Thursday, October 03, 2013

Will No One Rid Me Of This Meddlesome Reporter?

The man who has prorogued Parliament three times and skipped the UN General Assembly the same number of times is offended by questions. The Canadian Press reports that, when Harper was in New York last week -- thumbing his nose at the UN -- a reporter for CTV crossed an invisible line:

During an event last week in New York, [Dave] Ellis asked Harper about the charges laid against then-Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, even though reporters and photographers had been told questions were not allowed.

The Prime Minister's Office then decreed that Mr. Ellis could not accompany Mr. Harper on his upcoming trip to Malaysia:

The TV networks fought back, insisting that they — not the Prime Minister's Office — should decide who to assign to cover Harper when he travels abroad.

Shortly after news of the dispute became public, however, Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the prime minister, said no accredited journalist would be prevented from boarding Harper's plane.

As it should be. But consider for a moment the arrogance -- the spiteful pettiness -- displayed by the prime minister. He obviously thinks he's Henry II reincarnated, a king who rules by divine right. Any and all questions can be avoided. What matters is that his courtiers carry out his orders.

Perhaps he feels he is a Lion In Winter. Truth be told, he's nothing more than a tomcat  -- who continues to treat the country and its press as his litter box.


Anonymous said...

It is time the Parliamentary Press Gallery found its backbone.

Even that reporter from China had more bal** when he stood up to Harper's handlers and the RCMP.

As I recall, Terry Milewski at the CBC was the only journalist who had challenged Harper about not taking questions during the election campaign. Even Steve Maher had admitted that he had kind of accepted the situation of limited and controlled access to Harper.

Of course, Harper likely felt encouraged to keep on avoiding questions when 39% still voted for Cons MPs who had avoided attending local debates.

Owen Gray said...

Harper knows that democracy can't function without a free and vigilant press, Anon.

And Harper can't function in a true and vibrant democracy.

rumleyfips said...

It seems to me that Stevie threw a little tantrum. Later, when realised that no pool reporter, no pictures of him on TV and panicked. As he is doing nothing worthwhile abroad, pretty pictures of pandas are all the trip is about.

One wonders if his staff had to weather another tantrum before fixing the situation.

Owen Gray said...

Point well taken, rumley. It's all about photo-ops these days. Banning CTV is like shooting yourself in the foot.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

How dare that reporter do his job and ask a public servant a question that might be of interest to the public.!

Harper may think he can control government workers such as scientists, or mute members of his party who might have an independent opinion or or minister who might have an original ideal but he should certainly not be allowed to think he can control a free press doing it's job.

On another matter, I thought you might like this article about the F 35 jets. Not all Americans approve of this expensive military toy. (I don't understand the photo of a drone in this piece, must be a mistake)

I love the independent spirit of the people of Vermont. Sometimes I think we should asked them to join Canada.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Philip. The F-35 business has all the earmarks of neighbours showing off their new cars. It's a status symbol of dubious value.

On the subject of Vermont, we used to live in the Eastern Townships, not far from the Vermont border. Vermonters are, indeed, an independent lot.