Monday, October 15, 2007

Yeah, about that prudent fiscal restraint ...


On the one hand:

... Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned that "recent volatility in financial markets needs careful management," Canada's forestry and manufacturing sectors are facing "tough times," and there is "weakness" in some export markets.

"At the same time, strong growth in other areas is driving up the cost of living," such as housing prices, beyond what many can afford, he said.

So, "we have to keep our spending prudent, keep reducing the debt, and keep lowering taxes for individuals, businesses and families," Harper concluded.

On the other hand, well, welcome to the new Pravda on the Rideau:

PMO working on government-controlled media centre

The Prime Minister's Office has been secretly working on plans to build a government-controlled briefing room, which would supplant the current National Press Theatre.

The plan, with an estimated cost of $2 million, has been in the works since at least last year, reveal documents obtained by the Toronto Star under the Access to Information Act...

Harper has had a sometimes frosty relationship with the national press corps, stemming from his staff's tight control over news conferences and lack of accessibility to MPs and cabinet ministers.

The new facility could impose even stricter measures, giving the PMO control over who may enter and possibly what gets filmed and broadcast...

A hand-drawn sketch of the facility also shows a space for "maybe permanently installed cameras with feeds to media."

That suggests that the news cameras could be controlled by government employees instead of independent media journalists, reports the Star.

When reached for comment about this massive financial expenditure in order to carefully choreograph government public relations, numerous members of Canada's Blogging Tories stopped shrieking hysterically about the liberal bias of the CBC just long enough to opine that they thought it was a good idea.

11 comments:

The Seer said...

Didn't Bush just renovate the White House Press Conference Room, or whatever they call it?

Didn't he?

Did you diss Bush about that?

I prefer to think about this as an original vamping rather than a revamping of press conference arrangements in Ottawa. And maybe the Mounties will shoot the next guy to shove a pie in a Prime Minister's face.

Ti-Guy said...

ANYway...

This is just example no. 36 458 to prove that rightwingers think bias is just whatever they don't like.

This will go down well with the corporate media....just more pre-packaged news and staged photo-ops to pass on to the news consumer, who is getting duller by the second.

fergusrush said...

Oh my, politicians wasting taxpayers' money on superfluous stuff...what a shock!

As for tiggy's comment about "bias", no worries there because this little playroom will be available for the next group of hacks to be elected, regardless of which wing they lean toward.

Ti-Guy said...

Yes, yes, funkytush, nothing to see here. Move along. Harper is not concerned with controlling the information coming out of governement, loves a combative media and is known for his candour.

Why do Conservatives fear democracy so much?

I like Kady O'Malley's take.

fergusrush said...

tigger, I'll type s-l-o-w-l-y for you: Harper already controls information and he can't take the new playroom with him when he goes. Nothing has changed, so you don't need to get yourself so excited that you wet your diaper, okay? Your master entitled his post "Yeah, about that prudent fiscal restraint ... " so he's more concerned about the waste of money involved than Harper's micro-management of press releases. It appears you've missed the point. Again.

Ti-Guy said...

Maybe I'm the one who needs to type slowly...Funkytush...I already know whatever it is you feel a burning (down there?) need to tell me. I'm simply expressing, as Kady O'Malley did, my concern that it's intolerable to be sanguine about Harper's constant push to de-legitimise the PPG and Americanise press/government relations, as the example in the US in the last few years (decades?) show how dangerous that is.

Maybe you shouldn't address issues you have no real interest in. If you're fine with Harper communicating directly whatever he needs to tell you in a one-way relationship, undisrupted by any real critical scrutiny, then don't worry....be happy.

fergusrush said...

And you complain about Conservatives spinning things? Face it, tigger, you missed the point of CC's post and now you're spinning like a top.

As an aside, your fixation with my "tush" is mildly disturbing. Not surprising, but disturbing nonetheless.

Ti-Guy said...

What point did I miss?

And I just like the cruel nickname "funkytush." (thx Mikmik), because I really don't like you. Do you know what funky really means?

I'd call you "fungusbush" but I think you're probably a guy...hard to tell with CONS since you all sound so hissy and pissy.

fergusrush said...

"What point did I miss?"

Scroll up, tigger, scroll up.

Ti-Guy said...

What? I asked you what point I missed.

It's not a really hard question.

Wingnuts...*sigh*

fergusrush said...

"What? I asked you what point I missed."

Sorry, tigger, I assumed you spoke English. I already told you which point you missed, and to see it again you will have to "scroll up" the page. Got it? It's not a really hard task to perform. Perhaps you could get an adult to help you?