Warren Kinsella writes today about the ongoing feud between the press and Stephen Harper, wherein Harper has limited access and put restrictions on questioning. Kinsella notes that it isn't just The Toronto Star sniping, but guys like Don Martin of the right-leaning National Post who are fed up with Harper's 'disdain' for the press. He quotes Richard Brennan, new president of the Ottawa Press Gallery, as saying:
"There's not a lot we can do, except push back, and that's what he is going to find," said Brennan. "We are pushing back."Kinsella gives all rounds up to this point to Harper, saying that "the Prime Minister has beaten the national media at every turn. They have been forced to play the game by his rules." But goes on to say:
Sometime soon, the Prime Minister is going to find the news media "pushing back" at a time when he is most vulnerable. Namely, during the election campaign.
Already, it is arguable that this push-back campaign is producing dividends: However much Harper moves to the centre, offering up big-spending policies for latte-sipping urbanites and ruthlessly muzzling the red-necked crazies in his backbench--he gets no credit for it. He and his party remain ahead of the Liberals, marginally, but they are also far from their lusted-after majority. So they lick their wounds, and wonder why.
So, rather than reporting the news fairly and accurately, the president of the Ottawa Press Gallery seems to be advocating that the media selectively report, thereby attempting to shape the opinons of the nation, rather than do what they are supposed to do, inform the nation and allow us to form our own opinions.
This concept is coming from the guy the OPG chose to represent them -- Instead of just sucking it up and giving us the news, he'd rather the press gallery 'push back,' and it would seem as Kinsella notes, they'll use 'omission' as a tactic.
How is it that the head guy believes that OPG's petty grievances are more important than their responsibility to Canadians to tell things as they are? Do they think that they are somehow 'representing' us up there in that rarefied world of Ottawa bars and backrooms -- especially when they decide they're going to play kingmaker if the PMO won't play ball their way?
Is there any wonder why Harper doesn't trust them?