09.25.2014 01:50 PM

In Friday’s Sun: on Trudeau, Levant and a reporter

[Posted here early, frankly, because the band is getting together.]

Forget about Justin Trudeau and Ezra Levant. Difficult, we know, but try.

Reflect, instead, on David Akin.

David Akin is a journalist, a real one. Unlike Ezra (or Yours Truly), David is not a purveyor of infotainment. He is a real reporter, one who chases facts, and I would not be surprised if he has actual ink running through his veins.

David has worked as a journalist at the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, Canwest and CTV News. At CTV, he won a Gemini Award for his work. At the Globe, he was a National Newspaper Award finalist.

David presently works at the Sun News Network, where he covers elections on his Battleground show. I can tell you, without qualification, that he is one of the most respected journalists on Parliament Hill.

And Justin Trudeau won’t talk to him.

Not because Ezra Levant called Trudeau’s parents names on his TV show last week. After Ezra did that, Trudeau announced that he would not be talking to anyone associated with the Sun News Network.

No, Justin Trudeau hadn’t been talking to David Akin for long, long before that. Simply because he was associated with Sun.

I know this because, last Christmas, Sun execs asked me to interview Trudeau on-air. I’d been a Special Assistant to Jean Chretien, I’d run as a Liberal, and I wasn’t Ezra Levant. So I called up Trudeau’s most senior advisor, who I’ve known for years.

The senior advisor laughed. Not a chance, he said. Why, I asked. “Because,” he said, “Ezra Levant put my name on a list of the most dangerous people in Canada.”

I tried to point out that being called “dangerous” by Ezra Levant is the highest compliment a Liberal could receive. I argued that I’d run all the questions by them in advance. To no avail.

No interview, I was told. No access to a (possible) future Prime Minister by the (actual) largest newspaper chain in Canada.

I told David Akin about all this. He shrugged. “Don’t feel bad,” he said. “Trudeau won’t ever talk to me, either.”

Real journalists are never afraid to correct the record. So, let’s do so: Justin Trudeau refusing to talk to anyone associated with Sun News – a diktat that will soon be embraced by every Liberal seeking to curry favour with him, just watch – isn’t news. He’s been refusing to do so for a long time.

Which brings us to this week, when Justin Trudeau formalized his Sun ban.

“We have raised this issue with the appropriate people at Quebecor Inc., the owners and operators of Sun News Network, and have asked that they consider an appropriate response. Until the company resolves the matter, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, will continue to not engage with Sun Media,’’ said a Liberal Party spokesperson.

Lots of journalists thereafter jumped into the fray. Their commentary can be summarized thusly: one, Ezra Levant is a “clown” (as one Globe writer put it). Two, even if Ezra is a clown, Justin Trudeau is wrong to stop talking to real journalists like David Akin.

Me? Well, I do infotainment, like Ezra does. But I think that Trudeau had no reason, none, to ignore Sun folks before now. It made him look petulant and thin-skinned.

Now, however, he has all the excuse he needs to ignore us. (Oh, and if someone called my Mom that name? I’d beat them until they had to eat dinner through a straw.)

This one looks bad on everyone: Trudeau, for never speaking to a great reporter like David Akin; and Levant, for making it harder for a guy like David Akin to do his job.

Because – and this isn’t infotainment, folks, it’s fact – if reporters like David Akin can’t do their job, democracy itself suffers.

68 Comments

  1. debs says:

    David Akin needs to work at somewhere other then TMZ for politicians

    • Warren says:

      That’s funny. They’re all TMZ for politicians.

      • Reality.Bites says:

        Sorry, but no. Sun News is a garbage can, and a garbage can with no viewers at that.

        No one – not you, not David Akin, and not Justin Trudeau can do anything to enhance their reputation by appearing there.

        If Trudeau appears there he earns nothing but renewed contempt from Sun viewers and reduced respect from his supporters and the undecided.

        No one who cares about his own reputation would appear there. No one.

  2. Patricia Morfee says:

    If David Akin wants to be regarded as a Journalist just doing his job, he should denounce Ezra. He is an appalling excuse for a human being and should not be allowed to behave the way he does. I would not call him an entertainment reporter nor would I compare you to him.Sometimes you have to take a stand against someone you do not think should be doing what they are doing. this is coming from someone who had to defend their Mother against an abusive Step Father. Ezra is an abusive person.

    • Warren says:

      David has no input on the editorial side; Levant has no input into what David does. That distinction is well-known – to all but Justin, apparently.

      • Bobby says:

        And Patricia

      • JamesF says:

        So? I don’t see how that would or should stop him from making a denouncement.

        Which is something he ought to be doing just as a decent human being unless he prefers to condone via his silance one of his collegues referring to a man’s dead father as a slut and his mother who suffered from mental illness as the same.

        If David Akin wants the access that is granted to respectable news organizations then he ought to actually go work for a respectable news organization.

    • Monique says:

      Anyone wanting to be considered a serious journalist wouldn’t write for the Sun. It doesn’t produce news, it produces propaganda.

  3. que sera sera says:

    “………………if reporters like David Akin can’t do their job, democracy itself suffers.”

    When the airwaves are contaminated by pseudo-news networks (like SUN) with pseudo-reporters (like Levant) delivering pseudo-news (partisan propaganda), democracy itself suffers.

    Why would anyone expect the slanderous SUN infotainment network to be treated with the gravitas granted a real news network with real reporters? Credibility isn’t a shirt you wear only for the “special occasions” when you want to actually do “grown up” news rather than slanderous, puerile, hate filled rants disguised as “news”. When in Roma, do as the Romas. You lie down with dogs, you get up covered in fleas.

    I suspect if Quebecor Media hadn’t leveraged a billion of taxpayers’ money from Harper’s limp-dick Conservatives, SUN-TV wouldn’t be obligated to produce propaganda pieces so filthy that real journalists like Akin are buried & unrecognizable in the excrement generated daily by the organization.

    “All it takes for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    I applaud Trudeau for stepping away from the juvenile end of the Canadian “content” talent pool on the TV remote. I also applaud Trudeau for declining the “opportunity” to be asked hand picked questions from a hand picked journalist promising kid-glove treatment, as if Trudeau is anything like the maladroit PM who cannot even handle routine media scrums.

    Much like Wente and her famous plagiarism for her columns in the Globe and Mail: if management is too stunned to have any standards for their ridiculously inept employees, then it is up to others to vote with their feet & discipline the organization by absenting themselves. How naive to expect (or demand) otherwise.

    • smelter rat says:

      Bingo.

    • Steve T says:

      Not defending Sun News per se, but let’s remember that “objectivity’ is in the eye of the beholder. CBC, in particular CBC Radio, is pretty far off the left-hand side of the political spectrum. Its “news journal” programs are often thinly-veiled political editorials.

      • que sera sera says:

        Oh please. It’s a little more egregious than a “thinly veiled editorial” when a media organization stands behind staff publicly labeling a politician’s parent “a slut”.

        Quit trying to link a professional media organization like the CBC with the puerile and trivial antics of Quebecor’s SUN-TV. And don’t even pretend that the publicly funded CBC isn’t held accountable for what it broadcasts, particularly by the PM and his shy cohorts who favour journalistic sycophants like their disgraced, amply rewarded, former friend, Mike Duffy.

        Besides, if the professionals at CBC labelled either one of Harper’s antecedents “a slut”, I’m sure Harper & his chorus of trained seals disguised as our government would not only rollback another billion or two of CBC funding in “objective” retribution, but reallocate the rescued billion or two of taxpayer’s funds, once again, to the privately owned Quebecor Media. Nothing like “protecting” Canadians from CBC’s alleged “partisan slant”, eh, while simultaneously ensuring the PM’s propaganda organ is well paid by Canadians to disseminate his message while publicly trashing his political enemies.

        Good grief.

        • Lance says:

          CBC is a legitimate news organization, any Tory and supporters screeching notwithstanding. SNN is a legitimate news organization, any Liberal/NDP and supporters screeching notwithstanding. When a news agency has journalists as part of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, they ARE a legitimate news organization. End of story.

          What Levant did was a dick move, no question. However, to negate the contributions of a group of other journalists in that press pool because one mealy-mouthed arsehole was mean to your mommy and daddy is childish. Further, Trudeau using that as an excuse to boycott them when everyone here knows damn well that he was fleeing from them WELL BEFOREHAND anyway, is not only childish, it is disingenuous and dishonest. It is a cover, it is an excuse, and it doesn’t wash.

      • smelter rat says:

        Ease off on the blue Kool Aid.

  4. m5slib says:

    That’s the distinction that a lot of journalists are making – that what David and Ezra do are distinct, but I have a difficult time with that. I’m pretty sure you’re trained as a lawyer, Warren, so if you were working for a firm, and one of your colleagues were behaving unethically, would you say to your clients, our firm is ok, just deal with me and not that other lawyer. Further, would you respect your firm if they tolerated such unethical behaviour, especially considering the effect it would have on your company, your reputation, and your livelihood. I know Trudeau isn’t a direct client of Quebecor, but he’s a stakeholder in their overall dynamic.

    I agree that David is of a completely different make than Ezra, but he still chooses to be employed by Sun News (as do you). As you said, there’s a lot of “infotainment” which gets blurred with his journalism. That has consequences. If his employer is concerned with the integrity of his journalism, they’ll act accordingly. If they’re not, and he’s concerned about being blacklisted (doesn’t seem so to me based on my highly academic twitter research), then he’d have to make an employment consideration. Another things some journalists have alluded to is that there are so few good jobs in journalism, so that shouldn’t be jeopardized. What I say to that is that when politicians are putting financial considerations above their integrity, journalists are within their right and expected to call them on it.

  5. Jeff Paul says:

    Warren, I think that you’ve managed to miss the point on this one.

    The issue isn’t about Levant or Aiken or Trudeau. It’s about corporate Sun Media. A Sun Media employee has attacked Trudeau in the most vile of ways. Everyone agrees that is the case. The publishers/owners/managers of Sun Media have done nothing to distance themselves the attack. In my book this makes them complicit in it.

    Compare this case to the way that ESPN treated Bill Simmons this week. Simmons called the NFL Commissioner a liar in a profanity laced podcast. ESPN suspended Simmons for 3 weeks for his over-the-top and unprofessional behaviour. Faced with similar circumstances here, Sun Media has done nothing.

    Democracy requires an unbiased and unfettered media in order to flourish. Politicians must engage with the media, particularly those who have a point of view or editorial stance that is different than their own. Having a strong editorial view is not an indication of bias. Faced with the same facts two relevant media organizations with high levels of integrity can make fundamentally different editorial decisions, and promote a certain point of view. These editorial decisions are often rooted in the fact that Canadians have different sets of values and priorities. There is nothing wrong with that and it does not make anyone biased.

    But the actions of Sun Media are not those of an unbiased and unfettered media that has a relevant editorial point of view. Levant’s complete disregard for the facts and his language and attack on the Trudeau family combined with silence from Sun Media has nothing to do with quality journalism. Their actions here demonstrate that at best they are an entertainment medium and at worst they are fundamentally biased. Our democracy is indeed at a loss when leaders refuse to engage with serious media that disagree with their views. But our democracy is at no loss because Trudeau refuses to engage with Sun Media.

    • Warren says:

      I haven’t missed any point. I’ve expressed an opinion. Don’t be so arrogant as to suggest yours alone is right.

      That makes you resemble the very ones you denounce, doesn’t it?

    • Bobby says:

      Show me ONE “unbiased and unfettered” example of a news media outlet, anywhere.

      • Gary G Graham says:

        It is sad that Mr Kinsella & all journalists, (not just Sun Media types) do not have the Gonads to stand up & tell Sun News what Levant said & done was away over the top. Levant’s rant was personal & bordered on Hate Literature. His hate filled & deranged remarks regarding Justin Trudeaus Mother & Father was penned by a complete nutbar, yet Kinsella & the journalists hit on Justin for not interfacing with Sun Media reporters, frankly without the Levant rant, who could blame Trudeau for not interfacing with the Sun Media, “HELLO” do any of you read Sun Media, daily its a constant barrage of critic of Trudeau.They and the Tories are so afraid of Trudeau they are hyperventilating.
        Ezra Levant is a twisted/cowadly piece of work hiding behind the pen, that Sun Media & Kinselaa support this, they hide behind the same pen

        • Warren says:

          I said that if anyone said that about my mother, I’d beat the shit out of them. What additional condemnation do you want?

          • JamesF says:

            Some actual condemnation of the organization that allows, promotes, attempts to profit off of, and pays for the behaviour that you’re condemning would be a good start.

  6. patrick says:

    To not expect to be stained by the reputation of the place you work for and the actions of the people you work with is an epic denial of reality. If you have aligned yourself with propagandists, hacks and shills, then you have no one to blame but yourself. We are judged by the people we associate with.
    Further, Trudeau not speaking to the Sun is hardly a threat to democracy (though I’d argue that the Sun, as it presently functions, is a threat to our political well being.) Are other reporters not asking Trudeau questions. Honestly, like a Ford not showing up for a debate, the information is clearer, thoughtful and actually productive.

  7. Scotian says:

    Sorry Mr. Kinsella, but I disagree. I would feel you had a better point if we suffered from a dearth of good journalists to ask Trudeau tough questions aside from Mr. Akin, but that is not the reality. We have two national news networks of 24 hrs news in CBC and CTV, we have Global as a third national TV network with a national news division, all with high quality journalists on the same level of competence as David Akin (I am sticking to TV news media to keep the comparisons like to like in nature). Trudeau has been more than willing to face their questions, so it is not about Mr Akin’s credentials but who his work product is for and what their agenda/aim truly is. Mr Akin has the misfortune to be an excellent journalist working for an employer who has chosen to run a “news” network that has clearly a political agenda in favour of one party against all others, UNLIKE all the others previously named.

    This network has employed those like Ezra Levant to provide infotainment (I would argue actually propaganda in his case and some others) that has a track record for offensiveness sufficient enough to trigger CRTC reaction and sanction. Yet instead of restraining him after such incidents or choosing to let him go they keep him on and allow him to continue, and we get things like that extremely disturbed, disgusting, and sounding way too much like a sex offender mentality piece the other day being passed off as some sort of serious political critique of a federal party leader. There has been no negative reaction against this piece from those that run his network from the editorial staff up to the owners despite what is clearly and as you yourself noted material way over the line. That in itself speaks volumes as to the true nature of what this network is for, and journalistic integrity is clearly not any part of it.

    I think it important that we distinguish between genuine news media and those that would don that cloak but in truth be designed and used to advance a specific partisan agenda for the benefit of a specific political party (and I mean this across the political spectrum, but to date Sunnews is the only example in this country on the national level I am aware of, conservative whining about the vast Liberal media conspiracy notwithstanding). I like David Akin, I read his blog, occasionally comment there too, but it is his misfortune to be lending his credibility to aid in that cloak and therefore pays this price.

    It is perfectly clear (to borrow a phrase so beloved by our current government) what the mission of the Sunnews network truly is, and it is entirely reasonable to choose to isolate and shut them out because they are by their agenda corrupting serious journalism, serious political discourse, serious political examination rooted in fact/reality/truth as opposed to filtered first by an ideological/partisan agenda first. Incidentally, I am not saying Akin is such a partisan, it is his editors and bosses that he works for and who have the real shaping power of the coverage I am referring to, which is why I believe Trudeau and the Libs are in the right to avoid Sunnews network in toto unlike with any other news service, even granting the reality of the rest of the Sun media empire.

    When you open one aspect of yourself into a propaganda machine you taint all your other elements, even the serious credible journalists, it is like trying to be a little bit pregnant. That is why I disagree with you Mr. Kinsella, and why I disagree with the PPG members who have taken Trudeau to task for this decision. I think it was the right call from the outset, and this bit with Levant only proved why it was, and showed that there was justification for that decision. It is one thing to have a flavour of favouring one political side or another but first believing truth and fact is the most important consideration (and even that much I would have serious problems with and do not want to be seeing), it is quite another to act as Sunnews has been intended to and has in fact acted since its creation.

    One can and should not avoid engaging the former, the latter though should be shunned by all because of the inherently corrupting effect it has on the political process itself. We do not need a Canadian Pravda circa the 1970s here, and that is what Sunnews truly is closest to instead of a real news service. I feel for Mr Akin and the other serious journalists working for Sunnews, but reality is what it is. Levant only showed that the Libs and Trudeau made the right call all along, because even if he got a fair interview that time his presence would have increased the image of credibility and respectability of the network which would make it that much more dangerous a propaganda tool down the road against him and the other opponents of the CPC.

    It is one thing to not engage with serious critics and responsible journalists working for respectable journalistic institutions, it is quite another to refuse to engage those that clearly are acting as a media/propaganda arm of your political opponent(s). Sunnews is the first time we have seen that in modern Canada, it would be best for all if it is the last time too, and shunning it and not aiding its growth or giving it dangerous credibility makes good sense, and is IMHO good political hygene. I am all in favour of free press, free speech, and so forth, but I also insist it must be honest, and no rights should be utterly absolute, not even those ones (now, the ability to override them needs to be exceptionally high, they are important central rights in a open society, but I inherently distrust absolutes where/when ever dealing with human beings and our conduct).

    I think Sunnews network needs to die, the rest of the Sun news chain I don’t feel that way about, but the power of visual media in twisting reality is too powerful to allow that kind of propaganda tool to thrive in that kind of media whomever it serves. I think Trudeau and the Liberals are doing Canada a public service when they refuse to engage with it for these reason. I know this will not be agreed by many here, but it is how I see it and I stand by it.

    • Bobby says:

      Anyone read that?
      Me either. Lost me at the first paragraph.
      Didn’t know this was an essay question dude.

      • debs says:

        Bobby, your back, how was the holidays:)

      • Kaspar Juul says:

        http://www.naturalreaders.com

        This might help with your reading difficulties

      • Scotian says:

        Here we go again, I love it when I get critiqued not for content but for length, it shows just how shallow the person responding is, as well as their inability to handle complex reading. I have always been someone who writes in essay style, since before the Internet had a GUI interface. I make no apologies for being so either. This fixation by some in thinking that everything can be summed up in a few sentences, or in Twitter character amounts is one of the reasons why our political conversation has so deteriorated. All you have done Bobby is demonstrate your own shallowness, your own inability, and your own ability to not refute the actual content. Thank you for being so proud of being afraid to face substance. Note as well I don’t write in walls of text, they are broken up in these things called paragraphs, that is to make it easier to read, especially for those like yourself who clearly admit to having reading comprehension trouble.

        You think I’m being snarky/sarcastic here, then good, you got it. No one forces you to read what you don’t want to, but when you go out of your way to denigrate something for form and not content in a place where content is what matters you invite such a response. You chose to to start the snark, I just chose to reply to it.

        BTW, there are people who appreciate comments like mine, as you said essay style, because they are tired of shallow superficial comments like yours which contribute nothing to the actual topic at hand. So how about trying to actually be on topic and/or deal with what someone is saying rather than whining about how it is too much/hard for you because of length. That is incredibly juvenile, and I have always assumed Kinsella’s readers to be of a better level/maturity of ability/capability than that, even those whom I am in disagreement with. So run along now, return to the fluff you clearly are more comfortable with, until you demonstrate an ability to respond to what is said instead of how detailed it is said I see no further point in responding to you.

        P.S.

        It is me neither, not me either. Next time you want to act like a literary critic try at least to show you are able to use basic English when you do so.

    • que sera sera says:

      Excellent post, Scotian, as usual. In this era of trivial, unremarkable “sound bites” that amply reward twits like Levant, I am very grateful for your detailed analysis.

      Lucky for me, my dear parents (run-of-the-mill sluts rather than famous – or infamous – sluts) cultivated a love of reading in me.

      I suspect Tanya Tagak’s primal Polaris performance is exactly why patriarchal misogynist religions were invented………..along with slut shaming.

  8. terraderma says:

    Democracy suffers everytime Sun Media is nearby.

    • Lance says:

      LOL How exactly?

      • Bobby says:

        Yeah – please do explain how exactly is what Levant said a threat to democracy.
        Dude, either you secret do believe Levant is more powerful that you want us to believe,
        or you’re blowing smoke.
        Let’s see some proof dude.

        • Scotian says:

          I wasn’t going to do this (respond to Bobby again that is), but you made such an irresistible opportunity I had to.

          terraderma said:

          “Democracy suffers everytime Sun Media is nearby.”

          Then Lance asks:

          “LOL How exactly?”

          Your/Bobby’s response is:

          “Yeah – please do explain how exactly is what Levant said a threat to democracy.
          Dude, either you secret do believe Levant is more powerful that you want us to believe,
          or you’re blowing smoke.
          Let’s see some proof dude. ”

          You offered up a textbook example of the conservative concept of logic/reasoning in this example, so much so I had to use it to illustrate such genius at work.

          The first writer claims democracy being threatened by a media conglomerate empire, Sun Media, which employs Ezra Levant, but is far Far FAR more than just one man. Then another conservative poster laughs and asks how (which is at least a coherent question and not unreasonable since asking someone to make their argument for why they advance a position is entirely fair and on point, unlike your follow-up). Then your comment immediately after completely rewrites the original claim despite it being right in front of you. You claim the person/terraderma is saying Levant is the threat to democracy, when that person/terraderma said Sun Media. Then, not content with that you continued with creating a totally false choice/belief supposedly being offered by terraderma, that being either they think Levant is more powerful than that person wants people to believe, or they are “blowing smoke”, aka exaggerating/lying.

          Now, do you see where you went completely into your own fantasy land from the outset here? This sort of logic/reasoning is alas far too common from the modern right-wing these days (although extremists of all flavours tend to fall into this pattern to some extent, it is sadly not just limited to one sub-group) and then is used to put words in the mouths of the critics of the right, and then used to triumphantly proclaim the power/wisdom/”rightness” of the right-winger/belief in question.

          This btw, is also one of the reasons I prefer to write in long form, it makes it far harder to pull this kind of crap against without it being obvious, context is far more defined when provided in detail, after all. So thank you for providing further evidence as to why no one should be taking your comments with any seriousness. At least we have some defenders of Harper/CPC/the right here with basic and even advanced logic/reasoning skills. You alas, are clearly not one of them. Come back once you have gotten out of the elementary school level of political commenting/blogging, until then you show nothing but your bare rear end for all to see and mock.

          • debs says:

            some folks are beyond help:)
            keep writing though, as many take the time to read from beginning to end and enjoy every word.

      • doconnor says:

        Sun Media is a threat to democracy because it exists to promote policies that benefit the 1%, rather then to give voters the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves.

        It is simlar to the Super PACs in the US in that it allows the rich to spend unlimited amounts of money to premote thier ideas, but it is more incidious because it operaties under the cover of an legitimate news organization thanks to some legitimated reports they employ

  9. Bill MacLeod says:

    Warren, this is the second time in two days you have written about this, and the second time you’ve mentioned seeking an interview with Trudeau by offering to run the questions by his team in advance. I was taken aback by that. Is this normal practice with political interviews? How often does that occur? (I’m curious, as I work as a journalist-opinion writer outside of politics.)

    I’m also curious why so many of your loyal readers apparently missed, or chose to ignore, your repeated comment that Trudeau has been shunning Sun TV and newspapers for quite some time.

    I have to agree with you: Regardless of whomever else the brouhaha reflects poorly upon, it reflects poorly on Trudeau and his party.

    Surely someone in the party is familiar with the adage: “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” I have to say from personal experience that my interviewees get a far better shake from me by participating than by hiding from me, and I see that same trait in you.

    Sadly, I don’t think your message is reaching its audience, despite its clarity.

    Regards,

    Bill

  10. Matt says:

    Justin needs to be very careful.

    The Parliamentary Press gallery, which Levant is not a member of while Akin and 8 others at the Sun chain are, is a pretty tight nit group. They don’t take to kindly to one of their members being unfairly treated by politicians.

    This could backfire on Trudeau big time.

    • Ty says:

      Not really “backfire”. It’s inside baseball, nobody whose vote the parties are targeting remembers this stuff come election time.

      Like most things in life, it’s about the general pattern, not the individual action.

    • ottlib says:

      Your right of course. We saw the National Press Gallery rake Stephen Harper over the coals for years as a result of his decision to have only scripted press conferences where he only takes questions from reporters he knows to be friendly while ignoring those that might ask rather tough questions of him.

      I mean they were relentless finally forcing Mr. Harper to change his mind.

      Oh wait…! Um? Sorry, I might be channeling another quantum reality here. My mistake.

  11. Ty says:

    I’m 100% with you with regard to Akin, that a full on boycott of Quebecor is overboard, and the dramatics are a bit much.

    The thing that gives Trudeau a toehold (note: not a foothold) to get after ALL of Sun Media, and also puts me on the fence, is that Sun uses anchors of non-opinion shows taking very obvious positions on issues. To have 80% of anchored stories intentionally taking sides gives the Liberals the argument that the whole thing an editorial operation, and the whole thing a target.

    People argue for subtle biases on CTV and CBC on certain issues, but my gut is Peter Mansbrige or Lloyd Robertson, or the other anchors, are in general too professional to take sides.

    • JH says:

      I agree Ty with both you and WK, but isn’t ironic that recently we’ve seen two stars of the Press Gallery firmament Fife and Ditchburn whining on TV that Harper won’t talk to them? Kay also tried to argue in the Post today that we depend on the media to hold the government to account. That’s a load of hooey. Last time I checked that’s why we elect our politicians of whatever stripe. Then we look to the oppostion to do that job – not a group of unelected scribblers, many of whom, like vampires, are only looking for their next drop of blood, because if it bleeds, it leads.

  12. Steve T says:

    I actually like a lot of Ezra’s editorials, and he frequently says things that other journalists are too afraid to say. However, his rant against Trudeau and “the kiss” was juvenile and ridiculous. When I read it last weekend, it seemed like he was at a loss for anything legitimate to say, so he desperately grabbed onto something inconsequential. I think he’s done himself a great disservice with that childish article.

  13. Jerry says:

    Sun is run by Harper hacks, why should Trudeau play Harper’s propaganda game, and Akin is a corporatist journalist, not a democratic one, he only spins one way, the same way, keeping the trough clean for the super rich, and keeping the proles in line . Sun is not journalism, it is a mouthpiece for fascism.

    • Matt says:

      Clearly you neither watch nor read Akin’s stuff regularly.

      He’s had the CPC in his crosshairs lots of times.

      He calls bullshit on politicians of every stripe at every level of government.

      • Bobby says:

        Jerry offers the kind of knee jerk stuff I expect from someone who knows NOTHING about Akin or has followed him around the dial.
        If he had he’d not toss out those lame comments.

  14. SherryBellamy says:

    Justin Trudeau spoke to David Akin in early April of this year in the HOC foyer. Subject was “The middle class”. It’s on Akin’s blog, April 2, 2014.

  15. Joe says:

    Personally I hope M Trudeau continues to boycott SNN. I love that “gopher in a rifle sight” look on his face when he asks “Any other questions?”. Of course his walking into a closet to avoid the SNN was a source of a few yuks as well. “Sir the door is over there” is almost Monty Pythonesque.

  16. MgS says:

    Quebecor keeps on playing to the ugliest instincts of Harper and his Reformatory goons.

    Whether you, Akin or anybody else working for Sun is an unbiased professional is no longer the issue. The issue has become the antics of Ezra Levant, Brian Lilley and whoever else is running around barking to the tune out of the PMO.

    Until Quebecor management steps in and starts insisting that these children act like adults (and no, I don’t believe Levant is capable of acting like an adult – he never has in my experience, and that goes back a long ways), nobody should be surprised that Justin Trudeau or anybody else that is the target of PMO malice refuses to have anything to do with Sun News or its affiliates.

  17. Tom B says:

    A quick clarification: The so-called ban is on English-language Quebecor properties. Trudeau is still talking to and taking questions from the French-language Quebecor papers.

  18. Art Cramer says:

    Look you LPC types, try and undstand what Warren wrote. He is one of your own. Your Leader is not infalliable. But you treat him like he is. Warren has explained that Trudeau wasn’t interested in access prior to Levant’s exceedingly horrible statement. From my standpoint, as a Jew, I am embrassed by Levant; to say the least, he’s a Putz. But the other point is just as valid. Trudeau knows who Adkin is; part of this is being able to go on these shows and defend yourself. Jack (blessed be his memory) knew this and did such as going on Roy Green on Chorus, regularly. Trudeau has badly misplayed this and shown he can’t handle tought situations where he isn’t given an easy outing. Stop being such Cheerleaders, and start paying attention.

  19. pc says:

    I’ll say it again: the only people who care about this stupid bullshit aren’t going to vote ABC anyway.

  20. Blue Grit says:

    In this case Mr. Akin’s credentials are irrelevant. Has he publically condemned Ezra’s rant? Has he published a retort? (Not likely. Not up to him.) The ownership and management are wholly responsible for the image of their organization. Just because Ezra has provided solid evidence of a vile contempt for Trudeau, one cannot conclude that this position is isolated or new. Sun Media’s failure to address the present issue, would substantiate this. While Mr. Akin may be a completely different animal, he has made the choice to share a pen with the likes of Levant. It would be very naïve to expect to distance himself from their shite.

  21. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Is it so unreasonable of me to expect my leader to get in there and give at least as good as he gets?

  22. Darrell says:

    I’m glad this all happened. I never watched Sun News and now I do, very entertaining and informative.

  23. Janice Braden says:

    Gerald Butts has posted tweets saying you asked him – not Trudeau – to appear on the show and he has your emails to prove it. Response?

    For my part, I think families are out of bounds as political targets in Canada.That is worth defending. Its difficult to attract the very best people to politics but if many (and I’d suggest especially women) see their family could become targets, they will choose other non-elected activities.

    I understand journalists need to defend their access and operate from that standard. However, another broader standard is in play. The line was crossed.

  24. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    I understand in the era of slut walks and antislut shaming PSA’s, the term slut may be approaching “first letter hyphen word” status. But when your resume starts with doing half of one of the world’s most famous bands, screw a famous, married US senator and get tossed around Studio 54, you’re at least promiscuous if words have any meaning.

  25. B. Wilson says:

    Ezra Levant evidently fancies himself as some kind of Vladimir Gusinsky – the Russian media baron and purveyor of the “hatchet journalist”. The Conservative milieu is on thin ice. The Wolf of Wall Street is a corollary narrative. Someone is eventually going to freak out and do an expose of the sexual life of Conservative movers-and-shakers going right to the very top and won’t they would be amazed?

    Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford threatened Canadian senators – in the Senate no less – that she will name politicians who frequent prostitutes: “I have got more information and more proof on politicians in this country than you can shake a stick at. I promise.” Patrick Brazeau? Tom Flanagan and the NAMBLA-line?

    Canadians know that Mrs. Trudeau is a sufferer of bi-polar disease (arguably exacerbated by the impossibility of living up to some abstract Platonic ideal); their natural response is to quietly forget the wilder manifestations of this illness – in contrast to propagandizing them. As a general rule, Canadians just don’t like vicious gaslighters who attack the mentally ill.

    What Team Trudeau seems to lack is P.E.T.’s ability to casually lob a few devastating bon mots to just shut everyone up, e.g. “Everyone knows Sun News is the Canadian equivalent of the News of the World,” thus sort of ominously predicting the latters future fate as a purveyor of innuendo and smut. Instead, JT has taken a Putinesque-stance which plays badly.

    Alas, the powers-that-be in this country don’t want actual journalists, let alone writers of any caliber do they? The Conservatives’ idea of journalism is Mike Duffy – the guy that suckered Stephan Dion with out-takes and was rewarded (over-rewarded?) for his service. Trudeau’s idea of a good press is something akin to China or Iran’s Press-Tv. All hail the Dear Leader! It’s all rather bleak.

    “For a country to have a great writer is like having another government. That’s why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones” – Solzhenitsyn.

    Greetings from Siberia

  26. Derek Pearce says:

    Hmmm, so JT would be justified in beating the shit out of Levant but should still talk to his colleauges? I don’t know. What if you needed some legal work done and really liked a particular lawyer, but knew his firm had Big Tobbaco as a major client? Would you still use that lawyer in spite of what a different branch of the firm does? Not a perfect analogy but similar enough…

  27. Rainclouds says:

    Pretty sure JT can beat the shit out of that tubby wanker Ezra.
    Optics not good though……Liberal leader stomps fat, loudmouth idiot who no one pays attention to………. WTF?

    if we could just get the MSM to ignore Harper until he actually holds a real press conference

  28. Brian Kinney says:

    Sorry but David Akin’s credentials notwithstanding he gave up any right to be respected when he sullied his reputation by going to work for Fox News North. Sun News has some legitimate newspapers but they are being judged by Sun News TV. When you sign up with Sun News you sign up to hold Ezra Levant’s hand. There are lots of credible media outlets in Canada across the political spectrum, they will do the reporting that Sun News through Ezra Levant have shown they are unwilling/incapable of doing.

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