Saturday, March 05, 2011

No "Misunderstanding"

Another "overzealous" staffer, how convenient. I suppose if one is "glass half full" an actual apology, although the staffer was thrown under the bus per usual, when really everyone knows what happened to Ignatieff yesterday is STANDARD PRACTICE in Harper's PMO:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office is apologizing for hustling journalists out of an event just as Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was about to speak.

The two leaders were attending an event Friday evening hosted by the Indian high commission to launch "The Year of India in Canada."

Harper spoke briefly, after which reporters, photographers and TV camera crews were asked — by staff from the Prime Minister's Office — to leave.

As an added kicker, the Conservatives removed the podium leaving organizers to scramble to get another one for Ignatieff. Petty, but entirely predictable. In fact, rather than a "misunderstanding", what happened at a non-partisan, "very ethnic" event last night is part of a well established, coherent PATTERN.

Remember when the PMO invited reporters over to 24 Sussex for Christmas, at the EXACT SAME time the Liberals were holding their gathering? Remember when Ignatieff was on his summer tour and Harper and his Ministers seemed to be shadowing him? Remember the Winnipeg by-election coincidental overlap? If one is so inclined, there are countless more examples where this PMO has shown an almost obsessive desire to try and undercut Ignatieff at every turn. This sober reality makes "misunderstanding" actually "nonsensical", more correctly, the apology simply damage control. With the known pattern in mind, this comment makes perfect sense:
A press release issued earlier in the day by Ignatieff's office had said only that the Liberal leader would be attending the Indian event; it did not say he'd be addressing the gathering. Liberal insiders maintained the release was ambiguous about Ignatieff's participation because they were concerned the PMO would block the Liberal leader from speaking.

The Liberals were ambigious because they KNOW what happened was ENTIRELY possible, given PAST incidents. Church and company know that we are dealing with a classless, childish, hyper-partisan bunch of zealots, anything is possible, and they PROVED IT AGAIN LAST NIGHT!

It was supposed to be a cultural "celebration", a non-partisan event, which in the grand scheme had ZERO impact on electoral prospects. Despite the benign nature of the event, the "Harper government" managed to mangle and warp, turn it into a schoolyard tug of war. It really is shameful when you realize we have such a low rent mentality operating, further evidence that politics in this country have found a new bottom, the "Harper government bottom". Class is the casualty, and any self respecting Conservative should agree....

27 comments:

Shiner said...

The talking points on this are fantastic, someone at Dawg's suggested it was the media's fault for actually leaving. "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!"

Steve V said...

The PMO has bullied the media for years now and there is never any "rebellion". Considering most local media is OWNED by national media, you could easily choke off coverage in the name of greater accessibility. As it stands now, Harper picks who gets to ask questions, when they can, tightly scripted and frankly entirely manipulated. It's ridiculous what Ottawa has become, just a complete and utter GONG SHOW.

Shiner said...

You're right of course, the media is acts like a punching bag, terrified of losing access and, more importantly, of looking biased. But that doesn't excuse PMO's actions in this case.

ottlib said...

You know for a guy most Conservatives dismiss as any kind of threat to their hold on power they certainly spend alot of time trashing him or attempting to deny him a voice.

I constrast the Harper Conservatives treatment of Mr. Ignatieff to the Chretien Liberals treatment of Mr. Day. The Harper Conservatives are constantly talking about him and trying to undermine him. The Chretien Liberals largely ignored Mr. Day.

Omar said...

A crass and immature move on the PMO's part no doubt, but as long as the event attendees got to hear Ignatieff speak, then that's what is important. Here's hoping our friends in Canada's ethnic communities wake up and smell the swill Harper is peddling. I for one am confident they will.

Frankly Canadian said...

Steve, I have to agree somewhat with the fact the media should have ask more questions regarding the status of Mr. Ignatieff’s possible speech. I also think this exposes the type of journalism we have today here in Canada, a media who only reads the script and never asks any questions of who, what why or when. I am not lumping all our Canadian journalist together, there are some great journalist, however those are not the journalist invited/assigned to these important events and releases.
P.S. I refuse to call this GOVERNMENT OF CANADA the “Harper Government”, I think a better reference to this would be “STEVEN’S CANADA”

Jerry Prager said...

The campaign issue, besides Harper himself, needs to be liberal democracy, what it is, why it emerged after ww2, and why corporatists in the Canadian conservative movement from Arthur Meighen/RB Bennett to Mike Harris/Stephen Harper despise it. The notion that Arab nations are dying to establish liberal democracies, while Canada is being systematically turned into a corporatist state should be made clear. Liberal democracy is what the CBC defends, not the Liberal Party" there's a reason for that, and that reason is WW2, when corporatism was defeated in Italy and elsewhere.
Concentration of media ownership since Keith Davey's 1970's Royal Commission, which warned of the dangers to liberal democracy from corporatist media control etc. Iggy's a smart guy, so for Heaven's sake , let's have an intelligent analysis and defense of liberal democracy, before we lose it to the Harpercons.

Marpman said...

You might even call it disrespect of the institution of a democracy. We have opposition parties and I would suggest that it be respectful of the PMO to check, and verify whether the opposition leader, in attendance, was wanting to speak.
To rely on a press-release as their source of information is both silly, but very disrespectful.
And I think this is the fundamental shift we are seeing from Harper. This is not a competition, the same system that Harper is attempting to change brought him to power in the first place.

Joe said...

I personally believe that the Conservatives didn't know that Ignatieff wanted to speak. Had they known they would have left the podium in place and invited even more media to witness. Every time Ignatieff speaks he falls even farther behind 'none of the above' in the leadership rankings. I would boldly say that Ignatieff is the best weapon the Conservatives have.

Steve V said...

Wow, clever. Lol.

Shiner said...

Right. And they told the media to get the hell out because they wanted them to save on babysitter fees.

marie said...

Hey Joe, words of a brain washed narrow minded lack of common sense cult lover who believes himself to be one of the chosen few. Does Herr Hitler come to mind? It should because that's exactly what we are seeing in this hypocritical propoaganda party of Steveies Party.

Joe said...

"Does Herr Hitler come to mind?"

Why should he? He was a socialist and I am not. Besides what is wrong with poking fun at the most inept leader the Liberal party has had since - since - since Oh I suppose since Dion. BTW I used to make fun of Joe Clark and his lost mittens ineptitude as well so don't take it too 'liberally'. You have to admit that Ignatieff whining about the Conservatives not leaving him a podium is very funny. It is reminiscent of your favourite character, Hitler, complaining that Churchill had used an antique bi-plane to damage the rudder of the Bismark. It was Ignatieff's handlers to make sure he had a podium and the press was aware that the Great Mind was about to speak. It is not the job of the Conservatives to look after the Liberals.

Tof KW said...

Joe said...
"Does Herr Hitler come to mind?"
Why should he? He was a socialist and I am not.


Thanks for revealing you're nothing but a common teabagger wingnut wannabe there Joe. Peddling the FOXNews bullshit that Hitler was a socialist.

Hitler's party was indeed called the National Socialist Party, but he in fact detested everything about what we today call socialists.

He actually created a new definition for the word socialist to apply to his party name. Under Hitler's definition, socialism means a citizen having and fulfilling a duty to the state. His view of socialism was that each person owed the state their life, and was required to do what the state wanted to fulfill that debt. I will provide a few quotes that might help you realize why National Socialism in no way shape or form represents what we (and indeed everyone other than the Nazis) knows as socialism.

"Our adopted term 'Socialist' has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism. Marxism is anti-property; true Socialism is not."
--Adolf Hitler, Sunday Express, 28 September 1930; cited. in The Rise of Fascism by F.L. Carsten, p. 137

"We stand for the maintenance of private property ... We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order."
--Adolf Hitler

"I absolutely insist on protecting private property."
--Adolf Hitler

Hitler was a fascist, not a socialist. And fascism, though springing from left-wing origins, clearly followed more principles associated with the far-right.

Careful Joe, your brand of US-style GOP conservative wingnuttery is much closer to Hitler's views than any die-hard socialist.

Joe said...

T of KW you really should take a Valium. The fact remains that given a list of political leaders who could be PM more Canadians pick 'none of the above' than pick Ignatieff. He is not special in that regard as a number of would be PMs have received similar ratings.

Now if you think that dragging up Hitler or the Tea Party neither of which I support is going to change anyone's choice of government then you are more delusional than a Liberal leader who shows up expecting everyone to make way for him to opine. If he wants to say something then let the organizers know!

Believe me I do a lot of public speaking and I never go unannounced and expect the podium to be set and the mikes hot simply because I am there. I confirm that I will be in attendance before I get to the engagement and when I arrive I make certain that I am welcome to speak and that all I need to deliver my words will be set up when I need it.

Good grief Ignatieff and his handlers didn't even alert the media. Do you really think this level of competence is acceptable in an executive position like PM?

If you really don't like PM Harper may I suggest you come up with an alternative that can at least actually organize a simple presser! This latest episode is like that out of focus video of Dion!

Omar said...

Actually, first and foremost, Hitler was a capitalist. This savvy politician made astronomical amounts of cash for greedy business types before, during and well after the war. Capitalism has more in common with fascism then TRUE socialism will ever hope to never have.

Steve V said...

Joe

Did you know when given the opportunity, "neither" beats Harper for best PM consistently? LOL.

WhigWag said...

Joe, the agency hosting the event, the India High Commission, knew full well that Ignatieff was going to speak at this NON-partisan event, because they had invited him to.

Other reports have noted that the LPC notified the press that he would be in attendance, but not that he would be speaking, to try to prevent this kind of PMO 'cock-blocking' stunt -- which had happened before.

But sadly, that backfired. As QMI's now reporting, the PMO staff (probably showed up early and) "took over" the logistics, and even tried to force them to reschedule when Ignatieff was to talk (at the end, by which time most would've left). I'm guessing they likely insisted that the PM had to use his own, 'Canada' branded podium, and the hosts probably deferred, never dreaming they'd pull it before the next speaker. And they were probably too polite -- or flabbergasted, or scared, or mindful of the repercussions -- to try to overrule the PMO staff from having the temerity to eject the press, which they had NO authority to do, since it wasn't a Conservative event at all (they were just very rude guests at it).

www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/03/05/17506466.html

Tof KW said...

Joe, I wasn't talking about Iggy. And you were the one dredging up Hitler the socialist. I set the record straight as to what he really was, a fascist. And yes you are a wingnut for saying he was a socialist, and I called you a teabagger wannabe ...as in you imitate one.

Joe said...

Whig wag your conspiracy theory is full of holes. If Ignatieff or his handlers had let the media know that Ignatieff was planning on speaking there is no way the media would have left. If the PMO had tried to force them out it would be front page headlines instead of a bunch of die hard liberals whining about that meanie PM Harper on blogs. I think maybe the Liberal party needs some better organizers because this reminds me of PM Martin taking all the opposition leaders over to Europe to commemorate WW II, two days after the ceremonies were held. Our PM missed the ceremony and it looked bloody ridiculous having all these politicians going on a junket to a past event.

Somethings politicians should not do. Drop a football, lose you luggage, show up on a jetski wearing a wetsuit, do a junket to nothing, release an out of focus video of your leader, whine when you don't announce your arrival and find out that the podium is gone. Sorry to say but none of these things makes you look like you would make a great PM. I'm sure if the Liberal party tried they could actually find a leader that I would vote for but the last three were more laughing stock than PM.

WhigWag said...

It DID make the national media headlines, Clueless Joe -- it's just that it happened on a Friday night, so took a while to get into the regular news cycle:

"PMO apologizes for booting media from Ignatieff speech"

www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/03/05/pol-pmo-ignatieff.html

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110305/harper-office-apology-Ignatieff-110305/20110305/?hub=EdmontonHome

www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=n6149104

+ 32,000 more
www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/pmo-apologizes-for-booting-media-before-ignatieff-speech/article1931302/

www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/03/05/17506466.html

Joe said...

Of course it made the headlines except it has not been mentioned since! The national news networks have dropped it like a hot potato because they rushed in half cocked as usual by not doing a check on what actually happened.

That is one of the reasons the media has lost much of its influence. They have continually got the story wrong. In a mad rush to be ahead of the blogs they are rushing out the gossip without checking the facts.

WhigWag said...

again, it happened on a FRIDAY NIGHT. And they all reported it on SATURDAY. And today's SUNDAY, when most aren't working, and the evening news hasn't even run yet. And you're declaring it a dead story and condemning them for rushing it out. You're daft.

Joe said...

Sure there Whig wag you run with that one. I'm certain that all the wayfaring Liberals will come flocking back now that it is clear that Ignatieff and handlers have proven that they are incapable of looking after themselves but are real good a whining cause the Cons didn't help them in their time of need. This little bit of nonsense is starting to make the nationally televised stream of water up Stockwell's butt look like political genius.

WhigWag said...

you're still yapping? you're like a chihuahua, even after everyone tries to get you to STFU, since that was the mailman, who's supposed to go there, and, um, it isn't even your own yard.

And, look, no one's claiming any of these episodes in themselves are impeachable offenses, as it were; the point is, they can and will accumulate to toxic proportions, no matter how much you yap about 'nothing to see, here, folks'

and now that you mention it, that Sea-Doo stunt DID make Day lose a lot of stock, and that was a fiasco entirely of his own making (unlike this one, which was orchestrated by Soudas' jack-booted goons).

Tof KW said...

Holy fuck, Joe's still at it?

Look Joe, do some homework and take a look at Harper's personal poll numbers back in 2004-05. The media at the time were writing him off too. Remember any of that now?

Steve V said...

Better yet, go look at any opposition leaders numbers. I remember one guy recently that had abysmal numbers and ended up winning three majorities. Joe prefers the shallow end apparently...