Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Live by the sword... 

Cue another Steve temper-tantrum with the media.
This CP story leads with:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper . . . quipped that the enemy now carries news cameras, not guns . . . "These were sand, not cement," Harper said of the reconstructed sandbags [at Vimy Ridge]. "And the enemies carried guns, not (a) camera," he added, looking directly over the lip of the old trench at a small clutch of Canadian TV and still cameras.
Now, what Our Leader probably meant was just that the people looking into the trench 90 years ago were soldiers rather than Canadian news photographers. But the way it came out, of course, implied that the news photographers are now the enemy.
Predictably, he and his media people will throw a fit about how he is being so unfairly treated by the media.
But with the way he treats the media, this is the kind of coverage he is going to get from now on.
CP's Bruce Cheadle writes about how Harper handled himself during his first appearance on the world stage at the G8 -- and it wasn't pretty. The reporter describes Harper's "cold calculus", his "awkard" comments, and how he was "clinically dismissive" of questions about support for Israel:
Harper's seeming lack of nuance, empathy and people skills are making his week-long diplomatic foray . . . an excruciating exercise. Throughout the trip, Harper has distanced himself from reporters. Since leaving Ottawa last Wednesday, he has spoken to media travelling with him only three times, including a brief encounter on the plane.
It appears that his handlers consider every media encounter an element of their larger political "strategy," not as a way of keeping Canadians informed about the government's actions.
That may be one reason behind the perception in some quarters that Harper's government hadn't done enough to plan for the Lebanon evacuation. He simply declined to talk about it.
Luckily, Harper's clumsiness has been completely overshadowed at this summit by repeated Bush buffonery. Great how these things work out, isn't it.

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