Fox News has championed the convoy of far-right truckers in Canada, which has both disrupted the capital city of Ottawa and shut down trade across the U.S.-Canada border. Meanwhile, the network has begun to tar any opponents of the convoy as out of touch elites — in fact, Fox News seems to have no idea what the average Canadian, or even the average Canadian trucker, really thinks about the situation.
While it’s trying to cultivate a convoy movement in the United States — similar to the network’s efforts to bolster the Tea Party movement in 2009 — Fox is disregarding ample evidence that the Canadian people do not support the trucker convoy.
Opinion polling in Canada shows widespread opposition to the demonstrations. From the beginning, truckers in Canada have spoken out against the convoy, and have pointed out how it is not addressing “critically important” issues affecting the industry’s workers, such as safety and wage theft. Furthermore, the illegal blockading of border crossing zones such as the Ambassador Bridge elsewhere in Ontario has only created trouble for the truckers who are still doing their jobs.
In a new development Thursday, the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada called for the protesters in Ottawa and the blockaders elsewhere to go home — a stark reversal from last week when caucus members openly courted the Ottawa convoy’s support.
Some of the cracks in Fox’s pro-convoy narrative occasionally show. For example, on Wednesday’s edition of America Reports, guest co-anchor Gillian Turner cited criticism that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an “elitist” fighting with blue-collar workers. But then co-anchor John Roberts, who is originally from the Toronto area, pointed out that it was “interesting” how Doug Ford, the conservative premier of Ontario (a similar office to a U.S. governor), was also against the trucker convoys.
On Thursday’s edition of Outnumbered, co-host Harris Faulkner noted that 90% of Canadian truckers are in fact vaccinated, but maintained that the demonstration was a matter of principle. Liberal guest Laura Fink pointed out, however, that the convoys did not have the support of most truckers, and that this was “a loud and vocal minority,” warning them that “you have to have the public on your side” before stopping other people’s businesses.
But it was Fink who was outnumbered here, and she was quickly shouted down by the others.
Co-host and former Trump administration press secretary Kayleigh McEnany countered: “I do have a data point for you, Laura. This is the data point: The GoFundMe page was approaching, before it was shut down, $10 million of funds raised … That is more than every single Canadian federal political party in the last quarter of 2021.” (This might be because the donations to the convoy have been coming heavily from donors in the United States, a practice that would be illegal for Canadian political parties.)
Fink later pointed out that Teamsters Canada has vociferously opposed the convoys, leaving the minority of truckers to represent themselves. Fox’s purported “news side” anchor Harris Faulkner, however, diverted the conversation to instead repeatedly push a lie that GoFundMe was keeping donation money after shutting down the fundraiser on its platform. (In fact, the details over GoFundMe’s refund policy had already been sorted out days ago, with the company switching to automatic refunds instead of an earlier plan to send refunds on request.)
Co-host Emily Compagno also declared that the litany of facts that Fink recited “unfortunately to me reflects frankly the bias and that sort of over-generalized narrative” from mainstream media and Canadian leadership. She also countered: “I was a federal attorney, which meant I was unionized. So I know what it's like to be falsely represented by a union that absolutely does not represent my views.” Compagno was silent, however, on the views of all the other truckers who are still attempting to do their jobs.
At the conclusion of the conversation, McEnany declared: “The political elites are so far out of touch with the people, and we are at that point. And we’ve seen those moments in history … We are at that point again, where people are so fed up with the anti-scientific pandemic peddlers in the White House, that they're saying, ‘We are going to make our voice heard through the honking of trucks, through showing up at school boards and standing up against mandates’ — not vaccination, mandates.”