Letter to the editor: Coverage of PM and president much different

I enjoyed reading John Harding’s editorial in the April 5 edition of The Gazette online at www.northislandgazette.com (‘Why is this PM getting so many free passes?’).

I would like to expand a bit by comparing media coverage of our prime minister with that of America’s president. Both men were born to privilege with silver spoons in their mouths and share the first three letters in their surnames, but there are few other similarities on the surface. Remembering that opposites often attract, some Canadian television media — which is parochial where U.S./Canada relations are concerned — became quite fawning and gushing to declare a Tru-Tru-bromance blossoming between the two opposites. This was based on a fleeting visit to the White House in February by our PM, that was followed a week later by his name being mentioned in the president’s address to Congress. There was even the split screen of both men dressed in their respective nation’s sailor uniforms when visiting naval bases on the same day last month; one in Newport News, Va, the other in Esquimalt.

President Trump campaigned on radically changing the way America does business with the rest of the world; among other things, he promised to build a wall on his southern border, deport illegal immigrants en masse, and ban Muslims from certain countries. Now he’s in office and attempting to fulfil some of those promises, he is being ridiculed and lambasted from near and far.

Trudeau campaigned to balance the budget by the next election in 2019, after kick-starting the economy with an initial 2016 budget deficit of $10-billion. In fact, last year’s deficit was $30-billion, with a new promise of a budget finally balanced by 2050 — that’s 33 years from now. There were solemn campaign pledges about electoral reform, much anti-pipeline and anti-tanker rhetoric, and many other promises that have been abandoned; yet the PM is apparently more popular than ever. He visited B.C. last month with a few vacuous and tenuous comments about the drug overdose crisis that has gripped the province. He received a rock-star welcome by selfie-seekers outside Victoria City Hall; even though Victoria’s mayor has long represented the most vitriolic opposition to increased tanker traffic, that has some of its greenest roots in southern Vancouver Island.

Whatever your political convictions, it beggars belief to think how news reporters and consumers are so gullible, when someone who keeps his promises is vilified, while the other who breaks his promises is idolized.

Bernie Smith


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