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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Proof you don't need brains to be a reporter

The Montreal Gazette's Karen Seidman must have skipped the high school civics class where they explained what the Federal Government does. In an April 26 hagiography of Quebec student activist Martine Desjardins (who led the student strike that paralyzed Montreal last summer), Seidman writes:

The level-headed student leader sits down with The Gazette as she prepares to hand over the reins of the FEUQ after two tumultuous years at its helm.
Perhaps Justin Trudeau needs a good education critic for his revitalized federal Liberal Party.
Good lord, there's a lot of crazy packed into that short passage, even for a reporter.  She describes as "level-headed" a woman who led a violent strike that shut down large parts of the city to oppose a modest tuition fee increase that still would have Quebec students paying the lowest fees in the country. Well, Ms Seidman was probably the beneficiary of a journalism degree in that same dysfunctional Quebec university system, so cut her some slack.

She thinks that the best place for such a paragon is in public service fighting under the banner of  Justin Trudeau and his "revitalized" Liberal Party. OK, Seidman is female and Justin is just so dreamy and irresistible, so what star-struck fan girl wouldn't think that was every woman's dream job?

The real head-scratcher though is the revelation that a reporter for the Montreal Gazette, one of Canada's most important newspapers and the English paper of record in Montreal, thinks that the federal government is in charge of education. There is no federal Department of Education - education falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces, as surely Ms Seidman must realize having just written an article about the leader of a student strike against the GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC. There is no federal Minister of Education, and opposition parties in the House of Commons do not have Education Critics in their shadow cabinets, despite her fervent wish that Justin Trudeau turn his gaze that way and lay on his healing hands.

Is it asking too much to expect reporters in major newspapers to have a basic understanding of how Canada works?

(UPDATE: It gets even better - Justin Trudeau DOES have a critic for "Post-secondary Education and Amateur Sport" in his shadow cabinet, despite there being no corresponding department in the federal government. Has someone told Pauline Marois?)


Pissedoff said...

Well there are so few of them he can't leave anyone out of the higher pay scale. After all it is only taxpayers money, maybe they are getting paid by the money still owed from adscam.

onefineguy said...

The reporter forgot to mention that taxpayers paid for Mme Desjardins' adventures in University even though she's not following through to completion by dropping out from writing her thesis.

Good background for a proposed 'Education' critic. I think not.

Frances said...

Am not certain members of the third party get extra pay for 'extra' responsibilities. Maybe equality demands everyone gets a special title.

Anonymous said...

The Gazette never has a good word to say about PM Harper and the conservatives or a good photo of Harper. So not surprised at the Liberal bias of the reporter.

Since my son (and many others) lost three months of their lives in the uncertainly of the student strike, not to mention lost wages and residence fees since he never knew from week to week when school would resume, I have no time for Mme Desjardins or for the student leader who is now sitting in the National Assembly having got his.

Brian Mouland said...

Just when you think the MSM couldn't get any dumber,they do

Mr Ed said...

Justin's been buying an awful lot of lunch's and dinners for someone with an expense account that over blown... larger than the PM's?!?!? and he wasn't even the Librano leader back then.