No doubt you are aware of the stalking horse that hides the intentions of another politician. You might not be as familiar with the stomping mouse. The stomping mouse is the politician who quickly deserts the scene when the news media start asking awkward questions. Some politicians are known to answer the question. Others are known to ignore the question. The classic reaction of the stomping mouse is to stomp out of there.
To my surprise and disappointment, I find that our deputy prime minister, finance minister and minister of anything else is a stomping mouse. The Honourable Chrystia Freeland PC MP, with all her savvy and experience as a reporter and editor herself, is a stomper.
And I am not just taking the word of Edward Keenan, the Toronto Star’s bureau chief in Washington for it. He reports, more in sorrow than in anger, I am sure, that Chrystia Freeland stomped away from reporters, away from the catbird seat in front of the U.S. White House last week.
And Chrystia Freeland is the heir apparent to the prime minister’s job? I doubt that very much. She has to do better.
I think we had a hint of this when she walked out of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Europe at one point. It seemed to be her way of negotiating. The only problem is that she knows there is no negotiation with the news media. It is like the broccoli your mother put on your plate for dinner. If you did not eat it, you were sure to find it still there for breakfast.
She knows that the news media are wolves that travel in packs and will tear the uninitiated to shreds, if they show fear. I have always been of the communications school that believed in overloading the answer to the point that the reporter would be all the way back to their typewriter before they realized that in your lengthy answer, you had, accidently, missed answering the initial question.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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