Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:15 pm Post subject: Was Don Newman unfair to Jason Kenney?
In today's Politics show (Jan 8/07: CBC Newsworld 5 p.m. EST), after he had beaten Jack Layton to a pulp with the latest poll numbers from Environics, Don Newman turned his attention on newly minted Multiculturalism Secy of State Jason Kenney.
In a question towards the end of the segment, Newman asked Jason Kenney whether an "outreach-to-multicultural-communities" file could be better handled by a member of that community instead of someone from - as Kenney put it - "old Irish Catholic stock".
Among the reasons cited in the response defending the choice, Mr. Kenney indicated that it might be better to have someone like him in that file because of the many inherent divisions in the immigrant/multicultural communities. Setting aside the reasonableness of the argument, this can be construed - and spun by the opposition parties - as insensitive, at best, and condescending, at worst.
While Mr. Kenney surely did not intend to sound like some pompous colonial governor dispatched by the PM to teach immigrants about the "Canadian identity", I fear that he might have walked right into Don Newman's carefully crafted - and smilingly delivered - trap.
Was Don Newman being unfair, or was he just doing his job?
It's my experience that journalists tend to pose these questions to politicians of all stripes. A journalist often puts forward questions designed to trap the politician, and make the politician say something that is controversial, and hence newsworthy.
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