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It has been almost exactly two years since Justin Trudeau's Liberal government ended a temporary agreement it had made jointly with the U.S. to give temporary refuge to the victims of a devastating earthquake in Haiti.
The U.S. had planned to end its version of the deal in May — some 60,000 Haitians had taken advantage of it and moved to the U.S., compared to just a few thousand to Canada — but President Donald Trump decided to extend the deadline until next January.
Those are the basic facts of the matter.
Yet, to read the daily press you'd think that hundreds of desperate Haitians are fleeing to Canada because the evil Trump is trying to send them packing back to their native country.
On the other hand, the Canadian media, with few exceptions, continues to paint the Trudeau government as the benevolent saviour of all these poor Haitians who are being abused by that horrible man in Washington.
Almost daily, our newspapers are filled with stories of the trials and tribulations of escaping Haitains who, in fact, are jumping the queue and, despite what you read, are not in a desperate situation at all.
The stories inevitably blame Trump for “changing” this humanitarian deal, despite the fact that he has done no such thing and despite the other fact that Trudeau cancelled our part of it. It's still in effect in the U.S. and those Haitians flooding into Canada have no valid reason to be doing so.
You may wonder how the coverage of this issue has become so completely skewed.
Well, the answer is easy: everything bad that happens is Trump's fault. Fact is, some things are. But many things that happen aren't. And they moan about Trump's distant relationship with truth-telling. It is to laugh.
A front-page column in the Sunday Star, for example, essentially blamed Trump for the chaos and violence flowing from a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., as if a) these idiot supremacists weren't around long before Trump took office; b) he supports them (even though he doesn't); and c) even though he released a statement condemning the violence he didn't do it quickly enough and it didn't meet the impossible criteria of those who absolutely loathe the man.
Even The Globe and Mail has contracted a serious case of anti-Trumpism. In an editorial essentially dumping on him over the ongoing Haitian issue — while downplaying the fact that Canada, not the U.S. has cancelled its part of the deal — the Globe spoke of Trump's “war on immigrants,” a deliberate distortion of his policies which, in fact, are not against immigrants at all but against “illegal” immigrants. There's a big difference, but the Trump haters tend to ignore it, all the better to paint the U.S. president as a racist pig.
It would be appropriate here to give kudos to veteran Toronto Star columnist Tom Walkom who — even though he was writing in the obsessively anti-Trump Star — wrote a gutsy column on the subject entitled: “Trump is right. He doesn't always get a square deal.”
Your humble scribe has known Walkom for several decades and can assure you that the left-leaning Star writer is certainly no fan of Trump — not in the least. But he is a fan of fairness and honesty, and it was extraordinarily refreshing to see that column appear.
Walkom writes: “Actions that would be little-noticed in other presidents can be blown out of proportion when Trump is involved. Those that fit the dominant narrative — that he is a racist and a boor who won office only because of help from the Russians — are emphasized. Those that don't fit are downplayed.”
Walkom added that Trump was widely attacked for supporting a bill to cut legal immigration in half over 10 years and give priority to well-educated English speakers. Walkom points out the bill is actually modeled on Canada's system. But that's good when Canada does it, bad when Trump does.
It's the same with the hysterical coverage of Trump's efforts to replace Obamacare — a system which was literally falling apart and one of the major reasons Trump was elected.
True, he's failed so far to get Senate approval, but those who use this to demonstrate the end of the world as we know it either forget — or more likely deliberately overlook the fact — that Obama didn't exactly cruise his health plan through in a matter of months either. But then, Obama was a saint and Trump, well, he makes Satan look good, eh?
This is not to suggest Trump is a model president so far. It's just to say there's a huge constituency — including most of the media — who still won't accept the fact that he won.
They have no intention — none — of being fair and even-handed.
Post date: 2017-08-19 13:46:55
Post date GMT: 2017-08-19 17:46:55
Post modified date: 2017-08-19 13:46:55
Post modified date GMT: 2017-08-19 17:46:55
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