Patterico's Pontifications


How the Woke Manage Scandals

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:38 pm

[guest post by JVW]

U.S. News and World Report has an interesting article on how the Trudeau campaign team and the candidate managed the revelations from a couple of weeks ago that the Prime Minister of Canada has had quite an affinity for appearing in blackface throughout early adulthood. The author, David Ljunggren (I believe the first “g” is silent, but the second “g” is pronounced twice, once hard and once soft, or perhaps vice-versa), takes us to the scene as P.M. Trudeau and his brain trust were preparing to fly from Halifax to Winnipeg when they learned that Time magazine was about to drop a bombshell:

While some aides prepared a contrite message for Trudeau to deliver to the media, the 47-year-old prime minister began calling as many Liberal legislators and cabinet ministers from ethnic minorities as he could, hoping to beat the news on Twitter. One was Omar Alghabra, a Liberal parliamentarian of Syrian descent, who said that Trudeau’s heads-up came with profuse apologies.

Still on the plane, Trudeau called a nationally televised media conference at which he not only apologized repeatedly but also admitted to another incident of donning dark make-up.

As admirable as it might be to own up to one’s faults and get out ahead of the story, I can’t help but feel more than a bit of contempt for the idea that the Prime Minstrel’s first order of business was to dial up his political allies of significant pigmentation and — I’m going to take a wild guess here — remind them that any default overreactions they might have would do long-lasting damage to their political party. Had it been the Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer who was pictured in archaic racist garb, it’s hard to believe the Liberal Party’s minority commissars quickly offering absolution. The article mentions with bare-suppressed irony that the Liberals were about to launch a campaign theme accusing the Conservatives of — what else? — racism:

But the crisis meant the Liberals had to temporarily toss their general-election play book to the side. It had called for an aggressive campaign that painted the Conservative Party of Canada as a haven for racist, anti-gay and anti-abortion candidates while stressing measures to make life more affordable for Canadians.

That approach, the aides who spoke to Reuters said, had been intended to help the Liberals get around another obstacle: voter distrust after Canada’s ethics watchdog formally reprimanded Trudeau and his top officials in August for inappropriately interfering in a corporate corruption case.

A winning strategy in these stupid days no doubt, right up until pictures of Jolson Trudeau singing “Mammy” emerged.

The October 21 election in Canada is shaping up to be a nail-biter. Even the Liberal Party’s staunchest supporters, including of course the dominant media, seem to believe that the best case scenario for the Liberals is to maintain a small majority, perhaps even requiring a coalition government to maintain power. But it’s equally likely that Mr. Scheer could usher in a new Conservative government in Ottawa, especially if woke young progressives disillusioned with the P.M.’s entitled white privilege stay home on election day.

I don’t think Canada, North America, the Commonwealth, the Western Hemisphere, NATO, or the Anglosphere will suffer grievous harm if Justin Trudeau is sent packing. Over at the Washington Post, Canadian writer J. J. McCullough marvels how the political scion managed to make it so far without any sort of thorough vetting of his background, a concept that brings back painful memories to those of us in the U.S. who were around eleven years ago and experienced the exact same phenomenon.

Here’s hoping our friends in the Great White North are treated to a fresh start.


Weekend Open Thread (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:46 am

[guest post by Dana]

Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.

I’ll start.

First news item: Mitt Romney criticized President Trump and the issues surrounding China and Ukraine:

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney has revived his feud with President Trump — slamming his calls for Ukraine and China to investigate presidential rival Joe Biden and his family as “wrong and appalling” — in an apparent bid to raise his profile as the leading GOP Never-Trumper in the Senate.

“When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,” Romney tweeted Friday. “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”

Romney is ramping up his criticism of the president as the House of Representatives pursues an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

The former Massachusetts governor previously said “it would be troubling in the extreme” if Trump or his personal attorney “asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival.”

President Trump took to Twitter in response:

[Ed. While Trump did endorse Romney’s Senate run, and Romney accepted his endorsement, I was unable to find confirmation that Romney actually sought out the President’s endorsement.]

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Probably because it’s not true.

Just minutes ago, Trump tweeted another attack on Romney, this time calling for his impeachment because that is what this thin-skinned, tantrum-throwing man-child does when he is publicly criticized by a politician on the right side of the aisle who is viewed more favorably than himself:

Q: Exactly *who* are these “Great People of Utah” that Trump is hearing from??

Second news item: Bernie Sanders had a heart attack:

Senator Bernie Sanders was discharged from a Las Vegas hospital on Friday, three days after having stents inserted to relieve chest pains. The doctors who treated the 78-year-old presidential candidate said in a statement that Sanders was diagnosed with myocardial infarction, another term for a heart attack.

Bernie is the oldest of the Democratic candidates running in the 2020 presidential race. On the other end of the spectrum is Pete Buttigieg, who is 37 years old.

Third news item: Bloomberg Law has finally retracted their report which smeared Leif Olson as anti-Semitic, and temporarily cost him his job:

Bloomberg Law has retracted its report about a Labor Department official’s social media posts, more than one month after the outlet was criticized for the piece.

The outlet, while retracting the story on Friday, also issued an apology for the post failing to meet its “editorial standards.”

“Bloomberg Law has retracted this article, published on Sept. 3. In reporting on a series of social media posts from Department of Labor official Leif Olson, we failed to meet our editorial standards for fairness and accuracy,” the retraction said. “We regret that lapse and apologize to our readers and to Mr. Olson.”

A.G. Hamilton says a retraction just isn’t enough to make amends:

I can’t help thinking this isn’t quite the happy ending it appears to be, though. Even amid the outcry and Olson’s reinstatement, Bloomberg Law chose to stand behind Penn’s “reporting” until it retracted the story on Friday, more than month after it was published. Internal emails showed that the outlet tried to stop employees from commenting on the story. Penn publicly defended his actions by claiming that all he did was present the Department of Labor with a screenshot of the post and ask for comment, but an email recently obtained through a FOIA request by Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute’s Ted Frank shows that claim was also false. In asking the Labor Department for comment, Penn actually framed Olson’s post as “disparaging to Jews” and questioned whether Olson was “fit for government service.” Yet, Bloomberg Law refused to acknowledge that Penn or its editorial staff had done anything wrong for more than a month.

In an ideal world, major news organizations wouldn’t hire reporters who abuse their platforms to try to punish political opponents, and would have protections in place to ensure that type of abuse wasn’t possible. In this case, Bloomberg Law failed on both counts. It owes its readers and the public an explanation of why, and of how it plans to ensure that such mistakes aren’t made in the future. If it hopes to be treated as a credible outlet moving forward, it must do better.

Have a great weekend.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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