Canadian reporter complicates Meng case irresponsibly

By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/28 20:08:39

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday that he had "asked for and accepted John McCallum's resignation as Canada's Ambassador to China," after McCallum told the Toronto Star Friday that "if (the US) drops the extradition request, that would be great for Canada." Joanna Chiu, assistant managing editor of StarMetro Vancouver, directly triggered the resignation after making McCallum's words public. On Twitter, Chiu described how she got the exclusive interview with McCallum and showed off her scoop. But Chiu's behavior made her look like a paparazzo instead of a serious journalist. It's not hard to imagine the serious consequences if such important news is reported in a "paparazzi" way.

According to Chiu, she was told by a friend that there would be a charity lunch in downtown Vancouver. Although Chiu was disinvited as "McCallum's comments on Meng Wanzhou were so controversial," she went anyway considering McCallum guest of honor. This shows that Chiu already had a strong purpose before she went and McCallum was her target from the very beginning. As people often have casual conversations over the meal, Chiu could get words out of McCallum and hype them up. This she did.

It is questionable whether Chiu clarified to McCallum that she was reporting at the very beginning. She claimed she "made sure" he could see there were two recorders, but who knows whether he really saw them or not? Chiu tweeted that McCallum "tried to ask for off-the-record" near the end of the interview. But she not only refused his request, but even rushed to get the story out. "This is called doing my job," she flaunted.

But if Chiu does not respect the interviewee's will, isn't that the same as publishing someone's diary without permission? McCallum's resignation has been used as a stepping stone to brighten up Chiu's fame. Her so-called job is more like a paparazzi successfully getting what she wanted and then asking the Trudeau administration for a reward.

Trudeau said recently that Canada is a country "that believes in the rule of law." Doesn't that sound ridiculous now? Just because the ambassador said something fair but politically incorrect, he had to resign in the end. Isn't that political interference in this case?

Canada's current public opinion won't help the country resolve Meng's case reasonably. Some Canadian media and reporters, especially Joanna Chiu, have played an irresponsible role. They are pushing the Trudeau administration further into a dilemma, leaving Ottawa no choice but to stand against Beijing. This is not what a professional journalist would do.

The Trudeau government must properly deal with China-Canada relations, or it should be prepared for Beijing's further retaliation.

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