Canadian truckers have been branded a “cult” to “threat to democracy” for protesting COVID vaccine mandates, but Freedom Convoy organizers and allies are tired of being portrayed as villains by the liberal media.
“I’m downright disgusted by the press and the way it covered the convoy,” Ontario-based trucker Brigitte Belton told Fox News Digital.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bluntly called it a ‘cult’ and other liberal outlets didn’t bother to pay attention to the story until they account for the harsh words of Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly speaking out against the protesters. CNN’s Paula Newton echoed Sloly, who called the convoy a “threat to democracy,” and other reporters focused on her comment that the convoy is a “national insurrection.”
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The unvaccinated Belton, who helped organize the Freedom Convoy when Canadian vaccination warrants barred her from crossing the border into the United States, said coverage of the protest was “totally biased” against truckers.
“Not just American media, Canadian media as well. They tell their own story,” Belton said. “It’s not a cult… The federal government, the city of Ottawa, all these organizations that want to get us right now, maybe that’s the cult.”
Belton, who drives a 2015 Mack Pinnacle, said the protesters in the convoy are just hard-working people who want to get back to work. She said she was not against the vaccine, but questions its safety and effectiveness and believes people should be free to decide for themselves. Belton hopes to get back to work in the near future, but in the meantime she’s had enough of US media outlets like CNN repeating the Ottawa police chief’s anti-convoy rhetoric.
“I think anyone who uses these statements of [Sloly] support the slander of good people. That’s what they do. They slander good people,” Belton said. “All we want is our freedom. Why is that a bad thing?”
American truckers also fired “out of touch” journalists.
“Everything seems like a cult or an insurgency or an attack on democracy these days. I don’t understand how people fighting for their freedom can be an attack on democracy. These guys are so out of touch from the average guy,” Maine told Expedited. Freight group driver Brian Ilsley told Fox News Digital.
Ilsley’s business does a lot of cross-border traffic, often transporting freshly cut lumber from Canada to the United States. He says lumber prices will go up if northern Maine truckers have trouble crossing the border, but the cost of lumber isn’t the only reason he’s been a strong supporter of the Freedom Convoy.
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“The guys I see coming to the dock day in and day out, they just want to make a living, so they can feed their families and get home,” Ilsley said, adding that the rhetoric from CNN and MSNBC bothered him. .
“People in the liberal media, the guys who have that platform, the Scarboroughs, the CNN anchors, they never have to worry about that stuff because they’re already ready and paid, they are already part of the machine. They don’t have to worry if they’re going to make it until the next day with the paycheck they already have,” Ilsley said. “My guys must be worried, will they be able to eat next week?”
The protests began in Vancouver on January 23. Hundreds of big trucks drove to Ottawa where they were joined by thousands of Canadians on Saturday to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s coronavirus policies.
As the convoy grew, more and more mainstream media expressed their disapproval and disgust with the protesters. On Monday, CNN’s John King quoted the Ottawa police chief as calling the move a ‘national insurrection driven by madness’ when Newton intervened, noting that the language of ‘insurrection’ was no doubt familiar to Americans. , which saw extensive media coverage of last year’s Capitol riot.
“And think about the language. I know this sounds familiar. A threat to democracy. basic, okay, the sit-in that’s going on right outside the national parliament,” Newton added.
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Fox News contributor Joe Concha slammed the CNN correspondent for using “loaded words” to describe the truckers.
“It’s really an exposition of what CNN has become in the era of Jeff Zucker, a three-part process… You have a so-called objective journalist who takes a partisan opinion and injects his opinion into this report, flips it and presents it as just news,” Concha said Tuesday on “America’s Newsroom.”
“Loaded words in this report, ‘sedition’, insurrection, ‘threat to democracy’,” Concha said. “During a protest. Did CNN use this kind of ridiculous rhetoric to describe what happened in Seattle during the Summer of Love in 2020, when a police station and several city blocks houses were stormed by left-wing activists?
Concha said CNN’s reporting of the trucker sounded like what he imagines to be Canadian “state television.”
“It might as well be called CGNN, the Canadian government news network, at this point,” Concha said.
CBS and NBC did not acknowledge protest for first two weeks, conservative watchdog says NewsBusters, while ABC only spent 22 seconds there during that time. It has since been covered, but largely in a way that dismisses the trucker’s efforts. Robin Roberts of ABC called it the “so-called Freedom Convoy”, and other ABC reporters focused on critics’ “frustration” of the convoy.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post published an article calling the convoy a “stunt”, mocking the participants as the Canadian version of “extremely angry men wearing camouflage or horned fur hats”. The Post previously published an opinion piece urging that “Canada must confront the toxic ‘freedom convoy’ head on.”
Ilsley agrees with Concha and said members of the corporate media simply cannot understand the day-to-day struggles of truckers who often live paycheck to paycheck.
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“They don’t understand it on a fundamental level. They don’t understand it. They’ll never really understand why these guys are doing it,” he said. “It’s not just our media, the Canadian media, for the most part, is absolutely destroying this thing.”
Ilsley said most Canadian journalists live in a few densely populated urban areas of the country, much like America’s national news outlets are concentrated in major cities. As a result, Ilsley feels that Canadian reporters trying to relate to the Freedom Convoy is tantamount to a New York-based CNN reporter trying to understand the heart of America.
“The vast majority of them don’t understand. They don’t understand the struggles of the guys who are in the woods who are really driving this thing,” he said.
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Ilsley doesn’t think the press can force the protesters to give up their cause anytime soon.
“The media will never stop. They never have, they’ve never shown the ability or the will to stop. They always keep pushing,” Ilsley said. “The good thing is we’re dealing with drivers and drivers tend to be very lonely, independent guys who don’t really like being told what to do. They’re very stubborn, they understand what they’re doing. represent and they’ I’m ready to go to the floor for that.”
Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.