Law professor endured racist taunts in wake of social media clash with UCP staffers – Edmonton Journal
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But Duane Bratt, political scientist at Mount Royal University, said the UCP government is using its own “hyper-partisan” press secretaries and issues managers to silence critics by focusing on party identity, labelling them as biased or affiliated with the NDP or prime minister.
“That allows the more unsavoury people to then go off with racist, homophobic, misogynist comments. Those are not coming from the premier’s office … but by coming out with partisan critiques, it opens the door and targets people that the more crazy ones will then go after you.”
Bratt doesn’t agree with comments Ogbogu made about the leak in Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s office, but criticizing his arguments is different than attacking him personally, he said.
In the 1980s in federal politics, the Liberals used some backbenchers as “attack dogs,” and Pierre Poilievre is used by Conservatives in a similar way. Now the UCP is putting its issues managers and press secretaries forward to fulfil a similar role, Bratt said.
“I think it is a deliberate strategy in distancing yourself in those sorts of attacks and using people like Matt Wolf as your pitbull, as your attack dog,” he said. “It’s a way of saying it’s not the leader, it’s these other people. This has always been a strategy, but instead of using … MLAs or backbenchers, you’re using political appointees.”
Bratt has been doing public commentary for decades, and he’s no stranger to people disagreeing with him. But he’s seeing more antagonism, in general, because of a divide in public opinion on pandemic and from COVID-19 deniers. He also sees more women and people of colour facing more pushback online.
Australia demands apology from China after fake image posted on social media – TheChronicleHerald.ca
By Kirsty Needham
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday Canberra is seeking an apology from Beijing about a Tweet containing a false image of an Australian soldier holding the knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
Morrison said Australia was seeking the removal of the “truly repugnant” image posted on Monday by Zhao Lijian, a spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis… The Chinese government should be utterly ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world’s eyes,” Morrison told media at a press briefing.
He said countries around the world were watching how Beijing responded to tensions in Australia’s relationship with China.
(Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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