Why is Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper courting American journalists when Canadian journalists, and our audience, are almost shut out?
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not granted an interview to
The Canadian Press, Canada’s national news service, since December
2007, reported CP.
However, he is in the U.S. this weekend, for the second time in a
month, being interviewed by American media outlets such as especially
Fox and CNN.
Fox interview comes less than a week after some Conservatives called on
Canadians to boycott the network because of an offensive late-night
talk show that disparaged Canadian military efforts in Afghanistan.
Kory Teneycke would not release the prime minister’s schedule or list
of U.S. outlets interviewing him. Meanwhile Harper’s office has imposed
tight controls on access by Canadian journalists who are paying $4,200
each to travel with Harper to the G20 and NATO summits next week. CP
reported that Canadian journalists “were told Friday they would be
limited to two media availabilities with Harper over five days – each
one comprised of two questions in French and two in English. The
limitation on the number of questions is a marked departure from
Harper’s recent past practice, when all Canadian media travelling with
the prime minister were invited to ask questions.”
part of a strategy to limit Harper’s Canadian interrogations – where
the questions tilt toward the specifics of Canada’s troubled domestic
economy – in favour of foreign media who can be expected to compare
this country favourably to its international partners.
to make of this? Either the Harper conservatives think they aren’t
required to meet the needs of providing information to Canadian voters
— or Canadian media really is irrelevant.