It is truly shocking that it took this long but slowly, Canada’s establishment media is starting to admit they must ask questions about Justin Trudeau and those groping allegations.
Belatedly we have seen columns from, in order, the Hamilton Spectator, CBC Opinion, Macleans and National Post.
I have yet to see the Toronto Star publish on this. The Globe and Mail, currently busy taking down a winemaker on similar claims has yet to publish on this front as well. As for broadcasters like CTV, Global and CBC – nothing.
Well actually, to be fair, the issue was discussed briefly on CTV’s Power Play with host Don Martin.
Yet why did it take 21 days after the original post was made to reach what could almost be described as critical mass?
Groping from a whisper to a scream.
The original article, published in August of 2000, surfaced earlier this year in Frank Magazine. None paid much heed to that. Then on June 6, 2018, just as Trudeau was releasing his findings about former cabinet minister Kent Hehr and groping allegations, Warren Kinsella posted on the matter.
Kinsella, a Liberal but not necessarily in love with Trudeau Jr., simply posted an image of the original editorial in the Creston Valley Advance with the lines, “UM, WHAT?” and “Handled”?
From there my friend and Sun colleague of days gone by Mark Bonokoski picked up the story with his own column.
The NY Times made mention of the matter, Buzzfeed, Daily Caller, Daily Beast, Sun UK and others all wrote about this seemingly feminist prime minister groping a female reporter and then offering the oddest of apologies.
“I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national newspaper, I would never have been so forward,” Trudeau was quoted as saying 18 years ago.
I posted my own column on the issue on June 11, 2018 where I pointed out that Trudeau, by his own standard, had to be held to account on this.
Using the words that Trudeau himself had spoken to CBC, I pointed out that this was a PM that had set a standard that was quite high. Yet Trudeau himself said that he should be held to the same standard as all MPs. He also said it doesn’t matter how old the allegations are.
Trudeau is still getting a pass.
So why were the media not holding Trudeau to the same standard he set for his own MPs?
Outside of the Sun newspapers and some talk radio hosts, this story was almost entirely online. If I posted on it, traffic was through the roof.
Canadians wanted to know why Trudeau was being cut slack when Patrick Brown, Rick Dykstra and so many others were not. Why was Trudeau allowed to remain Liberal leader and PM when he himself had removed Liberal MPs over flimsier allegations?
So while it is good that folks like Andrew Coyne at National Post and Anne Kingston at Macleans have joined in writing about this issue, I need to point out that not a single person that is able to ask Trudeau questions in media scrums on Parliament Hill has done so.
Media in this country is going through massive changes and struggling to keep an audience. Refusing to report on a story that gets a strong airing online but is ignored in mainstream outlets won’t help with media survival.
Report on the allegations, ask questions, hold Trudeau to the same standard he has set for everyone else.