, 08.23.2021 12:07 PM

My latest: Justin Trump

Trudeau and Trump.

There’d always been the similarities between Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump.

You know: Sons of multimillionaires. Celebrated surnames. Chasing aspiring models and actresses. Private schools, privileged lives. Charmed existence.

Charter members of the Lucky Sperm Club, basically.

And now Trump and Trudeau share another distinction: They’ve both been caught spreading mistruths and misinformation on social media. And, when caught, they refused to admit it. They refused to apologize.

Asked about postings made by his deputy prime minister — postings which Twitter labelled as “manipulated media” — Trudeau smirked. He defended what is indisputably, inarguably fake media.

And, in so doing, has created a big problem for himself.

A recap: Chrystia Freeland posted tweets, in English and French, purporting to show Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole answering a question during his party’s leadership race last year and seemingly answering “yes” when asked if he favours privatized health care.

Except he didn’t say that.

In fact, the full video is more than two minutes long and in it, O’Toole stressed that universal health care is paramount. In fact, he said the opposite of what Freeland claimed.

The Liberals had surreptitiously edited the video down to make it seem O’Toole had said something he hadn’t.

For the Liberal war room, it was a disaster. Even Liberal-friendly news outlets like the CBC and the Toronto Star ran critical stories about what Freeland had done. Twitter, for its part, has refused to remove the warning — which its rules say is done in cases where information has been “significantly and deceptively altered or manipulated.”

Did Trudeau apologize for his team’s deception? Did he retract?

Not on your life. Trudeau retweeted Freeland’s disinformation — and then doubled down.

As Trump did so many times — about coronavirus, about his critics, about Joe Biden (who this writer worked for, full disclosure) — Trudeau refused to acknowledge that he and his team had propagated fake news online. He refused to take responsibility for spreading falsehoods.

“Erin O’Toole came out unequivocally for private health care … for-profit health care,” Trudeau said to reporters Monday. “I encourage all Canadians to take a look.”

Some will. Some will come away with the same conclusion as Twitter: It’s bald-faced lie.

Why didn’t Trudeau just apologize and move on? Good question.

Trudeau, like Trump, boasts millions of followers on Twitter. Like Trump, his words and deeds command attention. He runs an entire country, just like Trump did. Maybe he thinks he can get away with it — like Trump apparently thought.

Twitter didn’t, and doesn’t, care about all that. They ultimately kicked Trump off their platform.

In May 2020, Twitter restricted a Trump post for glorifying violence. In the same month, other Trump tweets were cited for violating Twitter’s rules. That June, they removed a Trump tweet for violating copyright.

And then, again in June 2020, Team Trump were cited for “manipulated media” — just like Team Trudeau have been. The label was slapped on a fake CNN broadcast about race-baiting. It could have been argued that the Trump tweet was satirical.

But that can’t be done in the case of the fabricated O’Toole tape. In that case, the manipulation was intentional, methodical and in both official languages. It wasn’t a lame attempt at satire. It was deliberate disinformation. It was fake news.

By refusing to apologize, Justin Trudeau has kicked the story into another day, and possible more.

By refusing to come clean, Justin Trudeau has degenerated into something we thought we’d never see:

Justin Trump.

— Warren Kinsella taught media law and ethics at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law

34 Comments

  1. Douglas W says:

    Smackdown from Twitter.

    JT is looking quite desperate.

    • Pedant says:

      You’d be shocked at all the TruAnon devotees on Twitter and elsewhere who think Trudeau is unbeatable and O’Toole is dead on arrival, polls be damned. They don’t realize that by setting such outlandishly low expectations for their main opponent they are simply digging their own grave. Almost impossible for O’Toole to underperform at this point. Shades of Trump supporters convinced that Joe Biden would fall asleep on the debate stage.

  2. A. Voter says:

    If the Conservatives are properly prepared for this election they will have a list of quotations from Liberals predicting the end of our health care system. There must be at least thirty years of such predictions, going back to the 1988 election on free trade.

  3. Robert White says:

    Prime Minister Trudeau & Deputy PM Freeland have amply demonstrated that they are willing to forego personal integrity in favour of votes. They are telegraphing to the Canadian public that they are sociopathic personalities without conscience.

    Trump is a sociopath too.

    All politicians should be assessed with Structured Personality Interviews-SPIs before they are permitted to run for public office at any level.

    If we could weed out the text book Psychopaths/Sociopaths before hand we could save millions upon millions in election fees. This election is well over $800 million wasted on Trudeau’s sociopathy & psychopathy.

    If the Liberals had just pressed on with the investigation into General Vance none of this would have manifested to force this election and hopeful loss for the Liberal Party Canada.

    RW

  4. Westguy says:

    I’m glad someone pointed out the Trump comparisons, as there are a few. But there is an important one that deals with supporters. Trump said he could do whatever he wanted and people would still support him, and he was right.
    Same goes for Trudeau. He can commit ethics violations, grope a reporter, wear blackface three times that we know of, and interfere with his justice minister and Trudeau supporters will call that a “nothingburger” with a straight face. We seem to get a lot of satisfaction up here looking down at the gullibility of Trump supporters in the US. And yet, we have our own version up here.

  5. Steve T says:

    Trudeau refuses to apologize for the same reason as Trump. He and the Liberal Party have (and Trump had) a legion of cult-like followers who could watch them commit murder and still support them. Any criticism of the Dear Leader is either ignored, or written off as fake news.

    Both Trump and Trudeau believe their cult members will be their path to victory. I hope Trudeau is proven wrong, as Trump was recently.

  6. RKJ says:

    This is an opportunity for Erin O’Toole to be the Statesman. He can speak directly to Canadians and ask them if this is the type of behaviour they will reward in an election, if this is the type of Canada we want to live in….

    Referring this issue to the ethics Commissioner is naive – Canadians should be their own ethics Commissioner is these types of matters, especially during an election. O’Toole can present this choice.

  7. Leo Fleming says:

    Like Trump, Trudeau also has a dedicated and unmoveable base that doesn’t care about any of this. 30% of the country is in a cult and loving it. We can provide a laundry list of Trudeau’s misdeeds, gaffes, corruption, stupidity, etc. It doesn’t matter to a large segment of the population in the TO – Montreal corridor. Conservatives are “scary” and we need to be protected from them. I despair of this country.

  8. Sean says:

    Nanos has O’Toole up 7 pts and Justin down 3 pts as preferred leader in the overnight tracking. IMO Nanos is the best at this stuff. The trend is developing. Preferred leader trends are usually the precursor to major movement in the party horse race numbers. The debate will only be about O’Toole sealing the deal. The last week of the campaign will be about whether or not the Tories can get a majority.

      • Phil in London says:

        Agreed 29 days left anything can happen.

        People think housing will rise 30% a year with no chance of a drop and are buying bigger then they can afford.

        The conservative support doesn’t have to continue up and the liberal support need not drop. It’s way to early to call.

        Now if the comment we’re labelled “hopeful” I’m onside.
        But I also hope for the PPC, Green and Bloc to share zero seats so we can remove some noise and allow three distinct offerings. I long for liberal leaders who aren’t narcissistic and incompetent. A chicken in every pot and world peace. Hell why not an end to COVID-19?

      • Douglas W says:

        The 1972 vote: 109 to 107, in favour of the Libs.

        2021: once again, I see the Libs by 2.

        Goin’ to be a long night.

    • PJH says:

      EOT has performed better than expected, but I suspect there will be an extreme right wing zealot in the Conservative Party that will throw a spanner in the works of the campaign. It has been ever thus. If the country comes away with another minority gov’t, I will consider that a moral victory for the Canadian electorate.

  9. Glen says:

    Perhaps the thin veneer of Trudeau is finally wearing thin enough that people outside the tru-anon demographic are seeing him as the narcissistic pathological liar that he really is.

    I personally know of a few gen-x women who voted for him in 2015 “because he’s so HOT” (their words) who now are repulsed by just hearing his voice, let alone seeing him.

    There’s still lots of time however, and it’ll be interesting to see:

    (a) the LPC’s increasing level of desperation should the current trend continue
    (b) whether or not tactics resulting from said desperation will work (or not)

    Freeland’s eff-up today is interesting too, I’d have thought she’d sit back & let Trudeau self-implode & accelerate her goal of replacing him.

    Or perhaps there is a method to her madness..

    • Joe Calgary says:

      I know what you mean… My 82 year old mother voted for him for exactly the same reason. “Oh, but he’s so cute”. Great, that’s what you want in a PM, cuteness. Never mind a brain, some education not relating to teaching teenage girls and boys how to paint themselves black. Its frikken embarassing when she says that. Although truth be told, I’d have voted for Rona Ambrose partly because she’s not the most difficult woman to look at. You ever notice how right-wing parties always have better looking women in seats of power?

  10. Peter Williams says:

    Perhaps Justin thought that Facebook declaring the CBC to be the election “fact checker” meant that he could lie with impunity.

    If he’s re-elected, bill C10 will let him and team Trudeau lie with impunity. Mr Singh will get quite a shock when Justin uses C10 to stifle NDP criticism (what little there is) of Trudeau’s government.

  11. Full Retired Rambo says:

    JT apologizes for things he didn’t do and blames for things he did.

  12. Gilbert says:

    There are similarities between Mr. Trump and Mr. Trudeau. They’re both arrogant. They love to blame others for their problems (Mr. Harper, Mr. Obama) and they rarely apologize when they do something wrong.

  13. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    It took this disgraceful incident to show this Prime Minister finally in a true light: that of a fucking, clueless moron and that’s on his best day.

    There’s dumb and dumber and then there’s Trudeau. To describe him as dumb as a post is to grossly overestimate his intelligence and ability to properly do his job.

    Like I said, watch for 40% of previously Liberal supporters to sit this one out and with reason.

    • Phil in London says:

      I do agree there will be a bit of a liberal stay home affect on the outcome, likely the Conservative vote will be higher than polled (it usually is) but the best outcome for me is for a decisive Conservative minority (not a majority) where O’Toole has to craft a coalition that will help him become a majority in waiting. I say this thinking end game, two elections down the road. Had Harper governed with a majority as he did with a minority we may not be having this get rid of the spawn of Castro debate.

      A la Harper, I think his coalition could be to poach a liberal MP Elect who is not a moron. The might be a tall order but the Conservative key to long term victories is to pain themselves as the true slightly right of center choice. If they can gather some disaffected Liberals and Bloquistes he can afford to tell the hillbilly and zealous far right to go join Bernier.

  14. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Nanos: Liberals +2

    Ekos: Liberals +1

    Mainstreet: Tie

  15. Joe Calgary says:

    I don’t think it matters if O’Toole wins a minority as the NDP and the Liberals will form a coalition to block the Tories unless they don’t have enough numbers to do so without the Bloc. The Tories will need to have at least a few more seats than the NDP and Lib’s combined, and that might be a tough row to hoe. Tories need a majority.

    • J.Ph. Brunet says:

      At least a minority Tory regime can invite the Mounties to mount the Mother of All Fishing Expeditions into mule-faced boy’s brobdingnagian jobbery.

    • Phil in London says:

      I disagree, I do believe a similarity exists, I also believe an NDP vote is usually an anti conservative vote. However Jagmeet Singh owes his country an honest hearing if a conservative plurality leads to a minority house. Especially if his seat count goes up at the expense of the liars’ party

      • Phil,

        I’d put it this way: it will depend on how the seats shake out in a minority parliament. That will determine if Singh reflexively backs the then Liberal opposition or cuts a deal with the incoming Conservatives.

        My impression is that Jagmeet is pretty much big picture and long-game oriented. So, I’d bet my money on the latter scenario. That would mean at least a year to a year and a half before a pretext came into play in order to withdraw NDP support.

  16. J.Ph. Brunet says:

    Of course Justin F. Trudeau is a complete fraud, an unaccomplished vacuous dummy who has glided through life on virtually every superficiality imaginable–looks, famous name, inherited wealth, family connections.
    But please, let’s have more on his enablers, the Great Voting Public, the millions of chumps and monkeys and dimwits and mugs, those Charenton root cellar refugees, our cretinous “fellow citizens,” who, election after election, vote in precisely this kind of squalid miscreant, and never seem to learn a fucking thing.
    George Carlin once proposed the ultimate political campaign slogan: “The Public Sucks.” Put that on a sign held upside-down by one of those dazed passers-by that politicians press-gang as a backdrop for their sterile, inane “announcements.”

    • Joe Calgary says:

      Well, I certainly agree that JT is no chip off Daddy’s shoulders. Vacuous comes to mind. I mean really, a Drama Teacher??? Can’t we do a little better than that. I don’t want to disparrage Drama Teachers, but having a Drama Teacher as a PM is sort of synonomous with having a Lumberjack in charge of Nasa.

    • Robert White says:

      I ran on ‘the voter is stupid’ once when I ran for Mayor of Ottawa. The voter ran on the opposite tack, and I lost the vote for mayor of our nation’s capital.

      It’s a crumby job anyways.

      And what does the voter know either?

      RW

    • PJH says:

      You forgot the rest o’ the tagline……F–k Hope!…..smart man that George…..

  17. Joe Calgary says:

    I wonder what a result that gives Trudeau exactly what he already has in seat count would do to his ego. I wonder if it could stand the body blow of “Canadians don’t love you that much little Pierre”. Regardless, I hope he does get a minority again as it will be fantastically hard for him to call another election after he pulled this stunt. He’ll have to await a confidence vote, and if it’s too soon into the mandate he’s going to get roasted in the polls for gerrymandering another election in his quest for “Supreme Being”. Canadians aren’t too happy about this election, imagine what they’ll be thinking if they have to go back to the polls in January.

  18. Shane says:

    Train wreck of a press conference in Hamilton this morning? Gets interesting at 6:15, when a heckler calls Trudeau out on housing.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=41TnHu1ZjO8

  19. Léger: Liberals +2

    Angus Reid: Liberals +2

    Mainstreet: Conservatives +2

    Ipsos: Liberals +1

    Nanos: Tie

    EKOS: Conservatives +1

  20. Shere Khan says:

    Early in his Prime Ministry I made the exact same comparison on social media – Trudeau and Trump are cut from the same cloth. For which I was re-soundly roasted, lol.

    Thank you for the vindication.

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