Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tell Me You're Surprised

It's beyond obvious that Harper is simply not willing to allow his caucus, to speak to the media.
To call in the RCMP? Ridiculous! Of course the meetings are secret. No argument there, but the whole inability for any Conservative member to speak to media without being designated, come on!
RCMP? This man is manic, obsessed with running everything. Hmmm, what do we normally call these people?


shades of clarity said...

I would have preferred that the mounties tear gas and club the media, before asking them to vacate the place.

Anonymous said...

That's nice and sick of you, shades. What third-world totalitarian country do you hail from?

Don't tell me Canada because we know better. And if you are, why don't you go find one to take you?

knb said...

Charming shades, this is Canada the last time I checked.

Good grief, where do these people come from?

scottie said...

Could Harper not have used a few regular police to watch out for something suspicious . He could have someone say something at least, to the media......and not act like the dictator, that he is becoming.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Our PM Stephen Harper did what
he did with the media and
also what he is doing with is MP'S. This people is called party discipline. He is not a dictator,he is not acting like a dictator,he is not being a dictator. People
who think that this is anything close to being or acting like a dictator
doesn't know what a dictator is I'm sorry to say people. This is a closed private meeting. People which means no outsiders that includes the media.

Now for any Conservative not be able to speak to media it's a non issue the left is so desperate
to try and gain power,that they would try
to do almost anything like creating a scandal when there isn't any.

Why should our Prime Minister give free rein
to the left wing media that alway leans the same way like the tower of pisa.I know why the left
wants free access to the
Conservative mp's,because
they are so desperate to
twist their words around
and then throw back at the PM'S face and say why did your mp say this or say that it has nothing
to do with the people of this great country of ours Canada!! Now I'm going to be lambasted for saying like it is!!


Anonymous said...


I actually respect your opinion. I don't agree with all of it, but at least you weren't advocating beatings and tear-gas. That kind of off-the-cuff remark is uncalled for.

In my opinion, if Harper wants to order his MPs not to speak to the press, that's his perogative. I think it's sad and speaks volumes in itself because I think it reveals a certain weakness and lack of trust in your own government. I see it an act of weakness, not strength.

If you don't trust your people or your ideas and have to massage the message just right in the right light with the right background, then maybe you're just not on the right course. Many governments - Liberal and Conservative - have managed the press under their watch without running from the cameras or forcing candidates out back doors as was done during the last election.

And it does seem a little presumptious to remove reporters from a public area. Most of the comments I read on news boards have comments from people who didn't read the story or are spinning, making it sound like reporters were crawling on desk tops. They weren't in the meetings; they were in the lobby of the hotel.

Just bad optics all around, which sort of defeats the purpose of managing the media, wouldn't you say? Heck, send a spokesperson out to give a little show, some "we're working hard to find solutions for the Canadian people" spiel. But sending the RCMP out to throw them out. Doesn't he realize that would become the story? Just a dumb move, and while certainly nowhere dictatorial, not something Canadians are used to seeing - or need to see - in my opinion.


Scotian said...

I read the article KNB and I read the comments that followed it as well. It would appear that the Harper defenders missed the entire point, that these reporters were in the *LOBBY* of a public hotel open to all in the public (which happens to include the media whether one likes it or not) and not trying to get anywhere near where actual caucus meetings were being held when they were ejected by the RCMP on orders from the PMO. This *IS* a serious issue despite the attempts of some to deny that, and it represents yet another example of how Harper doesn't trust his own caucus around the media without someone from his inner circle holding their leashes. It shows a blatant contempt towards openness itself, and that while yes caucus meetings need to be secret that the sites the meetings are at do not need to be protected by the RCMP to keep out the media while allowing other members of the public access to the same areas like said Lobby!

It is not the job of the RCMP to act as the media buffer for any governing party outside of the traditional security functions which this clearly is not given it was a public place where only media were to be excluded instead of all members of the public including said media which would have been defendable then as a security measure while this is not. No, the RCMP have better things to do with their resources than to play media blocker for the CPC caucus while they meet for a week in the summer on resort Island I mean PEI (not an insult, I love the Island and have many relatives as born and breds there too, spent every summer there growing up in fact) where there is clearly an element of vacation involved (hence the families coming too) as well as legitimate work.

The RCMP would be well within their place to block access to the rooms where meetings occur, the private rooms of the CPC members and their families, and even the corridors that provide direct access, but to go this far represents a level of media paranoia that is not healthy in the head of government for any open/democratic society whatever its makeup. It is also consistent with the logic of a PM that makes whenever Cabinet meets secret, as far as I have been able to determine that was unprecedented. It is one thing to keep the contents secret, it is quite another to keep when it is occurring secret so as to prevent the media from knowing where to find Cabinet Ministers to ask questions of them (they can be asked questions about matters they are responsible for that were not part of the cabinet agenda and have a right to expect some sort of answer if only a dodge or simply walking away) so as to further limit any media coverage/access and to prevent footage of CPC Ministers routinely walking away without saying anything or repeating the same talking points over and over, neither of which is a media positive over time.

Am I surprised KNB? I rather doubt you would believe me if I said I was, but then you've read my work for some time and know full well what I see whenever I look at this Harper controlled and designed CPC. That I see someone that believes he is in a culture war with his political opponents and that like in all wars any and all means are acceptable that provide victory, and of course doing all possible to turn any independent media into propaganda support groups for your cause and isolating or worse any that do not toe your line, just as we saw the GOP do to the American media which was never "left-wing" despite the millions of dupes that were sold that fairy tale. The idea there is one is this country is equally unproven; indeed what few studies that have actually been done during the past two elections showed the CPC with the most positive advantage last election and not the Liberals/lefties, and even in 2004 the Libs got the most negative coverage, hardly the sign of a Liberal biased/controlled media.

Anyhow, again KNB it is a late night and I am calling it in after I post this. See you around tomorrow I hope, and I hope I have contributed something of use/value this evening, it has been a long day and I am feeling the effects of it by this point. G'night.

Anonymous said...

Again - it's how Harper handles these things - heavy handedness. Could he not just have advised the media when they could and could not interview ahead of time? Would it be that difficult? Or, is he trying to show Canadians how strong he is.

He did the same thing in Afghanistan - let the press come but wouldn't let them see anything or interview - could he not have let them know ahead of time what they could or could not expect? Is it that difficult?

Like the CWB - heavyhandedness.

I'm beginning to think Harper is a loon.

Torian said...

I didn't realize that hotel lobbies are public places!

Cool! I can use that excuse when I try to go into the Sutton Place lobby to see Brad Pitt.

knb said...

Torian are you suggesting that the press presented a security risk?

Scotian, indeed I would not have believed you, had you expressed surprise, ;).

That he feels it's good strategy to further tick off the press, particularly in a region that he needs to re-build support, is remarkable really.

tori said...

what i am suggesting is that the hotel is a business. people (not the CPC) who paid good money to stay there probably did not nor expect there to be the shuffle and crowds that accompany scrums inside lobbies.

given that the PC paid money to have their conference there, and visitors the same, they had a right to be there. reporters not so much.

are reporters allowed in the lobby of the sutton place during TIFF? No, they either have a media space away from where the stars are staying or they arrange one-on-ones with the stars via their PR person.

Anonymous said...

Scotian I'm responding
to your 11:10 p.m. post about hotel being a public place. I challenge to go to any hotels where you are go with a camera and a microphone in their lobby and try to do a interview,and you will see how long it will take for the management to kick you out of there.

Hotels are private not
public place. When is the
last time you see a movie star being interviewed in
a hotel lobby without the
approval of the hotel?

Get your facts straight the Conservitive
paid good money to rent the place and they can bar anyone they wish.

I don't see any media
taking the government to court do you over this ?
Because it's legal that's
why Scotian!!


Anonymous said...

KNB "Torian are you suggesting that the press presented a security risk"?

The point is not that
they presented a risk. It's because it's a private business and the Conservatives paid rent to be there. You try to
go there without renting
a room or not being invited i'll bet the hotel management will boot you out right ?
It has nothing to do if your a risk or not.


Scotian said...


Then it would have been for the HOTEL MANAGEMENT to remove these media people either via their own private security or by asking the police to do so. However, that is not what happened here, no it was the PMO and CPC making this decision for themselves and using/directing (since according to the RCMP themselves the orders came from the PMO) the RCMP in a manner I know of no prior precedent for in this case. If other members of the public are allowed access to the Lobby then so are the media, only if it is closed to all members of the public for security reasons (which is clearly was not) would the RCMP have been within their proper duties to act in such a manner. No, this was a PMO abusing their authority for partisan purposes and not a legitimate security concern, and to use the RCMP as an extension of any party's partisan purposes is offensive and should rightly be seen as an abuse of power by this government. Apparently though you cannot grasp this rather simple concept and instead are too busy cheerleading for your preferred side to understand the dangers of such actions by any governing party regardless of their ideology/agenda.


Why is it I wonder that so many defenders of Harper and his CPC have such a problem with understanding the English language? I mean really, this story was clear in details and specifics, makes it clear that the RCMP were dispatched only against the media in a public setting and not other members of the public, solely because the PMO doesn't want any members of his caucus talking to media except at his direct bidding and is willing to turn the RCMP into his private enforcement squad so as to prevent the access to his members by the media in a public place which also underscores that he does not trust his caucus members to not speak to the media if they are present despite his guidance on not doing so. For a PM and party that ran and were elected on the promises of openness, transparency and accountability this behaviour is clearly intended to do the exact opposite and is cheered on by the supporters of Harper's CPC. Yet these are the same folks that while the Libs were in charge screamed often loudly and repeatedly about how secretive they were, how it was unhealthy for democracy, etc. Yet it is the CPC which has put into place the most restrictive media policies of any government in our history, going to the point of hiding whenever Cabinet meets so as to prevent media from knowing where to find Cabinet Ministers to ask questions of relating to their jobs.

It is too bad we have so many party before country types in and supporting the CPC, which given how they decried such behaviour while in Opposition simply underscores the inherent "do as I say not as I do" approach of this party, which given its pious sanctimony since it's birth on these topics makes their hypocrisy particularly odious/rancid/rank even in the inherent stench of hypocrisy that permeates in the political world generally.

knb said...

Torian, in my world, movie stars aren't accountable to "we the people".

John, the Conservatives don't own the property because they lease some space.

The Hotel has the right obviously to ask people to leave, but they didn't have a problem with the media being there or their security people would have restricted their access in the first place. Harper had a problem with them there. They took direction from the government as did the RCMP.

The RCMP made it clear to the press that this was about message control, period.

MP's are answerable to us and for the most part, the media is our conduit to them.

knb said...

Scotian, I guess I was typing my comment as you made yours...I didn't mean to repeat there.

solely because the PMO doesn't want any members of his caucus talking to media except at his direct bidding and is willing to turn the RCMP into his private enforcement squad

Frightening isn't it?

What you point out about Harper supporters is really quite remarkable to me. They take their cues from the top though don't they. That the hypocrisy is not recognised, would be laughable, if it weren't so sad.

tori said...


of course hollywood stars are accountable to "we the people"!

"we the people" made them into the stars they are. we support them by buying their CD's, going to their concerts, movies, plays, etc.

Without our support and interest, they would

knb said...

LOL Tori.

Anonymous said...

Scotian I'm responding
to your 12:50 p.m. post.
I don't mind people disagreeing with me because this is a left wing blog and i don't expect much. But what i do expect from people like you and others to be polite and respectful of other peoples opinion not to act smart. When you give the the impression that you're an expert in the english language. When you say things like this:"Why is it I wonder that so many defenders of Harper and his CPC have such a problem with understanding the English language"? Are you an expert in the english


Scotian said...


Perhaps you should practice what you preach before you get on that high horse. In case you missed it the English language issues I was talking about dealt with those who were defending Harper at the Globe and Mail comments, not you specifically. If it were I would have cited you specifically. Last time I looked at what I read I didn't see me pointing any finger at you except the one you imagined was pointed at you, which incidentally shows that your own comprehension of the English language may not be as good as you think it is. So next time make sure you specifically are being criticized before assuming so and responding, ok?

P.S. Incidentally, yes, I am quite competent where the English language is concerned although I would not assign myself the descriptor of Expert, but then one does not need to be expert to recognize errors at the basic/simpler levels.