Taking The Message On The Road

Stephen Harper's response to a "slanted" Ottawa press gallery is asinine. Since being elected PM, Harper has sought to control the media in any way possible. A media he deems unfriendly to the Conservative message. Initially he kept his caucus meeting schedule secret so he and his cabinet could not be caught by the press and asked any questions, and his latest attempt was to have reporters put their names on a list if they wished to ask a question, therefore allowing his staffers to pick and choose who would get to ask a question. Bush-league behaviour, literally and figuratively. Thankfully the press corps in Ottawa has a spine, and showed their displeasure by walking out en masse before a press conference.

Apparently it mattered not to Steve, who claims:

They (the Ottawa press gallery) don't ask questions at my press conferences now. We'll just take the message out on the road. There's lots of media who do want to ask questions and hear what the government is doing.

Now, where exactly this "road" is, is anyone's guess. Will it be his hometown, will it be Conservative Party headquarters. Would he get more favourable questions from these people? Just where does Harper expect to find these journalist/lapdogs? The end result of this wrangling between the PM and the press is a lack of information being disseminated to the Canadian people.

Related to this was a good segment on CBC's "The Current" in which American journalist Helen Thomas relates the situation for the White House press corps in the U.S., and comments upon the situation faced by Canadian reporters now that Harper and crew are in power.

Click to listen (real audio file)