james di fiore

Top 5 Reasons Why Kathleen Wynne Won the Election


Perfect political storm vaults Wynne into a majority government

By: James Di Fiore

If political pundits, strategists and pollsters were smart, they’d wake up this morning and call their bosses, hat in hand, and beg for occupational mercy. This provincial election was a great case study in political folly, and while a majority government sounds great for Liberal supporters, there were various moving parts that made it possible, most of which have little to do with the public’s gushing admiration for the Ontario Liberal Party.

So, here are the top 5 reasons Ontarians woke up this morning to a Liberal majority government.

1. Union Support – Like almost everything else on this list, the support by many Ontario unions has a backstory and a slew of footnotes, most notably being the fear of Tim Hudak by public sector employees and unionized workers alike. Traditionally, unions are mostly associated with the NDP, but Horwath’s decision to force an election angered union bosses who were on record praising the Liberal budget as a victory for working class people. Horwath’s decision to pass on the budget secured union support for Wynne and left the NDP searching for an identity.

2. Tim Hudak’s Ineffective Leadership – Hudak has said several times that people often tell him he looks like actor Michael Keaton. Unfortunately for Hudak, voters saw a man who only slightly resembled the actor…and only if Keaton was hit in the face several times with a hard covered copy of The Fountainhead. The embattled conservative leader is a rare combination of scorched earth policies and utter incompetence in connecting with voters who don’t share a Tea Party outlook on life and politics. His resignation as party leader immediately following the election was a smart move… for 2011. In 2014 he’s a man who ran his party into the ground. With no obvious heir apparent, the PCs will be hard pressed to find a compelling replacement.

3. Strategic Voting – This is another Hudak-related phenomenon that compelled the left-leaning electorate to hold their nose and vote Liberal. Social media, mass emails and word of mouth helped secure votes in ridings where the race was too close to call, a strange component of democracy where voters are convinced their support for a candidate they don’t like is more important than support for the candidate they do like. This, combined with a low voter turnout, seemed to favour the Liberals and conservatives who were separated by only 6% in the popular vote.

4. Andrea Horwath’s Ineffective Leadership – She was the first domino in this election after refusing to get behind the Liberal budget, forcing an election almost nobody wanted. She also attempted to drift towards the centre, also known as the far right to most NDP supporters, and in doing so seemed to alienate the party’s base who felt abandoned during the campaign. Truly, if you are too timid to speak directly towards issues that you’ve been championing for years, you’ve probably already lost the election.

5. The Liberals Ran a Textbook Campaign – While many believed anything short of throwing Daulton McGuinty under the bus would not be a strong enough rebuke of the Liberal government scandals, Wynne managed to balance an almost subliminal dressing down of the former premier with a message that resonated with voters. That message – finishing the job and not being tempted by austerity – succeeded in mobilizing the base, as well as the disgruntled supporters of the NDP. Her ads showed a leader who, while aesthetically stiff on camera, managed to come off as authentic, a stark contrast to Hudak and Horwath who both make the act of watching paint dry seem like Mardi Gras.

So when the aforementioned pundits, strategists and pollsters begin hedging their previous predictions or expressing how surprising the election was, they should be at least cognizant of the lack of confidence the public has in each of them. This is especially true for pollsters, who once again prove there is a vacuum in their industry after butchering yet another election that was supposed to be an easy call.

Catholic Church the Last Institution to Pass Judgment on Justin Trudeau



Protecting pedophiles disqualifies Catholic Church from publicly lecturing anybody about abortion


By: James Di Fiore

Let’s face it; Justin Trudeau should have said nothing at all. But, much to the probable dismay of his chief strategist, he went off script and told a reporter that no future Liberal candidate would ever be permitted to vote against any abortion vote, no matter what their conscience says to them.
Now, I’m not sure anybody was under the impression the Liberal Party of Canada was a haven for pro-lifers. I was even surprised to find out there were a couple of sitting MPs who were anti-abortionists. Who knew?

But Trudeau could have said nothing and still charted a path where the party weeds out any potential anarchists on this issue. Or, he could have said nothing and allowed people who are pro-life to vote with their conscience. The point is, he should have said nothing at all.

So we can chalk this up as another Trudeau gaffe. It isn’t a major catastrophe, but it was a gaffe, especially if we define gaffes as uttering something that allows opponents to define you.

But the latest caveat – the public lecturing from senior members of the Catholic Church – is so blatantly hypocritical that Trudeau may want to just let the rest of the issue play out in silence. After all, is there one institution in this country less credible to the idea of decency than the Catholic Church? How can an organization known for enabling and protecting pedophiles lecture a public servant for wanting to keep his party a pro-choice party? Bishop Christian Riesbeck did just that, describing the idea of Trudeau receiving communion as “unseemly” and “scandalous.”

Really? An organization that spent decades putting child rapists into different communities, thus aiding their sex crimes, is somehow attempting to be seen as a moral authority? I guess self-awareness is not the strong suit of the Catholic Church, and with their history of lecturing Liberal politicians for progressive legislation, this latest foray into the political sphere seems dicey at best. The last time the Catholic Church tried to be seen as some sort of moral barometer was when former Prime Minister Paul Martin ushered in same-sex marriage. Well, that was an affront to God, according to Pope Benedict who publicly lectured Canada for going against God’s will. This was in 2005; the same year Irish authorities released a scathing indictment of the church for endangering children by allowing pedophiles to travel to other Catholic communities so they could continue raping and abusing their victims. Pope Benedict should also be remembered as the guy who literally wrote the church’s position on child raping priests; that they should be dealt with by the church and not by the proper authorities. After all, what’s another 100 raped altar boys when you have public relations to worry about?


Trudeau still has to learn the art of saying nothing, but the media, the public or his political rivals – not the most corrupted institution in the modern age – should be the ones to criticize his gaffes. The Catholic Church’s credibility on moralism died long ago, and those Canadians who consider themselves Catholic should think twice before pointing a finger at a politician for wanting abortion rights to remain undisturbed.

Political Ad Watch: Tim Hudak’s Initial Campaign Ad Crashes


Sometimes political ads are overthought. Often, these 30 seconds are evidence of genuine nerds making decisions based on micro data instead of the nuances of the voters themselves. There is a vast difference between those two motivations.

Tim Hudak has had years to formulate the right message. In fact, he has been fairly consistent over the last half-decade or so, keeping the issue of job creation front and center as the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Hudak’s main problem all these years is the following; he is one of the most ineffective, uninspiring politicians in Canadian history. His leadership has been so unsuccessful that he did not have the chops to challenge a Liberal government who has done everything imaginable to lose the last two elections. If you can’t beat a bad government, chances are you have a bad leader. Just ask the federal Liberal Party.

Below is the first Progressive Conservative ad released since an election was triggered in the province of Ontario.

Style: Here’s the thing about trying to showcase your party as an aspirational choice in this election; if your leader is completely uninspiring, don’t pretend he is really, really compelling. Dramatic, cinematic music accompanying a stump speech only works if someone other than a bad Michael Keaton stand-in gives the stump speech. Plus, there’s an ‘Aw shucks’, double arm thrust at the end that’s just awkward enough to cement your view that the ad tries to reinvent Hudak instead of giving the audience the real deal.

Message: It’s the oldest key message in the conservative arsenal; jobs. After all, who can argue with job creation? It’s not a bad message, really. The biggest problem is the disjointed delivery of the ‘1 Million Jobs’ platform. Hudak seems to imply he will be getting back a few hundred thousand manufacturing jobs. But, how? Who knows, as long as that cinematic music is playing it doesn’t matter.

Effectiveness: The Hudak campaign team probably thinks this is a homerun spot, but they are also listening to the movie music too intently. This is an ad created by professionals who were asked to do the impossible – make Tim Hudak seem like something he’s not…an aspirational politician.

Grade: C-

2014 Toronto Municipal Election: The Circus is Contagious

By: James Di Fiore

Toronto’s municipal election is supposed to be an election of reckoning where a candidate shores up support in defiance of the current debacle occupying the top office at city hall. It is supposed to be an obvious contrast between Rob Ford’s bombastic retail politics and the more civil, sensible options like John Tory or Olivia Chow. Some pundits thought Ford would tone down his campaign as a way of fighting sensible with sensible, and all Tory and Chow had to do was maintain a more professional public image so we as a city do not have to fall into electoral absurdity. I think someone forgot to tell Tory and Chow about all this. Since that first awkward, televised debate we have seen first-hand how smarmy, over-rehearsed demeanors do not translate well on TV or online.

Let’s begin with Chow. All she has to do is be herself. That’s it. She does not need to be overly cheery, and she certainly doesn’t need an image softener in the form of some grandma dress or new glasses. Most of all, she needs to stop pretending that she is running a puppies and rainbows campaign where she pretends to take the high road against Ford’s vitriol and divisiveness, yet still seeks counsel from folks like Warren Kinsella who combines the art of dirty politics with a flair for horrible execution. Chow has decided to roll the dice and employ this pit bull to do the biting while saying her campaign is a clean campaign, all with a semi-straight face.

But as anyone in the know will tell you, Kinsella has reached political hack status, unable to muster much more than a peripheral role in any campaign since the 90s. At best, he has been in the vicinity of victories, close enough to get a piece of confetti on his lapel, but not close enough to be credited for making it fall in the first place. On top of that, he’s an asshole, full stop. Feel good candidates and political hacks that moonlight as assholes are not a wise mix in an election like this one.

As for Tory, he has an opportunity to contrast a shit-show conservative with a sensible, more moderate conservative. His is the easiest of campaigns to run; a smart, fiscally conservative/socially liberal classic campaign where no voter feels excluded from a potential Tory administration. Tory could rest easy knowing he could mirror much of the Ford agenda without acting like a rodeo clown. Plus, he isn’t divisive. He’s not an ideological stalwart like Ford or Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak. One might even call Tory a dying breed of, well, Tories.

But then he went and did this. Apparently, Tory’s camp has decided to do away with the pesky reputation of being a unifying politician, the “common sense candidate”, and have opted to go with comic props and tag lines instead. As if incorporating a cheap Twister caricature wasn’t bad enough, Tory has also been trying to brand Chow as the “NDP candidate,” an obviously divisive tactic isolating Toronto’s progressives in an election not usually known for its partisan loyalties. If you identify as an NDP supporter provincially or federally, Tory doesn’t want your municipal vote. Instead, Tory wants you to know that if you don’t vomit after hearing the initials ‘N-D-P’, you aren’t a voter worth listening to.

And of course there’s Mayor Ford. In an election where many believe Ford has a better chance of being arrested than elected (after all, October is still far, far away), his rivals are inadvertently making him look less incompetent than he really is, an astounding feat when you consider the vast amount of material he has given us over the past 4 years. Ford’s stubborn strategy of repeating the same 3 or four rehearsed key messages – mostly statements of self-defense or repetitive-yet-implausible claims of a billion dollars of taxpayer money saved – can only work if his fellow candidates run carny campaigns of their own. Well, his fellow candidates are running carny campaigns, and so Ford benefits not because he is a viable, sturdy candidate but because his rivals are decidedly not viable to anybody but their base of fierce loyalists.

It may be we are in an experimental chapter of this long awaited campaign. But Chow and Tory are two candidates who have had years to contemplate running in this very election, an important caveat when you consider the amateurish stunts and ads they’ve produced up to this point. It could be they are both tied to advisors who are trying too hard, or perhaps not hard enough, to claim branding rights over their opponents. Someone should let them know about the apathy towards long campaigns in this city. Ford’s worldwide notoriety has tricked his rivals into believing they need to climb inside the circus tent on the back of a bearded lady. All they really need to do is run sensible, stale campaigns about the issues. That’s it. No slapstick nonsense, no character assassinations. Just the issues.

This wasn’t, and isn’t a complicated race. The incumbent has been under a police investigation for over a year, lies about his accomplishments and parades his older brother in front of the cameras making ridiculous claims about how his family champions for the little guy. Chow and Tory need to stop with the gimmicks and contradictions, roll up their sleeves and give sensible Torontonians a real choice of who to replace the ginger Godzilla currently wreaking havoc on the city. In short, they need to keep it simple, because thus far the strategy of being unfunny and inauthentic isn’t working, especially for the carnies who already have their undisputed champion.

The Subban Effect

He’s the most exciting black player in NHL history, and its number one punching bag

By: James Di Fiore

Before the playoffs began, in a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators, Habs coach Michel Therrien showed PK Subban how much he respects him. Subban was caught out of position a couple times, not uncommon for any aggressive defenseman, and these errors contributed to one goal by the Sens. In Coach Therrien’s world, this was enough to bench Subban for close to an entire period even though he averages the most minutes on the team. Therrien has been pretty consistent all season long regarding his lack of respect towards his star defenseman, but with one series under their belt in this post season, a series where Subban’s contributions have been front and center, Therrien may want to reexamine his attitude towards hockey’s most exciting black player.

It’s worth pointing out that Subban’s errors are not always the sole contributors to opposition goals, and there are other players, most notably Habs captain Brian Gionta whose mental errors are as bad or sometimes worse than Subban’s.

However, when Subban made an error in the regular season, he was either benched, ridiculed, intentionally embarrassed or exhaustingly lectured during practice or when Therrien is speaking to the media. No other player who has made an error on the ice – and every last player has made a few errors – receives this kind of relentless badgering. And I would wager no Norris trophy winner in NHL history was treated like a rookie after they won the hardware.

So, contrary to hockey pundits and their politically correct sensibilities, the reason for all the negative attention and overly critical reporting is, wait for it, because PK Subban is black. It isn’t overt racism, but it is nestled inside a common problem many institutions have; the tendency to be more critical of people who are not typical representatives of the institution but still make mistakes like everyone else.

An enormous amount of ink has been spilled deconstructing the identity of PK Subban. The critics line up around the block and methodically take their turns bashing his attitude, slamming his unforced errors and claiming his antics rally the opposing teams. Duncan Keith, a star defenseman known for dirty plays, diving and being cocky, still manages to get the ‘hard worker’ moniker from analysts and sports writers. Not PK though. He’s no Duncan Keith, after all.

With the exception of Montreal fans, nobody talks about PK’s enormous contribution to the NHL itself. If the critics, writers and pundits do heap any praise, repetitive analysis criticizing PK’s swagger and mental game usually surround it. But take a step in the opposite direction – make PK Subban a brand for the NHL to encourage young black hockey players to strive for greatness – and all of a sudden the impetuous, cocky black kid becomes a marketing tool, like the Yao Ming of the NHL. Why not? It’s better than being everybody’s whipping boy, no?

Well, it is not a very popular thing to say, but Subban’s critics are not constantly bashing him because he’s the league’s new Sean Avery. It is worth repeating, they are bashing him because he’s a black hockey star who isn’t conservative, reserved or cut from the same cloth as Bobby Orr. Only, he is cut from that same cloth. So far in these playoffs Subban has stepped up his game at both ends, and may have quarterbacked the best play we have seen in the post season thus far. Greatness isn’t measured by a missed assignment in the regular season, but by taking your game to another level in the playoffs. On the latter, Subban is clearly one of the league’s greatest players.

Just an aside here; what history does Subban have with Tampa Bay or their fans? He is booed every time he touches the puck by Floridians, but this kind of reaction is usually reserved for ex players, or players who have had bad blood with the home team. Not so in PK’s case.

Hmm…what could it be? Perhaps Tampa Bay fans are merely standing their hockey ground, who knows?

Fans aside, the critics don’t believe they are treating Subban differently. They are merely calling it like they see it. In fact, I bet Subban would be the first to say he isn’t being judged by the colour of his skin. He would certainly never say that about his coach, but if the rumours of a Subban-Therrien feud are true, the Canadiens organization may have to choose between their coach and their star player. And if they choose the coach, they’ve shortchanged the franchise and the Montreal fans for years to come.

However unintentional, the constant criticism of this young black hockey player is unparalleled. He dives once in a while, acts a little cocky after a goal here and there, and he makes a few mistakes that result in opposition goals, but just the fact that I can rattle off so many of his apparent shortcomings should be evidence that I know too much about one particular player.

We all do.

Note to Selfie: How A Word Redefined Self Portraits Forever

By: James Di Fiore


We are undoubtedly the most vain generation the planet has seen since Caligula first got high. Hands down.

The Age of Narcissism, the End of Humility, the iWant Generation. Take your pick, because it’s all us.

Also, we are meticulous record keepers. Most of us keep every email we send and receive. Our social networking pages are blueprints to an embellished version of ourselves, forcing the marketing companies to tweak the way they syphon our information before buying ad space from media companies who incidentally measure our data for insights they extract from our virtual profiles.

The world is unreal, literally.

Is it too soon to ask for what the long-term effects might be for staring at digital screens for a few decades? Does asking that question make me a “lefty” or a “hipster”? How many times a day do you see “love it!” or “epic!” or someone else’s cat or an online dating ad or a horrible song produced by an untalented friend on your news feeds? Millions of people live this way, but I feel like in 50 years everyone is going to have eye cancer or something, born out of a lifelong habit of staring at billions of images on various phones, tablets, computers and televisions.

I feel like I’ve been institutionalized, like I’ve been Shawshanked. Because Brooks was right; the world went and got itself in a big hurry, and instead of crawling out of our digital fixation here and there, we sit happily in our virtual prisons.

OK, that was a little overstated. But you get the picture, literally.

We all know technology has hoarded our time, and we are all guilty of letting technology squeeze out some of our good behaviour, our etiquette. Whether it’s scrolling through our Facebook pages while having brunch or reflexively checking our email during those fleeting in-person moments we have with actual human beings; we’ve lost something, all of us.

Coupled with this new bad habit of putting our digital selves before our fleshy loved ones is a new childish habit of creating words out of thin air to describe our interests and behaviours. The genesis of such an unlettered habit may have stemmed from the celebrity tabloids that forced words like Bennifer and KimYe into the lexicon. Apparently saying two people’s names was just too difficult or us, so creating a hybrid moniker became the trend. It remains the calling card of a generation gone mad, and has created the overarching trend of creating nonsensical names for several other every day activities.


The single most ridiculous word on the lips of people today is “selfie”. Never has a word been so juvenile, so revealing of a culture gone mad as this perversion of language. It is such an unrefined label, such a waste of breath and lip/tongue positioning that I cringe when I force my laptop keys to spell its name. Along with this failure of linguistics is an even more tragic victim; the definition of ‘selfie’ has infected what used to be perfectly legitimate activities in photography, specifically the self-portrait, or the documenting of an event you are attending. Selfie has bastardized the language, our decorum and our ability to think rationally about snapping a photo.

The most recent example of a world gone mad due to the evil branding of a made up word occurred at the Jim Flaherty state funeral where Justin Trudeau stopped to take a few photos with onlookers. Wait, I mean he was being immature and stopped for some selfies. Wait, what?

Let’s examine the new rule of photography now that the word ‘selfie’ exists, shall we? Don’t worry, there’s only one rule.

1. If you own the phone, you can’t take a photo with your face in it.

I know, I know…there’s not much difference between asking a third party to take a photo and taking it yourself, especially if all you want is a memory of meeting a politician at a historical event, but sorry bud, find a stranger to help you. Otherwise, you are immature and worthless. True story.

At the Flaherty state funeral, nearly every politician who was asked to stop for a photo or an interview, stopped for a photo or an interview. Many politicians, including several conservative cabinet ministers, stopped for several photos and interviews. Some of these photos were taken by the media, some by third party strangers who took the photo for the owner of the camera, and a few taken by the people who owned the cameras. That last group….yeah, they’re abhorrent. Period. They clearly have no idea about how things work in the Age of Narcissism. In the Age of Narcissism you are allowed to take selfies only when you are at home making a duck face in the mirror, not to document historical events and have your photo taken with someone famous, unless of course you let someone else grub up your iPhone. Easy peasy.

All kidding aside, if you believe taking a self-portrait lacks proper manners but it’s simultaneously fine to take photos not of yourself, you are an idiot and Darwinism should take care of you in good time. For the rest of us, stop being tricked into trends. It’s unbecoming, and doesn’t jive with our mutual desire to be savvier than the next guy.

This was free advice, Caligula. You should take it.

Political Ad Watch: Olivia Chow – Does Rob Ford Return Phone Calls?

Tyler the Creator shadow wide
By: James Di Fiore

The fatal flaw in Olivia Chow’s campaign team is clearly Warren Kinsella. The lifelong liberal political operative was selected by Olivia Chow to do her dirty work after the former NDP MP declared she would be running a clean campaign.

Hiring Kinsella is not a symptom of a campaign running cleanly. He is not just notoriously mischievous, but he hasn’t exactly been a beacon of success over the past 15 years either. In the last Toronto mayoral election, Kinsella was the brains behind Rocco Rossi’s failed run, and the most probable culprit for those horrible mafia-inspired radio ads that dogged Rossi’s campaign.

So, with Kinsella at the helm of Chow’s communications, her campaign is rolling the dice by trying to showcase a positive candidate with a decidedly negative operative behind the scenes.

Let’s take a look at Olivia Chow’s latest political ad criticizing one of Rob Ford’s most often repeated qualities: returning phone calls from Torontonians.

Style: If you are going to release a one-minute ad, you should probably try changing up the production a little. We have a person talking towards the camera in a kitchen. That’s it. Nothing more.

Message: Having a completely unknown civilian talk about how she always calls the mayor and that he never calls her back should take about 6 seconds…unless of course she just repeats herself over and over again for the entire ad. The fact that this ad is more than 30 seconds is a mystery, and why the producers didn’t use more than one person complaining about Rob Ford’s phone calls means the idea wasn’t that strong to begin with.

Effectiveness: This ad doesn’t resonate well with anyone. It’s anecdotal, boring and redundant.

Grade: D

Political Ad Watch: Kathleen Wynne – The Progressive Conservative Record

Tyler the Creator shadow wideBy: James Di Fiore


Political ads are going to be more and more abundant in the coming months. Three major elections are slated between now and October 2015; the Ontario Provincial election, the Toronto Mayoral Election and the federal election, meaning our airwaves will be inundated with politicians and parties clamouring for our attention, and ultimately our votes.

Often, political ads fall short of grabbing our attention and rarely ever sway us through its production value to vote for a particular party. Many times these ads are designed to discourage voters from voting for other parties, but mostly these ads are either cynical of opponents or overly complimentary towards the governing powers that be.

All too often, partisan ads reveal how out of touch politicians are towards voters. Connecting with the electorate is key but evasive.


The following ad is rated and reviewed by The Digital Reporter in order to disseminate its strategy and effectiveness.

Kathleen Wynne – The Progressive Conservative Record

Style: Here’s the thing about Kathleen Wynne; she’s stiff, awkward and has an image not compatible with walking around a suburb explaining stuff to a camera. Her outfit looks hastily selected; her face is that of a person tired of reading words from a card; and the location is eerily similar to Walter White’s street in Breaking Bad.

Message: Wynne does better here, using actual quotes from her target (PC Leader Tim Hudak) and communicating what the results of a Hudak-led government might mean. She refrains from attacking the character of Hudak but delivers her “facts” using the finest of fine print to cite her source material. Wynne’s team should try stepping into the modern digital world and embed the source material inside the actual video so online viewers can view the references for themselves.

Effectiveness: This ad is too distracting. It’s main message probably seemed easy to communicate when it was still just a script, but a grey sky, a stale performer and too much information to process bombard the delivery of the message.

Overall Grade: C+

Manufacturing Outrage: Laureen Harper Love Cats More than Missing Women


In one of the cheapest demonstrations from the political fringe in Canada this year, an operative from kindergarten group ‘Shit Harper Did’ hijacked a fundraiser for feral cats by interrupting Laureen Harper’s address with questions about missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Mrs. Harper was obviously caught off guard (who wouldn’t be?), and tried to casually remind the heckler of the event’s primary goal; to raise money for stray cats.

This video, which I find to be more damaging to the ‘activist organization’ than it is to the Harper Government, harkens back to the kind of gotcha journalism utilized by intellectual giants such as Alex Jones or Bill O’Reilly. It tells the audience something that isn’t relevant to what is actually happening, and then rides out that misinformation to fit a predetermined position on a preselected issue.

It would be like going to a seniors benefit dinner, standing up and demanding an answer to pedophile priests and accusing the organizers of siding with child predators when they escort you out.

This is not activism. This does not prove the federal government or the prime minster’s wife is cavalier about missing and murdered women. And for the record, the Harper Government’s progress and lack of action on missing aboriginal women has been appalling, but that doesn’t mean this exercise in propaganda was a success.

Ideologues do this all the time, on both sides of the Left/Right paradigm. The infallible swagger they use to promote their concerns actually expose them for being mischievous, not proactive, as they write their indignant blog posts pretending their ‘activism’ was a success.

Mischief is not activism, and while missing women in Canada is an important issue, you can’t hijack events and pretend you’ve done something righteous.

Manufacturing Outrage: The Justin Trudeau ‘Selfie”

dynamic_resizeThis is a the first of a weekly entry into the most sensationalized story of the week in Canadian politics.     By:  James Di Fiore  


It takes a special kind of tabloid, the partisan slanty stuff, to make my Dumb-dar kick into ludicrous speed, detecting the invented and highly ideological spin pertaining to Justin Trudeau.

And that’s a steep slope to climb if you are keeping score. Yes, the sometimes precocious one liners from ‘Justin’ often come off as misguided or un-PR, there’s no doubt. But immovable ideologues – that is to say those who will never, ever vote un-Conservative, are playing the kind of PR game where the sole tactic is to smear, animate and distort. ‘Trudeau,’ say the sensible flame throwers of the right, ‘is a commie-loving, dim-witted and privileged miscreant, whose father, incidentally, destroyed the country through his anti-western hatred!’ (that’s right HATRED!!)


Justin Trudeau stopped to take a few photos on the way to the Jim Flaherty funeral. But, the vitriolic flag bearers have spun it by relentlessly publicizing the word ‘selfie’. Apparently they get their advice on slang from tweens, seeing as these are merely first person photographs. It’s also worth mentioning the other politicians who stopped for photographs and interviews: John Tory, Jason Kenney, Peter MacKay, Stockwell Day, Rob Ford and various other politicians. Those are just the ones I witnessed personally.

Jack Layton’s funeral never resulted in people chomping at the bit for the smiles, photographs and interviews that were taken that day. Wait, my bad. Yes they were. The feel-good tributes were simply too much for the same rodeo clowns who are moaning about selfies today. This method of deliberately enraging the electorate is shameful. And yes the left aren’t exactly innocent in the age where everything is public relations.

Existing on the airwaves and digital frequencies are a customized, post-contextualized spin of recorded soundbites and images. It’s becoming noticeable, and it needs to stop. Remember, selfies are just photographs taken by the person who owns the camera. Nothing more. So if those are inappropriate, then every photograph and digital video are too.