I don’t want to look like I’m jumping too quickly to conclusions, but I *think* I detect a certain unwillingness on the part of Justin Trudeau to talk to Sun News. Check this out:
Now I don’t believe it’s accurate to describe this clip as him “running away” from Sun News. It’s more like he’s making a point of ignoring us. I guess he figures there is more for him to gain in ignoring Sun News than in answering our journalist’s questions. That may be so. Still, the questions surrounding his planned participation in that famous Islamic revival conference are real, they are important, and they could hurt him if he doesn’t take them seriously.
It’s called political hygiene. Politicians, by the very nature of their job, talk to a lot of people. Not all of them are shining examples of awesomeness. In fact, politics is notorious for attracting weirdos and more than a few shady characters. I’ve been to a lot of political conferences and events, from NDP events to hard-core libertarian confabs. Each one attracts its share of people you don’t want to get too comfy with. I cannot, and will not, fault a politician for spending time in a room that includes a few bad apples in the darker corners near the emergency exits. But when the bad apples are either organizing a conference, sponsoring it, or participating in any significant way (say, they are fellow speakers), then it is incumbent on politicians like Justin Trudeau to put some daylight between themselves and the bad apples. Either by refusing to participate, or by challenging the bad apples. If they don’t, they lose the right to complain when people reach the obvious conclusion.
In this case, if Justin Trudeau goes to that Islamic conference and speaks clearly against radicalism and tells young Muslims to reject terrorism and the teachings of those who think it’s OK, say, to treat women badly or to execute homosexuals, then he’ll be fine. But if the younger Trudeau speaks at a conference whose sponsors were caught helping Hamas and *does not* challenge them in a serious way, he will likely do a great deal of damage to his political brand, no matter how much he enjoys ignoring our reporters.