CJFE condemns MP's denouncement of media as 'fake news'

Thursday, July 20, 2017
11 reactions
Video source: PressProgress (YouTube)

CJFE condemns Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Member of Parliament (MP) Cheryl Gallant’s use of the terms ‘fake news,’ ‘elite-stream media’ and ‘media-splaining’ to denounce Canadian media in a July 10 video posted on Facebook. In the video, she hosts a “news” broadcast for a fictional network Gallant Night News (GNN), claiming the broadcast is “live from Parliament.” The graphics and screen text are obviously intended as a parody of the US-based CNN.

Much of Gallant’s on-screen commentary is hinged on an unfounded theory about a fictitious relationship between Canadian media and the Liberal Party, largely in reference to the court- mandated settlement with Canadian citizen, former child soldier and Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr. The settlement awarded Mr. Khadr $10 million dollars for abuses he suffered at the hands of his American captors and violations of his civil liberties.

Irrespective of the legal merits or political discourse around this settlement, Gallant’s comments give grave cause for concern. Such comments by an elected official amount to an assault on the trusted institutions of Canadian media and displays an effort to undermine one of the pillars of a functioning and healthy democracy. Concerningly, her video mirrors a rising anti-democratic trend we have seen in politics and politicial discourse over recent months.

In the video, Gallant endorses the work of unnamed “rebel” outlets in the Canadian media whose narratives diverge from the “elite-stream media.” Promoting propaganda, slandering politicians, denouncing media institutions and encouraging public mistrust for rigorous and ethical reporting are recognizable hallmarks of totalitarianism. There are disturbing precedents for this behavior in 1930s GermanyEgypt’s military dictatorship and the contemporary United States.

CJFE calls on Ms. Gallant to acknowledge the pressing risk her statements make to Canadian democracy and to apologize to Canadians for her unabashed attack on democratic foundations. We further call on the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Geoff Regan, to review Ms. Gallant’s purported use of her parliamentary office to produce this independent media endeavor as well as to work with the relevant bodies to determine whether funding for the production was procured in accordance with parliamentary ethics procedures. Finally, CJFE calls for the term ‘fake news’ to be added to the officially recognized list of unparliamentary language contained in Beauchesne’s Parliamentary Rules and Forms.


A copy of this protest letter was sent to the office of MP Cheryl Gallant and to Speaker of the House of Commons in Canada, the Honourable Geoff Regan.

What do you think?

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  • Doug McLeod
    commented 2017-07-22 13:18:51 -0400
    When reporters can cover something like politics or the G-20 and be serious enough to comment on the substance of the issues rather than hair, socks and yoga poses, you could one day, perhaps, be determined to be covering “news”. You’ve turned yourself into a biased circus of idiots no reasonable person would pay any attention to. The reason outside sources are eating your breakfast, is because you stopped showing up at the table and unlike yourselves, they aren’t afraid of giving a different viewpoint. You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.
  • Matthew Majore
    commented 2017-07-22 08:03:21 -0400
    CJFE supports fake news and wants to stifle freedom of expression
  • Kenneth Cappon
    commented 2017-07-22 03:23:51 -0400
    Something else to consider: why should Canada pay Mr. Khadr anything for abuses he suffered at the hands of the Americans? How is that our fault?
  • Kenneth Cappon
    commented 2017-07-22 03:20:21 -0400
    One of the MOST important pillars of a democratic society is the ability to speak an opinion, no matter how odious, openly and freely. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT tenant above all else. You at the CJFE have the right to counter Ms. Gallant’s claim with evidence that she is wrong. That to which you absolutely do not have the right is to attempt to shut down, deplatform, censor or otherwise silence her speech by any means whatsoever.
    While you may claim she is attacking and undermining trusted media, your attempt to censor her, attacks the very foundation on which ‘trusted media’ stands: free speech and free expression. Be very careful of double standards in your articles or else abandon any illusion of integrity.
  • Bryon Barker
    commented 2017-07-21 23:27:02 -0400
    I think that the CJFE are a bunch of hypocrites, boo hoo someone called it like they saw it, and now it hurt your feelings. Facts outwiegh feelings
  • Philip Schockaert
    commented 2017-07-21 14:18:49 -0400
    On a fake news network supported by a claim that the Khadr settlement was court ordered in an argument that decries creating “public mistrust for rigorous and ethical reporting” – lol. That lead me to read How Fake News Penetrated Politics – more laughs. You should know the label attaches to more than what is outlined there. I suggest you watch the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOZ0irgLwxU
  • Doug McLeod
    commented 2017-07-20 23:15:59 -0400
    I’ve seen our media refer to Trump as a narcissist – yet I’ve never seen Trump doing yoga poses for the camera. I’ve seen them accuse Trump of being a liar, but he’s trying to do what he said he would and Trudeau’s platform has been proven to be a string of pathological lies. We have a PM who just made a non-court mandated, secret, and untraceable payment to the family who was one of the main financiers of Al Qaeda. The head of which was freed with Chretien’s help and who continue to attack Canada at every opportunity. And as unbelievable as that was, Trudeau actually tried to blame it on someone else. When our media has the same outrage against Trudeau as they do about Trump, they won’t be “fake news”. Right now the majority of them (not all but the vast majority) are a bunch of pre-programmed, Toronto centric, left wing morons who shouldn’t be writing anything more complicated than a colouring book. Fake news? For God’s sake, you’ve spent 3 decades earning it, at least dig deep enough to find the ethical gonads to own it. It may be the first step on the road a recovery that won’t need you to rob the public to keep paying you.
  • Mary Thompson
    commented 2017-07-20 19:54:42 -0400
    I believe it’s time for the Canadian media to take a good look at itself. Although I would not call it fake news, there is a definite left-leaning slant to our MSM. It bothers me to listen to the “experts” CBC and CTV interview. They are so biased that any information they give has to be taken apart and analyzed to get to the truth. There are no journalists today, everyone is a commentator. Go back to the five W’s and let me draw my own conclusions. I don’t need the media to tell me what to think.
  • Philip Tessier
    commented 2017-07-20 16:06:17 -0400
    She called a bunch of liars a bunch of liars. Hard to argue with that assessment.
  • Dan Fraser
    commented 2017-07-20 15:55:13 -0400
    You understand you are called “Free Expression”, right?
  • Gail Dyer
    commented 2017-07-20 15:20:03 -0400
    TRUDEAU and Trudeau alone made the decision to apologize to Khadr and give him monetary compensation. The SCC nor any other court ordered this. Stop with your LIES CJFE.