When war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, I was a teenager who stumbled upon a publication geared toward those in the intelligence community called Intelligence Digest, which is still around today.
There had been a book by a French journalist named Jacques Merlino who had interviewed a PR flak who had crowed how his firm set the narrative of that war, and said something I would test and confirm myself: that the first narrative is the one that counts. Retractions have no effect.
And the latest slap fight between the Prime Minister and his former Justice Minister is an interesting proof of it.
Even though journalists covering it and their quoted “experts” aren’t savvy enough to see it.
Take this silly article from the Hill Times:
Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould appears to be holding the “fate” of the government in her hands, which gives her leverage over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, says a former top government official, while others say the primes minister needs to offer an “alternative narrative,” backed up by clear facts and details; otherwise, Canadians will draw their own conclusions which won’t be helpful for the Liberals.
Sorry, kids, that ship has sailed. The proxies on Team Wilson-Raybould have already set the narrative weeks ago. She didn’t have to say a word. The PR machine did it for her. The Prime Minister should have gotten ahead, and anticipated it. That’s what cunning strategists do. What he did was take a gamble, and lost the “narrative.”
Because if the Grits had one, they would have put it out immediately. They dawdled, and kept trying to parse their words, and in the meantime, countless meme posters flooded the Internet, enforcing that first narrative. It’s done.
Add that the Grits now want to move the goalposts for misbehaving companies, has confirmed that original narrative. The end.
And considering what an attention addict the PM is — the fact that he did not jump in front of the cameras with a power seflie to prove his innocence is the clincher. He would have been strutting and voguing on the cover of Maclean’s and on The National, flexing his Angelic, But Still Manly Arms of Innocence, and telling the little people Everything Is Just Fine!
He’s been dawdling and dithering for the entire length of this scandal. His dad would have told the press to go fuck themselves, give them the finger, and said something cutting, but brilliant, to put the haters in their place.
But Canada was still not a Zero-Risk nation back in those days, and that’s why everything is unravelling as fast as it is…