The last few hundred thousand viewers still watching CBC’s The National (it gets crushed by CTV’s National News which easily gets triple the audience), in its new unpopular and painfully slow format (four hosts?!), as their primary source of news wouldn’t know anything about Liberal MP Geng Tan acting as an intermediary on a government trip to China for a Canadian-Chinese businessman now accused of fraud (you also won’t find anything on the Geng Tan story on CBC’s website). Joshua Boyle being arrested on 15 charges a few weeks after being granted a private meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the PM’s office barely registered in its programming. The Ethics Commissioner clearing Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau of wrongdoing — no surprise, really, since she had told him the letter of the law allowed him to hold on to his shares when he decided on that poor course of action back in 2015 after misleading the public into thinking he was putting his assets into a blind trust — the CBC treated it as if it were practically a full vindication. No follow-up questions on why he misled the public or how he benefited greatly. Instead CBC took Morneau at his word, like they did when he told them he was putting his assets into a blind trust, that he was donating all the money to charity, and no skepticism was applied on how he would still benefit from the profit of his shares earned while in public office because he can use the donation as a tax write-off.
No, instead these developments on Liberal scandals or screw-ups, depending on their severity, like Trudeau being found to have broken four ethics laws for essentially taking what looks like a quid pro quo (scandal), only get a few minutes coverage and then are scuttled away from CBC viewers’ attention.
According to CBC and ilk, what’s more important for Canadian audiences is to have endless coverage of every controversial thing President Trump says or does. Apparently CBC’s The National needed to devote six minutes on Trump’s alleged “shit-hole” comment and another three minutes on his cancelled London trip for Friday’s broadcast. A whopping 12 minutes was devoted to a sit-down interview with the Fire and Fury author, several days after the story first broke, in which Rosemary Barton lobbed softball question after softball question to Michael Wolff, eagerly lapping up his every word (even a progressive friend of mine, who bought the book as soon as it was released, doesn’t believe a lot of the tall tales told within). Despite many journalists and publications questioning Wolff’s spotty record on reporting the facts, when his book was released CBC’s Paul Hunter’s four-minute initial report completely glossed over this and instead personally vouched for Wolff’s integrity after several glaring errors had already been pointed out in the media about his book: “His columns at the time were like this book, rich in detail, full of anecdotes, whispered quotes, casual observations about what was actually going on around us. I just reread them in light of this new book and feel now as I did fifteen years ago when I first read them — to an experience I went through — to which I can attest, he nailed it. Bang on, I wouldn’t change a word.” Sounds a whole lot like gossip and yellow journalism to me. I’ll take the late, great David Carr’s word over a CBC leftist journalist desperately wanting to believe any negative story fed to them about Trump. There are already plenty of real controversies as it is with Trump, there’s no need to seize onto tall tales that will undermine your own credibility in presenting Wolff’s shaky gossip as the gospel. But CBC is always looking for the next Trump-bashing authoritative expert to put on The National to give its audience another long lecture denouncing Trump on its program. The National also bizarrely spent twelve minutes of a program interviewing comedienne Samantha Bee on Trump and #MeToo and eight minutes for another expert to claim Trump is undermining democracy (with scant proof provided).
Say, CBC, if you want to give celebrities and experts extended periods of time to discuss a foreign leader’s lies and faults, why don’t you do the same for PM Trudeau by having on Theo Fleury and Brett Wilson.
I’m not sure if CBC is aware of this, and most of the rest of the mainstream Canadian media at that, but Canadians can now use this thing called the internet to access way better and more informative coverage of American politics from American news outlets. A Canadian journalist’s job is to report on Canadian news, other than the odd Washington correspondent, no matter how unexciting it may be in comparison to President Trump’s shit show. If the majority of the media weren’t so busy tripping over themselves in excusing away Trudeau and his ministers’ bungling of government files and the PM’s poor judgement in accepting a free trip to the Aga Khan’s island or meeting Boyle despite his checkered past, on top of the breathless Trump coverage, they might find some pretty compelling stories of our own. Digging up more dirt on these controversies and others, e.g. the Canada 150 slush fund (I’m in the midst of auditing it), would provide them with plenty of compelling stories Canadians would be far more interested in learning about from Canadian journalists.
(Hey self-described conservative writer writing for the $1.5-million-government-subsidized Maclean’s and husband to the Liberal Environment Minister, try reading Terry Glavin’s — one of a handful of intrepid Canadian journalists actually holding this Trudeau government to account — reports on how Trudeau seems to be selling us out to China and maybe do a column on how the PM is a “Manchurian Idiot.” I won’t hold my breath. I guess the best way to not get called out for your conflict of interest with the Liberals, but to still help their cause, is to deflect and distract from your wife’s government’s screw-ups by writing endless columns about Trump’s antics. Below are more of his insight on Trump and American politics from Ottawa. Feel free to quickly scroll past all the chaff.)
I could also show you many of Gilmore’s colleagues similarly spilling pools and pools of ink on Trump instead of on pressing issues in our own country, but I think you get the point. What are some of those pressing issues not being covered you may ask? Well how about illegal migrants still walking across our border for one? The coverage for that has completely dropped off and I’ve seen no reporters keeping up the pressure on the PM on how he’s done nothing to stop it or to increase bureaucrats at the Immigration and Refugee Board, which I pointed out early last year, that Maclean’s has finally picked up on by reporting how they’re now flooded with applicants they can’t process in a timely fashion. Or how about CBC looks into how Vice-Admiral Mark Norman appears to have been thrown under the bus by the Trudeau government and potentially its former reporter, now working for the Minister of Defence, for simply doing his job? Or how about investigating how the Canadian Heritage continues to spend billions of dollars on dud after dud in arts and culture programming? Or how about looking into who is actually running the country and report about them (CBC et al reported way more on former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon than they have ever done on Trudeau’s top advisors) since Trudeau sees his role as PM as more ceremonial in nature than hands-on.
Sadly, what little air that’s still left in the room, once Trump coverage has sucked out most of it, ends up being sliced up between a bit of the happenings of the day and the rest on whatever the latest PR stunts Trudeau’s handlers at the Prime Minister’s Office have concocted. Right now Trudeau is on his second town-hall tour meant to distract from the aforementioned screw-ups and scandals by having Trudeau putting on a show by using his gift of gab to change the channel. Although disgruntled attendees inevitably pose unwanted questions regarding these screw-ups and scandals, Trudeau usually can rely on a green crowd (many of these town halls are strategically held on university campuses which ensures the crowd is filled with naive and impressionable youth willing to believe their “cool” PM over some nobody in the audience) to back him up when he deflects and obfuscates the truth when answering. He can also rely on his friends at the CBC et al to only keep the most dramatic moments in their reports, like seasoned politician Trudeau dismantling an outmatched angry heckler, and make that their story. When CBC’s The National took time last week to report on the town halls it was mainly to admire Trudeau’s ability to fend of hecklers and win the crowd over (your guess is as good as mine as to how this helps inform the public). The National now has accompanying articles on the CBC website, and one of the useless articles was entitled “Trudeau turns to Seinfeld tactics to tame town hall hecklers.” The first news segment even took time to reminisce on last year’s town halls (again, who cares?) and had spin doctor/CBC poll analyst Eric Grenier claim it didn’t hurt him in the polls (I’ll be revealing more on Canada’s crappy polling industry and Grenier’s shaky methodology in the near future). The second news segment from last week on the town halls was a real masterpiece in CBC doing propaganda for their paymaster. The whole segment was about how Trudeau deals with hecklers (I’m old enough to remember when these disruptors used to be called activists and protesters when Harper was PM) and “wins the crowd over” (segment starts at 24:50 if you want to see the gross admiration of Trudeau’s PR).
Trudeau charming much of the media into reporting puff pieces, meanwhile letting him get away with murder by letting the public coffers be robbed blind, reminds me of the Broadway show Chicago (which I saw for the first time in NYC last month). In the musical a lawyer named Billy Flynn “razzle dazzles” newspaper reporter Mary Sunshine into writing glowing stories about his client, a murderess and adulterer aspiring to be a vaudevillian star.