Media Beat, Feb. 14, 2022
By David Farrell
Canadian protests against vaccine mandates, Covid-19 restrictions and the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have captured attention in the US and abroad -- and prompted a flurry of misinformation, including a false claim that was promoted by prominent podcaster Joe Rogan and on Fox.
…Theo Fleury, a retired hockey star who's a frequent critic of Trudeau, said on Fox in late January that there were "50,000 truckers" heading to Ottawa. Rogan, who has been criticized for his show's role in promoting Covid-19 misinformation, said on the show in late January that the convoy involved "apparently some insane amount of people, like 50,000 trucks." Even larger figures, like "80,000" or "over 130,000" trucks, swirled on social media. – Daniel Dale, CNN
Critics say ‘Freedom’ Convoy distracts from daily injustices faced by truckers
Back in December, a Star investigation revealed that a “billion dollar” scam referred to as “Driver Inc.” has seen some companies misclassifying workers as “independent contractors,” enabling them to cut costs by skirting basic labour protections, payroll taxes and other legal obligations.
According to the Star, the practice also makes it harder for workers to claim overtime, holiday pay and minimum wage or injury compensation. At the time of the Star’s report, the federal Ministry of Labour had not issued a single fine against trucking companies for engaging in such practices. – The Maple
Canadian novelist and journalist Stephen Marche recently published The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future, a deeply researched and wildly chilling set of dispatches about how the next American civil war could begin. As a cautionary tale to Americans who insist that such a thing couldn’t possibly happen in the United States, I was curious to find out whether recent events across Canada suggest that armed insurrection, occupation, and the toppling of institutions might just as easily happen in Canada. Our conversation has been lightly edited for clarity. – Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
As the 10th season of Canada’s Letterkenny catches us all up on the latest rural hijinx of the hicks, the jocks and the skids, the crew behind the popular comedy also just announced a touring version of the show– a 90-minute experience called “Letterkenny Live!” featuring nine cast favorites wielding their wicked and wacky wordplay in person on stage.
When it comes to unique television, Letterkenny is truly in a class by itself. It’s easy to see how a stage version would totally work. It has a sketch show-like quality, even if it is a proper situational comedy. It’s also a quirky character study, with individual arcs and a loose but consistent narrative and that’s evolved as the years have gone by.
Originating as a YouTube series called Letterkenny Problems, the show (now on Hulu in the U.S. and Crave TV in Canada) opens mostly the same way, with creator Jared Keeso (Wayne) standing or sitting with his pals musing about life or busting each other’s balls. Often, the chats and stories concern small town gossip and troubles. As the intro, explains, “There are 5,000 people in Letterkenny. These are their problems.” – Lina Lecaro, The Village Voice