Fake outrage is always fun to look at. Political operatives look at anything done by the opposition, put it through as many filters as possible and seek the flimsiest excuse to call something outrageous.
Then they draw up a press release, send it to the media, and hope it sticks.
Of course, in today’s media, rewriting press releases as news is fast, easy and therefore commonplace. So a lot of them start sticking, even if they don’t pass the smell test.
- Guy makes political statement with profanity, for the sole purpose of getting noticed by the media? OUTRAGE!
- Political ad has random letters for half a second spell out “PTORN” over two lines, which looks a bit like “PORN”? OUTRAGE!
- Police keeping an eye on your protest? OUTRAGE!:
“…helicopters, shining bright lights, flew at a very low altitude, at the level of treetops, where the camp was being held. This act demonstrates but one strategy to discourage the direct opposition put into place against the SPP summit.”
When they start finding real people who are actually outraged about these things without the cattle-prod prompting of political campaign directors, they can start thinking that it’s newsworthy.
The Sûreté du Québec are admitting that they did use undercover police officers at the protests in Montebello. The article doesn’t make it clear that they’re referring to the same officers in this video, which has gained traction in the press lately.
But the official SQ statement on the matter makes it clear: They’re cops.
Though I still agree with some that say the evidence was far from conclusive, with the amount of media attention this was getting it was just a matter of time until the government was forced to respond.
Now come the fun questions: Are all the extremist elements of these protests actually undercover cops? Are some of the more recognizable activists (*cough*Jaggi Singh*cough*) actually cops? Were these guys just holding rocks to keep their cover or were they actually expected to throw them at their colleagues? (CP says they never threw any rocks and that’s how their cover was blown)
The biggest question, of course, is what is the point in all this? The police had previously acknowledged that they used under cover agents to tell what plans were in advance. But what’s the point of planting someone who’s going to throw rocks? And if just throwing rocks at armored police isn’t such a bad deal, why are protesters tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, arrested and beaten for it?
In the meantime, union leader Dave Coles should file a complaint of assault against this officer for a shove about 48 seconds into the video.
UPDATE: Great minds…
UPDATE: Oh Aislin…
UPDATE (Dec. 6): Months after the fact, for some reason, the Globe and Mail looks back on this video and the people in it.