Leave it to the foreign press of a blossoming democracy to expose a waning democracy’s leader’s phoniness. Sure, Canadian media eventually joined the bandwagon in ridiculing Trudeau’s disastrous Indian trip, but only after it became too hard to ignore.
From the get go, the Indian press were unimpressed with Mr. Dress Up’s patronizing costumes and endless photo-ops.
The Canadian press on the other hand, as is the habit of many Canadian journalists in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, were to rush and excuse Trudeau’s unorthodox and superficial behaviour, instead of using critical thinking skills to question it.
Only after a few days of Trudeau’s “official visit” looking more like a family vacation than state business did the Canadian press start to clue in.
But they only really joined the bandwagon in criticizing Trudeau’s disastrous vacation-like trip after intrepid Sun columnist Candice Malcolm dropped a bombshell report on how the Trudeau government invited a former terrorist on the Indian trip.
CBC’s Terry Milewski, a rare pugnacious reporter within the state broadcaster’s ranks, also reported the story around the same time, however it appears the government might have gone to CBC, a much friendlier media outlet, while stalling Malcolm to give the story a softer landing. I’ve had a similar experience with a federal department and the PMO, where I was told they would need a day or two to get back to me and then, out of sheer coincidence I’m sure, the Toronto Star ran a piece with comment from the same sources I was waiting to hear back from.
Once the shit hit the fan over the revelation Trudeau had a former Khalistani terrorist in his entourage in India, the trusty CBC (an additional $150 million annually from the Trudeau government buys a lot of goodwill) and ilk came to Trudeau’s rescue.
CBC published, all too credulously, the conspiracy theory of a senior government official, given anonymity, claiming (without a shred of evidence) it was the Indian government’s meddling that had led to the former terrorist being mistakenly invited. The disgraceful reporting of Katie Simpson and Peter Zimonjic — “Rogue Indian political elements may be trying to make Canada look weak on Sikh extremism: source — didn’t include anyone pushing back on the phony narrative (of course). Other Canadian news outlets also transcribed this so-called neutral public servant’s spin on behalf of the Trudeau government. The CBC et al. also took the Trudeau government at its word when they used the one MP as a scapegoat for why this individual was invited on the Indian trip, despite many with experience in how the federal government operates pointing out that official invites and screening is ultimately decided by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Journalist Brian Lilley was able to expose the bureaucrat doing Trudeau’s dirty work in peddling fake news in a desperate attempt to save face. (I highly recommended readers check it out.)
And Malcolm is now trying to get to the bottom of this subterfuge by filing an access to information request on bureaucrat Daniel Jean’s communications during the last week. Maclcolm also wrote a follow-up report that was able to all but confirm the Trudeau government was behind the invitation to the would-be assassin and that he has a long history with the Liberal Party of Canada.
After Trudeau took a severe beating by both the international and national press alike, Trudeau could still count on the CBC to chastise his critics.
Yet, what is even more alarming about Trudeau’s trip to India than the incompetence on display for the whole world to see is how much of the Canadian press has gone easy on Trudeau (minus the Sun and a few other outlets), especially the CBC, which has an inordinate amount of influence over the Canadian zeitgeist because of its $1.2 billion advantage over the competition. The end of Trudeau’s Indian trip also showed again that the Trudeau government isn’t actually friendly towards journalists doing their job in criticizing it. Trudeau’s people kicked out journalists from an Indian news magazine because of a critical article they published about the PM.
No, all the talk of sunny ways and “We have respect for journalists in this country, they ask tough questions and they’re supposed to” looks more and more like just talk.
Trudeau’s access to journalists in Canada is not much more than that of his predecessor when it comes to answering questions (albeit often with some unrelated non-answer) despite pretending to be friendly to journalists (he is to the ones carrying water of course). Instead, Trudeau allows plenty of access to him when it comes to photo-ops, giving the illusion he’s open and transparent to journalists. Trudeau continually dangles exclusive interviews to press at different junctures, ensuring they behave well in order to get the one-on-one exclusive interview. Trudeau has also opted to answer questions more often from amateur questioners at town halls instead of facing professional journalists on a regular basis. How else can you explain Trudeau patronizingly telling a journalist who wanted to ask Finance Minister Bill Morneau a question (when he was embroiled in his own scandal) that they needed to ask him a question because they had the (rare) “opportunity” to ask the PM a question. Yet, Trudeau has shown he has plenty of time for interviews when it involves fawning foreign press like hosts of an American podcast, a fan writing for Rolling Stone, or a Vox “reporter” all wanting to do softball or fluff interviews.
What is even more disturbing, however, is how a couple weeks ago executives from different news outlets were speaking to the press, begging for money from the federal government. These news outlets looking for bailouts then did reports with little to no push back on the notion the government should further subsidize journalism in this country included in their reporting. And then this past week, voila, it was reported the government will be giving $50 million to local reporting. Expect more kiss-ass coverage from certain outlets benefiting.
Making things even more dire, Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould — echoing the Trudeau government telling the Toronto Star a couple weeks ago Trudeau told the Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg last fall that the social media giant needed to do more about so-called fake news — gave social media companies an ultimatum of doing more to combat fake news in six months or face government regulation. (In a previous article — “What is the Trudeau Government Trying to Censor on Facebook” — I pointed out how bizarre it is for the Trudeau government to get involved in categorizing what is real and fake news.)
All of the above leaves me with a few questions on what is fake news in the eyes of the Trudeau government.
Would the Trudeau government deem the CBC report of an unnamed source peddling a conspiracy theory that the Indian government duped the Canadian government into inviting the former Khalistani terrorist fake news?
Would the journalists’, blocked from a Trudeau event, scathing articles on Trudeau be discreetly flagged by Canadian government officials on social media as fake news?
Would a viral video of Trudeau being mocked for dancing be labeled fake news because the Trudeau government saw it as unfairly taking a moment out of context?
Would videos of Trudeau saying Canada is only 100 years old be censored because it was just Trudeau misspeaking?
Inquiring minds would like to know what exactly the Trudeau government means by “fake news”.