Sunday, August 25, 2013

The press gallery should be embarassed

Dr. Dawg discusses all the pearl-clutching and tut-tutting about the Li Xue Jiang incident at Harper's press conference and also links to David Hill's lengthy piece which explains how the Harper press gallery works.
It's actually sort of embarrassing that grown men and women are acting this way:, the PM’s aides will tell us ahead of time how many questions he intends to take. If the number is four, the journalists who are present — be it outside Rideau Hall or at G8 Summit in Mexico or in a barn at a mine in Northern Quebec — will gather out of earshot of the PM’s aides and decide amongst themselves what topics we wish to quiz the PM about and then figure out who will do the quizzing.... most of the time, the press secretary calls on the names on the list. That did not happen on Friday in northern Quebec. Though the Chinese journalist’s name was on the list, the moderator, Julie Vaux, the deputy director of communications, did not call on that journalist. That was wrong of Vaux and not in keeping with the practice negotiated between journalists and the PMO over the last few years. But the reaction of the journalist – shoving Vaux or pushing any staff around — is also way out-of-bounds. As I mentioned, the tradition is, if you’re getting shut down by the PMO, just start hollering your questions. The PM will almost never answer anyway to a hollered-out question but you will have put your question on the record.
So the press gallery thinks that China People's Daily bureau chief should just have shouted out his question about Canada's policy on foreign investment?  And been ignored.
And that would have done what, exactly?  
As Dawg concludes:
Now the Canadian media are all about telling power to truth—and Li Xue Jiang found this out the hard way. It must have made him a little homesick.

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