At the end of last January the CBC did a TV special called “Face to Face with the Prime Minister” in which the CBC did a reality-show-like program where 10 everyday Canadians got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit down one-on-one to interview PM Justin Trudeau.
I (and many others) rolled my eyes at the CBC’s blatant puffery programming. The PR exercise was such translucent obsequiousness to the new PM by our state broadcaster that I wrote “10 Hitches with CBC’s 10 Canadians ‘Face-to-Face’ with PM“. In the successful piece (few thousand views) I deconstructed the disgraceful piece of PR Peter Mansbridge tried to peddle as avant-garde journalism.
Well, if you ask Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives they would tell you “Face to Face with the PM” was a great PR scheme they would like to emulate. In some of the most recent emails dumped by Wikileaks from today, John Podesta (Clinton’s campaign chairman) and other staffers discussed and lauded the public broadcaster’s propaganda program.
Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook had this to say: “I love it. Will press think it’s “staged”? Or is there a way to structure it so they won’t think that? Also, what consulting firm did Trudeau use? I can’t remember.”
Well, Robby, I don’t think our state broadcaster would appreciate you calling it a consulting firm, but for Justin Trudeau the CBC doesn’t mind because he’s its patron giving it another $150 million more a year in taxpayers’ money. But, Robby, by the look of other Podesta emails it looks like the Clinton camp already has the media wrapped around your little finger.
The now-in-turmoil Huma Abedin thought the CBC PR was great too–“love this idea.”
I’ve been thinking my growing disdain for the CBC may have clouded my judgement and maybe I was overly critical of our public broadcaster. However, when an outside perspective like Clinton’s right-hand woman raves about your supposed journalism as a good form of flattery for a politician then you know you’re in the wrong business.
Another operative then explained CBC’s agitprop and how they could copy it for Clinton.
“Along similar lines, I’d like to try a version of what Justin Trudeau did. He did a 100 minute town hall where 10 real people got 10 minutes each to go up on stage and ask him questions. You see real people have these momentary interactions with her, but never get to see real conversations. Could be cool. And we could hand select for diversity, etc.”
Way to go CBC! You’ve got top political players in the most powerful county in the world following your lead in creating their “staged” propaganda. You should make this a lead story. It’s about you afterall, and you helped your idol, Hillary! Also, now would be a good time as ever for you to lend your sophistry to her floundering campaign.
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