National Newswatch

Four anchors and a big, ugly desk: Watching the new National

Nov 7 2017 — Paul Adams — No newscast can be judged by its first edition. CBC-TV’s The National re-launched last night with a fleet of new anchors, cool, modern-looking graphics — and the usual first-night glitches. However, its character will be defined not just by the months of planning that went into Night One but the reaction of audiences (and perhaps […]

Are journalists going easy on Trudeau?

Apr 17 2017 — Paul Adams — I was struck by something Andrew MacDougall wrote about reporters the other day as he grappled with something that seemed strange to him: the fact that, despite Justin Trudeau’s many misfires and outright fails, his popularity is undiminished. MacDougall offered many explanations, including the enduring power of Trudeau’s “sunny ways” narrative and his good looks […]

When columnists go rogue

Mar 28 2017 — Paul Adams — There are lines you don’t cross. It’s just that no one will tell you where they are. Whenever they sit down to write, columnists are working between invisible lines. The columnist can’t know exactly where the lines are. In fact, no one ever points to them until they’re crossed. And then, everyone but the bewildered […]

How the Star got its O’Leary poll story dead wrong

Jan 25 2017 — Paul Adams — It isn’t always the polls getting it wrong. Sometimes it’s the journalists. Here’s a newsflash: The polls in the election that delivered us Donald Trump weren’t the problem. The journalists and commentators who reported on them — they were the problem. You won’t hear that from most of the media, of course. In fact, these […]

Could Tom Mulcair actually win?

Apr 9 2015 — Paul Adams — In the middle of the 2011 election campaign, Jack Layton gave a remarkable interview to Peter Mansbridge. Layton’s campaign had looked shaky at the start, with much of the media coverage focused on his recent bout with prostate cancer (which is probably what came back to kill him just a few months later). He recovered […]

Can Harper stoke fear and still woo the ethnic vote?

Mar 11 2015 — Paul Adams — One of Stephen Harper’s most remarkable achievements in politics has been to navigate his way from the nativist, turban-queasy, anti-immigration policies of Reform to those of a modern party, supporting immigration and wooing the ethnic vote. With his sidekick Jason Kenney scarfing perogies and papadums with equal enthusiasm, in 2011 Harper led the Conservatives to […]

Would Trudeau govern from the right or left?

Mar 4 2015 — Paul Adams — There’s a simple mathematical explanation to the Trudeau Liberals’ current rightward tilt. Every former Conservative voter that the Liberals are able to woo is a two-fer, not only increasing the Liberals’ vote tally but decreasing the Conservatives’ at the same time. For hockey fans, the best analogy would be the four-point games that loom so […]

Canada’s tantrum in the Middle East

Feb 26 2015 — Paul Adams — Many Canadians would be surprised to learn the extent to which Canada has become an enemy of moderation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so let’s not allow the latest petty incident to go unremarked: apparent payback to a Palestinian NGO because its founder criticized John Baird. For more than twenty years, Hanan Ashrawi, an ethnic Christian […]

Islamic State and the politics of panic

Feb 18 2015 — Paul Adams — Before we start amending our security laws, sending CSIS agents scurrying to disrupt terrorist plots, and extend our existing military mission against Islamic State, let’s get real. Although both the Canadian victims of terrorism — one near Parliament Hill and the other in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu — were soldiers, the tragic truth is that serving soldiers are […]

Jordan pilot hostage Moaz al-Kasasbeh ‘burned alive’

Feb 3 2015 — Paul Adams — Jordan has confirmed the death of pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh after a video published online by Islamic State (IS) claimed to show him being burned alive. The video shows a man standing in a cage and engulfed in flames. Officials are working to confirm it is genuine. Jordan’s King Abdullah hailed Lt Kasasbeh as a hero, […]

How the maple leaf became forever

Jan 28 2015 — Paul Adams — The flag. Earlier this week, a Canadian Auschwitz survivor returned to the scene of her childhood horror, arm in arm with her daughter. The two women chose to drape themselves in a large Canadian flag. Literally half a world away, and in an utterly different context, the Aussie fanboys of glamorous Canadian tennis star Eugenie […]

Mr. Trudeau’s policy peekaboo

Jan 21 2015 — Paul Adams — It’s quite possible that, a year from now, Justin Trudeau will be the prime minister of Canada. So it doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable for us to ask: What, precisely, are his plans for the job? Oh, sure. There have been tiny hints and whispered rumours of what might be going through Trudeau’s mind.

All the ways Harper could be gone this time next year

Jan 14 2015 — Paul Adams — There is a possibility that Stephen Harper could still be our prime minister this time next year — maybe until 2019, or beyond. But it’s still more likely that he will be gone by 2016, left only to haunt our dreams. It’s just the way of his going that has yet to be determined. Here […]