When Stephen Harper was the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Mitrovica writes, he sought out journalists:
He courted press coverage enthusiastically. (There’s a word commonly used in Ottawa to describe politicians who hunger for media attention as shamelessly as Harper once did; I’m guessing I can’t get away with using it here.) In any event, Harper’s political career was aided and abetted in some measure by his routine appearances on political chat shows that featured him as a sound-bite-happy right-wing pundit.
But after he became prime minister -- his objective achieved -- he neurotically avoided journalists:
This neurosis manifests itself in several familiar ways. This is a prime minister fond of playing hide-and-seek with reporters. He scurries furtively to his Centre Block office after question period like a truant schoolboy on his way to detention. He prefers to remain holed up in his private quarters in Canada’s modest version of Air Force One, rarely venturing out to be scrummed by the rabble occupying the less-comfortable seats in the plane’s rear. He has even largely abandoned those sonorous year-end interviews with network news anchors and bureau chiefs.
Now he simply refuses to answer questions.
Harper's relationship with the press fits a pattern. He uses people then disposes of them. From Jim Hawkes, who he worked for, then ran against, to Preston Manning, to Tom Flanagan to Nigel Wright -- Harper's relationships are transactional.
Once he gets what he wants, he leaves people behind.