"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Without The Media, Harper Would Have No Message

At the gathering of the Conservative clan in Calgary in 2013, several of the good folks of the mainstream media bemoaned their treatment at the hands of the Harper faithful. 

They were penned into a corner with no water to drink (at first) and no wi-fi access. But even though these professional journalists were rudely shoved to the side and belled like cats with inordinately LARGE press credentials hanging from their necks so as to warn the clan's delegates who NOT to talk to, they were still in plain enough sight for the Cons to laugh and point their bony fingers at as though the press were thieves pilloried in the stocks. 

You see, the Conservatives in general and Stephen in particular don't think very highly of the mainstream media. They consider them to be the enemy in much the same way that His Harperness has declared the Courts to be the enemy of Senate reform. You see, every populist kind of guy needs an enemy that justifies his crusade. Even if that enemy happens to be nothing more than a road-side windmill. 

But the Conservatives disdain for the media was best expressed by
Harper "Lickspittle" Marjory LeBreton.
Better wipe your chin there Margy.
former Tory Leader in the Senate, Marjory LeBreton  when she denounced the Ottawa Press Corps as being nothing more than a bunch of Liberal "lickspittles". Though it was plain to see that the discoloured drool that dripped from Marge's wrinkly chin plainly belonged to Stephen himself. But the Cons have never let a little thing like hypocrisy get in the way of their rhetoric. 

Stephen you see, really hates to be held to account. He and the clan's spin doctors have gone to great lengths to portray Harper as a really smart guy so being stymied by really tough questions - well - makes him look just plain stupid. Hence the incessant spin and regurgitation of vapid talking points from Steve and his bobble heads, most of whom he has little or no faith in to not shoot themselves in the foot. Or worse, accidentally wing Stephen with a misplaced, unscripted comment. 

He gives Parliament the same treatment, not that he cares a whit about Parliament. It is merely window dressing behind which he maintains his autocratic rule. But there are actual CAMERAS and real live reporters in the press gallery. And the fear of looking foolish or being caught with his pants down in front of the media simply terrifies Citizen Steve. 
"Get thee back most foul and odious
seekers of truth"!

So Harper, as he does with all his detractors, bashes the media and attempts to discredit them as being "Liberal Elites", the enemies of the common man. But the fact is, when reporters such as Terry Milewski press Stephen for answers to tough question, he is simply doing his job. He has done nothing less with any previous Prime Minister. And sometimes, he made them look foolish too. 

But credibility has always been a concern for Harper ever since the days 
The Gospel according to
Fred Flintstone. 
of the Reform Party when members routinely made themselves look ridiculous in front of the national media ("man walked with dinosaurs" comes to mind). No credibility translates into no votes and Harper has gone to great lengths to paint what currently passes for a Conservative party as credible. At least enough to con as many as 38% of voters.  And many of those 38% voted for Steve himself because of the "smart-guy" persona that he has portrayed. 

So there are no more Prime Ministerial press-scrums for fear the Liberal intelligentsia posing as reporter's might cause Stephen to look foolish or worse - Negligent or dare I say, crooked. 
As long as the media keeps giving face-
time to the Harpernaughts, Canadians

will be giving face-time to their palms. 

But it is a sick and twisted relationship Citizen Stephen has with the press. You see, as much as he claims to loathe the media in general (with the possible exception of his incestuous relationship with Sun News), he needs them. Without the boys and girls in the Press Corps, The P.M. and his underlings would have no vehicle with which to convey their tightly controlled, highly scripted and mind boggelingly banal messages. Yet he abuses them at every opportunity. And like a beaten dog, the whipped media follows Herr Harper around looking for fallen crumbs and the remote possibility of a pat on the head.

I've asked media types why they continue to allow Stephen and the Harper Youth to abuse and humiliate them the way they do. But I'm conscious of the fact that I'm questioning people who are stuck in a cycle of abuse and I need to be careful not to blame the victims here. 

I've pointed out to them that if they just stay away, stop covering Harper's Follies, the shabby treatment would stop. The only people covering the Gestapo in the PMO would be Ezra Levant and his crew and nobody watches them anyway. 

But The Boys and Girls of the Press Corp - to a man and woman - have babbled about their professional duty and that they've taken oaths and all that. So they wear their "whipping boy" persona's like badges of honour and continue to allow Harper to use them like he would a cheap whore. 

But there was one day in 2013 when the Cons were holding a caucus meeting, Stephen would only allow cameras and TV into the soiree on the condition that no questions would be asked. In essence, this was to be nothing but a photo-op. From out of nowhere, the Press Corps, seeming to have had enough of being kicked around, decided to boycott the event. The only coverage was from - you guessed it - Sun News. 

Of course, Harpers Spinners turned the brave stand by the media types into a fundraising opportunity. It may or may not have been a successful cash grab. But that's neither here nor there. The important things is that the MSM stood up for themselves that day and said in unison and in a loud and clear voice: "ENOUGH". And for an excruciating moment in time, Harper's world shook uncontrollably.    

We've since gone back to the old relationship in which the press are throttled into being Harper's reluctant messengers. But with the next federal election just around the corner, lets hope the Media remember the day they stood up to the Emperor and embrace the notion that without them, Harper is nothing more than a sparrow-fart in a wind storm. No one will hear him. 

If Harper gave a press conference and nobody 
bothered to cover it, will he still have made 
a noise?

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