Fake news or fake journalism?

Trump is a disappointment to Canada, for reasons you might not think

By ANGELO PERSICHILLI

THE HILL TIMES March 6, 2017

What a disappointment. Donald Trump looked almost … normal. I mean, as normal a politician can be.

Last week, the new president of the United States, during his first address to Congress, looked (almost) like a conventional politician.

But the speech was most disappointing for most of the Canadian conventional media. Trump, the xenophobic, even likes Canada’s immigration system. Whether he really means it or not it is hard to say, but that’s politics, right?

This is the same Trump considered a “joke” by the conventional media only a year ago that would “never be a politician.” He is the person who would never win the Republican nomination; the nutcase who would never be president of the United States; the crazy president who would damage the Canadian economy; and the president who would destroy decades of perfect relationships “between two countries that share the longest border on earth.”

Last week, Trump, the debauchee, the womanizer, was also boasting about a partnership with Ottawa: “With the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have formed a council with our neighbours in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets, and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams.”

Again, I don’t like Trump’s style or most of his initiatives, like the building of the wall along the Mexican border (if anything it is useless), but media have dropped the ball before, during, and after the presidential campaign.

They couldn’t accept the new reality that sees their influence in politics reduced to zero. Long gone are the times when two journalists, working hard and taking professional and personal risks, demolished Richard Nixon, one of the most powerful presidents of the United States.

Nixon, the president that ended the War in Vietnam and brought home the POW, the one who penetrated the Iron Curtin of the Soviet Union and the Chinese Great Wall with his foreign politics, was brought down to dust by the Washington Post because of a break-in in a Washington Hotel.

But that was a matter of principle, not revenge or unjustified ambitions.

Now the Gotha of the international journalism, CNN, The Washington Post, the Almighty New York Times failed to stop a real estate businessman that was considered unfit even to become a city councilor.

Some wrote, even here in Canada, that Trump doesn’t have the moral authority to lead a country because he doesn’t have the majority of the popular vote. Imagine that. Then again, I don’t remember the last time we had a prime minister in Canada supported by a 50 per cent-plus-one majority.

Trudeau received 39.4 per cent of the popular vote in the last election, yet he has 60 per cent of the MPs in the House. Does he have the moral authority to lead the country? Yes. That is the system we have accepted.

Trying to delegitimize Trump’s victory because he received fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, without explaining the context, is not fake news. It is fake journalism. But that is not the only example of fake journalism.

Trump was asking for a fair share of financial support from all members of NATO. Media accused him of planning to dismantle NATO. The financial issue, they said, was just an excuse to withdraw from the organization, leaving Europe in the hands of Vladimir Putin.

I was watching an interview on CNN two weeks ago with Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO. He said the demands from the Trump administration are “clear, firm, and fair.” He said that he agrees with Trump that U.S. carries an “unfair burden” and “we are starting to turn the corner.” I didn’t see any of this properly reported in the media.

And now the “evil” president also says that he loves Canada, our prime minister, our immigration system, our initiatives to promote women in business, and he won’t kill trade between the two countries.

What a disappointment.

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