Boy are they mad

Those guys at the Globe must be really steamed at Harper not playing
the “Government by Media” game. They have room to give a half page
spread to the Zoo closing in Quebec ( blamed on the Conservatives)
including a colour photo but we searched and searched and nowhere could we find this story. In The Herald was buried on page A6 but at least it was there.

A fresh poll suggests Conservative support may be edging upward as Parliament prepares to resume under a new Tory government.

The survey by Decima Research put support for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives at 39 per cent nationally, up almost three points from their percentage of the popular vote in the Jan. 23 election….”As the new government prepares to
meet Parliament (on Monday), the results we have been seeing in the last few weeks reinforce that the Harper Conservatives have a mandate from Canadians,” said Bruce Anderson, Decima’s CEO.

Here’s another interesting thing. The Globe has the story on-line
but not in the print editions. And they have a little column
about the meeting of the Walter Gordon Circle ( a collection of devoted
Liberals) in the business section ( page B2) which is locked on-line.
“Tory’s ovation at Liberal gathering has some worried” For those of you who can’t stomach buying this rag anymore here’s an excerpt.

At the gathering this week at the University Club of Toronto, the Liberals sat down to hear Ontario Conservative leader John Tory give a wide-ranging talk. When Mr. Tory finished speaking an incredible thing happened: He received an enthusiastic, sustained standing ovation. It was the first such ovation in the history of the Walter Gordon Circle…

We know some believe the MSM’s scare stories about Harper’s “jack boot” press tactics but there are different voices (with longer memories) if you look for them.

It may come as a surprise to a new generation of political
journalists, but on the particular score of restricting media access, Jean Chretien’s installation in power in 1993 was every bit as rocky.

Until he came along, journalists moved relatively freely in and out of the government and opposition lobbies, mingling with MPs almost at will….

Journalists who had expected to become as familiar with Shawinigan as they had been with Baie-Comeau under Brian Mulroney rarely set foot in St-Maurice — or at least not with Chretien.

On his first official visit to Europe, Chretien bluntly refused to fly in a government plane large enough to accommodate the media.

Whoever wanted to trek along had to hop across Western Europe on commercial flights and at a cost more exorbitant than some of the fees demanded by the current PMO.

In contrast with Mulroney, who routinely flew the media with him, Chretien also largely left the gallery to its own devices whenever he traveled in Canada. Because commercial schedules are not up to the task of keeping up with a prime ministerial jet, it often became logistically impossible to guarantee blanket coverage of his domestic trips.

As for his first cabinet, if it was not under a formal gag order its members sure acted like they were.

Under Chretien, the practice ended with the media restricted to the public area adjacent to the House of Commons…. …political
columnist Allan Fotheringham warned the new government of the perils of its ways:”Chretien, the veteran who has done it all, has a lot to learn if he thinks the old Trudeau/Mulroney secrecy gambit can be pulled off in this new parliament … The public won’t put up with it any more, not to mention the press.”

In fact, though, Canadians and the media did put up with it for more a decade as Chretien went on to line up two more majority governments.

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