Cheers and stroking on the Washington trail with Trubama

Dear Diary:

Left undisciplined and off the leash now by the absence of thoughtful people in power – anywhere – our nation’s scribes and bingo-callers have returned, affectionately, to their preferred, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest state of being.

Exhausted from 10 years of being held to account but alas left unreformed, unrepentant and unredeemed, CBC News Network gushed all weekend over the Prime Minister’s interview (when does that boy find time to work?) on the U.S. stalwart program, 60 Minutes. We think, Dear Diary, that all Canadians should be ashamed when the nation’s publicly-funded broadcaster clearly reveals our dirty little secret – a soft, mushy, lefty inferiority complex – occasional rebellious but always, always yearning for daddy’s attention and approval. Nevermind that the CBS program was unable to distinguish the PM’s mother, Margaret Trudeau, from one of the PM’s father’s dates, actress Kim Cattrell – facts these days are the sole preserve of knuckle-draggers.

This continued through Monday morning when CBCNN’s infotainment specialist, Heather Hiscox, led the morning with “reaction” to the PM’s 60 Minutes appearance. Digging hard, her program grabbed a handful of tweets in a tepid effort to give journalistic justification to what was pure propaganda. So, OK, to be fair some of the propaganda was to promote that CBC itself would be heading to Washington for the PM’s visit there and what it cloyingly referred to as his “coveted” invitation to a State Dinner hosted by the much-loved President Obama.

Which brings us to Rosie Barton, who without so much as a blush continued to use our money to breathlessly thump the PM’s tub, pointing out this would be the first time – in almost 20 years! – that a Canadian would be “honored” with a state dinner in Washington. Digging deep, she provided viewers not only with the complete list of previous occasions: Power & Politics displayed its investigative journalism skills to let us know what was on the menu for each occasion. The people, after all, have a right to know.

What she failed to do – and we expect this will continue all week – was notice what was immediately obvious. Here is the list and see if you can’t figure it out in, oh, maybe, 10 seconds: Truman hosts King; Eisenhower hosts Diefenbaker; Nixon hosts Trudeau senior; Carter hosts Trudeau senior; Reagan hosts Mulroney (twice) and Clinton hosts Chretien.

Yup, you got it – of the seven previous state dinners with one exception (Nixon), all involved either Republicans hosting Conservatives or Democrats hosting Liberals. And when was the last time that dynamic was in place? About 20 years ago. This, friends, is what the CBC is trying to pass off as a rare honor being bestowed upon the boy king. This, friends, is what the CBC is trying to pass off as journalism.

What Barton also might have done is point out the connection between Jennifer O’Malley Dillon , (past executive with the Democratic National Committee and deputy campaign director of Barack Obama’s campaign) and team Trudeau. A summary of her work as “lead American consultant for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada” can be found by clicking here. So, while the people may have a right to know what past prime ministers had for dinner in Washington, Barton, Hiscox et al obviously feel there is no need for the people who pay their salaries to know How The Democrats Worked to Defeat Canada’s Conservative Government, which would be a helluva yarn. And, yes, she might have asked how that might have something to do with our Prime Minister’s “coveted” invitation to dinner. Surely, as one of the most connected people in Ottawa, Barton would know this.

Further, while we recognize that useful context for viewers might have interfered with CBCNN staff’s pitch to have their travel request approved, this will actually be – according to the U.S. government – the 98th visit by a Canadian prime minister to the USA. And, because we know you are curious, our most recent prime minister visited 13 times. The most by any PM was 19 by Mackenzie King (14 of which were between 1940-45 when there was plenty to talk about), followed by Trudeau senior and Brian Mulroney at 14 each.


Speaking of crimes against that craft, the usually calm Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail this weekend tore a strip off Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall for failing to kow-tow to Ottawa’s demand that he impose a carbon tax on his people.

Wall, Mason said, was being irresponsible and failing to take responsibility for the fact that, since 1990, Saskatchewan’s emissions have grown by 66%. That, of course is true. But by stating a single truth and ignoring others, Mason misinformed his readers – an old trick more closely associated with advocacy than journalism. The facts  are that under Wall’s watch, emissions in Saskatchewan have grown by only 7.6% since he took the reins of a jurisdiction that was depopulating, wallowing in economic and cultural despair and shepherded it into a land of pride and prosperity – a “have” province. Saskatchewan, he might also have pointed out, is responsible for about 0.15% of global emissions.

Saskatchewan, he might have pointed out, did not do like Ontario and waste billions and billions on failed wind projects. Saskatchewan, he might have pointed out, instead created the world’s first clean coal commercial power plant. But he didn’t.

Speaking of resources, yet another train transporting oil literally went off the rails in northern Ontario this weekend. One wonders how often this needs to occur; One wonders how many times lives need to be put at risk; One wonders just how thick people can remain before they realize they are allowing this to occur because their ideology won’t allow them to admit pipelines are the clearly superior – in every way – method of transporting oil. One wonders why no media made the connection, preferring to see the issue as one of railway safety only.

The nation, our government tells us, needs investment to have a healthy economy. But it’s clear it prefers that to be public money drawn from the pockets of its peasantry rather than private money raised and invested in industrial infrastructure. How else to explain the fussing over the “upstream” impact on global warming of pipelines – most notably Energy East – carrying oil that is already carried on trains and therefore is either a fantasy or a deliberate attempt to hobble the nation’s largest industry. Energy East alone is a $9 billion project.

But, hey, while all this environmental politicking has been going on, everyone seems to have forgotten that the LNG project proposed for British Columbia is worth $36 billion and is about to buy the farm.

We read today that its major partner, Petronas of Malaysia, has pretty much had a bellyful of Canada.. Exhausted by dealing with aboriginal demands, environmental demands and years of insatiable bureaucratic nagging, it has given young Trudeau until the end of the month or, we are told, it is cutting its losses and leaving town. Maybe it’s a bluff. If it isn’t, you can kiss it goodbye. Burn, baby, burn.

A final note of condolence to Power & Politics panelist Alise Mills who – bless her heart – burst her banks on Monday’s show. When it came to the PM’s above-noted “coveted” and “extremely rare” visit to Washington and his relentless efforts to stifle Canada’s economy she noted to her fellow panelists and host that instead of analysing issues “you guys are stroking his hair.” She was, of course, dismissed out of hand amid hoots of derision. For what it’s worth, Ms. Mills, you were too kind. Some might – but surely not us – have indicated that more than his hair is being stroked by the self-styled guardians of democracy these days.