03.03.2014 08:25 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: …in which I use a word to describe the National Post that I am not allowed to use

As Russia and the Ukraine slip towards war – and as the West looks on, unable or unwilling to do anything – it’s easy to forget that nice things still happen. The birth of babies, for instance.

Everyone likes babies. They are innocent and helpless and they make us smile. Like Johnny Depp once said, they are the only creatures evolved enough to convey pure love. Their arrival, therefore, is a time for celebration.

Their arrival is not, however, a time to associate them with genocide, or anti-Semitism, or depravity. It is not an occasion to mock the baby, or its parents. All of us would agree with that.

But not all of us work at the National Post.

Some background: on Friday, Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire, welcomed their third child into the world. He was eight pounds, three ounces, and they named him Hadrian. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen immediately offered their congratulations. So did NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.

With war seemingly starting in the East, and Winter seemingly never ending in the West, it was a welcome bit of good news. For the National Post, it was something else entirely.

Shortly after Hadrian arrived, the Post published a “news story” – I use flying quotes, there, for reasons that will shortly become obvious – about him. The story had no byline, and it was later quietly (and significantly) altered. But here are some of the things it said about young Hadrian.

His father is “obviously no fan of history,” said the Post, and proof was found in the name Trudeau and his wife selected. It was a Roman Emperor’s name, declared the Post, and he was “surrounded by controversy.”

He was “ruthless,” said the Post. He is also still “reviled among the Jewish community.” He committed acts of genocide, and his name is still associated with a “curse,” the Post decreed.

When a few of us saw that “news story,” we were surprised. To us, it seemed like the National Post was actually insinuating that Hadrian Trudeau was named after a homicidal, anti-Semitic maniac. And not, apparently, some other Hadrian the Trudeaus know.

I sent a note on Twitter to John Ivison, a Post writer who had earlier tweeted about the Trudeau baby and the genocidal Jew-hater. I asked him who linked Hadrian Trudeau to the mass-murderer. Ivison professed not to know. “No idea. Wire? I haven’t read it.”

At that point, a wire service used by the Post, Canadian Press, chimed in. Bruce Cheadle, a senior writer with CP, wrote: “Those particular files were not from Canadian Press.”

Thereafter, I wrote to Stephen Meurice, the Post’s editor, to ask (a) who wrote it and (b) if he agreed it was a mistake. So far, no answer.

Here’s the thing: babies aren’t political. Even if you hate a baby’s father – as we can only assume, at this point, the Post does – its birth should not be an occasion to do what was done here.

If you look up Hadrian’s name, baby name dictionaries say it’s simply a variant of “Adrian.”

If you look up “National Post,” this week, you’ll see that it means “a bunch of assholes.”

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39 Comments


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    Lala says:

    + 1000.


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    Jenny says:

    I wanted to share this article on facebook, but it comes up with a woman’s breast as the accompanying picture. Hint, hint!


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      Warren says:

      Sorry about that. You can disable the thumbnail. Just check the little box.


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        smelter rat says:

        Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


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    Jnap says:

    Bravo on your article WK! i was very very upset when I saw this NP opinion piece. maybe it was written by Terrence Whoever, but whoever the author was, he or she was not going to admit it.
    thank you for speaking out against a very cowardly expression of mean partisanship.


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      Kaplan says:

      Even sadder is that it wasn’t framed or positioned as an “opinion piece” – it was run as a news story.


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    Matt says:

    I just assumed Hadrian was a French version or spelling of Adrian.


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      Elizabeth says:

      You know that the French are going to pronounce Adrian as Hadrian hanyway, heh?

      It was a scurrilous attack on a day-old baby by cowards who refuse to ‘fess up.

      I like the name Hadrian and look forward to seeing this baby boy grow up and into what his name stands for.

      He’ll be tough: he took a beating on his birthday many couldn’t survive.


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        pc says:

        To paraphrase Derek Sequin: “I am completely bilingue, estie. I have a perfect henglish.”


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    sharon says:

    My husband’s first name is Adrian.

    He was teased quite a bit about it when he was six (but it could have been the short pants his English mom made him wear).

    Who among us was not teased about our names at that age?

    I did not know that the NP hires child labour.


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    Ridiculosity says:

    The National Post. Ugh. Soon to be rebranded as the National Posterior.


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    Terry Quinn says:

    is it possible this garbage was fed to the National Pest by the PMO. That is their style


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    Derek Pearce says:

    nb: The Post may hate JT’s politics, but believe me, they LOVE that he exists as a Con nemesis. When he’s PM they’ll have a loyal to the hilt base of readers who will lap up every piece of their coverage of his every dastardly deed. They can’t wait for it!


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      Lance says:

      Derek, that’s a two way street.

      One day, EVERYONE in the MSM just can’t shut-up for ONE day so that a father can enjoy a precious moment with his family without having to see or read bullshit like this. No wonder politics has become so cynical (well, more than usual anyway).


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      Reality.Bites says:

      The National Post was born in 1998 under a popular Liberal Prime Minister. It didn’t establish a loyal base of readers then. It still doesn’t have one now, nor will it have one by the time Hadrian himself is old enough to run for office, should he be interested in following that career path.

      Shares in postmedia, by the way, initially sold at $8.00 in 2011. By July 2012 they were down to 70 cents, although they’ve since recovered to $1.80


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    e.a.f. says:

    if you look up N.P……..

    Loved the essay. You really have to wonder about people who would write such things about a baby. My god its a baby. Why say those things about a baby’s name. He’s cute, he’s chubby, he’s healthy, his parents love him.


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    Mark Morabito says:

    As a dirty rotten conservative and a regular National Post reader. and supporter……..you are right. Offside and that is being polite about it. I don’t understand this shit. Its completely unnecessary and crosses more lines than I can count. Somebody owes Mr. Trudeau an apology…..at the very least. Sheesh I hate it when my side behaves this way. I want to puke.


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      smelter rat says:

      Given the Con’s behaviour, you must puke on a daily basis.


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      pc says:

      Well that’s refreshing. A conservative because of the facts, because of common decency, not in spite of them. Thank you for your post. I feel a bit better about our political landscape to know people like you still exist.


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    sezme says:

    Ironically, it was about a week after the National Post started publishing in 1998 that Michel Trudeau died, and they fawned all over his memory to no end as though it were Princess Di x Reagan + Thatcher who had just expired. There were multi-page photo spreads and they just milked the tragedy for all it was worth. And it was sad for sure, but the response was just crazy in light of Michel’s not being a public figure in his own right.

    Which is to say that (love them or hate them) I guess the Post just culturally are destined to lose their shit upon the births or deaths of any member of Canada’s royal family (the Trudeaus).


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    Philippe says:

    Major round of applause for calling them out Warren..


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      Swervin' Merv says:

      Ditto. Nicely set up, succinctly focused, integrated with other news, and with a great closer. What more could be asked of any columnist?


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        Swervin' Merv says:

        Too bad the Sun could only print “jerks” and not the full depth of “assholes.”


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    ajsuhail says:

    If you look up “National Post,” this week, you’ll see that it means “a bunch of assholes.”

    That is one of the best lines in a long time!!! Truly brilliant Warren!!!


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      pc says:

      Totally agree. Your final two lines are perfect.


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    Paul Brennan says:

    Putin and National Post share same definition…


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    steve says:

    According to the National Post everyone named Stephen should be deeply ashamed


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    Francesca says:

    Two years ago, when I used to be a LPC supporter, I might have cared. I have my own career to think about.
    Justin doesn’t care about my life. Why should I care about his?


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      smelter rat says:

      Your comment pertains to this post how, exactly?


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      West Coast Jim says:

      Boy Francesca, self-centred, bitchy and ill-informed. You are quite the catch.


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      Tired of it All says:

      Hahaha. What a glorious miss…


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      frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

      Hey, I didn’t use to be a Justin supporter, but the man has won me over…….and while maybe hes not quite the intellectual of our former leader, or the orator of our interim one, he’s filling the party coffers like no one else, and has brought a moribund party to life….besides, I truly get the feeling the man honestly cares about folks, which is more than I could say of Iggy…sorry to hear that you feel differently.
      Hes going to defeat the autocrat(hopefully this moniker will meet with Mr. Miller’s approval) and no one is going to be more happy about that than I…….
      Congrats to Justin and his lovely wife Sophie on the blessed event!


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    Jacob Trouba says:

    Great ending Warren!


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    Tired of it All says:

    WK. Right on. Pure ugliness regardless of political affiliation or career considerations…


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    TimL says:

    Considering all the “unique” (and awfully spelled) baby names you see these days, its nice to see a good old historical name (even if that wasn’t his intent).


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    James curran says:

    See. I might have written something way more spiteful toward the post. Something along the lines of FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCKS. So I’m kinda glad you worded it differently W.


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    Al says:

    I think I may have found the National Putz’s source material, or maybe ots vice versa. Either way, fresh from the litter box of one Richard Cleroux…

    http://www.expressottawa.ca/Blog-Article/b/25784/Why-call-the-boy-Hadrian


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    Solara says:

    Justin Trudeau’s absence from the HoCs QP during the Ukrainian crisis is conspicuous. I wonder why the media mavens are so silent about Justin playing hokey from work because political leadership does not accommodate parental leave!

    Prior to the 2011 election when Liberals were leaderless and Iggy was making his move, Justin said he was not available to lead because his family duties to his growing family took precedence over politics. Now he’s abandoned leadership at a crucial time to apparently stay with his family. Others in the Liberal party have taken over the reins in QP admirably.

    Do you think Justin may be sitting in a rocking chair in the baby’s nursery, rocking back and forth and contemplating his future? Will he follow it up with a long walk in the snow and decide he prefers fatherhood to leadership?

    I suspect that Justin and Sophie have had a long talk about their future and the future of their family, and Justin may just decide to abdicate leadership and settle back into fatherhood and sitting as a backbench Liberal MP all because he puts his family ahead of the nation. Also the pressures of leadership will take a toll on his growing youthful family. It’s not really a good mix.. politics and parenting.

    The silence around Justin’s absence is becoming deafening….. Warren?


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      Warren says:

      That is absurd.

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