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Foxer
09-24-2014, 09:22 AM
Why Trudeau’s Sun Media ban is the worst kind of politics

It may be standard practice for politicians to give antagonist reporters a timeout. That doesn't mean Canadians should shrug it off.

By Ashley Csanady, Canada.com September 24, 2014 11:05 AM

Why Trudeaus Sun Media ban is the worst kind of politics

Trudeau promises to change Ottawa but his actions how he'll offer more of the same.Photograph by: (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) , Canada.com

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has for two years charmed the Canadian public with his tousled locks and promises of a different kind of politics.

One he says is “focused on you” and won’t resort to personal attacks.


But his party’s move Tuesday to ban Sun News reporters from accessing the dauphin is the worst kind of politics as usual. It’s just the latest example that Trudeau offers more of the same, just wrapped in a prettier bow.

The row started when Sun News Network host Ezra Levant posted an odious rant accusing the Liberal leader of seeking to deflower a bride whose wedding he photobombed and calling his parents “sluts.”

Levant’s rant also exemplifies everything that’s wrong with hyper-partisan politics in this country, but he isn’t running for the highest office in the land on a seemingly empty promise to do things differently. And Levant’s colleagues should not be punished for his lack of dignity or respect for fellow scribes.

Many have rightly pointed out that Trudeau the Younger is by no means the first politician to put reporters “in the box” for perceived bad behaviour. His father was also notoriously mercurial with reporters.

That doesn’t mean, however, that it should be shrugged off.

Canadians’ respect for journalism and their democratic institutions have declined in tandem, but neither can function without the other.

Given Trudeau’s rhetoric about repairing Canadians’ trust in democracy, he should also be concerned about their trust in its fourth estate.

We could shrug our shoulders, “twas ever thus” — because the tensions between media and parliaments date to the early days of constitutional monarchy over a century before Canada was a country.

Or we could demand better. Much has been written (some in books landing just this fall) about the growing irrelevance of parliament and its deleterious effect on democracy that I won’t repeat here. One thing is certain: It’s a problem Canadians are starting to notice and Trudeau is selling them snake oil they just might take to the polls next October.

This isn’t the first time Trudeau has promised big, empowering changes. His commitment to open nomination meetings was tested in last year’s race for the Trinity-Spadina byelection in Toronto. And he failed with flying colours, after party infighting turned into a very public war of words and threats of lawsuits.

We’ve seen his playbook before. A young Stephen Harper once pledged fully open nomination meetings, an empowered backbench and a reformed Senate.

The bastion of open accountability that is Ottawa under Harper shows just how committed he was to those Reforms. Er, reform.

If we really want a different kind of politics in this country. One where Question Period is more than pre-canned talking points written by 20-something staffers then we need to start holding politicians to the higher standards they espouse.

So, Mr. Trudeau, if you really proffer a “different kind of politics” then show us with your actions. Because your words are clearly just more empty promises.

And last time I checked, that’s the definition of politics as usual.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia Network Inc.

harbl_the_cat
09-24-2014, 09:34 AM
I'll take interest in politics in 2019. Until then - it's all just the same same.

Foxer
09-24-2014, 09:35 AM
That appeared in the Montreal Gazette amongst other places.

There's some pretty harsh language about Justin in there :) I don't think the reporters out there in any of the media circles is liking this, and they're speaking out. I think trudeau stepped in it big time here and will again come across as not really 'prime minister' material. And he's given a crapload of free advertising to sun media, which is probably the opposite of what he wanted to do.

Again - it just shows he hasn't got what it takes to play in the big leagues. Now - people won't remember this specific event directly going into an election, but this is EXACTLY the kind of thing that leaves a lingering impression that trudeau is NOT new, he's NOT about 'change' or 'positive' gov't, and he's NOT ready to lead. Those sentiments will tend to linger and the more events there are like this the more that impression will tend to stick with people.

THe article's right - politicians and leaders fight with the media all the time. But - most are smart enough to not go out of their way to make it a big public issue and make announcements and such. This is an amateur mistake.

Petamocto
09-24-2014, 09:49 AM
What is worse, not talking to one media chain or not allowing the government to talk to any media?

Rory McCanuck
09-24-2014, 10:00 AM
There's some pretty harsh language about Justin in there :) I don't think the reporters out there in any of the media circles is liking this, and they're speaking out. I think trudeau stepped in it big time here and will again come across as not really 'prime minister' material. And he's given a crapload of free advertising to sun media, which is probably the opposite of what he wanted to do...

...This is an amateur mistake.
Unfortunately this is about a year too early.
It'll be brought up again when it counts, but will have lost some impact by then, I'm sure.

Don't feel too bad, though, I'm prety sure Shiny Pony is too narcissistic to learn from the experience.

Curly1
09-24-2014, 10:00 AM
What is worse, not talking to one media chain or not allowing the government to talk to any media?

Kind of taking a page from Harper now.

bettercallsaul
09-24-2014, 10:18 AM
Kind of taking a page from Harper now.

That's BS.

Curly1
09-24-2014, 11:40 AM
That's BS.

Why is it BS? In fact I think failing to speak about things has been a weakness of Mr. Harper and the CPC. I am all for keeping the party in check, but, we need to speak about what has been and what will be and not ignore or defame the rest.

soulchaser
09-24-2014, 11:59 AM
Trudeau needs to be careful here. The parliamentary press gallery has been kissing his ass for the last few years.

But they can turn on people in a heartbeat. They'rea tight nit club and don't take to kindly to this sort of thing.

Even if they don't like Sun News, they all are probably thinking "what if some opinion writer at my paper does something like Levant did and I get punished for it"