Trudeau as a victim of media sensationalism

On May 19, an EgyptAir flight that was bound for Cairo from Paris crashed off the Greek island of Crete with 66 passengers and crew on board, including two Canadians.

There is a good chance you did not hear many details about this last Thursday, as news coverage from all major media outlets at that time was dominated by Justin Trudeau’s actions in the House of Commons during an evening vote the previous evening. More specifically his interaction with Gord Brown, the opposition whip and Ruth Ellen Brosseau, a New Democratic Party MP.

It seems clear the prime minister made a poor choice of getting out of his seat and rushing through the cluster of people in the centre of floor where his elbow made contact with MP Brosseau’s chest.

However, it appears to me and evidently many others, that the collision was incidental and unintentional.

It is also worth mentioning that the prime minister never chose to hide from his mistake or attempt to share the blame with anyone else. Once he recognized his mistake, he attempted to reach out to MP Brosseau before she left the House and upon her return he delivered an apology that appeared to be very sincere.

The bigger story here, in my opinion, is the media’s role in turning what could have been a minor incident, into national breaking news for a number of days. They chose to highlight and overanalyze the prime minister’s actions and neglected the reason why the prime minister acted the way he did.

It seemed that the MP’s who were gathered in the centre of the House were gathering with the sole purpose of delaying the vote of a bill to the time limit in which votes in the House are allowed to occur.

The bill that was being voted on was Bill C-14, a bill pertaining to legislation on physician-assisted dying.

To me, the elbow that contacted MP Brosseau was no more than the type of contact people encounter every day during daily occurrences such as crowded sidewalks, waiting in lines, etc.

However, the media chose to blow the situation greatly out of proportion. This is a prime example of the type of sensationalism that the media partakes in on a daily basis.

Trudeau and all MP’s have important jobs to carry out, such as the job they were trying to carry out Wednesday night—deciding on whether or not incredibly ill people are allowed to make the decision to end their life with the assistance of a physician.

However, when incidents such as the one last week happen and it is blown out of proportion by the media, these important politicians are forced to spend a great deal of time addressing and over analyzing these minor issues.

This is exactly what the media wants.

When they release stories like this, it is in the direct attempt of denouncing the government. They clearly have a specific type of audience in mind; that audience includes people who support other parties and think that the government is intrusive and evil.

We are extremely lucky to live in a country that grants us the right to free speech and it is just shameful to see the media use it in such negative ways in order to get their story.

We often forget that public sector workers (including our prime minister) are people too, people with emotion, people with families, people with a job to do, just like any other citizen in this great country.

This is in no way an attempt to excuse the actions of Justin Trudeau; it was not wise of him to take matters into his own hands—literally—in jumpstarting the vote. With that being said, he immediately apologized for his transgressions. He is a man who evidently can learn from his mistakes.

We all make mistakes and it’s time for major media outlets to learn from theirs.


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