How Toronto's Papers Covered Trudeau's Cabinet Shuffle and Meryl Streep's Speech

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How Toronto’s Papers Covered Trudeau’s Cabinet Shuffle and Meryl Streep’s Speech

The Toronto Sun is livid about Streep's Golden Globes remarks, and it shows.

In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.

Front Page Challenge

With the inauguration of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump less than two weeks away, Canada is bracing for change that could be realer than Justin Trudeau’s vaunted “Real Change” promise that swept him into office. While the Prime Minister is rolling out some advance changes to his cabinet to brace for this new reality, at least two of Toronto’s five daily newspapers are still in a lather over Meryl Streep’s anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday. This week, the Front Page Challenge is anyone’s game.


globe jan 10
The Globe and Mail


The Globe leads with Trudeau’s cabinet shake-up, which is being undertaken to handle Trump’s promised new protectionist policies. The fact is, no one really knows what the Trump administration will really look like—the president-elect’s counselor Kellyanne Conway recently urged people to judge Trump by what’s in his heart, not what comes out of his mouth, but that doesn’t seem to have struck a chord with the Canadian government. The Globe also features coverage of the Ontario government’s agreement to fund supervised drug-injection sites in Toronto and Ottawa to combat the spread of overdose deaths related to the booming use of fentanyl. Lastly, the paper’s front page includes a special feature on the future of women’s professional hockey in Canada, which has a solid following and features two competing sports leagues. However, the league likely needs to develop a solid relationship with the NHL (and television contracts) to thrive in the years between international competitions.


post jan 10
National Post


The Post is bullish on their new Trumpian overlords as the big inauguration day draws near. One would imagine the Post would blow a gasket if Hillary Clinton had been elected president and named family members to key cabinet positions, but their coverage of Trump’s decision to appoint his son-in-law Jared Kushner as his senior adviser hasn’t triggered the paper to shout that anti-nepotism laws must prevent this from happening. The paper’s anodyne headline “West Wing Becomes Family Affair” acknowledges these rules are in place, but the paper’s position on this is otherwise ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. An accompanying column, “Trump is about to eat Canada’s lunch” is pretty excited about the potential the supposedly business-friendly Trump administration has to force Trudeau to drop his dreams of carbon taxes and tariffs that are unappealing to foreign investors. Contrarian conservative columnist Colby Cosh burnishes his bitter bona fides by being the first person in the history of the newspaper business to stand up for Canadian commercials airing during our simulcast of the Super Bowl, and the Post finishes with a piece on the blowback from American conservatives over Meryl Streep’s speech: celebrities have no business making political speeches, some say.


star jan 10
Toronto Star


A typical front-page grab bag from the Star this morning: the paper’s top stories are the supervised injection sites that have been given the green light in Toronto and the impending Trudeau cabinet shuffle. The shuffle reportedly may include local MP Chrystia Freeland (University-Rosedale) heading over to the government’s Global Affairs department. The Star also offers an update on the story of the Swansea man who fought the order from the city to tear down the gigantic nautical-themed tree house he had built for his children—his appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board was successful after mediation. Finally, the Star has a story on the upcoming TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s ever-timely novel about a repressive fundamentalist regime that views women as property of the state.


metro jan 10
Metro Toronto


Metro‘s front page this morning is a busy one: a story on the City’s plans to create an Indigenous business district near Dundas and Jarvis, and a profile of a U of T student working to help young black women apply to grad school. Matt Elliott continues to advocate for better traffic management with a column advocating for TTC vehicles to get priority of movement. Metro takes a pro-Meryl Streep position this morning, with columnist Johanna Schneller saluting her as our “ambassador of empathy,” and Metro also brings an animal back to their Page One with a story on “The World’s Saddest Bird.”


Toronto Sun


sun jan 10

The Sun has two things on their mind this morning: the Leafs and the Streep. Alluding to former mayor Rob Ford’s famous “Go Leafs Go” chant, the Sun urges the team to consider trying to make the playoffs this year as a way of marking their centennial. But they really have the knives out for Meryl this morning, with two columns about how she should have kept her thoughts about Trump to herself. Mike Strobel’s piece, with the somewhat sexist headline “Meryl Screech,” attacks her and other limousine liberals in Tinseltown for being out of step with what the Electoral College confirmed as the people’s choice in the election. Mark Bonokoski curiously equates Streep and Justin Trudeau as “two elitists in a pod,” taking particular umbrage at Streep’s passing comment about mixed martial arts being Trump’s idea of an art form: “To Streep, this would be all that would be left for the hoi polloi to entertain themselves if her beloved Hollywood, so precious to her precious self, got swallowed up by Godzilla.” And if there were anything left of Streep’s reputation after this onslaught, there’s also an editorial, “Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Meryl Streep,” bashing her even further—while admitting that she is at least a good actress. “It’s clear that Streep and other bicoastal celebs from New York and California still don’t get what happened in the recent U.S. election,” the editorial reads. “They don’t appreciate that average people across the U.S. don’t share the views or concerns of the wealthy, indulgent, out-of-touch cultural elite.”


This week’s winner: In a tough decision for the jury, the Post wins for the second week in a row on aesthetic grounds, for running a strange photograph of Donald Trump standing in the elevator at Trump Tower, perhaps meant as a metaphor for his imminent ascension to the Presidency.

frontpage_POST

Newspaper Number of Wins
National Post 2
Metro 0
Toronto Sun 0
Toronto Star 0
Globe and Mail 0


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