The foolishness of our children
The daughter of Montreal’s new police chief, Fady Dagher, posed with a toy gun last fall. The Montreal Journal posted photos with this headline: “Embarrassing Halloween Photos for Montreal Police Chief Fady Dagher.”
I added: this is Mr. Dagher’s adult daughter, she is 22 years old.
I often and with pleasure deliver news – investigations and scoops – from JdeM. I admit that the decision to publish a news, in a media, is not an exact science. What is news for one journalist is not necessarily news for his colleague. Ditto for media: what media A would consider relevant may not be in media B. Good.
But in the case of Fady Dagher’s daughter’s costume, I am confused: where is the news?
The reason for this revelation of Montreal Journal, here, is that the greater Montreal area is grappling with an undeniable increase in gun violence. The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal is at the center of efforts to stop this armed violence. We all know the damage of this plague.
That’s why the decision of log to publish photos of the SPVM police chief’s daughter posing in a hood for Halloween 2022 with a toy gun: because she is, of course, the daughter of the Montreal police chief (Longueuil police chief, at the time of the events).
But no matter how hard I look, I can’t see the link between this photo and gun violence.
Is it genius to pose with a toy gun in 2022? This is debatable, but let’s not forget the context: Halloween, a party where people… dress up.
(Know this, though: the police may wake you up in the morning looking for a toy gun you’re carrying, because the police don’t know if the gun is a toy, if the photo will be the subject of a complaint. It’s not automatic, but it’s a possibility.)
That these pictures of the young Dagher became a new place for the Montreal police chief in a delicate situation, yes… But only from a point of view of image, of public relations. Honestly, I don’t see how that can cast doubt about his ability to lead the SPVM.
If Fady Dagher himself had posed with a toy gun, even as a joke, the story would have been completely different. The news will make perfect sense. This would be a lack of judgment justifying his resignation.
Another example: if the son of Fady Dagher had posed with a real weapon, if he had links with real bandits, the story would again be completely different. You can hardly be the father of a girl associated with banditry AND be a police chief.
But more broadly, beyond the JdeM news, allow me to jazz up a bit on two things…
First, at 22, in 1994, if I had posed with a toy gun, this photo would never have seen the light of day. Not because I have more judgment than Fady Dagher’s son, but because I have nothing to post about him! Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and blogs: none of that existed. We live in an age where ordinary nonsense is increasingly immortalized in pixels. Wide program, if every prank costs a new one.
Second, to what extent are public figures responsible for their children’s misbehavior? For criminal mischief, I understand: if Minister X’s son commits a hit-and-run, if Mayoress Z’s daughter imports a kilo of coke: it’s on the front page of the newspaper . It is part of game public.
But for the ordinary antics of children of public figures, where is the line, for what constitutes news or not?
I sincerely ask. I just know that if we put our minds to it, we could probably fill an entire newspaper with what we see on the social networks of the children of our mayors, ministers, aldermen, hockey players, heads of corporations of states , union presidents, CEOs of fleurons de Québec inc., journalists, artists, singers or MRC prefects…
And you don’t have to be a mayor, minister, alderman, hockey player, head of a government corporation, president of a union, CEO of a Quebec Inc. flagship, journalist, artist, singer or MRC prefect, in short, you don’t have to be a public figure to know this: we raise them, we love them, we equip them, but despite all our efforts, sometimes our children – teenagers or adults – will still do stupid things , large. or small.
This is especially true for young women who celebrate Halloween at the age of 22 and the only “crime” is forgetting that dad is a police officer in sight.