Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Today's News: Is Poilievre actually Mr. Roboto?

I thought yesterday's clip of Poilievre being interviewed by several reporters was very strange. 
Now, the questions from the reporters were odd too -- they seemed incredibly intimidated by Poilievre, fumbling and mumbling, their voices trembling as they tentatively asked questions. 
But what I really thought was bizarre was Poilievre's Robot-like answers -- he kept repeating his lines like a mantra - "Axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget, stop the crime, ..." and he kept repeating his Trudeau smears word-for-word "crime wave across the country, 2 million people using food banks". It sounded like he has carefully memorized four lines of attack and has to just keep repeating them over and over, on some kind of bizarre endless loop. So now I'm wondering, is Pierre Poilievre actually just a robot?
He even looks a little like Mr. Roboto too, doesn't he? 
In his tweet about this clip, Charles Adler asks 
Is this slogan salad what the CPC leader misidentifies as common sense? Before wasting your time filling the reply box with the same tedious labels, listen to Poilievre's words and ask whether you have any friends in the real world who ghoulishly & foolishly speak like bots. 
At Bug-Eyed and Shameless, Justin Ling's article The Pierre Poilievre Media Circus describes how he participated last week in a Poilievre press conference.
I can't quote it all - the whole article is worth reading - but Ling pointed out a darker truth:
...On Tuesday I trekked down to one of Poilievre’s press conferences here in Montreal to see this shtick for myself...
Normally, at press conferences such as these, reporters try and ask a few questions specifically on the topic at hand, before moving on to other unrelated topics or the news of the day.
But Poilievre’s team have recently instituted a policy whereby journalists may only ask one question each, no follow-up, five in total. (His flacks cite “time constraints” at each event.) This practice revives an old tactic from the previous Harper government, which grew tired of the media by the end of its nearly-ten-years in power and clamped down on all the pesky question-asking.
The Conservative media wranglers snatch the microphone out of reporters’ hands as soon as they ask their question, depriving them of any retort to dear leader’s rants.
In responding, Poilievre generally lumps these questions into one of two categories — ones he likes, which he can use to deliver an answer that may go viral; and ones he doesn’t, whereby he can attack the journalist for asking them and achieve even more virality....

So maybe this explains how reporters in the clip above were so rushed and inarticulate in their questions, and why they didn't push back on Poilievre's smears - Poilieve's people were grabbing the microphone away as soon as they blurted out their question. And isn't it too bad the reporters at these events aren't setting up their cameras to show this whole story. Anyway, Ling continues:

As I watched the Conservative leader deliver his acidic and nonsensical answer, I knew immediately that his answer was being clipped. He wasn’t answering me at all, he was speaking to the crowd on Twitter, Youtube, Rumble, and so on. And, sure enough: It was uploaded to Twitter in minutes by Rebel News. The tweet glowingly quoted Poilievre and pointed readers to a section of their website entitled “trans madness.” The site warns that “not only are our governments, the mainstream media, and even the police doing nothing about it — they're actually pushing for even more of this Trans Madness!” The tweet appears just below a sponsored post warning that “the WHO and WEF have formally endorsed the planning process for ‘Disease X,’” the feared sequel to COVID-19.
This is no accident. Poilievre uses these press conferences to perform for outlets like The Rebel, True North, and random Twitter Blue-subscribing supporters. And those supporters happily oblige....
These press conferences have become content generation exercises for his supportive media partners. By my count, The Rebel has uploaded more than 40 videos of Poilievre just since the beginning of the year — often pointing towards some microsite echoing his policy positions, such as “stop the carbon tax,” “no green reset,” or “stop the shots.”
Poilievre isn’t the first to turn these sorts of press conferences into a combat sport. But he may be the first to understand the power of making them a participatory exercise.
The Conservative Party is now practically begging The Rebel, True North, Greg Gutfeld, Elon Musk, Jordan B. Peterson, and the whole gang of anti-woke, conspiracy-minded online influencers to pick up on his performative displays and help him go viral.
It won’t be lectures on car thefts and port security that rack up the retweets, of course. He’ll rely on the mainstream press and broadcast news to run those comments. To get the critical clip of him hopping all over Justin Trudeau’s disinformation-peddlers or standing up for all of those downtrodden parents, he’ll need someone to poke him first.
This media circus is designed to reach those more fanatical fans while forcing more and more Canadians who stumble across these clips into a choice: Do I side with the journalists asking tough questions, or the guy with the microphone running circles around them?
The comparisons between Poilievre and Trump are often lazy and half-cooked. They are fundamentally different politicians with very different temperaments, policies, and styles. They seem similar, however, because they both recognize the power of their most ardent supporters, and they recognize the power of building dedicated movements. And sometimes they use the same tactics to get there. ...
Finally, on a lighter note, isn't this the truth?


Anonymous said...

Justin Ling is right. Poilievre isn't Trump, he's more along the lines of Ron DeSantis. Someone with no personality or care for their fellow human beings jumping on the MAGA bandwagon and attempting to appear sane. Authoritarians through and through.

Mr perfect

Purple library guy said...

He's not Mr. Roboto if only because I would never say "arigato" to him.