Still No Word on Hillary Clinton Scandal, But 20 Minutes for ‘Ask Bob’ on Climate Change in Friday’s ‘The National’ (November 3, 2017)

(What Was Wrong With CBC’s The National Mission Statement.)

Time allotment for The National stories on Friday:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vRSAZR7wHATJsKER2RkeCmM7wMA62IMSErvNYcAEZ7wOviBNM5RXxznnU5jHeWGU-6cw6vvvw7a7I-H/pubchart?oid=1097049240&format=interactive

What was wrong with The National on Friday:

  • Well the CBC got to the Julie Payette story finally, albeit a couple days late. CBC’s Katie Simpson did give some people of faith to respond to Payette’s inappropriate comments from a Governor General and also included a Facebook comment from Andrew Scheer questioning why Trudeau praised Payette for her comments mocking religion. Unless the CBC couldn’t get a direct comment from Scheer in the past couple days, I find it interesting that Trudeau got a lengthy part of this segment to explain his thoughts on the matter but Scheer only gets a Facebook response included in the report. The report also didn’t make it clear how unprecedented Payette’s comments are for a Governor General, and didn’t show that the Liberals are promoting Payette’s divisive comments on Twitter.

c7fcedaf-04ca-4f46-b278-eef344993991.png

  • The next report proved The National can put together breaking news when it puts its mind to it. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna confronted a Rebel Media reporter out in B.C. for the controversial right-wing media outlet calling her Climate Barbie. Personally I think Rebel calling politicians names is completely juvenile, however I think they have a right to say it if they want to, but don’t expect to be taken seriously as a news organization then. I find it interesting that this event happened a few hours before The National aired and the flagship program was able to fit this in as its second report. Many other stories, like Payette’s, The National completely misses or reports days late. But this involved the infamous Rebel Media, which the Liberals and much of the media are using to try and smear Scheer because of his campaign manager’s involvement as an IT guy and one of the founders of the conservative outlet. (Full disclosure, I’ve written extensively on The Rebel’s antics over the past several months for Canadaland.) So of course the CBC seized on the opportunity to report on this story, but ignored the Rebel story from a year ago that was blowing up on social media again this week about McKenna’s department buying a brand new Tesla, old porsches, and other luxury cars for “emissions testing.” The National ‘s one-minute report only showed McKenna’s side of the exchange. The CBC should’ve included the part where the Rebel reporter asks McKenna to stop using the derogatory term “deniers” for anyone who is skeptical of climate change studies and models. (Again, I think it’s inappropriate for journalists to come up with cheap shot names for politicians, but as a columnist myself, columnists do give politicians the odd nickname, but when most people at your organization repeatedly call a politician climate barbie it’s no longer appropriate in my humble opinion, especially when that nickname will largely be interpreted, myself included, as misogynistic and sexist. If you don’t agree with McKenna then rally your ideas and research together and fight her ideas. Don’t attack her personally.)

  • The National then did a segment on the latest job numbers that wasn’t very critical of quality of jobs–or lack thereof–and the number of part-time jobs. Otherwise the report was pretty accurate in saying the supposedly hot market is likely already cooling off. But the report still mostly would leave the viewer with a rosy picture of the job market in Canada.
  • The next segment was an update on clearing up the confusion Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson started earlier this week by saying fewer than five cabinet ministers were exploiting the same ethics loophole Morneau used. It turned out it was just Morneau using it, which begs the question, why did Dawson’s office say that from the outset? The report then finished by saying Morneau is planning to put his assets in a blind trust. Guess that scandal is over in CBC’s eyes, despite the opposition still hammering Morneau over his decisions to mislead the public and not recuse himself from working on legislation that would affect the price of his shares in his family’s company. I think the CBC thinks the story is confusing enough that most Canadians don’t really care that an acting Finance Minister held over a million shares in an industry that he was actively regulating in the legislature. The fact that he misled the public and decided not to relinquish control of this asset just adds to the sketchiness of his actions. Somehow CBC’s The National doesn’t think so.
  • Then there was a quick report on the use of the new Magnitsky Act against international human rights abusers in Canada. Have to commend the Liberal government on this one. Deserved more than a 20-second report by The National though.

The National then had a report on how the opposition, provinces, police, and Senators are asking the Trudeau government to slow down legalizing pot. The report was pretty balanced, but again they found a way to insert a relatively long clip of Trudeau walking and smiling.

5aa0676a-c7c1-4d80-92a3-f2715d91f65f

  • The next story worth mentioning was the rise in acid attacks in London, England, that have made it the acid attack capital of the world. The CBC reporter failed to explain that the increased immigration from certain areas of the world, and the culture those newcomers bring with them, is major factor in the epidemic. Instead, the reporter said it’s coming from East London, as if that explains why. Of course CBC would never posit the idea that too much immigration to a Western country from certain regions can have negative effects for the large cities of these countries. That doesn’t mean I’m anti-immigration, but CBC’s complete pro-immigration stance–lockstep with the Liberals–is outrageous when many European countries are facing tremendous problems from open door immigration policies. Instead, UK politicians’ ridiculous solution is to ban commonplace corrosive substances from minors and make them harder to obtain. Perhaps a second look at immigration policies in the UK are in order.

4d13457c-a81d-4318-8bf2-df3a37163497

eef66cb0-7edf-4336-9551-93e2823aaa32.png

  • The National then had an Ask Bob climate change edition where viewers got to send in questions for CBC’s science correspondent Bob McDonald. Heather Hiscox started off the segment with a primer where she said, “Our knowledge of climate change is still imperfect. But it is a field scientists have been building on for decades.” Okay, fair enough, but just because they’ve been building on it doesn’t mean they have any idea to what extent global warming is influenced by humans. Hiscox in her interview with McDonald asked him if he knew from his decades of covering climate change, if he knew it was going to be the pressing issue of today. Sorry, but geopolitics and possible nuclear war are far more pressing, the jury is still out on global warming and there are new game-changing technology just around the bend that might solve the problem quite rapidly. This whipping up of fear among Western citizenry to convince them to shoot themselves economically in the foot over this questionable phenomenon, while letting the developing world pollute to its heart’s content in these international agreements may not be the best solution. Both Hiscox and McDonald kept referencing the UN and its studies as if that international body can be trusted to be impartial. To be fair, some of McDonald’s explanations were interesting, but saying, “The Earth can heal itself if we stop pushing it. And I really believe we can if we take it seriously and stop saying that there is a debate about this. There is no debate.” Well there could be if you have some voices from the other side that CBC and the government call deniers. There are many scientists out there that are skeptical about the doomsday picture McDonald and the Liberal government paint. Perhaps the CBC should present this other side instead of just giving McDonald 20 minutes–pretty much half of The National program–to lectures us on the subject from upon high on his pulpit. This incredibly long interview left no time I guess to report on the Hillary Clinton scandal over how she apparently rigged the DNC against her opponent Bernie Sanders. It’s bizarre that this hasn’t been reported by The National or CBC at all. Instead the most recent reports on her are about her book tour into Canada and supposedly debunking her and Bill’s connection to a uranium deal with Russia. My God is the pro-Clinton bias clear.

31e2fac7-0fc6-4635-8557-481d1159e1e1

  • The final report was on gentrification in LA. I guess The National forgot about our own domestic problems with gentrification and a housing market that seems to only go up in prices. Perhaps a story on how Chinese gangs in Vancouver are laundering millions of dollars through casinos there might be influencing the housing market there and elsewhere in Canada. But that would be controversial, so instead The National reports on gentrification outside our borders.

If you’re fed up with CBC’s The National‘s bias make sure to share this on Twitter and Facebook. Also click on the link below and give a down vote.

Friday’s The National

 

Advertisements

Explosive Reports Hillary Clinton Rigged Democrat Nomination Missing From CBC’s ‘The National’ Thursday (November 2, 2017)

(What Was Wrong With CBC’s The National Mission Statement.)

Time allotment for The National stories on Thursday:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vRCXvwIEmm42c1CNoVtzM8pVxn9K7hPT7qLXWlgSsNNg-x5Yjc9FbrICaEqdEde2DoKwYtcRRe17N7T/pubchart?oid=331764434&format=interactive

What was wrong with CBC’s The National Thursday night:

  • The National led with the murder investigation in a rural B.C. area because the remains of one murdered person were identified. An important story, yes, because other women went missing in the area, so this may turn out to have been a serial killer. That being said, a more national news story may be the hundreds of millions being laundered through B.C. casinos. And on Thursday night, a story that didn’t even get reported by The National, the new Governor General Julie Payette’s political comments deriding the religions and those that are skeptical of climate change science was a more important and breaking news story. (When I criticize the placement of news stories like this murder, it should not be misinterpreted as belittling its importance or the sadness of the tragedy, merely that I’m arguing journalists have to make decisions on the newsworthiness of stories, and if you weigh this ongoing story with that of Payette’s unbecoming and unprecedented behviour of a GG then clearly the latter story is more important for the average Canadian, which The National should be catering to.)
  • The next story was on how 3 million Canadian home fire extinguishers have been recalled. An important story that was reported well.
  • Sacred First Nation’s land can be developed for a ski resort. The report was fairly balanced with people from both sides of the argument given time.
  • Then there was a nearly three-minute report on a government consultation into workplace harassment that gave Trudeau 20 seconds to voice his thoughts. The government consultation is anecdotal, so I don’t think the report should’ve been given so much prominence on The National because it isn’t scientific, but it does help with the government’s image as feminists.

Capture+_2017-11-03-01-13-28

  • The next report worth mentioning was on President Trump’s tweets calling for the death penalty for the NYC terrorist. The report was fair and warranted because Trump’s comments could poison the jury pool and make it difficult for a fair trail to be conducted. However, considering that on Thursday explosive news also broke of allegations from former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile that Hillary Clinton rigged the Democrat nomination process against Bernie Sanders it is amazing that The National didn’t report on this at all. Clinton has long accused Trump of attacking the democratic process, yet here she is likely exposed as being even more guilty of this crime. It isn’t that surprising that The National didn’t cover this though, the Canadian elite have long been close with the Clintons, and much of the foreign money poured into the Clinton Foundation came from wealthy Canadians. Furthermore, like I’ve said before, CBC has always painted a picture of Democrats being from the good U.S. party and the Republicans as a party full of the evil and benighted. in reality there are plenty of villains from both parties. Another explosive story from this week is the continued drip, drip of news that Tony Podesta is next in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which is beginning to reveal that top political aides on both dies of the aisle are influence peddling for Russia. Bet on The National continuing to frame this as only Trump and the Republians, until it’s impossible to ignore the other side to this story once new indictments happen.

  • The National had a feature report on how polar bears’ population is declining because of climate change. The piece had sad piano music to set the tone and implied that global warming is bad because polar bears’ numbers are declining. The problem with this continual unquestioning bias towards climate change coverage as it being all bad, no good, is a dishonest portrayal of the situation. There are benefits to the world warming, but you’d never know it from The National‘s portrayal of it as Armageddon. Of course at the end of the segment the host then promoted CBC’s own Bill Nye the Sicence Guy or Niel De Grasse Tyson, Bob McDonald. These science guys acting like high priests all-knowing about everything science the viewer should be wary. Since David Suzuki has lowered his profile after it turned out he’s a huge hypocrite because he has his own massive carbon footprint, CBC has appointed Bob McDonald as its science guru. McDonald and CBC will continue to assist the Liberal government’s unquestioning faith that climate change is going to cause the next apocalypse.
  • The National finally got to Jason Kenney’s historical win of the UCP leadership–just about a week late. The At Issue panel didn’t have anything too noteworthy to say about it though, other than that Kenney might overshadow federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. Huffington Post’s Althia Raj could hardly suppress her disdain for right-wingers. The panel then moved on to the ongoing Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s scandal The National hasn’t bothered to cover half the time. Coyne cut through the spin and made it clear Morneau and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson have a lot of questions to answer. Of course the Julie Payette controversy was swept under the rug.

If you’re fed up with the bias of CBC’s flagship news program make sure to click on the link below and click the thumb down.

Thursday’s The National

 

What Was Wrong With CBC’s The National Last Thursday (October 19, 2017)

I’m b-a-a-a-c-k. Sorry for the hiatus readers, I was halfway through this post on Friday–I also had to work on an article for another publication earlier in the day–but then the clock started running into the evening and I had already made plans for the rest of the weekend. Anyway, none of you are paying for this yet, so there should be no bellyaching from freeloaders (I’ll be monetizing the website once I’ve built more of a following and reputation for bringing the goods). I hope to catch up and do posts for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s The National in quick succession throughout the next few days to make up for my absence.

Once again, the second installment did quite well, reaching over 1,000 readers. The first post had some help from an aggregate site that put it up, the second post reached a little more people from simply kind readers sharing the post. Remember, we’re trying to harness our dissatisfaction and disillusionment with CBC’s bias by exposing the odd editorial decisions made on CBC’s flagship program, The National, by working together. You may think reading critiques of The National repeatedly would grow tiresome, but again, as I humorously break down the CBC program I’m also providing links and analysis on the day’s events that really matter, even if The National left most of them or key information out. So you also get a daily dose of news as well and my (hopefully) entertaining prose.

The best way for us to work together in our goal of holding the CBC’s feet to the fire is if everyone shares these devastating critiques on Twitter and Facebook to get the message out far and wide. Last post proves it’s already working; I’m getting a lot more visitors from both Twitter and Facebook thanks to you, and lots of new Twitter followers as well.

Okay, so before diving into deconstructing Thursday’s The National, I’d like to briefly discuss a tweet I made Friday that was pretty popular.

 

My tweet was in response to Butts tweeting out a Walrus magazine article.

Now, the article makes a few good points, but is overshadowed by hyperbolic rhetorical flourishes, which I’ll delve into in another post. For those who don’t know, The Walrus is a literary journalism magazine billing itself as the Canadian New Yorker. Unfortunately, as is often the case with Canadian cultural product, it is third-rate at best. (Sure, the writing is top-notch technically-wise (grammar, syntax, wording) but the content is b-o-r-i-n-g and mostly literary journalism that falls off a cliff into left-wing fantasy. Apologies upfront, this Graeme is not a pedantic grammarian, which The Walrus is full of. I wouldn’t mind about The Walrus at all though, except for the fact the magazine is a registered charity (I believe charity journalism is an oxymoron, if you have something valuable to say there will be enough people who will willingly pay you to say it) and receives hundreds of thousands from the Canadian Periodical Fund: Aid to Publishers grant annually and the foundation is riddled with Liberals. A couple of those Liberals just so happen to be Jodi Butts (Board of Directors), Gerald’s wife, and Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan (National Advisory Council), Gerald and Trudeau’s close friend. In an especially brazen act, The Walrus placed O’Regan as the head of the editorial review committee in the run-up to the last election, the same time period pro-Liberal stories were being published. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. If you’d like to read my stunning exposĂ© on The Walrus, the story gets even more absurd, you can read “The Cushy Connections Between The Walrus and the Liberal Party of Canada”, which is on the media criticism outlet CANADALAND. What really grinds my gears about Butts tweeting out that story is no so much that that story was reported but that it was published by a magazine with charity status, a tonne of government funding, and only really does pro-Liberal, anti-NDP and anti-Conservative. Why would the magazine commission a trumped-up story to smear Andrew Scheer, but would stay mum on the Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s jaw-dropping scandal? I’ll have more on this later, including a funny little anecdote infiltrating the last Walrus Talk here in Toronto (my friend had tickets). Walrus publisher and head honcho Shelley Ambrose in her opening speech made sure to say The Walrus is not left-wing of right-wing, we have no wings. I’ll put a stop to that phony nonsense in my post on the blubbery Walrus.

Alright, moving on to eviscerating CBC’s The National last Thursday.

The opening stories previewed as top stories were: “The Finance Minister takes a grilling over his personal assets”; “The founder of the world-famous comedy festival resigns over allegations of sexual misconduct”; “Accommodation or intimidation? [Muslim women in niqab “We will not even have the right to go outside. I’m sure of it.”]  The backlash over Quebec’s new law”; [Justin Trudeau, “Sunny ways my friends, sunny ways.”] “It’s exactly two years after that historic night. At Issue takes your questions about the Prime Minister and how he and his Liberal government are faring.”

Finally, The National led with the proper stories. However, the face-covering ban in Quebec was presented in an incredibly bias way for the upcoming one-sided report.

Wendy Mesely: There is the letter of the law and then there are optics. The Finance Minister has learned that the hard way. So today, Bill Morneau said he will place all of his assets into a blind trust. Even though the Ethics Commissioner told him two years ago that wasn’t necessary. And as David Cochrane explains, it may not quiet the outrage.

Here was the divvying up of time devoted to the different stories on this episode. (You’ll have to click the links for now because I apparently have to upgrade my account now in order to embed charts.)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vRVdjitO-57w3hx82ilLMt0fpYFbvWViD8aEMiQV-MTIa-3NHHznNAgZyLK2GgzBQuozHpqdgYkQv_G/pubchart?oid=498107858&format=interactive

Host Wendy Mesley: It’s an unusual political scandal. The minister follows the law to the letter but still pays a heavy price.

Ummm so did Mike Duffy, but that didn’t stop the CBC from obsessing over $90,000 in housing allowances. And what ever happened to the story of Justin Trudeau top aides spending over $200,000 to move from Toronto to Ottawa? There’s nothing “unusual” about the public being outraged over a Finance Minister making decisions on pension legislation that would greatly benefit him personally because he held millions of shares in his family business still, when he had told people he was putting his assets into a blind trust and then never did.

Morneau: What we’ve seen over the last week is that I need to do more. As Minister of Fiance in this role make sure people have absolute confidence.

Cochrane: Doing more means selling the shares he owns in his former company Morneau Shepell and putting everything else in a blind trust. Something just last year the Ethics Commissioner advised him last year wasn’t necessary. ‘…a blind trust agreement is not required… the best measure of compliance would be to establish a conflict of interest screen.’

Morneau: I, perhaps naively, thought that, you know–in Canada, following the rules, respecting the recommendations of the Ethics Commissioner, respecting the recommendations of an officer of parliament would be what Canadians would expect.

Sure, the patsy Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson said he could do it so it must be okay.

Cochrane: “But that’s ethics. This is politics.

Right. It’s just his opponents playing politics and casting doubt on his being ethically sound.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre: Why does he expect us to blindly trust that he’s not hiding other conflicts of interests?

Bergen: We all thought he had placed his shares in a blind trust.

Cochrane: Each attack elicited the same answer.

Morneau: I worked with the commissioner to make sure she understood my situation. I took her recommendations and made sure that I moved forward with them to not have a conflict of interest. Now, I’ve gone one step further.

Cochrane: And each answer elicited more outrage.

Those unreasonable opposition MPs.

Morneau: That, I will think, will give a great deal of confidence to all Canadians.

Cochrane: The NDP drew a straight line for Morneau’s job to Morneau’s bank account. Proposed pension legislation that could’ve boosted the share value of Morneau Sheppel which manages pensions.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen: But how does pocketing millions of dollars from his work as the minister do anything but serve himself?

It’s nice to see the CBC didn’t completely gloss over all of the sketchy parts to Morneau holding onto his assets while affecting their value while Finance Minister.

Morneau: What member opposite knows is I fully disclosed my assets to the Ethics Commissioner, I worked with the Ethics Commissioner to get her recommendations, and I followed those recommendations.

Cochrane: Today’s move comes after a retreat by Morneau on his controversial package of tax reforms. He’s tweaked some and scrapped others due to some protests. A significant public policy decision that’s been largely overshadowed by the politics of his personal wealth.

Nothing really to see here, folks, the Finance Minister was above board in following the rules set out by the honourable Ms. Dawson.

Now, the following stories may not be in order because I watched the show a few days ago, but I did make some notes and will briefly make some criticisms of the most important stories before going over the At Issue panel segment that lasted an eternity.

The CBC loves to bash President Trump. I know he’s an easy target and there is plenty of criticism to be found, but they find fault with anything and everything he does. First they made sure to include part of former president George W. Bush’s speech indirectly criticizing Tump’s politics. Then Mesley segued into a follow-up story on the Puerto Rico hurricane disaster. Mesley introduced the segment by bashing Trump, saying it still looks like the hurricane just hit. The island was completely decimated, and to imply that the problems lying ahead for Puerto Rico are Trump’s fault is patently false. Relief and aid were brought to the island quickly, but distribution was a problem because of infrastructural devastation and a lack of truck drivers showing up to work. Puerto Rico also has a long history of corrupt left-wing politicians and Trump is an easy target for them to blame, and the CBC is more than happy to take them at their word. The CBC then used the “legendary break-dancer and hip-hop star” Richard Colon, a New York Puerto Rican, as their expert on criticizing Trump

“I look at the stupidity of it. I mean he’s a manchild,” and “We’re going to rise with or without his help.”

CBC also included a Puerto Rican woman who fled the island, also blaming Trump. There are plenty of real experts out there that would not blame President Trump for the slow recovery.

I think, as we go along in the coming days, we’re going to find extremely one-sided coverage on President Trump. I find Trump to be a pretty unsavoury character, but I see why millions of voters voted for some of his policies (and CBC lionizing a corrupt Hillary Clinton is just as despicable). I made that point, funnily enough, on the CBC opinion section in a freelance contribution. But don’t expect CBC news coverage to give much of a perspective on the pro-side of Trump’s policies. CBC has a long history of Republican-bashing and lionizing of Democrat politicians. But with Trump, they’ve taken it to a whole new level. North Korea’s Rocket Man’s state broadcaster and Canada’s Socks-and-Selfie Boy Wonder’s state broadcaster both love to use Trump as a scapegoat in ignoring criticism of their own Dear leaders many own blunders.

The National‘s story on the Just for Laughs founder stepping aside after sexual misconduct allegations was pretty succinct. Although I do find issue in the CBC finding any excuse to include a response from Trudeau on any news story. They included one of our Dear Leader’s feminist sweet nothing clichĂ©s addressing the issue.

The National‘s story on Sears going out of business completely missed the plot. The CBC’s story focused on Sears customers losing their extended warranties on appliances. (Funny enough, my brother was dealing with a a Sears representative over a problem with a fridge still under warranty about a year ago, and the representative tried to dupe him into buying an extended warranty when the writing was clearly on the wall for the company.) Obviously extended warranties wouldn’t be honoured by a company no longer in existance! The real story should’ve been about how Sears execs get to keep their fat bonuses and how, as someone I know put it:

“I went to Sears this week. Not to buy or write, Just to talk to employees before the sales started. Sad. 15 year employees, multiple family members working there.”

The National also covered the fatal ammonia leak that happened in B.C. Between these last two stories, and some others in the past couple days, I’m getting the sense The National prefers to cover the dead and dead issues more than the living and live issues. The National still hasn’t, to my knowledge, covered the explosive exposĂ© by investigative journalist Sam Cooper, “How B.C. casinos are used to launder millions in drug cash“. I guess The National prefers dead and death stories over lives ones because you don’t have to speak ill of the dead, and we know the CBC doesn’t like to rock the boat of those in power too often.

The Quebec face-covering ban was another predictable story in the way it was framed. Dear Leader explained how he respected Quebec’s decision, but at the same time doesn’t agree with it (he needs Quebec, but doesn’t want to piss off his progressive supporters who think its progressive for women to wear the burqa or niqab.) The segment also mentioned how all of the Ontario legislature condemned the legislature. The unprecedentedly unpopular Premier Kathleen Wynne got an appearance of course, and an MPP from the other two parties. (But of course the Auditor General’s scathing report on the Ontario Liberal Party’s Fair Hydro plan, hiding billions in debt off the books, didn’t make The National.) The whole story focused on those who oppose the bill, not any of the majority of Quebeckers who support the ban.

At least you can always trust CBC’s reporter Natasha Fatah to do a more nuanced report. Too bad she wasn’t on The National. 

Then there was the boring and lazy viewpoint of retired CTV News anchor Don Newman explaining how cameras in the House of Commons have befitted our democracy. Instead of explaining how that is so, he instead mostly just rehashed memorable moments. What’s funny about this is that, as I pointed in the last post, CBC goes out of it’s way to exclude embarrassing footage from question period of Justin Trudeau putting his flashy-sock-covered foot in his mouth.

Now, finally, let’s go over the At Issue panel reviewing the Liberals’ last two years in power.

Before getting into the discussion, The National decided to spend 35 seconds reviewing the historical night of Dear Leader winning the last election. Instead of having footgae from the highs and lows, the CBC decided to just have a bunch of pictures and video from the euphoric crowd at Trudeau’s victory speech and of him taking selfies with people.

When the introduction video faded back to Mesley–the featured image I used for this article–she had a beaming smile and it looked like she almost had joyous tears of nostalgia welling up in her eyes.

Then she went after the bad guy doing damage to Dear Leader and his “sunny ways” government. (The following transcription is slighty redacted and might have the odd error here or there.)

Wendy Mesely: A bit of background first. Morneau has been accused of not being clear about his assets: that company with a villa in France, not putting millions of shares of his company into a blind trust. All while proposing tax changes that would affect other people’s finances.

Wendy, the bigger problem is him directly benefiting from his decisions as Finance Minister.

Mesley: The Finance Minister, with his announcement today, said that he is going to divest those millions of dollars worth of shares, put them into a blind trust, has put the fire out?

National Post’s  Andrew Coyne: I don’t think so. It’s one thing to do it two years after the fact, it’s another thing to do it when you should’ve done it, which is when you first came into office. I mean the villa in France was really only one issue. There’s this whole issue of not just that he did not put the money into a blind trust of divested as you would normally be required to do, but going to quite elaborate lengths to sort of get around the rules and that met the letter of the law but not the spirit of it. But much worse of course he was involved in legislation, C-27, pension legislation that would, a lot of people would argue, would benefit his former company Morneau Shepell. You put all of those things together it doesn’t look good from a conflict of interest standpoint, and then integrating all of that with the whole tax reform thing. For the Prime Minister and Mr. Morneau both to be lecturing other people about their use of tax shelters and private corporations, while they themselves are skilled practitioners of this if you will, it really has done a lot of damage to this government’s credibility on this file.

Coyne is usually on point in his criticism, but he only a contributor and not part of The National team.

Mesely: What’s your sense Althia?

Huffington Post’s Althia Raj: Yeah, I think he isn’t going to rid himself of the problems that have been plaguing him for the last week and if anything, today for example, the opposition attacked on two new different fronts–the Bahamian offshore accounts and the fact that he may or may not have recused himself from that discussion on that very bill Andrew just mentioned, C-27, I think that people feel like there’s lack of trust in regards to what Mr. Morneau is saying. And so while this is a really big decision–to basically divest not just himself of his shares, but his wife’s share and his kid’s shares. It’s a company that his family had built. But I think this is a bigger problem about the law. And I think if the Conservatives and the New Democrats and the Liberals can all agree that the Conflict of Interest Act should be made, then there should be really narrowed. Because right now it seems all parties like to criticize when they’re in the opposition but in the government they don’t really do anything. And there are giant, gaping holes in this Act that basically allow what is happening with Bill C-27, which is a pension reform bill that has basically driven the stock price of Morneau Shepell and possibly made Mr. Morneau $2 million in this short period of time this bill has been tabled, that that is totally fine according to the law.

It looks like even the Liberal-aligned Raj realizes she can’t polish this scandal up.

Mesely: What do you think Paul, is this a conflict of interest issue? What’s the biggest offence according to you?

Maclean’s Paul Wells: If this isn’t a conflict of interest issue then I don’t know what they look like. This guy legislated on pensions while he had a clear window into the old pension company that his family ran and in which he still had millions of dollars worth of shares. Among the people who falsely thought his assets were in a blind trust were a member of his own caucus, Adam Vaughn, a Toronto MP, and the public relations department of Morneau Shepell, which both claimed–which both stated, which they took to be the truth, which was that his assets were in a blind trust and they turned out to be wrong. So the villa in France is pretty bad, but this is why conflict of interest rules are made up. That you shouldn’t legislate on something that you have a glaring personal trust. And if on the off chance that this doesn’t contravene the rules, Justin Trudeau told his cabinet ministers when they were sworn-in, in their mandate letters, that the plain text of the rules and laws isn’t enough. You have to comport yourself in a way that is beyond all suspicion. Bill Morneau is up to his neck in suspicion because he did not comport himself in the way that his Prime Minister told him to.

Ouch. So obviously Morneau must go?

Mesley: Can he carry on? It sounds like he’s trying to blame [four TV monitors in the background still show the two identical photos of Trudeau with a smile beaming in the background behind Mesley, subliminally brainwashing viewers] the Ethics Commissioner, it could be interpreted, is that what’s going? Can he be saved, Paul, what do you think?

Paul Wells: Well apparently she told him ‘it’s up to you whether it’s in a blind trust.’ And he didn’t have the sense God gave a goose to make his own decision, ‘I’ll put it in a blind trust anyway.’ It’s become clear over many, many cases that the office of the conflict-of-interest commissioner is not ideally constructed and maybe needs a second look. But look, holy cow, the week that his government brought in a pension bill that stood to materially improve the financial position of the company with his name on it and had shares, you’d think a light would’ve went off in his head.

He didn’t really answer the question, but I think it’s safe to infer he Wells doesn’t think he can.

Coyne: And were back to the Mike Duffy defence. ‘It wasn’t specifically prohibited. I was told I could do this.’ At some point you have to use common sense and how it’s going to look to the common person.

Mesley: Well and, Althia, this is the government that’s presented itself as the champions of the middle class, but I guess after the trip to the Aga Khan’s island and so on, people are focusing on them as richies. Is that fair?

Raj: Yeah, I think it would’ve been perhaps better strategy for Mr. Morneau to come out and say, ‘listen, we want to stop people from using private corporations because they can shelter money away from the tax man. And I’m totally fine, and I’m going to forfeiting x-amount of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars in extra taxes because of these changes that I think are the right thing to do.’ But that’s not what we heard. I just–[Mesley interjecting]–in the defence of Mr. Morneau he did say that the Ethics Commissioner that she went to–she suggested to him a further step. That this ethical shield was designed prevent him from conflict positions. I don’t want us to leave it like, ‘Oh, there was no blind trust and nothing else was done.’ He says that he took her advice and they went further than the law suggested, that’s what he says, that her advice to him was, in order to set this structure up so there wouldn’t be a conflict. There’s still issues with that, but…

Raj suddenly remember whose team she’s on.

Mesley: Okay. I’ve got to move on to the next question because we do want to hear from our viewers. ‘What has been the Liberals’ greatest accomplishment so far? What’s been their greatest failure?’ I don’t know, Andrew, is this the greatest failure? What’s the… And what’s the greatest accomplishment?

Coyne: Well I’ll start with the accomplishment first. You know, they’ve had several to name. I think the first and perhaps biggest was to reform child benefits. To improve peoples lives, especially at the bottom end of the income spectrum. They took a bunch of different programs and rationalized them so they were giving more to people at the lower end and giving less to people on the higher end. And it’s a very praiseworthy reform. I think they’re certainly in a bigger spot of trouble now then they’ve ever been, but if for a sheer screw-up then I think the whole electoral reform file from start to finish was terribly handled. And worse than that, cynically handled. And what ties this with the Morneau problem and everything else is, you know, people didn’t necessarily think Justin Trudeau was the sharpest knife in the drawer when they elected him, but they thought his heart was in the right place. They thought he had good intentions. They thought he was more decent, etcetra. And as time goes on we keep finding more spots of cynicism and manipulation and this kind of thing. And I think that’s toxic for this government.

How much the child benefits really help is up for debate. And Coyne reveals that he likes redistribution of money by government and taxes, very conservative of him.

Raj: I would say the accomplishment is getting along with Donald Trump [Coyne chuckles], which I think has taken a very fine set of skills and I’m not sure another leader would’ve been as good at becoming best friends with Donald Trump. Andrew’s totally right, electoral reform, where basically the Prime Minister misled Canadians for months. But I would now say, looking at this week, his comments today for example in [French city] riding where there’s a byelection, where the Prime Minister was under questioning about Bill C-62, this is the bill that prevents women who wear the niqab or the burqa from accessing government services like taking the bus or even going to the library. The Prime Minister hammered the Conservatives and the NDP in the last election on this very issue. He made speeches in which he said, ‘You have to know what a leaders values were.’ And even members in his own caucus… she said that Prime Minister was of course going to appeal this bill because it was for sure unconstitutional. Well the Prime Minister said no such thing at all today. In fact he said that it wasn’t the government’s role to intervene.I think that to just judge Justin Trudeau, you know his own advice, this is something that is pretty surprising. Perhaps that people don’t know who he is and what his values are.

Raj was not really holding back in her criticism of her Liberal friends.

Wells: The big success is similar to Althia’s but I might take it a step further. Not only has he stayed in Donald Trump’s good graces–to any extent that one can–they’ve played a really elaborate defensive game with the States: activated a cross-country Canadian network of pro-Canadian interests and really stayed in the game on NAFTA, at the same time that they’ve begun to mow the America’s lawn economically by making Canada look like a very attractive destination for highly mobile knowledge workers and for big money investors, so you get Google and Microsoft and all these other companies beginning to look at Canada as a very interesting investment destination at the same time America becomes a less interesting investment destination.

I think these “mobile knowledge workers” are going to want to stay in America now, since our government is raising taxes and Trump is lowering taxes. And the only reason businesses are interested in investing in Canada is because they can hose Canadians in contributing to the Liberal’s infrastructure bank that will allow them to rake in money from an abnormally high interest rate. But sure, mowed the lawn sounds nicer.

Mesely: …Rich Raycroft asked: Who is Trudeau more concerned about right now — Scheer of Singh? Why?

Coyne: Well I supposed Singh only because Liberal strategy from days of yore is to try and nail down the NDP vote, faint to the left and then come back to the centre in the course of the election campaign. If the NDP can break out from that, if Singh can have popular appeal as the first visible minority leader. That’s the danger to them. But of course the threat to them in terms of replacing this government is the Conservatives.

Raj: Yeah, I agree with that. Signh is the only name I hear mentioned by Liberals. Not only is their strategy to court New Democrat voters, like we say in the last election, but the electorate with whom Trudeau is particularly popular, Milennials, those voters will like to see what Jagmeet Singh has to say appealing. That he could do some serious damage to them here in Ontario.

Mesley: How does the role of Justin Trudeau’s PMO compare or contrast with the one we saw when Harper was PM?

Wells: So I’m not just being smart-ass when I say they’re eerily similar [knowing smile from Coyne]. It’s increasingly obvious they’re on the centre with major files, a very robust operation which is designed to put out fires and we’re increasingly see that that’s busy branch of this government, and extreme message discipline. Every member of caucus, every political staffer is expected to be more or less the same on the big issues even if it makes them sound a little repetitive and robotic.

Raj: I’m actually surprised at how undisciplined they are. Yes, the message control is certainly there, but the government seems to be going in all types of different directions and with Mr. Harper there was definitely a focus. Every week had a theme and everyone was directed in that theme and weren’t stepping over each other’s shoes with announcements. There also very more open, to be fair to them. I mean the Prime Minister does take questions from reporters.

Mesley: Not so much for Bill Morneau.

Coyne: Well they even appoint the ministers’ chief of staffs for them, their talking points are all written for them, it’s every bit as much controlled if not more so.

So the At Issue panel was actually not too forgiving to Trudeau and his government. Have to give credit where credit is due. That being said, the supposedly objective news coverage is still heavily slanted in Trudeau’s favour and a lot of the criticism for the Trudeau government was offloaded from the PM and directed at moneybags Morneau. Apologies for the super long post, from now on I’ll try to keep them under 700 words. Below is the full show if you’d like to subject yourself to the CBC’s agitprop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Was Wrong With CBC’s ‘The National’ Last Night (October 18, 2017)

Well the first installment was a bit of a hit with readers–nearly a thousand of you visited Raving Canuck in its first 24 hours. I guess I’m committed to suffering through 45 minutes of spin and irrelevant stories each night for the foreseeable future. We’ll see how long I can take it. Meanwhile, the least you can do to repay me for my selfless suffering and wasted time is to share the damn critiques on Twitter and Facebook. We’re trying to make a movement here, people. I’m tired of hearing bitching and moaning online about how “I’m forced to pay for the CBC, but I never watch it because it’s Liberal propaganda!!!!!” Calling the CBC Liberal propagana, taking directives straight from the  Prime Minister’s Office, might be a bit of a stretch, but I’ll make records of all the biased coverage on CBC’s flagship show so we can see just how close to the truth your hyperbolic rhetoric might actually be. Perhaps you’ll be exonerated with irrefutable proof that you’re not just “a raving right-wing nut.” When some family, friends and acquaintances dismiss the few examples you can remember off the top of your head–since you avoid the CBC like the plague because you don’t want to be brainwashed by Laurentian Elite BS pablum–you can come to this blog and have all the receipts. There, a weight off your mind–you’re welcome. You no longer have to remember that last blatant omission, equivocation, or lie you unfortunately heard from the state broadcaster. You’ll sleep better at night and stop grinding you teeth.

Finally, instead of griping about it for more years on end, you can do something about it. By promoting my work we can spread the message that the CBC’s antics are now being closely monitored by a large subsection of the public–everyday citizens–who are not being represented by the supposed public broadcaster, and are fed up with its lack of teeth in keeping the powerful accountable.

One of these days I’ll get around to passing the virtual tin cup around for all my troubles (not just for this work alone, mind you), but until then, the least you can do is promote “brilliant” and “great!!!” commentary many of you say is so lacking elsewhere throughout our provincial little nation.

Okay, so with that out of the way, yesterday’s The National had a lot wrong with it as always. Confession here: I used to think The National was a trustworthy news source, and at one point tuned in semi-regularly, until a few years ago when I took the blue pill and realized the left-wing elite in Canada run everything and are the ones mostly–but definitely by no means exclusively–pigging out on government graft. The CBC, instead of exposing these people, largely enables it. To rebel against the oft-corrupt establishment and fight for centrism in Canada one must uphold Western values and traditional liberal principles to help try and steady a very left-leaning ship in disrepair. That being said, as a journalist, I’d like to make it clear I am not involved with any political party and report on anything I find newsworthy enough to cover. Some of the publications and subjects I’ve written about are a testament to that. But unlike many other journalists, I’m upfront where I’m coming from.

Alright, I told myself I was going to start making these short and sweet, but there were some introductory things that needed addressing in these first couple of pieces to this unfortunate venture I’ve set upon.

Anyway, on to the second deconstruction of CBC’s The National.

First and foremost, what was wrong on CBC’s The National last night was that Gord Downie had passed away yesterday, leaving us far too early.

(But he left us with a majestic song catalogue that will fill the northern airways and express the joy and melancholy of many Canadians for many generations to come. America and Britain both have countless authors that express the quintessential traits that make up the typical characters of those two nations. Hemingway, Faulkner, Melville and Poe. Shakespeare, Dickens, Pope, Blake, Byron, etc. Unlike these other two great nations, Canada doesn’t really have any great authors whose stories are well-known or remembered by the zeitgeist to this day. My favourite two Canadian authors–Stephen Leacock and Mordecai Richler–were two satirists who flourished in ridiculing the quaintness of the Canadian elite. However, none of their work really stands out at this point in time. And, sure, there’s Atwood–if dreariness is your thing–and her Handmaid’s Tale, but that is an alternate world having very little to do with the Canada of today. Although it might turn out to be unwittingly accurate speculative fiction in decades to come–you never know in these times we live. Instead, if you want a wordsmith that best expresses the Canadian landscape, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than thoughtful and poetic Gord Downie. I remember when I first moved to South Korea and was feeling a bit homesick I would binge listen to The Tragically Hip‘s albums. My American girlfriend at the time of course didn’t get it.)

So, with that in mind, I respected the CBC’s The Nationals decision to pay tribute to Gord Downie and the music he gave us all. That being said, and this may sound slightly callous, but I know many Canadians don’t even really know who he was, or cared for his music, so The National‘s show director’s decision to spend the first 24-minutes-and-28-seconds –without any preview of the day’s other substantial news, like Trudeau getting eviscerated over his Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s conflict-of-interest scandal–was a bit odd for a national news show. And they weren’t done there, after 13 minutes and 17 seconds, the CBC returned the cursed Peter Mansbridge in highlights of his last interview with Downie.  As nice as it was to have a eulogy for Gord, the world doesn’t stop turning no matter who leaves it. Adding in commercial breaks, the other news wasn’t presented until the 30:47 mark. Any viewer with only a casual interest in the Canadian rock legend would likely have changed the channel, giving up on getting the news, by the ten-minute mark. If not then by the 20-minute mark all patience I’m sure would be lost. Below is a chart of the share of the show’s divvying up of its time on different subject.

canvas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, being his father’s son, stole the some of the spotlight today placed on Downie’s death and was featured in the opening previews crying about Gord’s passing. Footage of Trudeau attending Downie’s last concert and a longer 33-second segment on his comments about Downie were also featured early on in the broadcast. Now I saw people on Twitter lashing out about Trudeau speaking last morning about Gord’s passing, and whether or not it was political theater to distract from his government getting hammered over questions of ethical impropriety or genuine mourning, one cannot judge from the video his sincerity and it’s not really the time or the place to start ranting and raving about the PM’s response. Nevertheless, The National‘s choice to feature a long segment on Trudeau and to pepper him in throughout the tribute to Downie seems in poor taste and a little Dear Leader-ish Ă  la Pyongyang, especially with how little of his pathetic responses in question period were played much later in the broadcast.

Finally, after doing a full-length documentary on Downie’s life, essentially burying the news of the day, The National got to the affairs of the day. As the story of Morneau being ethically-challenged dominated the Twittersphere, The National staff thought it would be better to help continue to douse the finance minister’s ethical dumpster-fire one more time by leading the news of the day with a story on some wildfires in Alberta instead.

Then, at long last, at the 37:48-minute mark of the hour-long show, came the story on Morneau. Oddly enough, though, CBC’s Senior Reporter on Parliament Hill Catherine Cullen really spun, spun, spun for Trudeau and Morneau.

The report started off by making sure the viewer knows how hard Morneau is working to sell his tax changes.

Host Wendy Mesley introducing the segment saying: “So far this week Trudeau’s Finance Minister has been at a pizzeria, a cafe and a factory pitching the government’s tax changes to small businesses, but it’s Bill Morneau’s own financial affairs causing a stir on Parliament Hill… And now it has the Prime Minister doing damage control.”

Right, “a stir.” There’s another s-word that will be used soon enough by other more honest media outlets: scandal. Never mind the first-rate hypocrisy of the Finance Minister telling the public and his old company Morneau Shepell he was putting his millions of stock in the company in a blind trust, which would have divested him from the company that turned out to make substantial gains on its stock price since he took office. As has been pointed out by the opposition, the finance minister makes decisions that conveniently affect the stock price of Morneau Shepell. Compounding this disgraceful behaviour is that at the same time Morneau and Trudeau are going after small business owners for supposed tax loopholes at the same timeMorneau has been using an ethics loophole so he can keep control of his assets, putting him in a clear conflict of interest when making legislative decisions he’ll likely financially benefit from, never mind what the compromised Ethics Commissioner says in clearing his behaviour. Very little of this is made clear in The National‘s weak two-minutes-and-17-seconds report.

Cullen: “Toronto, Montreal, Hampton, New Brunswick [footage of Morneau gladhanding wit smiling Canadians]–the Finance Minister has become a traveling salesman for his newly-tweaked, hopefully-less-problematic tax changes.”

(Great, start him off on the right foot. No need to get to the real story right away.)

Morneau: “We’re still going to listen to chambers of commerce and others to make sure we get it exactly right.” [At a press conference giving spin talking points.]

Then Cullen introduces question period and how opposition MPs were questioning Morneau’s “behaviour.” Oddly the video shows the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer, NDP MP Nathan Cullen, and Conservative MP Candice Bergen asking questions without showing any response from Trudeau’s widely panned performance at question period today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Trudeau has a Freudian slip where he reveals that the1984-style euphemism “Ethics Commissioner” actually means she is an apparent patsy for when he or his Finance Minister get in trouble ethically, or have “a conflict of ethics” as the PM put it, and need someone to let them off the hook. Believe me folks, had Harper misspoke like that it would lead The National that night, not matter who passed away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of showing one of the above embarrassing, but also revealing, gaffes, Cullen moved on to say, “He owned tens-of-millions of dollars in his company Morneau Shepell.”

Then, to give CBC a little bit of credit here, it did show pretty damaging old footage of Morneau saying, “I expect that all of my assets will go into a blind trust” while on Power and Politics.

Cullen: “A blind trust where Morneau would not control his shares would likely have been sold off over time. But instead Morneau kept the in a numbered company because Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson told him a blind trust wasn’t necessary.”

Dawson: “I told him that it wasn’t required.”

Cullen: But the arrangement meant Morneau could potentially make decisions as finance minister that he himself might profit from. Since Morneau was following the rules the Prime Minister says the attacks are just mean.”

Nice paraphrasing that the “attacks” are “just mean.” No, the questions are more than legitimate. Finally a moment from question period.  Notice Cullen placing doubt with “could”, “potentially” and “likely” to minimize the accusations leveled against the finance minister, instead of citing some of the legislation he’s involved in that would affect his namesake’s company’s stock price.

Trudeau: “The gutter politics that the members opposite are involved in right now… I’m happy to talk about the behaviour of the Prime Minist– the finance minster.”

Cullen: “Morneau has asked to speak with the Ethics Commissioner again to see if there is anything else he can do to put a stop to this discussion.”

Fini. The National then did an eight minute report on the Rohingya massacre taking place in Burma/Myanmar (where I incidentally spent a month traveling last year) and then finished with another nine minutes on Downie. I was going to include the Morneau segment for the reader to judge for him/herself, but for some strange reason the CBC only cut the clips of Downie and the Rohngya feature into their own separate YouTube videos from last night’s episode. The latest Morneau story on the scandal is back from Monday, so apparently CBC’s The National is already trying to move on. CBC’s Aaron Wherry, who apparently left Twitter recently–likely from being mobbed by people disgusted with his one-sided puff pieces, is always good for an “analysis” that mitigates Liberal scandal.

Screenshot-2017-10-19 (63) The National - YouTube - YouTube

Skip to the 37:50 mark if you’d like to see it for yourself.

Finally, one more IMPORTANT thing. Most of the breaks of the online livestream were of boring old CBC footage, like Toronto in the 1980s, but the first break advertised for The National‘s Thursday panel that will be discussing Trudeau, asking viewers to leave comments on Facebook or the hashtag #askatissue with their questions for the panel on Trudeau. Readers should flood them with questions about their biased Trudeau coverage or their toughest questions about Trudeau, then I’ll see what questions they cherry-picked to discuss for tomorrow’s report. Perhaps it will be similarly hilarious as this Ontario Proud video ruining a Wynne press stunt.