Tuesday, December 17, 2013

P..... off Stephen Harper by exposing the senate expense scandal did we Mr. Fife?

Not to worry. Guess you won't be getting one of his goofy taxpayer Christmas cards this year.
Besides, 24 Sussex is drafty, there's mould in the basement plus some of the toilets leak - one even shifts which you'd probably be asked to use should you need to relieve yourself. Better yet, why not interview his Parliamentary Secretary and mouthpiece Paul "Liar, Liar Toaster's On Fire" Calandra who'll regale you with stories of his father, their pizza delivery guy, daughter's lemonade stand ad nauseam while "answering" your questions about the senate scandal.

Failing that, why not Rob and Doug Ford they're always good for a real "hoot."
PMO snubs CTV for year-end Harper sit-down
Glen McGregor
Saturday, December 14, 2013
CTV's Robert Fife and Lloyd Robertson interview Prime Minister Stephen Harper and wife Laureen at Christmas 2010.

The Prime Minister’s Office has yet to say which media outlets will be afforded the traditional year-end interviews with Stephen Harper this month, but we know for certain that CTV won’t be on the list.

Harper’s Director of Communications, Jason MacDonald, confirmed that the PM will bypass the broadcaster for the second consecutive year, despite the network’s long history of interviewing prime ministers at Christmas.

“We made a decision to go another route,” MacDonald said in email to the Citizen on Saturday.

It is worth noting that CTV’s Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife — who sat in on PM interviews with then-anchor Lloyd Robertson for seven years — fired the first volley in what would become the Senate scandal currently engulfing the government.

In early December last year, Fife reported on possibly dubious expense claims filed by Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, who claimed primary residence at his father’s apartment in Maniwaki, Quebec whilst collecting living expenses for a secondary residence in Gatineau. CTV didn’t get a Harper interview that year, ending a long streak of PM sit-downs.

Then, in May, Fife then broke open the Senate story by reporting that Harper’s Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright, had personally repaid Senator Mike Duffy’s $90,000 expense tab for his secondary residency costs in Kanata. Harper has yet to do an depth interview on the Senate scandal and his role in it since and it’s not particularly surprising that his first fireside chat on the topic won’t be with Bob Fife.

MacDonald denies that Fife’s reporting was a factor in the decision.

“You write things about our government that aren’t positive too, but here I am answering your questions,” he said in an email. “There’s no conspiracy here, Glen, sorry.”

(For what it’s worth, I haven’t been offered a year-end interview with Harper, either, though I’ve still got fingers crossed.)

So who gets the interviews?

MacDonald won’t say yet — “He will be doing several. Happy to confirm outlets later,” – but word is that Chinese language broadcaster Fairchild TV has scored one. Global has also been given the nod, according to sources, but it will be with correspondent Jacques Bourbeau, not West Block host Tom Clark. Bourbeau is a strong reporter, so don’t expect him to back off hard questions.

Doubtless, the relentlessly partisan Sun TV Sun News Network will be offered an interview, too, and publication of Harper’s old time hockey book this year makes a soft-ball session with TSN or Sportsnet a possibility, likely congruent with the World Juniors.

Still unclear, however, is whether CBC and its Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge will get one.

Mansbridge last month interviewed another conservative stalwart, Toronto’s titular mayor Rob Ford.


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