By Stephen Pate – While US President Donald Trump called the US media “fake news”, Fake News is also a big problem in Canada.

The US and Canadian media got really indignant about Trump’s statement.  They published more critical stories about Trump. Talk show hosts and comedians mocked Trump piling it on.

But President Trump was right: The media is fake. And most people know it.

Most people under 50 don’t trust the media. PEW research confirmed the public’s distrust in a survey last fall. That’s huge – only 1 in 4 people under 50 trust what they read and see.  Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low.

Have you ever been close to a story that was reported in the paper or on TV? Perhaps it was about someone in your neighborhood, town or even your family. Did the media get the story right?  Or were you shaking your head, saying “that’s not what happened.”

It happens all the time and there is nothing the average person can do. If you complain, the paper or network will say “we stand by our story.”

The media ignore stories that don’t suit their purpose and make a big deal about other stories. They distort the facts in their own alt-reality world.  Many Presidents have tried to deal with the issue but no one as forcefully as Trump.

Fake News in Canada

Surprisingly there may be more fake news in Canada than in the USA. In Canada, a few corporations control all the news. There is very little competition to force them to be honest. So, Canadian news media report their own bias and prejudices, including their own self interest.

In 2013, it was reported that the Concentration of Media Ownership In Canada Worst In G8.  “The report from Boston-based Analysis Group reports that 81.4 per cent of the value of Canada’s TV distribution (cable and satellite) market is controlled by companies that also create content, such as broadcasters and production companies… In the U.S., it’s 23.1 per cent.”

Two examples of fake news at CBC News

The CBC is a great source of fake news. The CBC controls the news across Canada. “CBC/Radio-Canada’s reach is 87%… of Canadians (who) watch or listen to something from their public broadcaster every month.” (CBC President Hubert Lacroix speaking to the Senate.)

CBC President Hubert Lacroix tries to explain how he claimed $30,000 in expenses twice.

CBC President Hubert Lacroix tries to explain how he claimed $30,000 the same expenses twice

But the CBC is our champion you say, an honest source of news in a commercialized world. Let me give you an example of how the CBC reports Fake News.

How could the President of the CBC cheat on his expense claims and CBC printed just two stories exonerating him.

Here’s what happened. The CBC President claimed the same $30,000 in expenses twice. He tried to hide the facts but the story got out.  CBC barely covered the story twice, using their own reporters who would be easy on their boss. Exposing CBC President Just Another Expense Cheater

When an independent journalist tried to interview CBC President Lacroix, he darted away into the night. CBC President Avoids Spotlight On Sensational Expense Cheating. With the help of sympathetic big media, the story died.

At the same time, when it served their purpose, the CBC went all out to report the phony $90,000 expense scandal of Senator Mike Duffy.  I say phony because the judge at trial said it wasn’t true.  Despite the lack of evidence, the CBC broadcast story after story painting Mike Duffy as a greedy, evil person who cheated Canadians.

Here’s the backstory: the CBC hated Mike Duffy for years. He used to work for the CBC but moved to CTV, the competitor network CTV, where he became a household name for his reporting.

The CBC also did not like Duffy when he was appointed to the Senate by the Conservative Prime Minister Harper. The CBC loathed Prime Minister Harper. When Mike Duffy was accused of cheating on his Senate expenses, CBC ran about 3,600 stories condemning him. Some pundits think the Duffy stories were as much to tarnish the Prime Minister as Mike Duffy.

Mike Duffy-as-crook fake news stories became a daily fixation for the CBC.  They disparaged him for his weight, heart disease, his cottage on Prince Edward Island. The CBC dug up every old story and rumour and piled it on. The media hounded Duffy as if he was a criminal.

The reporting was so vitriolic that a local newspaper reporter went to Duffy’s seaside cottage in the middle of winter. She stood in the snow-filled driveway and wrote a nasty story that he was not living at his PEI residence.  It made good sound bites even if she forgot to mention few live on the wind and snow swept north shore of Prince Edward Island in winter.

Mike Duffy fake news stories were a mini-industry that got CBC lots of attention and took some of the heat off the CBC scandals like Jian Ghomeshi, Hubert Lacroix, and ongoing sexual harassment.

After a long and sensationalized trial, the court exonerated Mike Duffy.  He was innocent of all charges. “The once-towering case against Sen. Mike Duffy collapsed utterly Thursday as a judge cleared the man at the centre of the long-running Senate expense scandal,” reported Macleans Magazine.

The CBC never apologized.

That’s what Donald Trump calls fake news. CBC doesn’t like Donald Trump either so don’t expect any good stories about Donald Trump. I’m not a Trump supporter but he must have some good qualities. He won the election and is the President, just as much as Obama was the President. Why are we deluged with nothing but negative stories about Trump? It’s what he calls Fake News. Of course, President Trump is not dumb. He can use Twitter to get his story out and confound the media.

Some of Trump’s decisions will no doubt be wise. But like George Bush, the media will inundate the public with stories about his foibles and weaknesses.  Fake news. We get that in Canada too.