Premier Doug Ford has decided to snub the press once again, showing any lack of Christmas spirit (and breaking from tradition) according to his enemies, even though he brought “Merry Christmas” back to the holiday cards. As members of the press gallery rabidly chase after him and obsess over the patronage appointment — now stalled — of his personal friend Brad Blair to OPP commissioner, they expect Ford to suddenly declare peace at Queen’s Park and allow these journalists to roast him by a blazing fire.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the lead-up to next year’s election, is all of the sudden readily accessible to particular journalists in Canada after spending the last few years by and large opting for photo-op only events and snubbing Canadian journalists for American entertainment hosts and sympathetic American left-wing journalists who don’t know the first thing about what a mess Trudeau is making of things domestically. But a retired Stephen Harper opting to do the same, but instead with Republicans, for his book tour was an absolute outrage.
Ford, in true Ford fashion, has opted to bypass the whole process, instead having his former PC leadership campaign press secretary turned pseudo journalist Lyndsey Vanstone interview him for Ontario News Now, a slick name for a PC-caucus-funded propaganda arm of the premier’s government.
But in a country where the CBC went out of its way to make sure the fireplace next to Harper was cut out of his end-of-year interview but that Trudeau should get to stroll with Rosemary Barton as she asks him asinine personal questions who can really blame Ford for giving the press a big ole lump of coal?
As for Trudeau, he knew he could count on selfie-taking fangirl Barton and old pal Evan Solomon to swing some punches to make the fight look somewhat believable, but to not repeatedly jab and push at his many weak spots. Admittedly the thirty-minute interview with Solomon had some hard-hitting questions, but it was pretty clear Trudeau’s people knew the questions ahead of time because Trudeau had remembered lines for every question thrown at him. Typically, Trudeau “ums” and “ahs” his way through his answers when asked questions, but in the interview with Solomon he never was at a loss for words.
When Trudeau defended his massive deficit spending by citing the rating agencies that failed to properly regulate financial institutes back during the 2008 financial meltdown Solomon failed to push back. And most notably, there was one lone question on illegal migration at the tail-end of the interview where Solomon didn’t push back to Trudeau’s false claim that migrants illegally crossing into Canada will be promptly sent back to their countries of origin if they aren’t legitimate refugees.
Sure, Ford being interviewed by Ontario News Now won’t give us any hard-hitting questions, but at least there’s less of the false pretense real journalism is being done with Barton and Solomon’s interview with the PM.
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