This peculiar article in the Globe and Mail is instructive reading, if for no other reason to see how a dismissive mindset brought trouble to the profession.
The article is about Donald Trump’s unprecedented verbal attack of Canada. He called the nation “smooth”, and the essence was that Canadians were liars, thieves, and were so manipulative as to be untrustworthy. This is not a minor event. For many Americans, they barely know Canada, and now their president has singled out a single nation to distrust the way the Left are instructing their flock to distrust Russia.
Second, there are serious International ramifications: it signals to the rest of the world that Canada is no longer one of their allies. Working through Canada to reach the US is not a strategy, and now we have seen a complete shift in relations.
Couple that with Justin Trudeau’s recent gaffes in India where he managed to offend their nation’s leader, in a span of a week, two major world powers have let their disgust for Canada known in two different ways. (Worse, the Indian government has also implied the Prime Minister is less than honest with the official statement: “Let me categorically state that the government of India, including the security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by the Canadian high commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation issued to him for the Canadian high commissioner’s reception in New Delhi. Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and unacceptable.” Two nations calling the same country and its leaders dishonest in a week? That is not a minor development).
This is a major turn for Canada, and not a good one. You would think the press would be taking this cold dressing down more seriously, and wonder what is unfolding.
No, of course not. The Globe made light of it, trying to spin it as being a sign that (a) Canada is a better negotiator than they are, (b) the US’s influence must be dwindling, and (c) there is nothing to worry about because Trump has nothing but negative things to say about other countries.
Not quite. Other nations have been paying attention to what Trump has said about various countries. The BBC had a cheeky list using emojis, but it showed that Trump was mostly neutral or positive. There were countries he greatly disliked, but there were ones he heaped with praise. He has carefully cultivated a list of favourites, and far from Canada being on the list, or even in the neutral pile, he has reserved his most critical comments to his Northern neighbours. Considering how dependent Canada is on the US for its economic survival, it doesn’t matter what Left-winged people in the US think about their president; what matters is the one in charge has now established a narrative.
Strategists do not hit with a narrative for the fun of it; they set up a foundation explaining why he must make an example of the one he has cast as a villain.
In public relations, the first message is what counts. Retractions have no effect. The US press is not explaining to their people why the assessment is wrong. Other nations are not coming to Canada’s defence. Laughing or fluffing it off shows a lack of maturity on the part of the Canadian news media.
It should also be noted that the Drudge Report has been reporting on Trudeau’s numerous gaffes, meaning between Trump’s scathing rebuke and Drudge’s frequent and prominent dispatches, a match has been lit.
But the Canadian media is giggling at something they should have been taking seriously.
It is that mindset that destroyed Canadian journalism: their stubborn inability to drop their arrogance and passivity to see a situation for what it truly is. They did not take other things seriously, and now they are on the verge of becoming extinct in every sense of the word.
First it was Canadian journalism; it will not surprise me in the least when Canada finds itself in greater peril as their allies slowly become their enemies. It is the time for vigilance, and not snarky fluff offs when those in power begin their campaigns to humble, demonize, and then conquer.