A campaign video posted by Global News earlier today perfectly highlights the problematic relationship the Trudeau government maintains with the media, especially the state broadcaster.
The video itself is quite clear.
The Prime Minister grabs poutine and scours the audience before jokingly giving the prized Canadian delicacy to a CBC reporter.
“The Liberal Party always supports the CBC,” Justin Trudeau says, before passing the curds forward.
Now, no one in their right mind should be outraged that the PM joked with media or that he gave someone free poutine. But this unscripted moment is unintentionally emblematic of the real problems facing the Canadian media ecosystem.
For the most part, many of us in the press have a serious dilemma throughout this race.
We could fight against thousands of outlets, platforms, and other content producers from across the world for subscriptions and ad dollars, or we could skip the line and secure the government bag (or in this case I suppose poutine).
Like the CBC which already receives more than $1 billion dollars per year from the taxpayer, we would still be free to do everything else we currently do in terms of broadcasting and production. We’d just get a bunch of your money to pad our pockets along the way, easing the journey.
And let me be honest, the path of the government cash for Canadian news organizations is not just tantalizing, it is easy.
The Trudeau government allowed the people who stood to gain from the $600 million bailout to divvy it up.
While government poutine sounds great, like the optics of this video, it comes with serious problems.
You see, the bailout goes far further than just the government providing taxpayers money to media organizations. Outside of making it easy for most established print press groups to be approved, the Liberals allowed the expert panel to become such downright sludge that it almost became poison.
Throughout the media bailout’s development, the Trudeau government allowed Unifor, the decidedly anti-Scheer and pro-Trudeau union to sit on the “Independent” Panel of Experts, regardless of how that would impact the perception of the “non-partisan” program going forward.
When you receive taxpayers’ money, preferential treatment, and the more you look like you’ve become partisan friends with the powerful people you are supposed to hold accountable.
Journalists aren’t supposed to get gifts, they aren’t supposed to skip lines, and in terms of business, they shouldn’t be bailed out by the government.
That goes double for the state broadcaster who I’m sure shudders at the idea of being compared to the state news operation of Russia.
While many readers and journalists shudder at the thought of a Canadian version of Russia Today or having to prove their independence, it seems the government has no problem with these problematic perceptions being applied to the media.
That’s a serious problem.
The Liberals didn’t care that they turned an already toxic bailout into a joke, and they certainly don’t seem to care that their actions could destroy trust in the media they continuously pretend to defend.