It’s not that unique. The other night Barack Obama read the names of reporters his staff felt he could safely take questions from, in order, off a prepared list. This has led to a micro-debate in the U.S. about the new president’s media-management style; Salon establishes rather conclusively that, in this particular at least, it resembles his predecessor’s. The other day Obama’s campaign manager gave a speech that was closed to the press — at the National Press Club. Fun!
As I said three years ago when the then-new Prime Minister of Canada’s then-New Government™ was being standoffish and list-y, I thought the Harper rules were unusually formal in the restrictions they applied, and more than a little silly. And I also thought many of my colleagues were wildly disingenuous, or devoid of institutional memory or an ability to look around, when they depicted Harper’s rules as uniquely wicked or oppressive.