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At this point, everyone is well aware of prime minister Justin Trudeau’s brown and blackface photos. Although this has obviously been a terrible news cycle for Trudeau it has not nearly been as bad as it would have been for a Conservative politician.
So far the media has covered the situation with Prime Minister Trudeau in a straight and objective manner, only giving the facts and details, devoid of any partisan opinion injected into the reporting. As it should be.
I cannot recall the same amount of objectivity back when the then Prime Minister Stephen Harper made even non-controversial statements. Everything was filtered through the goals of the political left.
Outlets like Press Progress, CBC, and The Guardian always landed their reporting with insinuations of wrongdoing on Harper and the Conservatives. There was always a bias in favour of accusations of racism, or intolerance, against them, as if it was Harper and his party were just known political villains.
In the CBC story linked above, there is a great example of this covert undermining of Harper. The article is about Harper’s “old-stock Canadians” comment from a 2015 election debate, but the article in reporting the issue often implies somehow Harper did something wrong, even with Harper’s explanation of what he meant, which was in no way racial.
Instead of reporting the story straight, the CBC would twist the story. They added in chopped-up, contextless quotes from Harper’s communications consultant like, “He wants to talk about the economy. He doesn’t want to talk about whether or not he’s a racist.” which obviously makes it sound as if the consultant wants to dodge the question as if Harper might be racist, instead of the fact that the accusations are baseless, and a waste of time.
The CBC often portrayed accusations against Harper as if they were not coming from partisan actors. From the same article the CBC said, “Meanwhile, Harper has been accused of playing to fears of others and using security concerns as an excuse to keep Canada’s doors shut to the plight of thousands of Syrian refugees.” as if Harper had hit a nerve with Canadians, and not just from his political enemies.
Even back in 2006 when Stephen Harper dared to give his son a handshake before he went off to school, the media had to imply he was being cold and unfeeling for not hugging his son in front of television cameras.
Now, when we have a story about Prime Minister Trudeau’s wrongdoings, in which he admits he did something wrong, the mainstream media are reporting without the subtle digs at the PM.
An article from the Toronto Star was titled “‘I should have known better’: Trudeau apologizes for wearing brownface in 2001.” Anyone who read the news that day knows that the story is not the apology.
This take is obviously softening up the situation through the headline. No conservative would have had their apology mentioned in the title of a similar story.
Honestly, the Toronto Star’s article, aside from the headline, is quite good.
The issue is that the well-written and non-opinionated take on the brownface story is a privilege only Trudeau and higher ranking Liberals would ever enjoy.
Liberal motives are almost always given the benefit of the doubt when they say or do something controversial, but Conservatives have even their most innocuous statements picked apart to create controversy where none existed.
The media have been making it well known that it really doesn’t matter whether Trudeau fails or is caught in a hypocritical act. Trudeau is their political ship and they need him to stay afloat if they want to ideologically hold on power.