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Reporters are 'used' all the time. That's the way it works: Neil Macdonald

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Glen McGregor and Joan Bryden were no doubt faintly amused this week to discover they were merely puppets, their typing fingers attached to strings being jerked by venal operatives within the Prime Minister's Office.

McGregor is CTV's senior political reporter. Bryden is the equivalent at The Canadian Press. Both of them have worked on the Hill for decades. And both of them are good at emerging from Ottawa's miasma of propaganda clutching a scoop, something both of them did again this past Monday.

Their story, attributed to unnamed sources, was, essentially, that in 2017, long before the SNC-Lavalin scandal emerged, Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould was plumping a Manitoba judge, Glenn Joyal, for elevation to chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, a recommendation ultimately ignored by Justin Trudeau.

Not earth-shaking, but one more bit of insight into Trudeau's relationship with Wilson-Raybould. Trudeau, according to the story, felt Joyal was too conservative on, among other things, LGBTQ issues. By extension, the reader was invited to believe Wilson-Raybould, in supporting Joyal, was not a Trudeau-flavour progressive herself.

The leak was clearly meant to discredit Wilson-Raybould, who has become Trudeau's chief antagonist since resigning from cabinet and claiming she'd been pressured to give SNC-Lavalin a settlement that would have ended the company's prosecution for fraud and corruption.

McGregor's story (disclosure here: my wife, Joyce Napier, is CTV's Ottawa bureau chief and contributed to it) was posted early in the day. Social media, predictably, lost control of its bowels.

By the time McGregor appeared on CTV's late-night newscast, critics of Trudeau were portraying him and Bryden as witless tools of dark figures inside the PMO who will stop at nothing to smear Wilson-Raybould, even violating the sacred........