02.23.2012 07:30 AM

Bullshit alert (Updated)

“Lowering tone of the debate.” So says the one who was using social media to do precisely that, for days.

UPDATE: One commenter asked me why I’m so irritated with young Jordan. Here’s why. Last week, she and her pal Geoffrey tweeted and retweeted their enthusiasm for “Vikileaks.” Given that both are former Ignatieff staffers, and given that I don’t recall either of them doing to their former boss what was now being done to Toews’ ex-wife, children, etc., I found that objectionable, and said so. They didn’t like that. They then took to retweeting stuff to get at someone close to me – stuff that was critical of Ontario’s Liberal government, to boot. And now, this morning, we have Jordan piously whinging about “cyber bullies.” She and her gaggle should take a long look in the mirror.


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    Chris says:

    Heh. I was going to comment on that article but their comment section is linked to facebook and I don’t want to give up my full name.

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    Mike says:

    Why don’t you just come out and say what your actual problem with Geoff & Jordan is? There must be more to this than a few retweets.

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    AP says:

    What was that? A manifesto for the self-absorbed.

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    Heather says:

    I agreed with some of the premise of the article but the conclusion made no sense. I don’t really feel much sympathy for Toews but this article, and most of the discussion surround “vikileaks” in general, ignores the fact that he’s not the only one who’s being targeted here. He says and does something stupid, sure, fight back. But posting his divorce proceedings on Twitter and revealing the name of his ex-staffer on YouTube? That’s just shitty (not to mention fairly unimaginative). His ex-wife didn’t accuse anyone of siding with child molesters. His kid’s mother didn’t propose a piece of flawed legislation.

    By the analogy in the article, they’re the ones who didn’t want their photos online so they didn’t post their photos online. Why is it fair that their dirty laundry is being aired so publicly just because of who they had the misfortune of choosing as a partner?

    If this is what it means to be a member of the so-called “Facebook generation” then I’d like to know how I can get my membership revoked.

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    Ottawacon says:

    That article actually betrays a deep lack of understanding of the basic idea of the public sphere. For example, ‘funneling taxpayer dollars into friends’ corporations for your own personal gain’ is absolutely not making politics personal, and to suggest it is either disingenuous or stupid.

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    Claudia Lemire says:

    I’ve always said the reason why Michael Ignatieff lost in such a humiliating way was because of his staff. He is not a natural born leader and not best political intuition, but a good man, with fair ideas and had he followed his instincts instead of listening to bully’s in his staff he would still be leader of the Liberal Party and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

    This kind of behaviour isn’t politics or fair, is gossip at it’s best and it’s a shame that they are ok with it. Minister Toews had a very reprehensible language and definitely needs to apologized for it and Bil C-30 needs to be scraped altogether; but not this way. Invading his privacy and attacking him in such a manner is deplorable.

    On another note get rid of Justin Trudeau, this kid is passionate about his legacy not politics. Not doing the Liberal Party a service.

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    Richard says:

    I am greatly concerned for my generation, largely because of people like Jordan Owens. While she is entitled to her belief that the political sphere is reaping what it has sown in recent years, I’m one of the belief to rise above and start discussing about building a better Canada. She seems to want to revel in the muck and pass it all off as “We learned all of this from you, so you can’t complain about it.” So much for learning from the mistakes of those who came before us so as to not repeat them. There was a time not long ago when Liberals wanted to rise above, to let the Tories be the ones to denigrate the political discourse in this country; now, reduced to third party status the mantra seems to be, “We can’t beat ’em, might as well join ’em.” Sad.

    A relevant case in the personal opinion vs. public person discussion is that of Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Now, we’ve all learned from his Facebook posts that the jovial goalie is a bit of a Tea Partier and has so little respect for the current administration and political climate in America that he snubbed a team event at the White House. (We will not entertain the notion by one media wag in Montreal who inferred that Thomas did this as a snub because President Obama is black) That’s fine, his personal views are what they are. What made the story so interesting is that media hounded him for days trying to get an explanation out of him. Thomas was getting increasingly fed up with it and said at one scrum something to the effect of, “That is my personal life. What I do on Facebook is not open for discussion here. If you ask me about it, I am done interviewing for the day.” Surely enough the next question was about the Facebook posts. Thomas up and walked out of the scrum.

    Now, I realize that it is a bit different looking at a hockey player and a person in the political sphere. The former is someone paid a great deal of money to stop a puck, the latter is someone that Canadians expect to make sound and rational decisions for the advancement of the public interest. If Member of Parliament X goes off on a profanity-laced rant about the state of government, that’s a piece that should be of concern to Canadians. But if said MP is having issues in his family life, that should be off-limits. If his relationship status on Facebook changes from “Married” to “It’s Complicated,” that’s not my concern as either an individual (unless, of course, we are friends in real life) or as someone concerned with the national interest. So when I see someone who has been in a position to reflect the opinions of someone that I hoped to be Prime Minister of Canada say this: “The lesson learned here was not ‘know where to draw the line between public and private,” but rather “use social media, and be more personal with your attacks. That’s the way to get attention.’ Get used to this style of politics.” That concerns me greatly. It used to be that we got very angry and wanted to throw the bums out because they misled us on tax cuts or we worried about priority-making when abolishing the notwithstanding clause was listed as a priority. Now we are told to expect that we should be outraged at the hypothetical sight of (just as an example, because he’s a prolific tweeter) Justin Trudeau tweeting his personal feelings on a matter that isn’t of the public interest.

    It’s too bad to see what I presume are otherwise intelligent young Liberals taking their cues from Conservatives on how to behave in the public sphere. We have so many good and great folks in our own party to look to as an inspiration…and instead we choose to emulate those that we have deemed responsible for the climate being as it is in the first place.

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    Dan says:

    It’s a bush league tactic. The divorce has no relevance to the shitty job Toews is doing (if it did, I might think differently)

    I thought the tell #TellViceverything was a much better tool that, addressed the issue and raised awareness of the pending bill. This divorce crap has only distracted from it.

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      Warren says:

      TellVicEverything was brilliant. Much better approach, and it kept his critics on the high road!

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      Jan says:

      It was short sharp lesson to Mr. Toews about the value of privacy. His bill shows a complete disregard for our privacy, that seems to have been lost in all this Miss Manners twitter behavior nonsense. This wasn’t new information – the MSM had reported on his ‘nasty divorce’, staffer girlfriend pregnancy a few years ago.

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    Iris Mclean says:

    Should Peewee Herman’s activities been kept under wraps?

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    Jason Hickman says:

    From the Star article WK linked to:

    When the split came, it caused a frisson in gossipy London town. Ignatieff had mined his family to write about domestic bliss and the joys of fatherhood, and this was too rich to let slip.

    Now, some of the people who’ve defended VikiLeaks here have said that because Toews preached family values, etc, putting the details of his divorce court file was fair game. So to those people: Assuming Susan D isn’t lying in her article, I presume you would agree that an extended focus on the breakup of Ignatieff’s first marriage when he was Leader of the Opp would also have been fair game – right?

    In case my tone isn’t clear, I *don’t* think the family life of either politician is fair game, regardless of whether one defended “family values” on the stump, or the other “mined his family” for his career. But like I said on another post of WK’s dealing with this whole thing: the slopes can get awfully slippery, awfully fast.

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      Jan says:

      But Ignatieff’s personal life was talked about so I don’t understand what your point is.

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        Jason Hickman says:

        My point is that people who think putting Towes’s divorce proceedings all over the internet for political ends would presumably have the same opinion if Ignatieff’s 1st marriage was used for political ends. I don’t recall MI’s situation being used like that when he was in public life to nearly the same extent, but I do recall that to the limited extent his family life was raised, Liberals and others felt it wasn’t fair at all.

        To their credit, more than a few Libs & other non-Tories have criticised what’s happened re: Towes’s home life. My post is directed to those who felt references to MI’s family were out of bounds but who think Towes had it coming because of hypocracy re: family values.

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