Why is Harper on talk radio?

Maybe because, having successfully alienated the NSM (non-Sun media) he has nowhere else to go. If your strategy has been to reach the people more directly, through social media and local news outlets, and you feel you have to do something, then maybe that is what you do. But it looks hasty and ill conceived. And these local appearances cannot change the direction of a national story. So far, they have only made things worse, because he made fresh headlines this morning when he told one radio host Nigel Wright had not resigned, but “was dismissed”. The mainstream pack never liked Harper and it has years of frustration and anger to work off. Now, in Tory convention week, they have motive, means and opportunity – and a national audience.

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It makes the PM look exceptionaly nervous. He has famously has refused to give interviews or answer questions on any number of national subjects but now, all of a sudden, he’s all over the radio. Why has this subject got him so rattled?

Gabby in QC

“… He has famously has refused to give interviews or answer questions on any number of national subjects …”

That is inaccurate. That is one of many misrepresentations created by the media. Every time the PM makes announcements of importance, the media is usually able to ask questions, albeit a limited number. He answers those questions, even though often the media focuses on some so-called scandal rather than on the subject of the announcement. Read this David Akin blog post to get a clearer picture of what usually happens at the PM’s Q&As.
Focus on Akin’s post rather than all the tweets from twits like Carolyn Parrish.

Despite the fact the PM does allow some questions, I have often wondered why he refuses to take more than 4 (or occasionally 5 or 6 max.), because if the question is on topic, he answers fully and clearly. By allowing less access to the media, he has allowed misrepresentations to flourish, e.g. that he doesn’t allow any questions, that he exits by back doors in order to avoid the media, that questions have to be pre-approved, etc.

While I believe the PM had no prior knowledge of Nigel Wright’s cheque to rescue Duffy, I believe he was wrong in not explaining it fully in a timely manner in the House. IMO, as soon as there were reports that senators were possibly padding their expense claims, the PM should have told Canadians that those senators were no longer welcome in the Conservative caucus and that they would be re-instated only if RCMP investigations cleared them. This latest move by the Senate to suspend the three senators in question seems rather heavy-handed, given the RCMP investigation is still ongoing.

The media has been making much of the PM’s use of the word “dismissed”, implying that signals a change of tune on the PM’s part. IMO, the PM is not noted for rhetorical flourishes or nuances. Once the resignation was offered, as Nigel Wright reportedly did, the PM had the choice of refusing it or accepting it. In accepting the resignation, he was clearly “dismissing” Mr. Wright from his employ. IMO. that’s why the PM used the word “dismissed”.

Calgary Flame

4 questions and no follow up question. Harper is a control freak and he can’t control his own chief of staff or the Con Party President. Who the hell is running the PMO? They don’t tell Harper nothing. Nothing!

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