Donald Trump called Canada "smooth": a blunt way of accusing the nation of being liars and manipulators. At first, Canadians were slow to react because they have been infantilized for so long, they always think someone is saying something cheery and nice about them because they are So Very Nice.
And then, it dawned on them, that maybe, just maybe, Trump had just told the world that they are the Bad Guys.
At first, they made fun of it, trying to explain away things. And then came the feint of crippling tariffs that got their attention. It was an age old ploy to make them receptacle to making big concessions, but then the Indian Prime Minister also made a comment on an unrelated matter that the Canadian regime were not being honest about a Very Big Gaffe on Justin Trudeau's ill-fated trip to that nation.
It didn't matter. In a matter of a couple days, the narrative was set, thanks in large part to Trump who understands that it is the first message that counts.
Now here is a stunning editorial in the Globe and Mail "Justin Trudeau, from saviour to liability" that goes along with Trump's narrative (emphasis added):
Political parties live and die by their leaders. For Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, this was supposed to be good news.After his party died a pair of dismal deaths under hapless leaders in back-to-back elections, Mr. Trudeau arrived on the scene as a potential saviour.Amazingly, that’s just what he was. The young pretender had energy, charm and a sound strategy of pulling the Liberals left. (Plus, that name.) In his first election at the helm, he romped to a majority government.
This is a radical change from the previously carefully cultivated and accepted narrative about the Prime Minister of being savvy and cool. Now comes out the criticisms that perfectly align with Trump's watershed Smooth Canadian diatribe:
Take Mr. Trudeau’s dramatic pledge to make the 2015 election the last conducted under first-past-the-post voting rules. The Liberals have abandoned (read: broken) that promise – a betrayal of younger, leftist voters and a stain on the government.But making the promise was a mistake to begin with. It was never in keeping with Liberal interests or values, and it seems unlikely the Liberals had any intention of keeping it. To claim otherwise was cynical, yes, but also misguided.
Again, his word is in doubt, on the big things, but also the little things:
There have also been less serious slip-ups, like the bad joke about chastising a woman for using the word “mankind,” and repeatedly and falsely describing Science Minister Kirsty Duncan as a Nobel Prize winner. (She, along with hundreds of scientists, contributed to a climate change panel that won the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007.)
While the Globe does put a sunny spin on things, distancing Trudeau form the rest of the government, and comparing him favourably to Trump, the point is that, in fact, Trump's word is more credible than Trudeau's in this context. Trudeau deliberately makes promises he cannot keep. All of his problems stem from not being entirely honest...and he got into power, because of his charm.
In other words, he is a smooth operator.
The Globe agrees with the US President, even if they pretend not to agree with him. He has now shone a different light on Trudeau, and now it has been accepted as the new narrative.
For all their howling and huffing and puffing, the press follows whatever Trump tells them to follow. He still controls the zombies, even if they resent the man who pulls their strings.
Trudeau is being isolated as part of national damage control. Should anything else humiliate the country, he'll been the sacrificial lamb. The Globe's narrative that the party is better than its leader cannot wash: they elected him to be their leader, meaning it was their choice, and he is the mere face of the collective. Their judgement would be in equal question, but it is easier to target the leader than go after an entire party, meaning if anyone is not to be trusted, it is just that one Canadian, and the rest were just hapless victims of his smoothness. Perhaps we were also taken in by all that smoothness, too.
It is truly stunning to see such brazen spinning out in the open. If Trudeau thought he was savvy enough to manipulate the press by perpetually appeasing them, he was sorely mistaken. Trump can be despised, but he is still in full control of that undead creature once known as journalism.
But while it is obvious, it is still breathtaking to see it in play at that scale.