The silent service
The troubling aspect about Justin Trudeau is that we know his every wonky policy proposal and his detailed travel schedule including what leader he’s meeting with in what far-off country. But we don’t know the answer to the most important question of all – who is his paramour? Since the announcement that Trudeau split with his wife, there has been total silence on who he’s been seeing.
Oh, I’ve heard four different rumours, but I don’t know the truth. Yet there must be at least one hundred people in Ottawa who know the name of the person in question. Many of those one hundred are members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery so I texted one of them to ask.
The answer was illuminating, not because I learned the name, but because of the tone of the response, which went something like this: “The prime minister may have had an affair, lots of people in Ottawa have affairs. I’m not going to spend any time seeking the answer because it’s not worthy of pursuit.” Translation: Such prurient inquiries were beneath her/him.
I bet most Canadians want to learn who’s the love interest and maybe, as I am willing to admit, as soon as they hear they will feign lack of interest. That’s our character: wanting to know, unwilling to acknowledge.
The real issue is this: what else is the Parliamentary Press Gallery keeping from us? Obviously, I don’t know, but I know why. They might desire a job in Ottawa someday and they don’t want to blot their copy books by writing that which Ottawa higher-ups don’t want to read.
Here’s what happens. After eight years or so in the Press Gallery, a correspondent gets tired and maybe is ready for a career change. They don’t want to go back to home base, whether in Toronto or Split Lip, Alberta. No, they want to do communications for a cabinet minister, become an assistant deputy minister in some department, or even be appointed to the Senate as has happened to journalists in the past.
In that regard, Ottawa’s in a time warp. The situation is reminiscent of the 1960s when President John F. Kennedy’s philandering was kept private by the White House press corps. Is there no one in the Parliamentary Press Gallery who’s brave enough to tell Canadians what we really want to know? We’re all ears.