Tag Archives: bad reporting

Arrogant And Overly Optimistic

The Globe and Mail printed a particularly silly and, I’d say, irresponsible news story a few days ago. It goes like this:

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau appears to be a man in a hurry, judging from his profile on Facebook. For several weeks, he has presented himself on the popular website as a Member of Parliament – despite the fact he has never been elected.

It took no time for critics to pounce on the mistake. On the site of Radio-Canada, which first brought the error to light, one woman said it showed that the younger Mr. Trudeau was as arrogant as his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Another writer on Justin Trudeau’s own Facebook page accused him of being overly optimistic.

Mr. Trudeau was picked as the Liberal candidate for Montreal’s Papineau riding in April, but the seat is currently represented by Bloc Québécois MP Vivian Barbot.

A spokesman for Mr. Trudeau claims the fault lies with Facebook, the social-networking site with some 50 million users. Mr. Trudeau changed his status online to politician last month, and, when asked what he was running for, he wrote Member of Parliament.

The title appeared as his current position. Mr. Trudeau wrote to Facebook after the error was reported in the media, and the reference was removed at midday yesterday.

“Facebook lacks clarity, perhaps, but I wouldn’t make too much of it,” Mr. Trudeau wrote on his page about the slip-up. A spokesman said Mr. Trudeau meant no disrespect to Ms. Barbot.

If I were Trudeau, I’d be mighty annoyed. What the reporter apparently didn’t bother to check was that this is true for every single Canadian Facebook politician profile, including mine. So Trudeau’s spokesman’s “claim” is correct, and could have been verified in about a minute. But then, of course, there wouldn’t have been any story to print, since that sort of defeats the whole point of trying to manufacture a mini-scandal.

Since I’m not Trudeau, I’m just annoyed that he’s getting all the attention. How come no one’s looked at my profile and accused me of being arrogant and overly optimistic? *pouts, stomps out of room*