Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Followers of the MSM's self-referential reporting about the titanic death struggle between PMO and PPG might be excused for thinking that Stephen Harper has decided to declare war on freedom of the press.

But this is a battle now in which increasingly the PPG no longer holds all the weapons of public persuasion. A proliferation of alternate media sources--including us humble bloggers--now puts PMO on a much more even footing against the PPG and its allies.

And now he's playing divide and conquer. If the official PPG doesn't want to play by the rules, he'll create a new PPG out of the ranks of local media:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national media are biased against him so he will avoid them from now on.

The prime minister says the Ottawa press gallery seems to have decided to become the opposition to his Conservative government.

He told a London, Ont., TV station Wednesday that he is having problems with the media that a Liberal prime minister would never have to face.

So Harper says he will take his message out on the road and deal with the less hostile local media.

"Unfortunately the press gallery has taken the view they are going to be the opposition to the government," Harper told London's A-Channel.

"They 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."

At some point, the media is going to run out of angles on this story, and will find itself trying frantically to get back in the government's good graces. But they may have left it too late.

Moreover, by hiving off smaller media outlets from their ranks with increased access and opportunities for stories, the press will be facing divided ranks. Do you think reporters in Saskatoon and Sydney are going to turn down their newfound fortune to stand in solidarity with their starving brethren in the Ottawa press corps?

PPG will have none but itself to blame for being ostracized.

And isn't it sweet to see a PM not admit Liberal media bias, but also do something about it!

Source: Yahoo


HearHere said...

Here is what the PM actually said - now watch the unbiased media spin these words and add their own "opinions" that will become the news.

This is a partial transcript of questions and answers in an interview with Prime Minister Stephen Harper by A-Channel London in London, Ont., on Wednesday.

Question: "How (do) you consider the allegations from the national media, that you're trying to hide from them and decide who gets to ask you questions?"

Harper: "There's really not much I can say about that. Unfortunately, the press gallery has taken the view they are going to be the opposition to the government and they don't ask questions at my press conferences now. So we'll just get the message out on the road. There's lots of media in the country that do want to ask me questions and do want to hear what the government is doing for Canadians, or to Canadians. So we'll get our message out however we can."

Question: "Is it not a distraction?"

Harper: "Well, it's certainly unnecessary and I have trouble believing that, frankly, a Liberal prime minister would have this problem. But you know, that's as I say, the press gallery at the leadership level has taken an anti-Conservative view. Unfortunately, most journalists would like to ask questions and the press gallery is forbidding them from doing so. I think that's unfortunate. I think actually that speaks to freedom of the press, but that's an issue they're going to have to work out."

Mr Ed said...

CBC, CTV, the Toronto Star, National Post, The Global and Mail, and a few others are going to have to get themselves some new reporters or play by the PM's rules....frankly, in this day and age with Instant internet information, Job security for Ottawa Press Corp is slim and none like the rest of Canadians and if you're not willing to play by any PM's rules then you'll be out in the cold if he decides to change the rules on ya... Better start signing on to the program because Harper just out smarted you and in one move he's exposing the "unbiased reporters" as another part of the Liberal/NDP support mecanizem they are into "spinning" events rather then reporting on them... I have yet to find any articles regarding the PM's request that say reporters signed up to ask questions and were refused the chance.... instead they are all "pity us 'cause we'll be passed over if we sign up" Well, if we're going to have serious gov't making serious decisions that affect all Canadians then signing up to ask a question seems pretty pull your head out of your ass, stop playing the "oh poor us, pity us," stop moping and whining and sign up!!! If you're the first one to sign up and the PM ignores the request to ask a question, then you have some real news to report..... but no one even showed the curtosy to sign up to ask a question.... the MSM needs to grow up or change carreers and go into politics as Liberal and NDP MP's

Anonymous said...

Not to be rude, but do you honestly want to set a precedent where the PMO gets to determine WHO asks the questions?

Has everyone forgotten what happened to Bush and that gay-porno actor?

Assuming the liberals ever get back into power, do you honestly want the liberal PMO to choose who asks the question? Do you think a Liberal PM is going to take questions from a reporter that is critical of them or even asks the hard questions?

I've seen every conservative blog and people are decrying the MSM but I think conservative blogers aren't thinking things through....

HearHere said...

In every news conference I have every organized I or my spokesperson invite the reporters who will ask the question by name, usually from a compiled list.

Most Premiers do the same thing. You act like this is something unusual. We now have an executive in the government who like to do things in an orderly and FAIR manner.

It is a bull twit power play by the press gallery and they lost.

Proud K-W Conservative said...

Anon...just like those of a similar I.D.

You don't get it...
waving the Bush flag doesn't give you any credibility...

Liberal PMs have played the press like a piano time and again...
Why do you think the PPG wants to assume the role of the organ-grinder???

Mr. Harper has beaten them like a drum...again and again...

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

It's a brilliant strategy. Set up a situation in which the media can only ask you questions if they do what you say.

Then, if the media plays ball, you get to determine who asks the Prime Minister questions.

If they don't play ball, point to the fact that no one's asking questions (which is b.s., they are asking questions, just not in the manner the PMO demands, but anyway....) use that as the reason you need to bypass the national media.

It's like everyone in the PMO is standing in the corner with their hands over their ears yelling "la la la la, la la la la, I can't hear you!!! Why won't you ask us questions? la la la la, la la la la, I can't answer your questions if you won't say anything, la la la la, la la la la...."

hunter said...

Well lord, they allowed exPM Martin to do exactly what Prime Minister Harper is asking. It's a simple request, if you have a question, put your name on the list to be called.

So, it was okay with the PPG when it was a Liberal in power, but now that it's the Conservatives, they are creating a phoney media war. What babies!

The media still can't understand that Stephen Harper is the PRIME MINISTER of Canada. We elected him, and we expect the media to show him some respect! Quit disrespecting MY PRIME MINISTER!

Adam said...

No, they DIDN'T let PMPM do that (that was one of their main complaints with the liberal election campaign), which is why many of them turned on him during the election. Don't rewrite recent history when many of us know better.