The Raw Data
Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.
Justin Trudeau says he ‘shouldn’t’ make ‘dumb jokes’ after ‘peoplekind’ comment
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he “shouldn’t be making jokes even when I think they’re funny,” referring to his use of “peoplekind” during a town hall meeting in Edmonton last week. At the meeting, a woman from the audience said, “Maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind.” Trudeau responded by saying, “We like to say ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily ‘mankind,’ because it’s more inclusive.” The crowd then cheered and the woman laughed, saying, “There you go, exactly. Yes, thank you.” Some media outlets and social media users criticized Trudeau’s comment.
Read the full Raw Data here.
The Knife’s analysis of how news outlets distort information. (This section may contain opinion.)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a comment last week at a town hall meeting in Edmonton. Responding to a woman who spoke about women’s empowerment, Trudeau suggested using the word “peoplekind” instead of “mankind.” She laughed and the crowd cheered. In context, it seemed people found the “joke” funny; others may have disagreed with his use of gender neutral language.
But news outlets stripped the comment of context and added their own disparaging opinion and bias. True, some of Trudeau’s critics did take to social media to ridicule him for his remark. But the media jumped on that bandwagon and exposed a harsh truth: in our society, if you don’t align yourself with the media’s narrative you can suffer the consequences of public humiliation and dishonor.
Conservative outlets did this most explicitly. Take a look at the Daily Caller’s headline, for instance: “Watch Justin Trudeau Get Downright Annihilated By A Few Good Canadians.” Yet outlets such as the New York Times, which have portrayed Trudeau positively in the past, also focused on Trudeau’s detractors and they became critics themselves. For instance, the Times wrote:
But the Trudeau magic has worn off, and conservative critics accused him of being smug and possibly staging public outings for their viral factor, which his administration strongly denies.
Canadian newspapers also focused on conservatives’ ridicule of Trudeau as being “too politically correct,” as The Globe and Mail put it. The Toronto Sun, a tabloid, added to what it called Trudeau’s “withering condemnation from social and mainstream media” by republishing tweets that mocked him.
The most dishonorable of the four, by far, was The Daily Caller. Don’t let its headline fool you — the article wasn’t really about the prime minister’s comment or the town hall meeting. The three lines related to the event served as a springboard for an ad hominem attack on Trudeau:
Canada’s airing out its dirty laundry. They’re having a good old fashioned parliamentary debate and now the whole world has a front row seat to witnessing just how awful Justin Trudeau really is … No self respecting country votes a creature like this into office.
None of the articles we analyzed were data-based. They relied heavily on bias, opinion, sensational language, factual inaccuracies and faulty reasoning — like that ad hominem attack.
Our “total integrity” ratings reflect these distortions. The Times, which scored the highest of the four, came in at only 35 percent integrity. That means 65 percent of its information was distorted in some way. And the Daily Caller’s article was a first for The Knife: it earned an integrity rating of… zero. Zero!
It’s become more socially acceptable to allow cynicism to pollute what’s supposed to be news reporting. And in the case of dishonor in the media, the effects are far-reaching and irrevocable. Dishonor curtails our ability to see people as fellow human beings. This disempowers civil discourse and community life. Regardless of whether you like Trudeau or not — or whether you agree with gender neutral speech or not — preserving honorable discourse is the way to a more civilized society. Dishonor moves us in the wrong direction.
The harsh reality is that the media is a reflection of us. As readers, we’re the ones who drive the market; ultimately, news outlets produce the type of content we’re willing to consume. The costs are far too great to continue as we are — not just in terms of our ability to think critically, which this type of reporting erodes, but also in our ability to resolve key societal issues. That requires respecting each other as human beings.
The Knife represents a change in media, a change in our thinking. Thank you for supporting us in crafting ethical journalism.
Is it fact or fiction? Which outlet presents the most spin?
“Young, tall and athletic, [Trudeau] was the emoji politician North America craved.”
Trudeau, 46, is 6’2” (1.88 m) tall. He became Canadian Prime Minister in 2015. He was a snowboarding instructor and fought in a charity boxing match in 2012.
Some criticisms of the prime minister “prov[e] to me that there are at least a few Canadians who aren’t afraid to fight dirty, boo Trudeau into submission and call him out for being the wimp he is.”
A man from the audience at one of Trudeau’s events said, “Did you run out of coloring books, Trudeau?” Some other people in the audience also voiced criticisms. During the Edmonton meeting, the crowd laughed and cheered at his “peoplekind” joke.
“The [Fox & Friends] show is known to be among Trump’s favourites, and he often posts tweets in direct response to what they are reporting. On Tuesday, however, the president appeared to be holding his thumbs.”
Trump’s tweets sometimes reference “Fox & Friends” content. They did not on Tuesday.
See how the articles rate in spin, slant and logic when held against objective standards.
Total Integrity: 35%
Total Integrity: 28%
Total Integrity: 3%
Total Integrity: 0.0%