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Thursday, May 25, 2006 


Stephen Harper says that the public "doesn't care" about his attempt to censor the press and restrict press access to his government. While that's debatable and a slightly moot point to boot (so what, if I can convince everyone in Guelph to "not care" if I kill homeless people, I shouldn't be arrested?), the really scary part is as follows:

The prime minister's office wants reporters in the Ottawa press gallery to sign onto a list. From that list, the Prime Minister's Office will decide who gets to ask a question at a news conference...

"I don't ask to control the editorial policies of newspapers but we do set up our own press conferences," Harper said Thursday.

"I think history would indicate that we're very open to anyone who wants to ask a question. We keep a very complete list of all who request."

We really are screwed as a country, aren't we? The age of no accountability has come to Canada. It's not having a Conservative government I mind, past ones haven't frightened and angered me like this; it's the willful distortion of reality (such as Jer talks about here) I mind.

Dude it's the dozen national news guys in ottawa the fight is about, Everyone else can ask away.

That's not a mitigating factor at all. Do I really have to explain why?

It doesn't matter how many guys are involved. They're key people in the media. They're responsible for getting a lot of news beyond Canada's borders as well. It's their reports that get picked up by the BBC etc. (I don't know if AP or CP are among those who are upset).

Also, we can't necessarily count on the local agencies to dig deep and be very critical. There is the fear that they'll be so grateful for the attention and "priviledge" of dealing so directly with the PM, they won't play hard ball.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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