Consider the tools of a journalist: notepad and pen, tape recorder, camera, video camera, cellphone. All the low-tech and high-tech stuff a scribe needs to get the story.
But for the first time in my 36-year career of chasing down stories, I have a new piece of must-have equipment thanks to the Justin Trudeau election campaign: namely, a pair of steel-toed boots.
By way of explanation, recently, I covered a Trudeau campaign event in Richmond Hill, Ont. It took place outdoors in the parking lot of a shopping mall, so it was impossible for the prime minister’s security to ban non-compliant media.
Trudeau was there to prop up the fortunes of MP Majid Jowhari, who won the riding in 2019 by a photo-finish 0.2% after the mail-in ballots were counted. (Hmm… where have we heard that one before?)
Let it be known that the Richmond Hill riding has a significant Iranian population. I’ve lived in this city for more than two decades, and I can tell you with certainty that every Persian I have encountered here is someone who fled their homeland for a better life, given that Iran post-1979 has devolved into an authoritarian state and the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.
So, isn’t it downright inexplicable that this Member of Parliament is pro-Iranian regime? Jowhari has tweeted words of congratulations to the “elected” Iranian government and has even arranged meetings with members of the Iranian regime. He also supports Iran re-establishing an embassy in Ottawa. And the odious list goes on…
Even though I was deemed to be media non grata here, I nevertheless showed up and fired off questions to both Trudeau and Jowhari, both of whom seemed to be suffering from selective deafness on this day, given that none of my impolite queries received any responses.
But here’s the thing: even though I posed absolutely no physical threat to these lovely Liberals, Trudeau’s goon squad treated me as though I was a clear and present danger. They blocked me, they walked into me, they complained about my little selfie stick (all the while turning a blind eye to a CTV camera crew with an enormous boom mic). And worst of all, they covertly assaulted me by purposely stepping on my toes. That’s a brilliant way to assault someone, by the way — keep it below the belt in a crowd of people, so that no camera can capture the incident.
And it’s hard to miss scoring a direct hit on my Hush Puppies as I am a size 13 wide. That’s a lot of clodhopper real estate for the Mounties to step on. Then again, I must look on the bright side: they didn’t employ their horses to do the stomping. Had that been the case, I’d likely still be in hospital.
But seriously, folks, imagine if this had happened to a CBC or a Toronto Star reporter? I think a Royal Commission would already be underway…
In any event, I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to getting decked out with a different sort of PPE. So it is that I recently visited my friendly neighbourhood Mister Safety Shoes store to pick up a new piece of must-have journalism equipment: a pair of Timberland steel-toed boots.
Granted, wearing such construction footwear might come across as somewhat jarring when paired with a business suit. But at Rebel News, we endeavour to bring you the other side of the story. And if that means wearing armoured footwear, so be it.