Monday, November 9, 2009

Harper Not Only Controlling the Spin But Now Trying to Control the Flash

Since coming to office Stephen Harper has been very careful about controlling the media and keeping us on a need to know basis. For instance we need to know that he can play the piano but we don't need to know that he has sold us off with the SPP. We need to know that he once had a paper route but we don't need to know that he has secretly removed the terms 'gender equality' and 'humanitarian' from our foreign policy. We need to know that he is a good little Christian boy, but we don't need to know that he trying to accelerate Armageddon.

Author and publisher Mel Hurtig had details of an SPP meeting and offered it to all of the mainstream media, but no one thought there was a story there. So who's getting a little help from 'his' friends? It sure isn't the Canadian people. (I probably should start capitalizing His and He now, when referring to Harper because he's obviously the media's God)

In true Orwellian fashion, Harper claims that He only answers certain questions because the media hates the Reform Conservatives. Give me a break. These kingmakers have forgotten His extremist past(?) and are complicit in selling him to us as a moderate to the centre politician. He is not a centre politician. He just plays one on TV.

However, given that the PMO now apparently writes their own copy, should we be surprised that they are also taking their own photos? Doctored and airbrushed they arrive to go with the stories they direct. Isn't democracy grand?

Is Stephen Harper going too far in trying to control his image?
The PMO is sending out a steady stream of publicity photos in the hope they will be used in newspapers and blogs across the country. But photojournalists believe Harper's handlers are going too far in trying to control his image

Minutes after Stephen Harper finished his now-famous rendition of With a Little Help from My Friends , the Prime Minister's Office e-mailed Canadian media an arresting close-up shot of what it described as the gala piano performance. Only it wasn't. The picture, which featured Mr. Harper framed by dazzling theatre lights, was actually snapped by a PMO photographer at a private rehearsal hours before the Oct. 3 evening concert.

The shot – used by media outlets including The Globe and Mail's website – is cited by photojournalists who cover Mr. Harper when they discuss what they see as recent PMO efforts to exert more influence over images of the Conservative Prime Minister.

Since the spring, the PMO has effectively set up its own picture service, e-mailing photos to Canadian media almost daily in an effort to find a market for publicity shots of Mr. Harper's activities. It's a service that ultimately competes with the work of photojournalists, but one, they argue, that should not be relied upon as a record of events ....

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