On Stephen Harper's unique unprecedented confrontational secretive media style - Macleans.ca

On Stephen Harper’s unique unprecedented confrontational secretive media style

Turns out, it’s not that unique


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.

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