Monday, May 15, 2006

Playing Hard To Get

As the media likes to remind us, Canadians are all watching with excitement the ongoing struggle between the Prime Minister's Office and the Parliamentary Press Gallery. It's the hottest topic of discussion at all the water coolers, coffee shops and bars in the land. Everybody's got an opinion and taking sides; friendships and families are being broken over the heated debate.

Well, no, not exactly.

But you've got to like Sandra Buckler's analogy about the relationship:

Speed dating - that's how Prime Minister Stephen Harper's director of communications is characterizing the media's shaky new relationship with the Conservative government.

"We really haven't figured everybody out yet, but we're starting to get a good idea of what we like and what we don't like," Sandra Buckler told the Canadian Association of Journalists on Sunday.

Buckler was participating in a panel discussion featuring three journalists and a former communications director to Jean Chretien.

Buckler's analogy - likening the Tory relationship with the media to a brief, first date with a stranger - was in response to criticism that the government has tried to shut out journalists as they try to cover federal politics.

Reporters have complained that their calls are not returned, that they receive copies of speeches days after they were delivered, and that media availability is too selective.

"Stephen Harper is running a more focused, a disciplined government than prime minister (Jean) Chretien, and certainly more so than prime minister (Paul) Martin," said Buckler in a sometimes confrontational discussion.

"When we have something to say, Canadians are going to hear it, and they can take it to the bank."

So Sandra's playing hard to get. Big deal, fellas.

You're reporters; get off your duffs and go looking for stories instead of waiting for PMO to spoon-feed you.

PPG has more than a decade of accumulated laziness and other bad habits to break, but I'm sure they can bring their long-dormant newshunting abilities back to life. Maybe. If they haven't grown domesticated from years of coddling by the Liberals.

Source: National Post

1 comment:

PGP said...

Can't you recognize Pavlovian response when you see it?