Monday, August 24, 2015

#Elxn42...Five Questions.


Justin Ling, who writes for Vice, made his own way to a Harper campaign event in Eastern Ontario yesterday hoping that he would be able to ask a question.

Unfortunately, despite diligent attempts to have his question 'pre-cleared' by Kory Tenyecke, Mr. Ling was not allowed to ask it.

Interestingly, it had nothing to do with going over the five question limit given that the french language reporter from RDI, one of the 'paying' National Press, was not there.

Regardless, one of the other paying national proMedia members wanted to know where the magical 'Big Hand Five' came from.

So he used up one of his precious questions to ask exactly that:

....Harper wraps up, and begins taking questions. One on Duffy. One on retirement benefits. Then Andy Blatchford, Canadian Press reporter, asks: "Why do you only take five questions at your campaign events?"

Harper's answer:

"I think you're all very aware of how we've structured our press conferences. This is a long-standing policy, it was cleared with everybody. And what's important to me is that we're able to answer a range of questions on a broad range of subjects. That's why every day I speak to a different topic."...


Here's the thing I, as a 'long-standing' member of the citizenry who has agreed to no such democracy-stomping 'policy', would like to know...

Why the heck isn't every single member of the press who attends these things shouting multiple relevant questions at this person who wants to 'structure' our country in his image?


Why the heck aren't they?

Of course, when last we heard from the good Mr. Teneycke about goings on in Lotusland he was telling Mr. Blatchford that the reporter who was hustled out of a recent Harper campaign event in Richmond BC for having the temerity to ask supporters relevant questions was being 'hypersensitive'.



paul said...

I agree totally. I tried to be polite in scrums and press 'availabilities,' but my job was to ask questions about issues that I believed mattered to readers. If the politician wanted to leave without answering - or a communications staffer wanted to muscle him or her away - that was fine. But I'd keep asking until they were out of earshot.
(I say "tried to be polite" because rarely - maybe once every 18 months - someone would say things so foolish or non-responsive that I would become crabbier than I planned to be.)

Anonymous said...


Perhaps they should boycott Harper pressers and stage parody events instead?

G West, Victoria said...

@SH - That's actually a good idea....the only catch being that Harper pressers are already parodies in themselves!

Anonymous said...

Sh @ G West,

Seriously, journalists should should not entertain Harper's charade.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree, the press, if you can call them that, should get off Harpers Plane and let him fly around by himself until things change.


RossK said...

Thanks Everyone--

The no coverage for the 'man in the blue suit' strategy would be a good thing if, in practice, he paid a political price for it.

However, in the current climate he would not pay any price at all. In fact, he would get exactly what he wants because all of the big proMedia outlets, including the MoCo, would publish the press release version of his daily campaign events by way of of 'balance'.

That's why I think all reporters in the room who are being muzzled by the 'policy' and the 'structure' should put their questions to Mr. Harper non-stop, regardless.

In addition...

Doing so would shine a spotlight on the muzzling for all to see daily.


JasonS said...

And yet we the "public" continue to let these news outlets pollute our airwaves with half truths bold faced lies and government spin , while the 5th estate`s pressticles are resting comfortably in an undisclosed location. Bought or bullied they need to be removed or reinforced because the last thing democracy needs is a government with no oversight and no repercussions for terribly undemocratic actions. You know .... like we have now in BC.

e.a.f. said...

The MSM doesn't ask more questions, because as Steve said, they agreed. Perhaps not the reporters, but their employers agreed. Big business doesn't like to upset big government and they aren't that sure that Steve and his thugcons won't be re elected. The MSM is looking out for their future and their employees are looking out for themselves.

its why bloggers and independent small newspapers are so necessary in today's society.

RossK said...

Jason and eaf--

Good points.

And it was a very small regional online paper that had the guts to print the 'Man-In-Blue-Suit' walks through burning bush forest with the Iron Snowbird story.


Anonymous said...

Feels like BC in a 1 3/4 years