Sunday, April 10, 2011

Prime Minister Stephen Harper hated by Press Gallery

"I'm gonna have a heart attack and die... from this... surprise"
So, if Ibbitson used the word “detestent” to describe how some of the press gallery think of Stephen Harper, it would also be safe to say he meant to use the word “detestent.” And that he no doubt “hates” Harper himself, even though it would appear he has not said as much in English, at least not in the Globe and Mail if a quick archive search is any tale of the tape.

It was Norm Spector, former chief of staff to Tory prime minister Brian Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to Israel, and currently a contributing columnist to the Globe, who first noticed Ibbitson’s use of the word “hate” in La Presse, and posted it on Twitter.

What Ibbitson did not do in his article in La Presse, however, was actually name those members of the press gallery who so obviously “hate” the Conservative leader that it has not escaped his observation since his arrival on Parliament Hill two years ago.

So that leaves them all suspect.

And so they should be suspect. Very few of the PPG's members have had a good relationship with the Prime Minister over the past 5 years. From Day 1, they have objected to his methods and desired way of doing things, and very publicly feuded with him until they figured out that he wasn't going to cater to them, and indeed, he was prepared to bypass them in order to take his message directly to the people through local journalists who were more than happy to have the opportunity.

Although it is often said that politicians shouldn't fight with those who buy ink buy the barrel, I don't think that any of these journalists understand the new media as well as Mr. Harper did, even back then. There is discussion this election that the Conservatives just aren't using new media as well as the other parties, but I would submit that the Conservatives are using these new medias as well as they need to. They understand, better than most national journalists I would wager, that the internet has changed everything in political campaigns. They are keeping their message consistent across the country, unlike Mssrs Layton and Ignatieff who say one thing in Alberta and another thing in Quebec and expect the contradiction will not be reported. With few exceptions, they don't understand that once you say something on camera or on the radio, it doesn't just go into the station's archives rarely to be dredged up again, it is available to all interested persons to find, and will be in perpetuity.

The sooner they understand this reality, the easier it will be for everyone. I can't wait for SunTV News.

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