Boycott misses mark

Justin Trudeau’s boycott of Sun Media was misguided.

Last week, the Liberal Party leader announced that he’d be boycotting the media conglomerate over an “offensive” Sun News Network segment hosted by Ezra Levant, in which Levant called Trudeau’s father — former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau — “promiscuous” and a “slut” and insulted Trudeau’s mother similarly.

Nearly a week after Trudeau announced his boycott, Sun Media apologized to Trudeau and the conglomerate's journalists were able to resume their coverage.

In light of the nature of Levant’s comments, Trudeau’s decision to boycott was understandable to a certain extent. However, Trudeau needed to differentiate between Levant the person and Sun Media the conglomerate.

Sun Media owns 36 daily newspapers, six free dailies and nearly 200 other publications across the country. The journalists who work at the Kingston Whig-Standard aren’t the same journalists who work at the Edmonton Sun — nor are they Ezra Levant.

As such, it was unfair to punish thousands of journalists based on the actions of one person, simply because they’re owned by the same company. The boycott interfered with the public’s right to transparency and open information, as hundreds of publications no longer had access to the Liberal leader.

In some ways, the boycott appeared to be a tactical political move on Trudeau’s part. Sun Media tends to attract a conservative audience who favour views against Trudeau. By icing out all of Sun Media and refusing interviews with any of their reporters, Trudeau ensured that these news sources were temporarily limited in how much they could write on him.

Levant crossed a line and was rightfully condemned for his inappropriate actions. He provided no evidence to support many of his claims, making them potentially slanderous.

Overall, if such inappropriate and purposeless content is allowed to be broadcast, then Sun News Network needs a higher editorial standard in place.

Journal Editorial Board

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