Sinc, frankly I'm sick of people insulting the Ottawa media and their wonderful Celtic fiddle music. It may be self-serving and idiotically presumptive, but da*n can they fiddle! No local media can match that and it is crazy of anyone to assume that local media combined with REAL journalistic digging could replace the fiddlin'. Shake your head Sinc.
Disclosure: I don't like what Harper is doing in this case, but I'm not messed up enough to think this is some basic rights issue or challenge to the constitution, or opposition to our way of life and country. Get a grip. I consider it a short-term astute, long-term stupid political decision. This is not new to politics or to Harper, depending on whatever base he is pandering to at the moment. Politicians + short-term pandering = OBVIOUS!
It sounds better than the love song of Harpocrites...
Question anything the Harper government is doing, and we are inundated with fan e-mail that may contain scenes of violence and offend some viewers.
Some of the e-mails we get are definitely from Mars, the work of assorted anger-management drop-outs and otherwise ill-meaning kooks who have tragically slipped off their meds.
But the preponderance of identical themes, comments and buzzwords across dozens of e-mails on the same topic suggests that many of these electronic write-in campaigns are just that -- orchestrated Internet campaigns by Conservative partisans, designed to harass, intimidate and even threaten journalists into backing off a party of such fun-loving people.
Most of these rockets, of course, are not suitable for publication in a family newspaper. But just to give you a taste, here's a few of the mildest notes -- and we do mean mildest -- we have received in recent days.
Ole writes: "Why don't you quit your whining about the Conservatives? Would you rather have the crooked Liberals in power again to pay off you creeps like they have been doing for years?
Disclosure: I don't like what Harper is doing in this case, but I'm not messed up enough to think this is some basic rights issue or challenge to the constitution, or opposition to our way of life and country.
It's not one big action but a series of smaller ones.
The row between Harper and reporters began when the PM stopped disclosing times of cabinet meetings, barred media from hallways outside meeting rooms and muzzled ministers and MPs.
It escalated when his staff tried to impose a list of reporters who could ask questions at news conferences -- thereby giving the PMO the opportunity to avoid journalists likely to broach embarrassing issues. It blew up in Harper's face this week when reporters walked out on him.
Should we not be depending on our local MPs and the official opposition to ask "the hard questions"?
What happens when your MP is of the same party as the ruling government?
And what is odd about Harper and the media is that criticism comes in this form:
Tim Goddard used his eulogy at his daughter's funeral to criticize the new policy of Harper's Conservatives that bars the news media from covering repatriation ceremonies for fallen soldiers.
"I find it troubling that the privacy decision means that we are keeping the press outside the wire," Tim Goddard told mourners in a Calgary church. "I would like to think Nichola died to protect our freedoms, not to restrict them."
In fact, Harper says he left "clear" instructions that media be allowed to attend the return of Goddard's body, if the family wished.
However, the media were barred from CFB Trenton a week ago, prompting the father's criticism.
"I'm troubled to hear that," Harper said, after a speech to a business audience in Victoria. "I had given fairly clear instructions that when bodies were to come home that families should be consulted and if all families were agreed on making that particular ceremony public, I though our government should have no difficulty with that.