09.29.2014 07:25 AM

An apology to Justin Trudeau

I’m not a Sun News employee.  I just go over there to fight with their conservative employees, on-air.  So I can’t tell you if this Citizen report is true:

On Sunday, CTV parliamentary bureau chief Robert Fife tweeted that former prime minister Brian Mulroney had contacted the Liberals to say that Sun Media would apologize Monday for Levant’s comments. Mulroney sits on the board of Quebecor, the company that owns Sun Media.

Trudeau’s office would not comment. Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, retweeted Fife’s report. But Butts said he was retweeting the comment “for info only,” and that he could not confirm or deny whether it was true.

If it is true, it is also the right thing to do, and kudos to Messrs. Teneycke and Mulroney for taking this step.  As I’ve written previously, what was said about Trudeau’s parents – one deceased, and not here to defend himself; and one a person who has struggled with mental illness, and who has never held public office – was appalling.  (And, parenthetically, given how truly kind Ezra was about my Dad when he died in 2004, a shock.)

If an apology is broadcast, I don’t expect Trudeau or his team to now start communicating with Sun News. Contrary to what many others have written, they didn’t before Ezra said what he said.

So the apology – if it happens – is happening not to persuade Justin Trudeau to start talking to Sun News.

It’s happening because it’s the right thing to do.

49 Comments


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    Michael says:

    It was very considerate of Levant to extend his sympathy at the time of your father’s death. But your father was not a mortal enemy of the conservative state. There has been a shift in the language since 911/Cheney, when political opponents suddenly became enemies. Even Harper referred to Jim Flaherty’s “enemies” at the man’s funeral. Enemies!? I found that appalling, but understandable given the new mentality.

    Ironically, Justin made a very touching reference at his father’s funeral to his first meeting with Joe Clark, whom he described as an opponent, and not his father’s enemy. Given the right’s newfound love of war-speak, perhaps Levant’s ruthless language does not come as a surprise. It is a natural evolution of the ever-increasing fight-to-the-death political culture in Harperland. I fear it knows no limit.


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      Curtis in Calgary says:

      Great comparison to the language of the extremists. Enemy vs opponent. Respect vs contempt. Debasement vs debate. There was a time when competing politicians could share beverage or two at the end of the day in a civil and respectful manner, the silliness of QP notwithstanding.

      My colleagues that run (or more often than not, ran) in CPC circles tell me such activity was outright banned by Harper when they began their Ottawa takeover. I’d appreciate confirmation or denial of this by anyone in the know. Was this the case? If it was, is this edict still in place? Inquiring minds need to know. I’d hate to pass along unverified gossip.


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    Toby says:

    An apology is useless if they continue to employ Ezra.


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      e.a.f. says:

      oh how true.


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    Reality.Bites says:

    It’s happening because people actually noticed, unlike most things that Levant and Sun News do.

    “The right thing to do” has never and will never form any part of their operation. Despicable company from top to bottom.


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    G. McRae says:

    The video is still up. Sun News simply can’t buy this type of publicity.


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    Claudia says:

    I don’t consume Sun News because they employ Ezra.


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      Curtis in Calgary says:

      “I don’t consume Sun News [sic] because they employ Ezra.”

      I don’t consume Sun News [sic] because they’re rarely a news organization. They ought to rebrand as Sun Opinions, or Sun Rants, or Raving Suns, or, even more accurately, CPC Pravda.


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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Forget it Warren, trying to restate what you have restated repeatedly will not sink in even after this attempt. The Strawberry Kool-Aid drinkers are becoming as close-minded and fanatical as the Berry Blue Kool-Aid drinkers. If they didn’t understand previously, they will not now.

    Six days ago I stated “Ezra should and will probably apologize.” Now let the mainly Toronto-based commentators attack. They have no idea of the reach of Sun Media.


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      Kaspar Juul says:

      “Now let the mainly Toronto-based commentators attack. They have no idea of the reach of Sun Media.”

      Hmm

      No mandatory carriage status and the last reported numbers were 16,400 nationwide

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/sun-news-seeks-mandatory-carriage-on-basic-cable-tv/article7597155/

      Im nowhere near Toronto either. Nor am I really worried about your hyperbole.

      So if we take the viewership number listed (its 2012 so I will use numbers from then) and divide it by the 2012 population of Canada at 35,158,300

      That means less than 0.1% of the population are watching Sun News.


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        MississaugaPeter says:

        Do you get bonus poiints of some kind for posting?

        http://www.sunmedia.ca/SunMedia/

        If you made even the slightest effort you would know that Sun Media is much more than a television station. You could have done that from anywhere with your Internet access.


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          que sera sera says:

          “Do you get bonus points of some kind for posting?”

          Do you?

          MississaugaPeter – 4/47 posts at 7:00 am Sep 30

          Kaspar Juul – 1/47 posts at 7:00 am Sep 30


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            MississaugaPeter says:

            No bonus points, but do you even read the posts you comment on?

            Kaspar’s reply to my comment “They have no idea of the reach of Sun Media” is to give us stats on Sun TV. Obviously he didn’t bother to read my comment and just had a kneejerk reaction to other comments I made.

            And you are doing the same.

            It is sad that commentators that I thought were objective in the past, have now taken a completely “you are either 110% with us or you are against us” attitude, and just sadly remind me of Conservative trolls of yore.

            It’s almost like there are 5 folks assigned to this blog to belittle anyone who dares to say anything derogatory about the present leader of the Federal Liberals. Many times I will intentionally pull their crank, as I did in my earlier comment, and laugh at the spew and irrelevant comments that come afterward. I can take it. But it pisses me off when they do it to others, and as a result, I fear, frighten others from submitting comments that may be interesting to read.


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            que sera sera says:

            @ MississaugaPeter:

            Maybe remove the plank from your own eye before you start casting aspersions about others.

            It’s ok for you to pull people’s crank, but not ok if people pull yours?
            It’s ok for 5 people on this blog to defend team Harper but not ok for 5 people on this blog to defend team Trudeau?
            It’s ok for you to belittle people, but not ok if other people return the favour?
            It’s ok for you to frighten the horses (“I can take it”), but not ok if other people do the same?

            Good grief. Clean up your own act before you attempt to lecture other long term posters on this blog about “objectivity”.

            MississaugaPeter – 5/47 posts at 8:30 am Sep 30
            Kaspar Juul – 1/47 posts at 8:30 am Sep 30


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            MississaugaPeter says:

            Yes, a member of the above 45 Liberal old guard. Will probably get my vote but none of my money.

            MississaugaPeter – 6/55 posts at 10:15 am Sep 30


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    EB says:

    I would argue that Ezra needs to offer a more profound apology to the bride, groom, their families, and all the guests at the wedding. From what I read elsewhere, those involved at the wedding were thrilled with the opportunity to have the attention of Mr. Trudeau.

    Ezra’s rant exploited these people’s otherwise happy day. To the point, the bride sent an apology to Mr. Trudeau.

    Where is the Sun apology to the wedding party? Or, are they just collateral damage in a despicable attempt to denigrate Mr. Trudeau?

    Could Ezra have been any uglier?


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      Scotian says:

      EB:

      Very good point. While the target of the bile was clearly Trudeau, the bludgeon used to try to wreck him with it was in large part this wedding part and the participants in it. They at least as much as Trudeau deserve an apology from Ezra and Sunnews. Indeed, given that the core premise in Levant’s rant was how Trudeau was marring their special day the hypocrisy displayed there arguably makes the offensive even worse against these innocent bystanders than it does a legitimate political target, a party leader. The ugliness about his parents was being said to reinforce the premise that Trudeau was wrecking this wedding day for his modern droit du signeur (probably misspelled this, I keep having trouble with it for some reason, ah well, close enough for people to get) after all.

      Good job in pointing this out and reminding us all that it was not just Trudeau who was smeared here but a whole wedding party, bride, and groom, and their wedding day in this attack on Trudeau. Sometimes it is as much about what you use to attack someone with as it is the target, and this is clearly one of those times.


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    davie says:

    Seems to me there is something around about the CRTC looking at this incident. That could be a part of this apology.
    Suntv and, by association, the Conservatives, could be responding to polling, as well.


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    Richard Neufeld says:

    Ezra could have made his comment regarding the traditional family values, or lack thereof of his parents without resorting to school yard language. I would expect a higher level of communication from someone with a law degree. I generally like Ezra’s show, but if he keeps this up there will come a day when Sun will have to let him go. That being said, to blackball folks like Akin and the Sun chain reporters will only hurt Trudeau in the long run.

    Ezra should also know by now that gutter language changes the focus of ones argument to the language itself and not the point one is trying to make. In this case, everyone is talking about Ezra’s vocabulary, not the point that Ezra intended to bring up of how his character was influenced by his upbringing.


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      MississaugaPeter says:

      The level of undeserved, attacking discourse is reaching new levels here.

      Richard presents some very reasonable thoughts, using what I have no reason to believe is his real name. As a result of one line in his opinion, he is belittled unnecessarily by three anonymous commentators.

      Well scot, smelter rat, and Lance, as long time commentators here know, our patron shares some opinions about Ezra that are similar to Richard’s. Just last month he wrote:

      http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2014/08/20140815-095832.html

      So if it is your opinion that if someone writes anything a tad positive about Ezra that it “renders your (their) opinion next to worthless”, then what Warren writes is next to worthless to you, and thus, you are TROLLS who seem to enjoy attacking others here.

      Please you three, stop attacking folks here. Make your opinions known, fine, but don’t unnecessarily belittle others because they don’t agree with you 100% of the time. Go back to the newspaper comments sections if that is all you want to do.


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        Warren says:

        Yeah, guys, cool it, please. Thanks.


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          smelter rat says:

          Spoilsport.


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        Lance says:

        Um, Peter? I wasn’t taking issue with what Richard said. And no, I do not JUST attack people here. Not being married to a particular party ideology, I’ve often disagreed with people on both ends. It is the hacks that get under my skin. So point your barbs somewhere else, m’kay? Thanks.


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    Derek Pearce says:

    The apology is being made not because it’s the right thing to do re attacking JT’s parents, I’m sure those involved at Sun couldnt’ give two shits about that. It’s the “right thing to do” because Sun knows it as truly scraped the bottom of the barrell and needs to salvage some tiny dreg of legitimacy as a “news” organization.


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    Patrick Deberg says:

    Care to elaborate? Trudeau said he would raise the bar on the degeneration of political discourse and methinks this is a major step in that he has made the Sun and it’s conservative opinionators take a step back. He wins. They lose.


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      smelter rat says:

      Bigotry? You’ve got to be kidding. You want to find a bigot, I suspect all you need to do is look in a mirror.


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    Ron says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. The only scenario I see is an apology, then an attack campaign on Trudeau for
    not “manning up” and appearing on Sun. As if that validates someone.

    Here’s the thing, I don’t care as long as the leaders appear in corridor scrums. Unscripted corridor scrums.


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    debs says:

    you know, this all smacks of some PR stunt. Let Ezra the pitbull loose on the world, he poops everywhere and bites a few people. Then they the board, all come together and announce, oh my, did we allow the dog out again. sighhh sorry folks, he was acting like a dog, what were we thinking. Carry on. Score sheet, lots of viewership online and many clicks on other stuff around the web, perhaps a few wander over to the tv and watch teh next segment of Ezra the pitbull and his mighty adventures. Every news organization talking about it, and plenty of attention.
    I mean its win/win for sunnews ….and a potential loss for Trudeau if they can make him look petty when he still refuses to muck around with them.


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    Terry Quinn says:

    One thing to remember is that Mulroney is a fan of JT and is quietly supportive of his ambitions. Mulroney can’t stand Harper.


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      David_M says:

      how is it you know this?


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        Bill says:

        Everyone here in Quebec knows this.


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    T. Timoslatim says:

    A Tale of Two “Journalists”

    The parent company of Sun News issued an apology for the notorious Ezra Levant, inter alias, his “slut” commentary. No definitive word, but apparently Justin Trudeau et al. will continue to boycott Sun News, as they had, in reality, being doing from well before the Levant incident.

    The CBC posted on Facebook: “It’s deja vu for Jan Wong…the Canadian journalist joins Stephen Quinn On The Coast to explain what the protesters are up against as they take on the Chinese government.” For the uninitiated, apparently former Maoist – many don’t believe her conversion – Jan Wong, ratted out a Chinese student who asked what life was like in the West – the student was disappeared. Wong confessed she was only “naive”. Jan Wong reduced Warren Kinsella’s then wife to tears for writing that Kinsella was using the near-drowning of his infant child to sell books. Wong became persona no grata in Quebec by suggesting the mass murderers at l’Ecole Polytechnique and Concordia University were the victims of Quebecois supremacism – “the perpetrator was not pure laine, the argot for a ‘pure’ francophone. Elsewhere, to talk of racial ‘purity’ is repugnant. Not in Quebec” – and not simply vicious and deranged spree killers.

    The point is, Ezra Levant, sort of like some mildly demented uncle fueled by too much coffee and scotch, can simply be ignored. Moreover, Sun News is a private outfit, funded by ads for manly trucks and such, and by cable subscriptions. If any private citizen wishes to boycott Sun News, its parent company, any or all of its advertisers, they may. Moreover, Levant, while not endorsing it, went after highly public figures, who have generally courted the press for half a century. Presumably, they have some understanding of the theatrical aspect of manufacturing news.

    Jan Wong on the other hand is truly a vicious character who reeks of a Maoist agent of influence. Wong, like a predatory shark or jackal, baits people, goes after the weak and vulnerable, stirs up ethnic and cultural strife, and demonizes whole groups of people. She is a seriously nasty piece of work. Why is she being allowed on the CBC at all given her record? CBC radio is not an advertising-backed entity but relies on tax dollars. Are the tax dollars of Canadians being used to trumpet the Jan Wong line?

    We submit, if anyone deserves a media time out, a boycott, it is the CBC for repeatedly pushing Jan Wong and Jan Wong types (George Galloway comes to mind). We also submit, if the CBC had a better screening process, there would be little demand for other news and infotainment sources. There is a reason Ezra Levant’s rants about the “media party” retain some currency.


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      que sera sera says:

      Squirrel!


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    Armin Tamzarian says:

    The successful media applicant for an interview with Justin Trudeau:

    https://twitter.com/GlenStromquist/status/515868348135899136


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      Ron says:

      Response of world leaders to a Harper UN address.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8E_zMLCRNg


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        Lance says:

        I won’t disagree with that, Ron; what you are saying is apt and appropriate. That hardly invalidates my post about Trudeau though, now does it, since you don’t seem be voicing any disagreement. 😉


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          Lance says:

          Sorry Ron, that was supposed to be in response to your post on September 29, 2014 at 1:59 pm.


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          Ron says:

          What post about Trudeau ?


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    Bill From Willowdale says:

    It was an apology by the corporation and not by the person who made the original statement. It means nothing.


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    Bill says:

    Ezra didn’t apologize, SUN did.

    Big difference.

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