Sask Party Candidate Bill Hutchison Busted By CBC

Watch this now.*

The video is a ‘candidates meeting voters’ segment from last night’s CBC Saskatchewan news. It shows Regina South Saskatchewan Party candidate Bill Hutchison approaching potential voters in Regina’s Southland Mall. The NDP’s Yens Pedersen is in the segment, too, going door-to-door (he actually has a door shut on him). It’s supposed to be unscripted.

The problem: the “strangers” Hutchison “meets” at the mall are actually Sask. Party campaign workers.

It was a set-up by Hutchison and/or his people to make him look good on camera.

I don’t understand what Hutchison thought he was doing. This is dishonest. it shows contempt for voters, for campaigning and for democracy. It’s also cowardly — is he afraid someone will criticize him or his party on camera?

It’s also embarrassingly amateur, like something you’d see from especially inept student politicians.

And it’s stupid and reckless — there was an excellent chance Hutchison would get caught, as he in fact was.

Hats of to Geoff Leo and CBC for not being fooled by Hutchison’s trick.

I have one complaint: CBC currently has a misleading headline on the online version of this story. “Strange Tale from The Campaign Trail”? No, not at all. This isn’t a “strange tale”. This is a dishonest politician who pulled a stunt to make himself look good on TV. The headline is a misleading description of the situation.

CBC: please replace the headline with something accurate. Otherwise great work.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.

13 thoughts on “Sask Party Candidate Bill Hutchison Busted By CBC”

  1. In all honesty, I could do w/o the Yens part–this isn’t about the NDP’s folksy honesty and good faith, it’s about the Sask Party’s obsession with control of message, appearance, depiction of itself in the media. This has been rightwing methodology for manipulation of media and public forever. Same with the Conservative Party. If you think this is the first time the SP has passed off supporters as objective “people on the street” to media and public, then you’re too pollyanna for me to handle.

    Depict your candidate as approachable, someone people feel comfortable around…eventually the impression spreads.

    Funny thing is, I don;t think Bill of all SP people needed to pretend to be likeable. But like I said, as if it was his idea.

  2. Heard this on the Afternoon Edition while I was in the shower on Friday. Had a good hearthy gut laugh.

  3. I agree with Talbot’s comment about Hutchison: Bill is certainly personable, which makes this lapse of judgement a real head-scratcher. However, I don’t think anybody has ever accused Bill of being an extremely bright fellow, whatever his personal virtues and faults. I really don’t see this as being anything broader than one individual’s bad call.

    Mind you, should Bill get reelected this may be enough to boot him out of cabinet, which for my money would be just fine as he has demonstrated himself to be the most ineffectual minister to hold the culture/rec affiliated post since Beattie Martin.

  4. Brad will likely have fresh urban MLAs to reward with cabinet posts. My guess is big Geno for Minister of Culture, heavy emphasis on Rec.

  5. Too bad he didn’t get people to pose in “ethnic costumes”. Now that would have been funny… Some hungry First Nations guy just happening to be wearing his pow-wow regalia stopping off at the mall to scarf down a poutine from New York Fries, and he’s approached by Bill Hutchison, “How”…

  6. Someone who knows Hutchinson very well tells me this action is well within his personal ethical guidelines. Lovely.

  7. Where is all the outrage for when the NDP have past party employees posing as “ordinary, concerned citizens” and writing letters to the paper?

    Funny you are quick to criticize the SP for manipulation, when I have yet to see a singular bad word written about the NDP deception to the public.

  8. 12:53: Both sides stock call-in shows, letters to the editor etc. with their respective supporters. Surely you can see the difference between editorial content versus what was meant to be, essentially, a “puff piece”. I find Bill’s decision to do this to be even more bewildering considering the context.

    What this shares with the NDP radio ad is a dumb decision made by either one or a limited number of people who really should have known better.

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