How Toronto's Papers Covered Trump's Falling Poll Numbers
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How Toronto’s Papers Covered Trump’s Falling Poll Numbers

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

This week’s Front Page Challenge finds our city’s newspapers dialing down their Olympic coverage and concentrating on other developments, including musical chairs at CBC Radio, a growing battle between Ontario’s doctors and the Province, and the continuing collapse of Donald Trump’s once-mighty presidential campaign. Which of our regular combatants will emerge victorious this week?

globe aug 16
The Globe and Mail

Today’s Globe features two provincial stories with national implications—the hardline vote by Ontario’s doctors to reject a new fee agreement with the Province, and the recent decision by the B.C. government to slap a 15 per cent tax on foreign property buyers in an attempt to level the playing field for domestic housing sales in a booming market. But the main feature this morning is an analysis of the ongoing collapse of Donald Trump’s dreams of becoming the first Orange man elected President of the United States. For months he promised a pivot in his bombastic Republican primary campaign style to appeal to voters in a general election, but with yesterday’s speech on national security echoing previous promises to ban all Muslims from entering the United States with a vow to impose a “values test” for future immigrants, it seems Trump is unwilling to compromise his message. As a result, polls are starting to indicate a potential blowout this fall, one that might also cost the Republican Party control of the House and Senate if Trump’s unpopularity affects GOP candidates in tight down ballot races. Trump is portrayed on today’s front page as if he is being consumed by the negative space around his podium, a good visual metaphor.

post aug 16
National Post

The National Post‘s top story today concerns a social divide coming into view in the province of Saskatchewan in the wake of the shooting death of a young First Nations man who was in a truck that drove onto the private property of a rural farmer, with racially-charged comments on the situation heating up in social media to the point that Premier Brad Wall warned he is prepared to enforce hate speech laws if things don’t calm down. Trump’s calls for what he termed “extreme vetting” of immigrants in his foreign policy speech also makes the front page today, as well as a human interest story about the possible resolution of a 38-year-old missing persons case in Montreal. And the Post also covers yesterday’s news that Shad will be immediately replaced as the host of CBC radio’s q (his last show aired this morning). The Post is always up for a chance to take a swipe at the CBC and David Berry’s column blames the broadcaster and not the replacement host for the show’s inability to maintain high ratings in the wake of Ghomeshi’s downfall, suggesting the CBC still hasn’t learned the lessons that episode may have taught them.

star aug 16
Toronto Star

The Star‘s top story today concerns the cost of auto insurance in Toronto, from the perspective of a woman whose annual premium jumped $600 not because of her (good) driving record, but because she moved from North York to Scarborough, a five-minute drive away from her old place. The paper also provides a handy chart of the cheapest and most expensive areas in the city, in case people feel like moving to different neighbourhoods to save on their auto insurance premiums. The Star also features a horrible car story of a different kind, the alleged assault by an Uber driver of his female passenger caught on video. The story comes along as the City plans to roll out individual screening and licensing of Uber drivers in the next few weeks. The paper sheds light on last week’s thwarted alleged terror attack, featuring an interview with the father of suspect Aaron Driver, killed last week by an RCMP tactical unit.

metro aug 16
Metro Toronto

Cue the new Q,” reads the banner on the top of the page for today’s Metro, as Shad vacates the host chair for his replacement Tom Power. It’s just one of the many big changes featured on today’s front page, including the news of rising ticket prices for marquee matchups at Rogers Centre as the Blue Jays battle to return to the American League playoffs; a report on the growing number of environmental issues being discovered in the city’s ravines that threaten to damage their sustainability; a preview of a local design firm’s new book that takes Toronto to task for the recent “bland” and “repetitive” condo proliferation; and “T.O. Movie Business Blowing Up,” a story on the boom in film production in the 6ix as of late, kicked off last year by the totally twisted Suicide Squad and helped along by the weak Canadian dollar.

Toronto Sun

sun aug 16
A lot of alliteration always allowed the Sun to satisfy subscribers and straphangers alike and today’s front page is no exception. “Doc Deal Dead” is how the Sun describes the Province’s doctors rejecting the provincial government’s proposed servicing agreement. The paper marks the occasion with yet another photo from its collection of unflattering pictures of Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynne, and a Sue-Ann Levy column, “Doctors declare a victory for patients,” that tries to strike a balance between cheering for public health care providers sticking it to Wynne. (“I’m not suggesting the health-care system couldn’t be streamlined,” Levy writes. “Or that there isn’t incompetence and mismanagement. Not for a second. I’ve seen and heard of so much duplication, it’s unbelievable.”) The eye is also drawn to the secondary alliterative headline of the morning “Terror – Trump – Trudeau” which could mean anything (go to pages 3, 8, and 9 to find out more!). And who’s the best, asks Steve Simmons: Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps? It’s an interesting question. Bolt, for example, could never maintain his lightning fast pace if he tried to run 100m in a pool full of water. Likewise, Phelps would get a mouth full of gravel if he tried to dive into a track and field race. (Seriously though, Simmons thinks Bolt > Phelps.)

This week’s winner: In a mild, not particularly hard-fought battle between the papers today, we are awarding this week’s trophy to the Globe and Mail for the most aesthetically pleasing front page (Trump looking unhappy as his campaign flounders, his orange sourpuss face set against the red and blue curtains that serve to represent the current ideological divide in America). This brings the Globe back into a tie with the Post in a battle to escape the basement of our weekly standings.

Newspaper Number of Wins
Toronto Sun 11
Metro 10
Toronto Star 9
National Post 6
Globe and Mail 6

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