Tony Clement was a known troublemaker for many years, but journalists in Canada never let those yokel middle class commoners know anything about it.
But as late as 2016, the Huntsville Forester has a profile on him called “The Real Tony Clement”:
Our MP, Tony Clement, announced his bid for leader of the federal Conservative Party on Tuesday night. This positions him to possibly be our prime minister in the event Trudeaumania weakens by the next election.
Clement has always worked hard for this riding and has been uniquely available and considerate of its people. He has always had our backs. An "unapologetic Conservative," he has been generous of his time and his influence when it comes to both the people of privilege and those who struggle to get by; he has been a strong supporter of the non-profit organizations that serve those in need.
Doubtless having our representative in the big chair would benefit our riding. Certainly, it has the journalists at this newspaper intrigued; covering the top office from a Muskoka perspective would be one sweet beat.
The question is - would it be good for Canada? Clement's track record is with two hyper-conservative governments that turned even dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives into Liberal voters. There are strong arguments against the value systems demonstrated by both Ontario's Mike Harris and former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Clement did well with both governments, toeing the party line and building a powerful career. But have we met the real Tony Clement? He is loyal to his leaders and we suspect there are times when he didn't necessarily agree with the line he was toeing. He's selling an "optimistic, modern conservatism" and we're curious to see what that looks like on paper. He said Canadians want government to be an empowering force for good - and he's right. He said he is the leader to bring a better quality of life from health to the environment. Those are two tricky pledges given the records of Harris and Harper on both topics. Clement is running on the values of hard work and personal responsibility, enterprise and freedom, family and community, and equal opportunity for all. He calls these the highest aspirations of Canadians. In his time here in Muskoka, he has personally demonstrated those values. Clement has got our attention and we are eager to learn more about Tony Clement the leader.
Nothing about what is happening now.
Not even in non-journalistic media.
Remember how Rick Mercer had fun with him?
Yeah, nothing based on what has been revealed now.
It is nothing like the UK’s Profumo affair, however. No dreamy babes in this equation.
But a whole lot sleepwalking.
The local press in Clement’s riding made no hint of it. No national reporter did, either.
Big media, small media.
Brain dead media.
That is the reason we had a news media: to ensure someone was watching and said something before it got this far.
But, ha ha, not a chance.
No one bothers with men in power.
Not to question their truisms, behaviour, untested nutjob theories, nothing.
No one to ask them what they were wearing when they got into trouble.
We have a “boys will be boys” mindset, but no female equivalent.
Where women get their money is actually counted against them in many financial dealings as if it spoke about their character without a shard of empirical evidence, but not for men, for instance. No one questions where men got their wealth.
They do not question if the man is up to the job or not.
Women get scrutinized from every angle.
Now we find out that there were all sorts of red flags with Clement, never mentioned before until the trouble got too big to hide.
Think of the financial resources it took to clean up his messes over the years.
And he had the cover of doting press coverage all along.
Now the narrative is to blame government officials.
Not so fast.
Journalists loiter those halls of power every day. They see things. They hear things.
They witness things.
For all the babbling and spewing how journalism is needed, they never actually do their jobs.
CNN is putting out feelers about suing because the White House had enough of pissant Jim Acosta, and his buffoonery became a cringeworthy spectacle.
If he was a competent newsman, he wouldn’t be sitting his ass on that chair.
He would be finding out facts, not grandstanding, and certainly not voguing and morally masturbating at the same time.
Bad governments come from a sleepwalking press, and a public that cowers in the corner as they don’t really want to know the truth…