)
For some reason, Lloydminster locals soon dubbed her column “On the Mattress with Joanie Natrass.” In a review of a concert by Liona Boyd, she wrote: “The guitar virtuoso walked on to a stage bare except for a palm tree.” Years later, she was awarded a Southam Journalism Fellowship.
*At the Herald, Joan was notorious as a drive-by editor. She once edited a court story by a careful reporter covering the trial of three young women charged with manslaughter after beating a fourth woman to death in the women’s washroom of a nightclub. When Joan got done, the women had become young offenders and the charge transformed into murder. The reporter eventually hightailed for the Vancouver Sun rather than deal with Joan.
*Insatiably curious about the world around her, Joan once asked a copy editor, “What’s the name of that river that runs through downtown Calgary?” Another time she asked, “Is the Glenmore Reservoir upstream or downstream from the Glenmore Dam?”
*Herald editors made a point of keeping proofs of pages they were working on face down on the desk because, if Crockatt saw something, she could not restrain herself from making changes, no matter how stupid, just to remind them who was boss. It never seemed to occur to her, however, to turn over a blank piece of paper.
*She fired an employee a few days before Christmas … then went to his dreary goodbye party, pretended he was retiring and gave a speech praising his years of service and fine work.
*Joan was big on “team-building” exercises and would bring stuffed toys to the Herald’s dreaded weekend retreats. Senior reporters were later heard cursing about having to hand around “fucking beanie babies” to keep Joan happy.
*How she became Herald ME is a mystery, but kissing Tubby Black’s capacious keister didn’t hurt.
When His Lordship was touring his newspaper empire in the late nineties, wife Barbara Amiel took sick in Lethbridge and had to be hospitalized. Joan immediately rushed to her bedside and spent hours plying her with bon-bons, chicken soup and sympathy.
Tubby was said to be so grateful he later intervened when Joan was about to be sacked for gross nincompoopery after the Herald strike, which had dragged on longer and cost more than anyone expected.