Sunday, June 21, 2015

Excerpt from Les Whittington's book on how Harper froze out the Ottawa Press Gallery

"Touring the Vimy Ridge battlefield in France one day, Stephen Harper went down into one of the First World War trenches that have been preserved to give visitors a sense of what it was like there in 1917. Coming out later, the prime minister glanced at two TV photographers with their cameras pointing at him and quipped,
“In those days, the enemy had guns.” Sometimes Harper’s disdain for the Ottawa-based media — which he saw as part of the eastern establishment that had at one time helped solidify a Liberal stranglehold on Canadian politics — seemed half-serious, somewhat in the vein of the partisan posturing on display daily in the House of Commons. But for the most part, it was clear Harper saw the national reporting corps as self-important upstarts who amounted to little more than an obstacle to the Conservatives’ all-encompassing effort to shape and frame public attitudes toward their government.

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