Trudeau: “But [the mainstream media] can now report that I prefer China.”
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau faced a lot of heat this week from a “ladies night” that turned into a political football.
As if the Andy Warhol themed advertising of Trudeau’s ladies night wasn’t enough to spark politicos to polarize the event, the media, among opposition parties, pounced on a comment made at Trudeau’s “unplugged” event.
The parade of criticisms started after Conservative MP Michelle Rempel took direct aim at the ladies night and politicos followed calling it “patronizing” and “sexist.” However, ladies’ nights happen all the time, as do bros’ nights and no one makes a fuss about it. In addition, political parties of all stripes are known for their categorized targeting techniques and there is no doubt every party targets by gender. Even the party that launched its most vicious attack on the event, the Conservatives, are known as tactical geniuses for the single fact that they have been able to categorize, track and mobilize segments of the Canadian politico-sphere.
The event’s organizer, Amanda Avaro, Managing Director at Narrative PR, defended the event saying “#askjustin is an event organized BY women, FOR women with a (clearly) intriguing evite designed to inspire dialogue. Proud to host tonight.”
But despite the defense, the #askjustin Twitter tag filled rapidly with negative feedback to the event and its marketing.
WHO DOES THAT??!
— Michelle Rempel (@MichelleRempel) November 7, 2013
Despite the shaky impression on Twitter, the $250-per person event was deemed a success, until Trudeau was asked which country he considered his number two.
The answer you might have saw spun around by the mainstream media was one that depicted a Trudeau that honestly preferred China because of the control of its dictatorship. No surprise Sun News spun it this way, but so did the National Post and to a slight extent, the CBC, among others. The following headlines asked Trudeau to apologize for the statement. However, while Trudeau’s statement was clearly easy to take out of context and negatively spin, it is the media’s job to be objective and not serve as the Conservative Party’s attack machine.
The whole statement released by Trudeau actually mocks Harper’s recent admiration for, and dealings with, the country.
“There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime. I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about, of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted, that I find quite interesting.
But if I were to reach out and say which kind of administration I most admire, I think there’s something to be said right here in Canada for the way our territories are run.
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are done without political parties around consensus. And are much more like a municipal government. And I think there’s a lot to be said for people pulling together to try and solve issues rather than to score points off of each other.
But Sun News can now report that I prefer China.”
It is no surprise the Conservatives would take it out of context, and given the NDP’s recent desperation in politics, it is no surprise they joined the chorus.”
Justin Trudeau told a crowd of Liberal supporters that the government he most admired was – wait for it – a dictatorship,” Tory MP Paul Calandra wrote before asking for a donation to his party.”We can’t let this man be our next Prime Minister – donate $5 or whatever you can afford right now so we can fight back.”
“Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau found a way to take straightforward questions and skewer himself with his thoughtless answers,” the NDP said in a release. “Canadians deserve better.”
However, there is no reason for the media to do the Conservatives’ and NDP’s work to take the response out of context and attack the Liberal leader on it, the same way the media shouldn’t take what the Conservatives and NDP say out of context and spin it.
Trudeau has to be careful with what he says because the spin masters in the Conservative Party have been successful at using the words his predecessors said against them. There is nothing that invokes more fear than a dictatorship, especially today with the kind of policies and attitudes we see coming out of Ottawa. However, seeing as how Trudeau can’t unsay what he said, perhaps he should have concluded with, “But [the mainstream media] can now report that I prefer China.” Funny how it’s the Conservatives who say the “elite” media in Ottawa are against them, isn’t it?
But let’s face it, in the midst of the Duffy Affair, it is no surprise the Conservatives will latch onto anything that can distract the media and masses from their handling of corruption within their own administration.
What do you think of the media’s response to Trudeau’s events? Should the media have even focused on it?