Blog of Mass Distraction

Monday, May 29, 2006


Sometimes I wonder about the state of democracy in our country. Prime Minister Harper has rejected the free press on Parliament hill. The PMO has said the PM will not answer questions from reporters in press conferences from the regular press gallery. The PMO said they will select the people that are allowed to ask questions of the PM. The press gallery rejected these restrictions and walked out during a recent press conference. As a result the PM has rejected the Ottawa press gallery all together and says he will no longer speak with them. Instead he will speak only with local media and news organizations. Harper said he restricted the questions from the press gallery because he says the press decided "to be the opposition to the government." Harper said he hard trouble believing a Liberal Prime Minister would have as much trouble as he's had with the press. He's complained strongly about a supposed anti-conservative view in the press. The PMO of Martin's government made similar complaints during the dying days of his government.

The row boiled over when Harper said he would only answer questions from an approved list of journalists. This kind arrogant nepotism really epitomizes the neo-conservative ethic. I've heard the conservative ideal described as wanting to reward the successful or alternatively punish the weak. I don't ascribe to such glib idealistic interpretations. I'm certain there are different reasons for each person, but the overriding pattern I've seen in politicians like Harper (and Bush for that matter) is the penchant for taking as much as they can whether that's by rigging rules, changing laws, and doing their utmost to help themselves and their friends rather than the general populace.

It seems Harper and his ilk consider a 'bias' anything that includes facts and opinions that differ from or unfavourably portray their own views. The National Post may be a rag that's losing millions, but with its love for all things Harper at least it won't have any trouble getting the PM to answer questions.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.


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