The Far-Left Hypocrisy of Press Progress

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on January 6, 2021

Press Progress is a Canadian online media outlet that presents itself as a left-wing publication with the goal of “holding the rich and powerful to account” and a counterbalance to “right-wing think tanks.” The sort of ‘progressives’ who are just looking to push back against conservative arguments and narratives.

However, many people view Press Progress as a far-left activist blog that sets out to smear conservatives and others who oppose their political orthodoxy by using innuendo and uncharitable characterizations. They seem to have a well-ingrained in-group out-group mentality in their reporting, if you aren’t with them you become a lefist hate-symbol.

A recent example was Press Progress’ negative coverage of Adam Skelly, owner of Adamson’s BBQ, which was recently closed down by the Ontario Government for violating lockdown orders after Skelly chose to open his restaurant in protest. 

This appears to be an odd position for Press Progress to take considering that protest and civil disobedience have been a hallmark of the anti-oppression far-left. 

However, in the midst of the chaos Press Progress chose to ignore the individual rights and freedoms of Mr. Skelly and instead focused their coverage on Skelly [unknowingly] being greeted and then photographed with an avowed neo-nazi / white nationalist, Paul Fromm.

People who know Fromm, understand he is a bad guy who holds racist and anti-semitic views; however, the issue is that only a very small number of Canadians would even know who he was.

Photo used by Press Progress of Adam Skelly and Paul Fromm.

Photo used by Press Progress of Adam Skelly and Paul Fromm.

The article in Press Progress fails to present any evidence Mr. Skelly knew who Fromm is (or the views he holds), or that he even had the opportunity to distinguish Fromm from the crowd of community members rallying around him who were actively supporting Mr. Skelly’s act of civil disobedience. 

Skelly, and the community supporters, as he indicated publicly, were simply exercising their right to protect the stifling of our constitutional rights and protest political leaders’s decisions that violate Canada’s Charter of Freedoms.  

Press Progress also fails to show any evidence that Mr. Skelly knows or agrees with any of Fromm’s radical positions, yet published the headline “Notorious Canadian Neo-Nazi Shares Photo of Friendly Meeting with Anti-Lockdown BBQ Restaurant Owner.” Through this innuendo Press Progress seems to imply Skelly and Fromm are ideologically aligned, or that Skelly should have known to distance himself from Fromm. 

The support Mr. Skelly received for his opposition to the lockdown orders attracts many people who are concerned or have had their businesses ruined and lives crushed by government regulations. 


These public demonstrations tend to attract opportunists from across the spectrum looking for a place in the spotlight to assert themselves and their worldview. In the case of Fromm it seems likely he was intending to use the photo-op to achieve a few more ‘clicks’ on his obscure political website to grow his insignificant social media following.

The consistent pattern of slanted reporting from Press Progress activists is also apparent in a recent  attack on Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole for supposedly saying the architects of the residential school system only meant to provide education. 

By selectively editing O’Toole’s words they were able to generate a headline portraying O’Toole as being in favour of residential schools where in reality he has been clear that he opposes them on every level.

Given proper context, it is obvious O’Toole was pointing out the residential school program’s architects were not outright malicious, rather they were more ignorant and misguided, which was evident from O’Toole’s followup where he stated that “It became a horrible program that really harmed people and we have to learn from that”. This upends the manufactured narrative Press Progress was trying to pin on Mr. O’Toole.

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O’Toole later further clarified that he understands the residential school program intended to remove children from the “influence of their homes, families, traditions, and cultures,” and that this was wrong. 

Even aside from O’Toole’s clarification, his original statement was still misconstrued with Press Progress’ essentially quote-mining to develop a misleading headline. Simply put, Mr. O’Toole’s position was the opposite of Press Progress’s reporting. Was this intentional? 

While examining many stories published by Press Progress we found a regular pattern manipulating conservative messaging or statements. This is almost always used to influence the reader to arrive at an uncharitable interpretation of the statements made, when no evidence, current or historical, exists that would cause a rational person to come to the same interpretation when allowed to understand the full and proper context.

Many people believe Press Progress has a track-record of using deceptive literary devices such as quote-mining and lies by omission to influence their readers to arrive at false conclusions and link tenuous or nonexistent associations between people, organizations, or political views to paint their subject as “far-right” or “alt-right,”  – terms that Press Progress frequently and inaccurately uses interchangeably. 

Press Progress has attacked conservative media organizations like Rebel Media and figures such True North’s Andrew Lawton in this same manner.


In the case of Rebel Media, Press Progress attempts to label their organization as supportive of white supremacists despite the Owner Ezra Levant being a practicing Jew and Rebel having many Jewish supporters in their viewership. Perhaps the team at Press Progress requires a lesson in  World War II history?

Press Progress appears to have an agenda against anything and everything that they decide is right-wing or vaguely conservative-leaning, and the bias often reaches absurd levels. On one occasion Press Progress activists attacked MP Michael Cooper for having the political centrist Lindsay Shepherd speak as a witness at a hearing about “online hate”. 

Press Progress attempted a smear campaign against MP Cooper because Shepherd had appeared on the Youtube channel of Jean-François Gariépy and at another time she invited Faith Goldy to a debate at Laurier University, where Shepherd planned to deconstruct and argue against Goldy’s views to highlight her stance on racial identitarianism. The theme of the event was Free Speech. The event was later canceled and never even occurred.

Shepherd at the parliamentary hearing, sitting next to Mark Steyn (middle), and John Robson (right)             (Photo from True North)

Shepherd at the parliamentary hearing, sitting next to Mark Steyn (middle), and John Robson (right) (Photo from True North)

On Gariépy’s show, Press Progress once again deceptively tries to influence their readers to believe that Ms. Shepherd agrees with white identity politics, but Shepherd never speaks about race outside of her problems with modern identity politics. 

Anyone familiar with Ms. Shepherd and her views would know she does not agree with Gariépy’s racial views and once described herself as progressive. 

She is hated by progressive now for moving away from the political left after militant activists at her university engaged in a public shaming campaign against her and attempted to have her terminated from her position for showing a video from modern psychology professor Jordan Peterson. All of this Press Progress omits from their characterization of Ms. Shepherd.  

MP Michael Cooper

MP Michael Cooper

Bottom line, Press Progress smeared MP Cooper for inviting Shepherd to testify to a  Parliamentary hearing because Shepard had once wanted to publicly argue against ethno-identitarianism and white nationalist views. 

Press Progress, on the other hand, frequently fails to hold their activists to their own standards.

The National Telegraph conducted in-depth research into Press Progress social media postings.  This revealed many instances where their activist contributors directly advocate or promote radical far-left political views and violence. 

They have also actively ignored oppressive actions by figures who even hold positions, in direct opposition to Press Progresses stated values, simply because they personally liked them.

Press Progress contributor Stephen Magusiak shows his support for far-left/communistic political views by frequently retweeting them.

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Magusiak retweeted someone describing the Russian Bolsheviks, who murdered tens of millions of people in the Soviet Union, as “brave.”  


The tweet suggests that people should also “forget #RemembranceDay” in favour of a celebration of the violent Russian Revolution which initiated decades of authoritarianism, politically motivated massacres, famines, and war. 

It would be interesting to know which communist leader is Maguisak’s favourite and why Press Progress would openly support advocates of historical genocide. 

Odds seem to be favouring the current president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, seeing as Maguisak retweeted a statement wishing President Xi “eternal good fortune in his continuing battle with the Occidental beast,” – occidental being a reference to Western countries. 

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Does Maguisak also support death camps and the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Uyghurs Muslims and other minority groups tortured by the Chinese Communist party? Not very progressive.

Similar to many Press Progress contributors, Maguisak deletes all of his tweets past a certain date, with regularity – ironic seeing as Press Progress is not above using the old and outdated tweets of the people they target. 

Another activist contributor, less subtle about their support of radical views, is Emily Leedham, who in her own original tweets, celebrated violent acts against conservative commentator Steven Crowder by union members in Detroit, all because he disagrees with her perspective on labour unions.

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Leedham also supports anti-police movements, frequently retweeting the organization Winnipeg Police Cause Harm, which doesn’t just support defunding or reforming parts of the Winnipeg Police Force, but wants its total “abolition,” according to their own website.

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Again in hypocritical fashion, while Press Progress has demonstrated its opposition to the anti-lockdown movement and associated protests, Leedham has frequently in the past several months, supported labour unions gathering to protest.

Leedham endorsed the Alberta healthcare workers’ “wildcat” strike during the deadly pandemic, which was labeled as “illegal strike activity” by Alberta’s Labour Relations Board for, “putting Albertans’ safety at risk,” by causing a deliberate shortage of healthcare workers.

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Leedham has even personally attended a Black Lives Matter event in June, in direct violation of COVID-19 lockdown orders, while Press Progress was publishing criticism of several conservative premiers on their lockdown policies being too lenient.

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By Press Progress and their editor Luke Lebrun’s own standards, they should immediately question why activists Leeham and Magusiak are allowed to remain part of their organization. 

They have advocated for the removal of individuals from conservative organizations yet, at Press Progress, the standards they set out in their defamatory articles would appear not to apply. 

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Press Progress as a publication heavily leans on what some say is targeted harassment and public shaming as a political tool. Both conservatives and liberals should not tolerate these kinds of hypocritical and disruptive activities. 

The Press Progress team seem to be purveyors of innuendo journalism, far-left politics, cheerleaders for violence against Conservatives, and anyone else who opposes their views, and embrace the values of historical evil regimes responsible for mass genocide.

The National Telegraph reached out to Press Progress to ask some questions to clarify their positions on these matters, including if they believe the type of views shared by their contributors are wrong, and if they can stand by some of the characterizations of people and groups they have made in their articles, Press Progress publisher Jennifer Hassum responded with the following statement:

“PressProgress is unable to comment on The National Telegram’s clearly malicious story due to Wyatt Claypool’s unprofessional, evasive and harassing correspondences with our reporters and bizarre questioning of our reporting on neo-Nazis and anti-lockdown protests which is especially concerning as your site lists federal Conservative MPs as contributors.”

Unfortunately, it seems instead of answering The National Telegraph’s direct questions, Ms. Hassum has, like many of the activists within Press Progress, resorted to ad hominems, attacks, and playing the victim card.

I understand Hassum must be angered and confused by a journalist actually asking questions to the subject of their article prior to publishing. Being held to their own standards appears to be a massive culture shock for the Press Progress crew. 

As a side note, some of the members of The National Telegraph come from Jewish families that were massacred in the death camps during the Holocaust. They took particular offence to the subtle assertion that they are, or support, “neo-nazis.” It seems our concerns about Press Progress’ extremist views were confirmed by Ms. Hassum’s flippant response. 


After the final draft of the article was sent in a followup media request to Press Progress Jennifer Hassum responded in the following manner:

PressProgress stands 100% behind the accuracy of all of our reporting. Our Journalistic Standards policies are public for all to see. We regularly provide readers with the source material used in our stories so everyone can see our work is factual. Nothing you’ve shown us indicates any of our reporting is factually wrong or that we have a pattern of deliberately manipulating our source material. The National Telegram’s characterization of PressProgress and our reporters is outlandish and absurd.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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