By Josh Lieblein
Here at Raving Canuck we specialize in tugging on the capes of Canadian journos who are a little too obvious in their sucking up to the Liberal government as they contend with each other for crumbs tossed to them by Gerry Butts and other such functionaries. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the Parliamentary Press Gallery ends and the Prime Minister’s Office begins!
As we all know, a Canadian Journalist’s main job is to smooth over any rough spots and shush away worries as the Liberal government plunders the public purse to pay for technocratic solutions to problems we didn’t know we had while adopting a laissez-faire attitude to the problems we do have. If the Opposition has a point, it falls to a Canadian Journalist to correct the record and say that, well, actually, no they don’t.
Few journalists do this better, or more subtly, than Aaron Wherry, “senior writer” for the CBC. When he writes an eye-glazing opinion piece trumpeting the Liberals’ new website patting themselves on the back for keeping less than a third of their campaign promises or praising them for breaking up several omnibus bills, it’s less obvious partisanship as it is burying any criticism of the party under a deluge of blandness and buzzwords.
To prove this point, let’s see if you can tell which of the following 14 statements were made by CBC Aaron Wherry (Hack), or by an actual Liberal mouthpiece (Flack).
“Stephen Harper has a long track record of making the wrong calls on Canada-US relations. Now he wants to sell the farm. Nice!”
"Always good to see an opposition MP doing his or her job and putting the health of our democracy before the potential threat of irony."
"The Liberal government has also eliminated a half-dozen tax measures that disproportionately benefited higher income families, including income splitting and the children's fitness tax credit."
“The Economic Update announced yesterday shows that our plan is working. Higher benefit payments 4 families, lower small biz tax are results.”
“Superclusters will energize regional economies and help build a skilled workforce, enhance Canada’s global competitiveness and create thousands of well-paying jobs for this generation and the next.”
"Why shouldn't Prince Charles speak out on climate change?"
"Does anyone, other than Maxime Bernier, want to mock "economic development"?
"Compared to Prince Charles, Julie Payette was pretty gentle on climate change skeptics."
"For the United States, it is for the country's better angels to somehow see it through. For Canada, the task is perhaps to learn from our neighbour's troubles."
"Though income inequality is not as extreme in Canada as in some countries, it is a concern here too. There are too many communities in our prosperous nation where people do not feel prosperous – where they instead feel left behind by an economy that is increasingly divided between the wealthy one per cent at the very top, and everyone else."
"The minister of finance worked extensively with the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner when he came into this job and followed all her recommendations as we expect everyone to."
"Morneau saying that a Conservative MP came up to him and said he "shouldn't take this personal, it's just a game" is cold blooded."
"The time has come to look beyond the boundaries of 'what politics can do for me.'" Great piece by @Bill_Morneau
"The concerted Conservative campaign to devote great gobs of QP day after day to Morneau is an interesting gambit."
Give up? Well, if you did, then that’s kind of the point.
Maybe #4 and #1 were the easiest tells for Liberal FLACKs. Those are Liberal MP Wayne Easter and former Trudeau advisor Roland Paris, respectively. #10 probably surprised you- that’s a speech given by Liberal Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland. #5, which looks like the sort of dry explanation you would find in a CBC piece, is actually from a press release from ISED Canada, and #6 is from the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary himself, Gerald Butts.
#9, which directly criticizes the USA’s democracy, and #3, which puts a positive shine on the Liberals tax measures, as well as #7, a direct shot at Maxime Bernier, are from CBC HACK Wherry. Here’s #2 and #8 were also penned or tweeted by him.
The last four are, of course, people shilling for Bill Morneau. #10 is from that ridiculous press conference where Trudeau actually spoke for Morneau and told a journalist that they would have a chance to speak to the PM. #12 might look like Wherry at first glance, but it’s actually Catherine McKenna from back in 2015, before the election (which shows you how little the Trudeau Liberals deviate from their talking points). #11 and #14 are Wherry’s. I would like to blame “great gobs of QP” to someone like Gerald Butts, but I can’t.
Again, it doesn’t matter whether Wherry is actively being influenced by the Liberals or whether he just spends so much time in the Ottawa bubble that he doesn’t realize how much it’s affected his reporting.
And let’s be clear: Aaron Wherry is not part of the CBC’s Op-Ed section, like Neil MacDonald or Robyn Urback. Ostensibly, this playing defence for the Liberals falls under the purview of “journalism.” Which would be fine- if our public broadcaster actually reported in a manner than actually represented the public at large.