5.25.2006

nyah nyah

And you don't like me anyway, so you can all just go away!
PM to shun Ottawa journalists

Stephen Harper says journalists on Parliament Hill are biased against his government so he'll be avoiding them.

The Prime Minister says the parliamentary press gallery seems to have decided to become the opposition to his Conservative government.

He told A-Channel in London, Ont., yesterday that he is having problems with reporters that a Liberal leader would never face.

So he says he will take his message out on the road to less hostile local media.

"Unfortunately, the press gallery has taken the view they are going to be the opposition to the government," Harper told the TV station. "They don't ask questions at my press conferences now."

On Tuesday, two dozen Ottawa reporters walked out on a Harper event when he refused to take their questions.

Harper does not want to hold press conferences unless his staff choose which journalists ask questions from a list they compile. The Ottawa press gallery won't accept those rules.
So it is possible for journalists to do their jobs! Wow. Can the Ottawa press corps give lessons to their counterparts in the White House?

As for the anti-Conservative bias, I wonder if Mr Harper remembers a little thing called the Sponsorship Scandal, that the supposedly liberal media used to usher him into power?

15 comments:

James said...

Stephen Harper says journalists on Parliament Hill are biased against his government[...]

Journalists should be "biased" against any government -- it's their job not to take anything any government says on faith, but to check it out.

"Unfortunately, the press gallery has taken the view they are going to be the opposition to the government," Harper told the TV station. "They don't ask questions at my press conferences now."

Taking more lessons from south of the border, I see.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

I think this has more to do with Harper personality then anything he learned from south of the border.

Harper has always had a "my way or the highway" approach to things since the very beginning of his political career. In this way he is like Bush.

L-girl said...

Kyle, very true. I think "lessons from south of the border" refers to the press corps themselves, rolling over and taking orders from the govt, rather than challenging them - as (as James points out above) they're supposed to do.

L-girl said...

Journalists should be "biased" against any government -- it's their job not to take anything any government says on faith, but to check it out.

Exactly. Media is *supposed to* have an oppositional relationship to government.

M@ said...

Exactly. Media is *supposed to* have an oppositional relationship to government.

Very true -- oppositional, not adversarial. If the media were being adversarial, then Harper might -- MIGHT -- have a point. As it is, he doesn't have a leg to stand on. "They won't let me stay on message" is hardly a valid criticism of the media.

Incidentally, I submitted this story to Fark.com under the headline

"Canadian prime minister refuses to give any more national press conferences; stamps foot, insists reporters are doo-doo heads".

I'm pretty pleased with the headline, and very pleased that it got greenlit. Definitely sums up my view of the story in a nutshell.

L-girl said...

An excellent headline!! Good on ya.

Jenjenjigglepants said...

re: "[Harper] will take his message on the road"

When I was growing up in Calgary there used to be a public cable t.v. show called "Monty's travelling reptile show"

I don't know why I just thought of that...

latour said...

Harper is acting like a spoiled child. First, anyone who thinks the Canadian media has a left-wing bias is either stupid, delusional or watches too much Fox News. It is because of this media that he is PM, the media basically played into his hands during the election, and they refuse to call him on any of his bullsh!t.

And now Harper is acting like a spoiled child, both with the media and withthe Gwyn Morgan thing. If he can't get a far-right Conservative in a non-partisan position, he's gonna cancel the whole appointments commission and whine that he needs a majority. What he needs to do is stop being a big baby; Gwyn Morgan wasn't a suitable person for the job, so you pick another one instead of whining about needing a majority.

Now, he's whining because the media doesn't like having to put their questions on lists so he can pick and choose which softballs to answer.

Hopefully he has put the last nail in his coffin here, once Canada realizes we've managed to elect a big baby, we might roll over and wake up. Hopefully the opposition can seize this opportunity to expose Harper for what he really is...too bad the Liberals aren't ready for an election, the NDP is working with the Conservatives to change the political atmosphere of Canada to one closer to that of Manitoba, where the Liberals are a third party, and the Bloc...well, they're just the Bloc.

James said...

I think "lessons from south of the border" refers to the press corps themselves, rolling over and taking orders from the govt

Actually, I meant Harper -- more along the lines of "thinking that he can get away with it since Bush does" than "inspired by Bush's strategy", though.

The press isn't exactly rolling over: "On Tuesday, two dozen Ottawa reporters walked out on a Harper event when he refused to take their questions" -- that's more than you'd get from the Washington Press Corps.

L-girl said...

that's more than you'd get from the Washington Press Corps.

Oh, no question there! As I said in my post, they could give lessons to the WH press corps. I mis-read your first comment.

Hopefully he has put the last nail in his coffin here,

I don't think it's quite that big. But a lot of little nails, every time he opens his mouth, will work just as well.

doggerelblogger said...

This is going to bite him on the ass. You just wait - it will be beautiful.

Scott M. said...

I'm wondering about the year-end interview rounds the PM traditionally does... the only time I know it's been skipped is during elections and once by PET at the height of the Maggie affair.

Lone Primate said...

Incidentally, where is Rob? Has he tired of fighting the good fight among us red dragons? :)

L-girl said...

Incidentally, where is Rob?

I believe he's lurking. He stopped commenting a while back. Pretty much around the time Harper was elected...

Lone Primate said...

I believe he's lurking. He stopped commenting a while back. Pretty much around the time Harper was elected...

Ahhhh, yes... It's been a long time since Muldoon shuffled off to Croneytown. No doubt Rob's slowly remembering that — as with other things — when it comes to criticizing the government of the day, 'tis better to give than to receive. :D