Justin Trudeau boycotts Sun Media over Ezra Levant rant
Sun Media columnist and TV host attacked Trudeau for kissing a bride on cheek
Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is refusing to speak with Sun Media until the company responds to his allegation it aired an "offensive" attack against his family.
Sun Media "crossed the line by airing a personal attack on the Trudeau family that was offensive and breached any reasonable measure of editorial integrity," reads a statement written by Kate Purchase, Trudeau's director of communications planning.
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The TV segment aired on Sun News Network's The Source with Ezra Levant on Sept. 15. In the piece, host and opinion columnist Levant shares his view of a photo taken and tweeted by Trudeau's official photographer of the Liberal leader kissing a bride on the cheek on her wedding day.
Trudeau's team capitalized on the moment "to make him look virile and sexy," the oft-brash Levant said in the clip.
The idea of the nobleman of the estate riding through like in Medieval times to deflower whatever maidens he wanted — that's still there in Trudeau.- Ezra Levant, The Source with Ezra Levant host
In the nearly five-minute rant, Levant said Trudeau invaded an intimate moment on a day when a bride is only to be kissed by her husband and father.
"The idea of the nobleman of the estate riding through like in Medieval times to deflower whatever maidens he wanted — that's still there in Trudeau," he said. "Obviously Trudeau didn't have sex with her. But he pushed himself into the picture in an intimate way."
He questions Trudeau's value of marriage, saying the Liberal leader must believe he's starring in Wedding Crashers. But "even they had enough class to give the bride herself a pass," he said.
Levant draws a comparison in Trudeau's behaviour to that of his parents, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau, who were "promiscuous and publicized how many conquests they had."
Of the former prime minister, Levant says, "He banged anyone. He was a slut." And Margaret "wasn't much different."
The sentiments are also expressed in an opinion column for Sun Media published Saturday.
'Beyond the bounds of civil discourse'
The groom and groomsman asked Trudeau to pose in some photos with the wedding party, Purchase told Huffington Post Canada. Trudeau asked the bride's permission before the kiss, she said, and the bride consented.
Trudeau's people have raised their concerns with Quebecor Inc., which owns the Sun News Network, and asked it to "consider an appropriate response," according to Purchase's statement.
Trudeau will "not engage" with Sun Media until the matter is resolved, she wrote.
Trudeau told reporters Tuesday that the statement expresses his stance well, but added that Sun Media's segment was "unacceptable and beyond the bounds of civil discourse."
He said he has been open and accessible to the media across the country. Trudeau said that will continue.
Sun Media publishes 36 daily newspapers six free daily newspapers and nearly 200 community newspapers and other publications, according to its site.
It published a story Tuesday responding to Trudeau's boycott of its reporters, saying that its staff "have literally had to chase after Trudeau" for comment on any issue for the past several months.
Levant's outbursts have gotten him in trouble before. In 2011, he used a Spanish-language profanity in an on-air interview with a Chiquita executive and was upbraided by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. The following year, in a segment about Roma people in Canada, he called them "swindlers" who "come here to gyp us again, to rob us blind" through "theft and begging." The broadcast council again found he violated its codes, and Sun Media apologized unreservedly and said the rant "was inappropriate and should not have gone to air."