Okay, Global’s Tom Clark has been redeemed.

After receiving various complaints from readers about the recent critical posting about Global Television’s Tom Clark, it is time to recant. The truth is that this writer has always been a solid fan of Tom’s work. It also helps that his late father, Joseph A.P. Clark was not only a good friend and mentor but preceded us as head of communications for the Liberal Party in Ontario back in the 1960s. (Tom was still at Upper Canada College at the time.)

The complaint about the easy ride given to Alberta Premier Jim Prentice on Tom’s West Block show was much more of a jab at Calgary-based Shaw Media than any criticism of Tom. He was just doing his job. And he does it well.

Some readers felt that Tom vindicated himself for the Premier Prentice soft lobs by ripping apart Conservative MP Colin Carrie on the following week’s show. Carrie, a chiropractor from Oshawa, is parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment. Carrie was not particularly forthcoming in answering questions about the environment and did not seem aware of what Prime Minister Harper promised. You ended up with the impression that Carrie was sent to do Tom’s show as a sacrificial lamb.

Conversely, the show Tom did at the Halifax International Security Forum on November 23 was an outstanding bit of journalism and it should have been a longer program. The show hardly brushed the surface of what needed to be openly discussed. The questions about border security alone were good for more than a couple hours.

But like any news show of its kind, Tom’s West Block is only as good as the guests that the interviewer can attract. If Tom ripped apart every Conservative sycophant appearing on his show, he would soon be accused of being a Liberal supporter and the show would lose its balance and our interest.

It was also intriguing a while ago when Tom invited the three major party leaders up in his bush plane for a ride-interview. Justin Trudeau of the Liberals seemed to really enjoy the experience. We have not seen Tom Mulcair of the New Democrats yet but it might not be his thing. We know there is no way Tom Clark will ever get Prime Minister Harper out of his controlled environment. It is this type of thinking that makes Tom a leader in his field. We wish him well.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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