Kellie Leitch's video is a masterwork of Trumpian distraction -

Kellie Leitch’s video is a masterwork of Trumpian distraction

It’s so cringe-inducing, it begs to be shared. For Leitch’s purposes, that’s all that matters.


Two days ago, a 8:33-minute video of Kellie Leitch proselytizing about “Canadian values” (read: keeping out certain immigrants) was posted on Facebook. As a piece of cinematography, it makes The Blair Witch Project look like Citizen Kane. The Conservative leadership candidate is carefully made up and coiffed, clearly coached into some awkward pantomime of Margaret Thatcher and a Bible-belt preacher. The camerawork is ADD, the editing is jerky. Throughout, Leitch looks up, down and sideways in a comic impression of ponderous thought. Last fall, her campaign told Maclean’s the candidate was undergoing voice training. That’s evident in her decidedly lower timbre and folksy, shall we say “populist” delivery, even as her staged smiles come off as painful. As clickbait, however, the event is gold—so cringe-making it begs to be shared. Twitter went berserk. And all went to plan.

With the video, the embattled Leitch campaign has finally employed Trumpian politics of distraction: bizarre optics become the topic of discussion while content and substance are left unexamined or unchallenged (a similar reaction, and social-media response, was seen in a ridiculous video of White House press secretary Sean Spicer being interviewed by a nervous, incompetent Breitbart News reporter). Of course, the Leitch campaign has brazenly, unimaginatively stolen from the Trump playbook for months. The night of his electoral victory, Leitch celebrated the president-elect’s “exciting message that needs to be delivered in Canada as well.”

RELATED: The subtext of Kellie Leith’s bizarro video

Like Trump, Leitch, an MD and MBA preoccupied with honorifics, strains credulity in presenting herself as an underdog outsider. “When I began my leadership campaign last year the media and out-of-touch elites wrote me off, ” she said recently.  Her campaign even advertises on Breitbart, house organ of the Trump administration.

MORE: Are politicians harnessing shareable memes?

So distracting is her video presentation that few will notice the Orwellian fact-twisting. The “Dr. Satzewich” whose book Points of Entry Leitch tethers her immigration screening plan to (at the 3:25 mark) is a McMaster University sociology professor who, in fact, has publicly criticized Leitch’s immigration plan. Though undeserved, this academic reference gives the platform a semblance of credibility, and softens it. Simultaneously, Leitch delivers the harder promise it “will have an effect on immigration rates as the program is established.”

Whether her campaign is capable of such Machiavellian maneuvering is beside the point. Either it believed the video was of acceptable quality for a mass audience coarsened by crap (leaving one to wonder what was left on the cutting room floor), or it understood that quality was irrelevant. For a nanosecond, attention shifted from Leitch’s opponent Kevin O’Leary, another non-news news-making master. What’s more, anyone who watches the video on her Facebook page—where most viewers land after following links from online news stories—will find effusive, affirmative comments about Leitch and her policies. No dissenting views are allowed.

Not that the criticism and jokes generated by the video matter one whit. The opposite is true, in fact: in the new Trumpian politics of distraction, it’s a sign of its success.


Kellie Leitch’s video is a masterwork of Trumpian distraction

  1. Miss Lietch is getting a lot of what the rest of the candidates in the conservative leadership race aren’t getting, lots of oxygen. The MSM are helping Miss Lietch to make her dog whistle louder, by allowing her to traffic this smut through the public airwaves. We have become enablers of trash talk, its also starting to make our society racially skewed.

    • Lietch puts a video on Utube, Bingo, she gets national news coverage, doesn’t get much better than that. She had a targeted audience across the country and the MSM helped her reach that targeted audience.

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  2. Was this necessary? Makes McLean’s look petty.

  3. Fake news
    Hit piece by petty MSM

  4. Not electing a master videographer (look how electing a drama teacher has done (lets kill the white men BECAUSE ITS 2017!)

  5. Besides addressing “trump” style and immegration did you guys actually watch video or just guess? So emotional are your responses that you do not have facts

  6. We can laugh at the sheer foolishness of these individuals (Trump, Leitch, etc) but it is very disturbing that such people who are clearly not even remotely competent to hold offices of leadership in a democracy can attain them (by whatever means), and the fallout is indeed serious.

  7. There’s some images that are hard to shake: highly trained interrogation specialists made redundant by the ‘closing’ of Gitmo receiving immigrants and visitors in their winterized security gazebos built to a design commissioned by Tony Clement … “so you say you aren’t sure whether you’re likely to visit Hortons in the next month?”. But seriously, one can only assume that individuals who have never been here before could be less than well informed on any Canadian issue much less something as abstract as values. For some, Canada might mean nothing more than a place where they don’t drop bombs on your home or kidnap your children (as long as your not an aboriginal).
    I have trouble imaging what my 10 year old grandmother or her parents would have said on arrival having been rounded up by the British government and sent here as cargo. It would be hard to imagine a desire to express undying loyalty to a monarch whose government marked you surplus to requirement. But the whole issue is more complicated than that as even those born here have diverse values: consider the extensive internal debate that major Canadian religions have had over issues like ordination of women and/or gay marriage – even birds of a feather don’t always flock together. Ms Leitch makes two assumptions: a) that Canadian values are universal within Canada b) that there are people in other countries that are conversant in those values. Perhaps Ms Leitch could point to any country that teaches Canadian values in their schools. At the very least, it seems to be a little hypocritical even now that immigrants applying for citizenship are expected to know more than the average native Canadian; Ms Leitch’s notion just raises the bar on that.

  8. Did anyone notice that the author of this left-spun article is Anne Kingston.
    Say no more (She does it again). Should we not have unbiassed journalism?

    • I don’t what you think you know, but you clearly can’t distinguish a columnist from a news reporter. I’ll give you a hint: one reports news, the other writes opinions.

    • by unbiased you mean agree with your politics?