Providence Journal Ridiculed for Trudeau Story by National Press - and Former Reporter

Sunday, July 16, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

Prime Minister Trudeau
A Friday front page story in the Providence Journal about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is drawing ridicule by national and local press for the article’s focus. 

The story by Jacqueline Tempera of the Providence Journal on Trudeau - in town for the National Governors Association summer meeting - starts off, "Feeling blue? Google three words: Justin Trudeau butt."

Besides the front page story, there was an online video by Tempera focusing on Trudeau's looks. 

The Tempera story is remniscent of former WJAR reporter Julie Tremmel, who also inserted herself into stories with somewhat clownish behavior. Tremmel acted like a bear in one segment and did a handstand in another. She was later fired.

In the Providence Journal video Tempera painfully tried to elicit comments from those she interviewed about Trudeau's attractiveness.

Where to Begin

The HuffPost wrote, “Where to even begin with this one. While U.S. President Donald Trump is in France making the first lady of that country feel weird, a Rhode Island paper has run a front-page story covering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit by talking about his posterior.”

HuffPost went on to write, “It's the sort of comment that would easily split sexists from non-sexists — basically people who aren't the worst — if it were made about a female world leader. But this being about Trudeau, reaction to the Providence Journal story reinforced the difference in how Canadians and Americans view the prime minister."


Providence Journal Story
Local Criticism

Meanwhile, former Providence Journal reporter Scott MacKay wrote on Facebook on Friday, “I rarely get exercised at what my alma mater, the Providence Journal does. But today was just too much. The National Governor's Conference is in town. The ProJo splashed accoss Page One a story about the appearance today of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The lede of the piece focused not on trade, climate change, fighting terror or his remarks. No, the lede --I kid you not -- was about his ass, or derriere in his native French.”

MacKay, who is a news analyst for RIPR, went on to write, “Then there was a front-page piece about Crimetown - as if we haven't heard enough about this. A quote about Raymond Patriarca.``It was the culture. Everyone loved Raymond. He was good to the community." MacKay went on to write:

Really? What planet is this person on? Patriarca was the czar of a murderous crime syndicate. He created widows, ruined families and corrupted unions and politicians.We are lionizing he and his like? 

All this a day after a columnist conflated voting statistics into some nonsense about the state being ``independent.'' Never mentioning that big reason folks are unaffiliated --this happens all over New England--is because some states allow those voters to participate in either party primary.

All this infotainment. And they wonder why they are slouching toward irrelevance.  Somewhere Michael Metcalf is spinning in his grave. Jim Wyman and Steve Hamblett too."

Video by Tempera
More National Media Comments

From NewsBusters, who assert themselves as "exposing and combating liberal media bias," Curtis Houck blasted the ProJo.

"I wonder if Tempera was singing I Like Big Butts to herself while she was writing this. In all seriousness, what an embarrassment for journalism. And they wonder why people don’t take the establishment, liberal media seriously anymore," wrote Houck. 

  • AP

    Scott Mayerowitz

    Airlines Reporter for Associated Press

    Formerly ABC News correspondent - he is often the expert being quoted around airline strikes to plance crashes.

    Photo: News Media Guild

  • NY Times

    Dan Barry

    New York Times

    Barry was part of the young gun investigative group at the Journal in the early 1990s that won a Pulitzer for the investigation into Chief Justice Thomas Fay, and also investigated Cianci’s Nick Ricamo and others.

    He was a Pulitzer Feature Writing finalist at the NY Times for his portfolio of "closely observed pieces that movingly capture how the great recession is changing lives and relationships in America.”

  • Boston Globe

    Christopher Rowland

    Washington Bureau Chief at the Boston Globe

    He also has served as Metro political editor and as a healthcare reporter on the Business Desk.

    Rowland covered Providence City Hall (among a number of assignments) during his Projo years. 

  • LA Times (formerly)

    Dean Starkman

    Teaching in Hungry

    Starkman previously was an editor at Columbia Journalism Review, Wall Street Journal and GoLocal. Starkman was part of the investigative team in 1994 at the Projo that won a Pulitzer.

    An award-winning journalist and media critic, he is the author of 2014's “The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism.” Before leaving for Europe he was the Wall Street reporter for the LA Times.

  • USA Today (formerly

    Tom Frank

    CNN Now

    Since leaving the Providence Journal, he has had stints at Long Island's Newsday and The Denver Post.

    At USA Today, Frank was a 2012 Pulitzer finalist "for his sharply focused exploration of inflated pensions for state and local employees, enhancing stories with graphic material to show how state legislators pump up retirement benefits in creative but unconscionable ways."

  • The Weekly Standard

    Philip Terzian

    The Weekly Standard

    Terzian is literary editor of The Weekly Standard. In the 1990's he served as the editorial page writer for the Providence Journal.  In his career, he has been a writer and editor at Reuters, newspapers in Alabama and Kentucky, the New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times.

  • Wall Street Journal

    Jennifer Levitz

    Wall Street Journal 

    She was a pitbull State House reporter at the Providence Journal and has made a mark at the New England office of the Wall Street Journal. 

    She was part of the reporting team that was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2014 for a series called "Deadly Medicine," a stellar reporting project that documented the significant cancer risk to women of a common surgery and prompted a change in the prescribed medical treatment.

  • Washington Post

    Kevin Sullivan

    Washington Post

    Once the State House reporter at the Providence Journal, today at the Post, Kevin is a longtime foreign correspondent who has been based in Tokyo, Mexico City and London, and also served as the Post’s Sunday and Features Editor.

    He won a Pulitzer for international reporting with the Post in 2003, along with Mary Jordan, for their "exposure of horrific conditions in Mexico's criminal justice system and how they affect the daily lives of people."

  • NY Times

    C.J. Chivers

    New York Times

    Pulitzer Prize winner in 2017.

    Chivers is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, where he "contributes to the Foreign and Investigative desks of The Times on conflict, politics, crime and human rights from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, Georgia, Chechnya and elsewhere on a wide range of assignments."

    His assignments are far from his political coverage in Providence City Hall and the State House.

  • Boston Globe

    Cynthia Needham

    Boston Globe

    Today she serves as the political editor at the Globe and oversees coverage of the State House, City Hall, and Massachusetts politics. She was a political and State House reporter at the Providence Journal.

  • AP

    Steve Peoples

    Associated Press

    Peoples has become a top political reporter and the lead on Presidential coverage at the Associated Press. In 2012, he covered the Mitt Romney campaign.  After he left the Providence Journal he covered politics for Roll Call and contributed to GoLocal.

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