Friday, May 19, 2006

Guess Who's Not Coming To Dinner

The annual Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner is one of these Ottawa events that matters to nobody outside the incestuous Ottawa media and political circles. The Prime Minister is expected to attend and suffer through bad jokes about him, then get up and tell a few bad jokes about himself and his guests. Think of it as a Dean Martin celebrity roast for the Ottawa set.

Stephen Harper might not be coming this year, and while you might think that declining the invitation is not newsworthy, to the PPG, it's a slap in the face:

The prime minister may snub the annual Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner this fall, a move he's considering in order to register his displeasure with an ongoing disagreement his office has with Parliament Hill journalists over the way his press conferences ought to be conducted.

CTV News has learned that Stephen Harper plans to tell his caucus at a future meeting that he will not attend the dinner, to be held Nov. 25 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que.

He will not insist that other caucus members boycott the Press Gallery dinner but many Conservative MPs and nearly all cabinet ministers are expected not to attend the dinner to show solidarity with their boss.

A senior official with the Prime Minister's Office would not confirm that Harper will snub the press gallery, saying only that "his schedule is not set that far out."

Can you think a less newsworthy item for the coverage it's getting? Well, other than the gossip about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The electorate will not care one way or another whether Stephen Harper goes to the PPG dinner or bowling that night. But PPG will, and they'll be even crankier towards him for a while because of it.

All over a black-tie rubber-chicken affair.

Source: CTV News


Christian Conservative said...

I actually hope he DOES attend because 1) it will help prevent unnecessary uproar and 2) cause he's a pretty funny guys and normally does really well at it!

Prairie Kid said...

I know the Liberal blogs were all over Harper for his snub of the media. However, I just read this on the Toronto Star web site:

"Despite numerous requests, Ignatieff would not meet with reporters outside the Commons yesterday to discuss the vote."

Maybe he's more Conservative than Liberal.

Gabby in QC said...

I agree with Christian Conservative. The PM should show the MSM that he has a sense of humour (he's already done so in the past by doing an uncanny imitation of John McCallum), but this time, he should imitate some of the pouts or temper tantrums thrown by some members of the media. Maybe a red wig & pounding on a door à la Julie Van Dusen ...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Good one, Gabby!

Harper will be the butt of many jokes whether he's there or not. Perhaps he prefers not to sit through the humiliation. It will be a roast.