Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is it Wise For Harper to Anger the Media so Soon?

The showdown between Stephen Harper and the media is already becoming heated. For five years they've been shut out, and now when he's asking Canadians to trust him with a majority, he's proving that we can't trust him at all.

Hiding from the press is just another sign that it will be the same old, same old.

After several days, it is clear his daily schedule is carefully designed to minimize political risk. Harper has not done any “walkabouts” on city streets where average voters can meet him. Moreover, the photo-ops with voters — such as at a seniors’ home and a deli — have been pre-arranged. Also, people who attend rallies must be on a list to gain entry to the event.

Mr. Harper only provides one news conference per day, and it is specifically designed to ensure that it is not free-wheeling. Journalists who are travelling with his campaign tour are, as a group, only allowed to ask four questions. One more question goes to a local journalist at the news conference. On Thursday, Mr. Harper was asked to explain why — when Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton provide news conferences with no limits on questions — he insists on no more five questions.

Mr. Harper chose not to answer that question and moved on to the next questioner.
Week one: Lies and secrets.

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