Andrew MacDougall Profile picture
Aug 4, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Mini #journalism thread:

Some debate as to whether this story by @l_stone is a giant “nothingburger”, as per @garry_keller, a former chief of staff to former Foreign Minister @baird
I think it’s a story, but not the story that’s reported. The Liberals got lucky. Pitching this attack could have easily resulted in a story that read: “Garneau launches errant attack over thing that’s done all of the time and isn’t even NAFTA-related”.
The partisan in me wants to think that’s how this fact-free attack would have been reported had the Tories pitched it (especially with facts now supposedly at a premium). Lord knows I pitched enough attacks that weren’t picked up because the, um, facts didn’t support them.
And while it’s true both sides are presented fairly - and @MarcGarneau comes off looking like a complete clod, with MP McCauley appearing eminently reasonable, even puzzled - it’s not the story, at least not for me.
What's the story? On July 20, PM Trudeau said: “the issue of trade with the United States and our relationship with the United States is far too important to play partisan politics with”…
Yet here we are, LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LATER, with a veteran Minister of the Crown going out of his way to launch a specious attack on a Conservative MP on NAFTA. I’d be more interested in reporting on why the Liberals are PLAYING POLITICS on NAFTA.
And make no mistake, it’s a strategy. Garneau didn’t stroll out to do this without sign-off from the PMO. No way, no how. You don’t ring up Canada’s paper of record to do this without getting a green light. Indeed, one suspects Garneau was voluntold to do it.
Nor is it the first time. First the PMO leaked former PM Harper’s draft schedule in Washington to CTV so they could complain about being blindsided. Then a recording of Harper critiquing Trudeau’s NAFTA approach at a private event magically made it into CTV’s hands.
And now Garneau. The Liberals are clearly trying to pre-assign blame to CPC should things go south on NAFTA by portraying them as not being on “Team Canada”. With no proof. That, to me, is a better (and sexier) story than straight-up reporting of a half-cocked attack.

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More from @AGMacDougall

Jun 28, 2018
THREAD on this lazy (but seemingly popular) piece of journalism from @CTVNews (full disclosure: my partner is the London correspondent for CTV)
In summary: story says Harper is planning a “secret” trip to the White House, a trip “official Ottawa knew nothing about”, “seemingly blindsiding” the current Canadian government.
It is portrayed as a “total breach of convention” at a time of “unprecedented tension in Canada-US relationship”, when Donald Trump and his officials are openly insulting Justin Trudeau.
Read 22 tweets

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