Trumped-up charges: The Donald and his friend Goliath

The Donald's Cut
Trump’s Cut

Trump’s Bombastic Bomb # 1

Back in the middle of June, Donald Trump’s announcement speech marked the first time there has been such an overblown hairy ado over a coiffure and rape since Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock satirized the frivolity of eighteenth-century high society in 1712.

Trump’s rape comments and wispy locks were both agonizingly and tiredly scrutinized and derided. The late night comics recycled decades-old, trite jokes about his blowsy hair (1). The narrative-incapable press was no more reasoned or insightful in its response to the spectacular spectacle at the gold-gilded Trump Tower. The 24-hour media behemoth’s coverage of the first few days was mostly journalists and pundits attempting to dismiss and muffle his eruptive trumpet-blast entrance into the political arena as the off-key “whomp, whomp, whomp” of a tuba. (Look at these rantings and ravings from this long-winded diatribe of this insufferable, clownish, narcissistic blowhard.) The journalists and pundits cut clips into deconstructive snippets that were completely devoid of context, ignoring his many provocative pronouncements on America’s woes and suggested solutions.

The best the mainstream media could do for narrative was report on trivial matters, like how Neil Young didn’t condone Trump’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World.” It took a few days catalyzing of a social justice warrior’s petition directed at Macy’s (which, in hindsight, completely and catastrophically backfired), demanding the business sever ties with Trump, that the dominant group-think narrative crystallized. Univision, NBC Universal, Macy’s, Nascar, Serta, two star chefs, Perfumania, PGA, ESPN, as well as attention-seeking, low-information celebrities all jumped on the dump Trump bandwagon. All too predictably, the media reported all of these severances as if they were one and the same, even though several of these business relationships were miniscule venue rentals.

Trump, the circus impresario always ready to deliver a knock-out counter punch, responded swiftly and decisively to what he claimed amounted to a loss of “peanuts.” He slapped Univision and the two star chefs with half-a-billion dollar and 10 million dollar breach of contract lawsuits respectively. He dismissed NBC’s decision as simply the bitter reaction of a company that he’d rejected signing a renewal contract with for Celebrity Apprentice–and blasted its hypocrisy in keeping company with the likes of the “lying” Brian Williams and Al Sharpton, the race-baiting charlatan. He rallied thousands of his supporters to boycott Macy’s and cut their Macy’s credit cards. He laughed all the way to the bank when ESPN and Nascar forfeited their deposits for events at his properties. As the business and (supposed) monetary losses rained down on The Donald, the conjecture that he was only running for increased brand recognition began to dissipate.

Meanwhile, he basked in the spotlight as the mainstream media—in its insatiable hunger for controversy and ratings–gave him endless, ubiquitous coverage. The so-called Bozo the Clown candidate began courting and cashing in on controversy. To continue and sustain his deluge of coverage, he dangled his registration and financial papers, and punctually filed them as he taunted his detractors–10 BILLION DOLLARS, not a measly two to four. These actions solidified his sincerity in earnestly running, quashed all hope of the doubters’ speculations, and fed the media beast a few days-worth of gossip gristle. And Trump was only getting started–he had, and still does have, plenty more cards up his sleeve.

As the pile on of dump Trump snowballed, the media reduced Trump’s hour-long speech to a truncated clip of a couple of sentences, which were then misinterpreted and misquoted as Trump exclaiming all Mexicans are rapists and murderers. Once the media dunces had come to their illogical consensus, they swiftly branded Trump a racist and bigot. Then the media mob repeatedly prodded and hounded The Donald for an apologetic self-sacrificial surrender at the PC altar of repentance. He defiantly doubled-, tripled-, and quadrupled-down on his statements because he knew–taking a page from Ann Coulter’s new book, Adios America–that his statements rang true, especially to whom matters in the GOP race, a large swath of the Republican base. The Donald, as will soon be evidenced, is ever the ingenious equivocator. He dangled just enough rope to get the media to pounce, but not quite enough to hang himself.

In order to fully understand the media’s transmutation and the strategic brilliance behind Trump’s comments, let’s split hairs by looking at the full transcript of his supposedly infamous comments.

“The US has become a dumping ground for everyone elses [sic] problems … The people aren’t the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you, they’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting, and it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than just Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming from—probably—probably the Middle East. But we don’t know because we have no protection and no competence. We don’t know what is happening and it has got to stop. And it’s got to stop fast.” [my emphasis]

Of course the imprecise ambiguity of his words allows for the lazy and surface-level interpretation that he believes most Mexicans are criminals and rapists. Yet his referencing of the border, the Middle East, Latin and South America all clarify his subject as just the illegals entering through America’s southern border. His decision to only give passing reference to the good Samaritans (nope, sorry, not citizens) illegally entering the country once again suggests he’s implying that he thinks they’re all criminals and rapists. However, when one looks at Trump’s use of “assume,” “probably,” and “we don’t know,” one can see that he is highlighting the fact that America is clueless as to whom is coming across her border.

But when dealing with negative criticism of immigrants, the touchy American media always revert to the worn-out racism card. They always frame the leveler of the criticism as a bigot. The Donald, intimate with the dullards of the press for decades, was well aware of this motif before he consciously decided to defy it. Though Trump’s statement was (cunningly) crude, anyone who thought it was a gaffe–instead of tongue-in-cheek goading of the press and his GOP rivals–was bamboozled. So many mistaken his calculated truculence for childish petulance.

It was during this time in his endless media tour that journalists kept berating him with skewed and counterfeit statistics on illegal immigrants,. (Why scrutinize statistics when they backup your confirmation bias?) The most memorable interview of this kind was the one with NBC’s Katy Tur. Tur went into the interview with the gusto of a lion tamer. By the end she’d been mauled worse than Roy of Siegfried & Roy and provided new credence to Sigmund Freud.

With a sarcastic smirk and condescending tone she began the interview by rudely questioning the sincerity of his bid for presidency.

Tur: So my first question, why are we here in New York? Why aren’t we out on the campaign trail?

Trump: Oh, I’ve been to Iowa many times. I’ve been to New Hampshire many, many times. Love the people there and we’ve had tremendous success, we’ve had tremendous crowds. No one gets as many standing ovations, And you know I spend a lot of time out. I was in South Carolina recently–and we’re all over. This weekend I’ll be going to be with Clint Eastwood in California with a tremendous group of people. I’m going to Arizona this weekend. I’ll be all over the place.

Tur: You were one of the only candidates that didn’t campaign during the Fourth of July. Pretty much all of them were up in New Hampshire and you were not there. You passed. No campaign events really this week. No campaign events planned for next week that we know of so far. You’re not campaigning that much, how can anyone take you seriously if you’re not out there showing your face.

Trump: Because I’m out there doing television with you, and I am out there a lot and I’ve watched [the other candidates] out there walking the streets and it didn’t mean anything. I was actually getting more news coverage than anybody else by far because I’m the one that brought up the whole situation and the whole mess with immigration, and what the Mexican government is doing to us. So you know I didn’t have to be, and I would’ve been had they wanted me to. And I just decided that it probably wasn’t necessary. I’m going up actually next week. I’ll be in Iowa many times over the next number of months.

Could he be any more candid for the camera? He doesn’t need to be constantly slogging it on the ground to events with hundreds of people when he’s transmitted into millions of American homes every single day. AWashington Post article, “How Donald Trump plays the press, in his own words”, cited long quotes from Trump’s Art of the Deal, which are enlightening in explaining Trump’s campaign tactics. In his bestselling book he explains how you must feed the mainstream media controversy in order to get coverage:

…the press is … always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better. It’s in the nature of the job, and I understand that. The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you.

He definitely has a “little outrageous” down to a T. And when you’re as “bold” as Trump has been the past two months, you don’t just get written and talked about endlessly, but you routinely get 10-45 minute interview slots on prime time to drive home your message, “Make America Great Again!” This free exposure also explains why WSJ just reported Trump “has rejected paid television advertising as unnecessary.”

Trump realizes he doesn’t need to squander his own money on ads when he’s already dominating headlines everywhere. Trump also explained the beauty of free publicity in his bestseller.

If I take a full-page ad in the New York Times to publicize a project, it might cost $40,000, and in any case, people tend to be skeptical about advertising. But if the New York Times writes even a moderately positive one-column story about one of my deals, it doesn’t cost me anything, and it’s worth a lot more than $40,000.

The Funny thing is that even a critical story, which may be hurtful personally, can be very valuable to your business.

Why blow money on advertising when you can get way more valuable exposure for zilch? Maybe this is the type of mindset and frugality a 19 trillion-dollars-in-debt America needs.

But back to observing Trump’s masterful handling of the press in action. Once he had brushed aside Tur’s questioning of his campaign’s authenticity, she began citing her friendly statistics on the benevolent, undocumented illegals.

Tur: We have a lower incarceration rate for Mexican immigrants and illegal immigrants than we do for any U.S. born citizens.

Trump: It’s a wrong statistic. Go check your numbers. It’s totally wrong.

Tur: It’s PEW research.

Trump: It sounds good, it’s a wrong statistic. Check your numbers.

After he brusquely brushed aside her false statistics, she made a desperate attempt at making a racist, direct correlation between El Paso’s high Hispanic population and the fact that the city has the lowest crime rate in the county. (She was basically claiming El Paso as proof that Hispanics are inherently less crime-prone than other people and other races. See America, let the Hispanic illegals in by the busloads, they’ll only help in diluting the national crime rate. To add to the hilarity, El Paso’s extremely low crime rate is also cited by defenders of the 2nd amendment because the city has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the country.) 15 minutes later, Tur was back at it with the faulty stats.

Tur: Immigration is down, why is this such a big topic for you right now?

Trump: Immigration is a very big topic. Take a look at all the time that is being committed. Go take a look–

Tur: The research says that crime does not match what you’re saying–

Trump: Depends on whose research–

Tur: The PEW research, which is independent–

Trump: Don’t be naive, you’re a very naive person.

Tur: The PEW research says that–there–for–immigrants on the whole create–are…

Trump: Come on, try getting it out. Try getting it out.

Tur: I’ll get it out.

Trump: I don’t know if you’re going to put this on television, but you don’t even know what you’re talking about. Try getting it out. Go ahead.

Tur: Immigrants commit less crimes than US citizens. There are less immigrants in our jails than–

Trump: You know what, number one, I disagree with it. Number two, whether it’s true or not, illegal immigrants…are causing tremendous crime.

Days before Trump bulldozed the young Katy Tur, the young Katie Steinle was shot dead in cold blood, in broad daylight, by a convicted criminal and illegal who had been deported five times. What looked like a fortuitous and timely tragedy for Trump, was in all probability a statistical inevitability. Yet, this extremely tragic murder no more proved undocumented illegals are all killers than Tur’s utopian El Paso proved their saintliness, but it did do wonders for the public’s perception.

To heed The Donald’s Art of the Deal again: “Most reporters, I find, have very little interest in exploring the substance of a detailed proposal for a development. They look instead for the sensational angle.”

Trump, a man with no shame, began bringing the murder up whenever talking, and the instinctual media lapped it up. On a weekend in the middle of July, in the heat of summer, Trump soared on his private jet to California, Nevada, and Arizona. At all three events, Trump railed against the “porous” southern border. While in LA, he held a press conference where several family members of Americans murdered by illegals were given time to speak at the podium. He topped off the weekend by giving a speech to over 15,000 Americans in Phoenix.

Shortly after that weekend, in what was most definitely a fortuitous event, El Chapo, the Mexican drug lord, had escaped prison and threatened Trump via Twitter over his immigrant comments. An international manhunt had begun, and somehow Trump had managed to again make the story about him. Next it was reported Trump had contacted the FBI for protection. Nearing the end of July, Trump was in Laredo, Texas, visiting the border–exultant in a presidential-like motorcade.

As the media feeding frenzy intensified, Trump surged and blew past Jeb Bush in the polls. This would’ve come as no surprise to Trump. Roger Stone, Trump’s former campaign manager who just recently quit or was fired, alluded in an interview that from the outset of Trump’s campaign it was clear to them that a tough stance on illegal immigration was a winning issue.

All they needed was the perfect sales pitch. Trump reread his bestseller:

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.

I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration–and a very effective form of promotion.

Lights! Camera! Action!

“I would build a great wall–and nobody builds like I do, believe me, and I’d build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

  1. The most notable of the late night comics’ worn-out, played-out routines came from the sanctimonious Jon Stewart, who once projected an aura of witty intellect with his prematurely grey do. It’s the curious case of Jon Stewart that he’s now reached the age of maturity for fading hair and wisdom, yet, despite his 52 years, his so-called wit has shriveled to juvenile immaturity—e.g. his recent mock orgasm over Trump’s announcement speech. His stature as a biting satirist has shrunk over the Obama years as he’s fawned over the current president. Stewart’s palpable giddiness during Obama’s last appearance on The Daily Show, his clandestine briefings at the Oval Office, and Obama’s facetious executive order that Stewart remain host of the show all confirmed him as a huckster for the liberal agenda, not a freethinking satirist exposing hypocrisy on both sides of the political aisle. Stewart knew his audience well—the highly coveted, liberal youth of 18- to 34-year-olds—and he pandered and played to its cliched, simplistic worldview for 16 grueling years. If Stewart reflected on his relationship with his audience and writers, one could picture him paraphrasing Matthew McConaughey’s perverted high-school-girl-preying character in Dazed and Confused: “That’s what I love about about these green college grads, I get older, they stay the same age.”

Enough Bluster and Bluff on the Trial of Duff — the Media are Fit for a Cuff

All the Queen's horses, and all the Queen's men, ripped poor Duffy to shreds again.
All the Queen’s horses, and all the Queen’s men, ripped poor Duffy to shreds again.

Canadian media is stricken with garrison mentality. The twentieth-century literary critic Northrop Frye first coined the term to elucidate on a theme he noticed recurring in Canadian literature. Garrison mentality refers to the archetype of a small community preserving itself by demanding all inhabitants conform to the settlement’s rigid sense of propriety (applicable to the Senate, too). The term explained why CanLit was so dull and unoriginal, but it also shed light on Canadian identity. Literature mimics reality and reality mimics literature.

The Canadian mainstream media is a tight-knit group who control the official narrative of the stories they deem newsworthy enough to grace their pages and airwaves. The most recent recrudescence of the media’s garrison mentality is the grossly excessive coverage of the Duffy trial. What an absurd contradiction it is that our compromised Canadian media pats itself on the back for not stooping to (dying) British and American gutter journalism but then unleashes all of its long-repressed, pent-up viciousness upon one–possibly dying–pariah. Easy to kick a man while he’s down, I guess–especially with the threat of libel chill from those still standing–but Canada is bountiful with Chaucerian charlatans desperately deserving their fair share of malevolence.

“See that woman over there? The one that looks like she just licked a homeless guy’s ass?” Mike asks Riggan in last year’s Oscar’s best picture, Birdman. Edward Norton’s character is referring to a fictional Broadway critic of the New York Times, Tabitha Dickinson, who holds all the clout in making or breaking productions in The Big Apple. Tabitha Dickinson’s uncanny doppelganger is National Post columnist Christie Blatchford, who looks as if she’s just smelled “explosive” flatulence from disgraced senator Mike Duffy’s derriere.

Blatchford also has a predilection for writing about assholes. “[H]e could sew an arse in a cat,” wrote Blatchford, quoting a Newfoundlander colloquialism in describing Duffy’s lawyer’s adept abilities in one of her pieces from last week. Though I have to admit that Blatchford is the most able at keeping the Duffy ad nauseum at an obnoxious minimum, her latest installments have become a tired exercise and a waste of a talent that could be applied to pressing issues.

Down from Blatchford, the Duffy trial coverage descends into the dark irony of the theater of the absurd.

Rex Murphy, the man that pontificates on integrity from above high on the CBC pundit’s pulpit, has a penchant for quoting the bard from Avon-Upon-Stratford. Well allow me to try my hand at it. “Out damn’d spot! Out, I say!” Rex cries from within the hallowed halls of the besieged CBC fortress as he tries to wash the black from his hands. Heavy lies Rex’s crown. Canadaland reported early last year that The National‘s sole pundit was paid by oil companies “an estimated 25 times in the last five years, at a rate as high as $30,000 a pop.”

Rex artfully dodged and dismissed the concerns of a conflict of interest as just “a few vicious blogs” in a National Post column in which he failed to disclose just how cozy he is with Canadian oil companies. (“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.”) According to Rex, big bucks can’t influence his “bon mots.” But my how the thin-skinned Rex can be “vicious” to his straw man and whipping boy Neil Young when he is lampooning the environmental movement. Of course it wouldn’t have the same bite if he had to preface his diatribe with, “I’ve been paid tens-of-thousands by Canadian oil companies.” This concession would’ve certainly dulled his barbs when he joined the lynch mob in guillotining Duffy for dodging questions of his dubious Senate dealings in 2013. But the 2015 Rex is a little more cautious with his caustic words, perhaps because there is a little more scrutiny placed upon his sanctimonious sermons.

Johnathan Kay, former Comments Editor for The National Post and current Editor-in-Chief of The Walrus (the magazine read by all true-patriot-love Canadians, didn’t you know?), displayed typical symptoms of the mainstream media’s garrison mentality in his defense of Rex. Kay’s bizarre pretzel logic twists from the claim that CBC viewers and Post readers must demand Rex disclose before he should have to do so (even though disclosure is supposed to inform an oblivious audience in the first place) and then turns to the pathetic excuse that it would be highly impractical and almost impossible to disclose such an exhaustive list of engagements (his editorial skill of abridgement be damned). In Kay’s defense of Rex’s journalistic integrity he also said that most journalists take part in the paid speaking circuit and that it’s a morass. For some reason Kay isn’t too eager for more light to be shone on the foggy dealings of today’s journalism. (Maybe it has something to do with him assisting in writing Justin Trudeau’s “autobiography”?) It’s a murky mystery indeed.

See, that’s the beauty of questionable ties in the media, news manufacturers make the news, thus they can stay mum on the rot in their own lot. That’s why Peter Mansbridge keeps a straight and stern face when he reports about Duffy’s travel expenses while he himself gets paid an undisclosed amount from taxpayers, made exorbitant amounts from speaking engagements that jeopardize his journalistic ethical integrity (CBC finally changed their rules on paid speaking gigs–excepting freelancers like Rex), and has his own shady travel expenses.

But I digress. The CBC’s Rosie Barton and Kady O’Malley–similar to the blabbering Rosencrantz and Guildenstern–twitter incessantly about the creeping petty pace from day to day of the Duffy court proceedings. Their structure-less narrative is oh so postmodern. Too bad it leads to unreadable ramblings signifying nothing. The CBC live blog gives up-to-the-minute updates of the Duffy trial. Every little minutiae is parsed in their palavering. When the two get bored with the monotony of listening to unfamiliar legal jargon they tweet about their mundane lives or make irrelevant observations about the courtroom.

Yet one shouldn’t be surprised by this incredible waste of the CBC’s resources and the public’s time and dime. This is the same CBC that steadfastly defended Amanda Lang’s clear conflict of interest with RBC. This is the same CBC that spends lavishly on parties for its man-child George and sent former cultural host and egomaniac Gian to Sochi, yet continues to cut jobs and claims it needs more of our money.

But again, I digress. To be fair, Rosie-crantz and O’Malley-stern aren’t the only ones guilty of horrendous Duffy coverage. Maclean’s, the prophet, published an article entitled “Mike Duffy in the Trial of the Century.” If the magazine’s divination is true, how anticlimactic courtroom dramas will be for the next 85 years.

Other more intriguing headlines were the public money Duffy used to hire journalists. Of course this story wasn’t covered all too much, it’s uncomfortable covering your own after all. It would also start shining light on just how cozy journalists and politicians are in Ottawa.

Nevertheless, much of that chumminess might come to an end quite soon as journalists could be prodded from their reticence. The soon-to-be-released Auditor General’s report on Senate expenses should give the public more of a glimpse into just how close journalists are with their subjects. If the 2009 United Kingdom parliamentary expense scandal is any predictor, the General’s report will herald in the true trial of the year, the one of public opinion, and the verdict will undoubtedly be that both senators and members of parliament are guilty of going hog-wild at the taxpayer trough. Furthermore, many more journalists may yet be implicated in the sordid affair.

Misery loves company–and Duffy will be waiting to greet them at the door.

CBC’s Impudent Prettification of the Niqab

CBC Certified
CBC Certified

Ever since Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared the niqab a symbol of an anti-women culture back in the middle of March, the mainstream media has been in a febrile hysteria. Never mind the modest concession asked for — simply removing the blatantly patriarchal garb during the citizenship ceremony — the mainstream media cried wolf.

The Toronto Star predictably and unquestioningly championed the niqabi woman (herself not yet a citizen and with an ideology vastly different from most Canadians) who took the government to court and has thus far won the right to don the face-covering while swearing allegiance to the Queen. Of course the paper decried that Harper was up to his wily ways of fear-mongering and politicking, and its unCanadian to expect and assert that new arrivals unmask — no matter the incompatibilities the niqab imposes on our culture’s traditional custom of interacting openly face-to-face — we should all just grin and bear it on our visible faces, and trust the guest of honour at the ceremony peering back at us is returning a genuine smile (don’t you dare imagine a smirk).

The Star (the most popular paper in Canada) and The Globe and Mail (the paper that considers itself Canada’s publication of official record) both had left-leaning, off-kilter responses to Harper’s comments. They invoked the vapid argument of defending and protecting our mosaic multicultural tradition of inclusiveness, a position that, when too steadfastly held, descends into over-accommodation, cultural relativism, and — ultimately — conviction-less nihilism.

Both papers were in all likelihood shocked when they begrudgingly published the contradicting findings of a poll suggesting a strong majority of Canadians (67%) actually agree with the ban. Their image of a dastardly Harper, a James Bondesque evil genius, held true in so far as he weighed the mainstream media’s response against that of everyday Canadians before ringing the bell. The opposition leaders and media watchdogs unwittingly slobbered and obeyed Pavlov’s command.

But joking aside, the mainstream media then saw that they had an earnest duty to enlighten us benighted fools. The Star, The Globe, and CBC all cherry-picked niqabis to tell their side of the story. No ex-Islamic, secularist, or liberal Muslims were invited to the table.

The most flagrant example in the past few weeks of this pro-niqab propagandizing was the public broadcaster’s The Current‘s segment entitled “2 niqabs and a hijab: 3 Muslim women talk about the face covering.” In this puff piece the veteran journalist (talk show host?) Anna Maria Tremonti interviewed three pro-niqab women who chose to wear it of their own volition in adulthood. Tremonti started off by saying that her show wanted to give voice to an underrepresented voice within the current debate over the niqab. She then continued the softball interview by asking what their experiences were when they first decided — by their claims, completely independently — to wear the niqab. Shomylah Hammad responded, “Nobody had any issue with it.”

Tremonti instantly replied with a leading question, “What about your husband?”

“Oh my God, he was the only one that … had issues with [me]. He didn’t let me wear the niqab. We had arguments for days and days and I had to convince him … eventually he said okay, it’s your choice.”

(See benighted fools, the niqab is empowering for women. Women wear it in defiance to their husbands’ demands.)

Tremonti, ever the cheerleader, then said, “That’s really interesting because I think a lot of people make the assumption that women who wear the niqab are wearing it [because] their husbands want them to or order them to.” She later opined, “It’s interesting how many myths you can shatter if somebody asks. If we ask and you tell. And you both made the point that you are wearing this by choice.”

Who’s the one politicizing the niqab now? It’s truly amazing how Tremonti claims to believe that these carefully selected guests on her show represent the Muslim community at large, and that their three views dispel the notion that the niqab is a patriarchal symbol that’s anti-women. After listening to The Current‘s attempt at brainwashing the majority of Canadian public from its apprehensions towards the niqab, I was spurred from grinding my teeth to grinding a proverbial hatchet in chopping down these gross distortions of the truth.

I attempted to contact the staff at The Current shortly after the propagandist piece aired. Without a response to my emails, I tweeted the two producers behind the segment. Pacinthe Mattar tweeted back, ” The idea was to get women who have direct experience with niqab to speak for themselves, including woman who took hers off.”

The major problem with that statement is that the woman who took hers off only did so out of physical discomfort. Nobody was their to represent Muslim’s who face harassment, ostracism, and even death for turning away from Islam.

The other producer, Samira Mohyeddin, tweeted, ” The story was about the PM’s comment and Muslim women. Not ex-Muslim women.”

The problem with this response is Canadian niqabis Muslim women are only a small portion of Canadian Muslim women as a whole. Even tweets from non-Muslim white Canadians were included at the opening of the segment. Also, why leave ex-Islamic women out of the debate? If anyone is underrepresented in this debate, isn’t it them?

In one of my emails to The Current I suggested they speak to Eiynah, a Pakistani-Canadian woman who believes in separation of mosque and state and wrote a scathing piece entitled “An Open Letter to Niqab-Supporting Western Media.” In her article she lambasted the sheeple who trivialized the niqab debate by participating in the narcissistic slacktivism that was #dresscodePM and #doyouapprove. These two hashtag campaigns had halfwit leftists — likely to have also participated in the fads of KONY 2012, #JeSuisCharlie, and the Ice Bucket Challenge — tweeting pictures of themselves in ordinary clothing asking PM Harper if their attires were acceptable, as if a scarf compared to a full-face-covering niqab and all the patriarchal and religious baggage that accompany it.

Shortly after I sent the email and others had tweeted Eiynah’s viral blog to The Current, the show’s staff contacted Eiynah. “We spoke over the phone as they were probably wanting to see where I was coming from and learn about my views … But shortly after our conversation … I heard back and they said they weren’t pursuing an interview  with me as (coincidentally) that topic had now been bumped for something else.”

I guess The Current is booked solid with segments such as “The Design Behind the Office Cubicle”, “Limited Edition Brands”, and “Peace in the House: A not-so-religious Jew and her Orthodox siblings.” (The irony of that last segment still kills me.) But CBC still has plenty of time for pro-niqab stories.

Screenshot_2015-04-08-01-02-24 Screenshot_2015-04-08-01-03-09

Tarek Fatah, the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, believes CBC has a no-fly policy towards anti-Islamic Muslims. Eiynah’s experience and the recent coverage by the CBC suggests this is indeed the case.

Adrian Harewood, a CBC news anchor, denies CBC is prettifying the niqab with petty objections. He claims many anti-niqab voices are aired on CBC’s Radio Canada — too bad for us anglophones it’s all in French.

“I found it to be sad that they were discussing having a choice of colour in niqabs as if it was some great freedom.  And it was apparent that the host was not going to ask any difficult questions.  She was well intentioned and polite. But I did not feel she did a good job speaking about some of the underlying issues. It could obviously be a lack of familiarity with the subject. This is why they need to speak to someone from within the community, but on the other side,” explained Eiynah.

“Islam is a sensitive subject. And everyone seems to be walking on eggshells around it.”

Notes: 1) If you think The Current and CBC are whitewashing the niqab then please send them this article via email ( or twitter (@TheCurrentCBC) and tell them you’d like to hear a segment entitled “2 Liberal Muslims and an Apostate.” Eiynah and others like her deserve better from our public broadcaster.

2) Tarek Fatah’s belief in a no-fly list for ex-Islamic guests at CBC is quite possible. CBC has a hiring policy that is overly accomodating to minorities. A recent job posting told white males they need not apply. Another policy bans the use of the word terrorism by its journalists. Here, listen to CBC’s craven ombudsman shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.