After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yet further evidence of the CPC trying to manipulate the media and prevent hard questioning of uncomfortable government issues/actions.

liberal catnip has a very good post on this matter here. I would simply add that this is of a piece with the other tools this CPC/Harper government has chosen to employ to limit the ability of the press to even ask hard questions, let alone find out information through the access to information act from which to base these questions on. I previously blogged about the various media controls this government has put into place, including their decision to make the very fact that Cabinet is meeting secret unlike prior governments of both Liberal and Conservative persuasions. What should be particularly troubling to people here is that the same person in Harper's office receiving the name of the reporter is also the same person that picks who gets to ask the PM questions according to the CPC policy of not allowing the Press Gallery to determine who gets to ask questions but the PMO's press Secretary. When this particular policy was put in place many journalists and bloggers raised concerns that this was to make it easier to reward those reporters who ask questions the government likes and to punish by blocking access to those that ask questions the government does not like. When one adds this business of finding out who is asking FOIA requests so as to know not just that a topic may be asked about but by whom it will be asked by this provides the PM's Press Secretary a means of obstructing the asking of such questions by knowing which reporter to not call upon.

This is yet one more example of the so called transparency of this government and it's clear unwillingness to be held to any prior standards of accountability our governments have had to face from the press. This is a government that at every turn has done all it can to restrict public scrutiny of its actions and to prevent the media from being able to ask awkward/embarrassing questions, because after spending two years in Opposition using the media to hit the Libs with imagined scandal after scandal along with the few real ones in the mix they know just how powerful a tool for the opposition a media asking hard questions and being able to show when government officials refuse to answer their questions is in portraying a government as corrupt, inept, and unaccountable needing to be replaced. Got to love this commitment to transparency and open government we were all promised in the last election campaign and have yet to see. This bunch makes the Liberal look like the very souls of openness by comparison, which given their history is no small accomplishment by Harper's CPC.


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