The press gallery won’t let old partisan attack go

From the Obama visit to Parliament Hill yesterday, the CBC’s Susan Bonner assesses what made an impression upon her and her media colleagues,

“The impression seemed to be that Stephen Harper had a message that he wanted to deliver directly to Americans about the border and about security and about trade and he was pushing those media messages directly to talk to an American audience. So those were the money comments from my point of my and from my colleagues in the room’s point of view, from the Prime Minister of Canada. From the President, the stand-out for all of us in the room was “I love this country”, President Obama saying that. Remember back to a couple of election campaigns [ago], one of the first questions asked of Stephen Harper was if he loved Canada because he seems to be, at the time it was seen that he was awkward with this kind of language and yet you saw the President of the United States volunteering this and saying it quite casually and warmly so that was the buzz among the media as we waited, penned up, to be released to get out here and talk to our various outlets.” — Susan Bonner, CBC

A couple of noteworthy items here. What made an impression upon the media was the Prime Minister’s talk about bilateral policy issues. What made an impression about the President was his emotion — “I love this country”. While the PM made an impression about public policy, the press was swooned by Obama’s love.

Also, you’ll remember, the Prime Minister was asked “Do you love your country” and he was asked this in 2005! This was two election campaigns ago! So, when the pack mentality of the Parliamentary Press Gallery got buzzing amongst themselves yesterday they remember Obama’s toss away line most clearly and also the finer details of a partisan attack from 2005.

Get over it guys. Focusing on the unsubstantial, equating Harper’s public policy positions with Obama’s “love” as the take two take-home messages, snapping pictures with your cheap digital cameras during a bilateral meeting with the President of the United States so you can tag it on Facebook and email it to your friends reflects upon your professionalism. I’m surprised I didn’t see a flack standing behind Obama talking on his cellphone waving at his buddies watching on television. The guild has strict policy against using “media tools” for “non-journalistic purposes” (this is a subjective and institutional definition) in the Parliametary precinct. For instance, you might see Press Gallery officials chide tourists for taking pictures of a scrum as they pass by on their tour. For this press conference, it was predetermined that there were to be four questions asked from four reporters but yet there were 40 members of the media present. I watched the news conference on the pool feed. I suppose this freed me to watch like everyone else instead of playing political tourist on Obama day.

But the biggest impression of reporters at the press conference? That Obama states that loves Canada “casually and warmly” and Harper, well that guy shakes hands with his kids, right?

Does Harper love Canada?

Let it go.



  • wilson

    Charles Adler picked up on the same Bonner comment:

  • Tjeerd

    Did you all notice that Ignatieff was star struck on Obama. “Learn from the masters hand”
    I do not want a PM who slobbers over Obama. Ignatieff is not ready to be PM.

  • The Champ

    I have a pretty solid feeling that Obama is your equivalent to a high school class president, voted in my rhetoric and charisma with absolutely no concise plan for the future. Sure he has ideas, but he flip flopped so many times during the last election I really don't know what type of vision he has for the future, and that scares me. However I think he has a handful of things he wants to implement, things the public probably doesn't know about, and the rest he can go either way on. I say this as he has some pretty shady friends with whom I don't think he has completely deserted.

    Anyway, once again the public buys into a charismatic individual, and ignores the people who actually have ideas. Harper was much sharper during the Q and A. It's great to see that high school never really ends.

  • Omanator

    Hurray , I have been saying that for some time. The fact that most of Ignatieff friends are in and around the Whitehouse makes me wonder if an American would run our country if Ignatieff ever became PM>

  • Omanator

    I am an old woman and have seen many Politicians with massive Charisma like Obama. Only when the honeymoon was over did we find out how bad they really had been. Unfortunately most of this ” adoring and Star struck public cannot see beyond it's nose.

  • BCVoiceOfReason

    If Mr. Ignatieff has so many dear friends in Obama's inner circle how has he avoided meeting him. With Obama running for the Presidency for the last 4 years there have been more than enough fund raisers that Mr. Ignatieff's dear friends could have got him into. Mr. Ignatieff was a US resident when Obama started running.

    I know that Mr. Ignatieff is not terribly supportive of the Liberal Party in a financial way, but I would imagine that he could have raised enough cash for a small donation to the obama campaign that would have gotten him some face time, seeing as he has so may mutual friends to vouch for him.

  • johndoe124

    The PPG is as shallow as a dinner plate. Always has been, always will be. Ignore them.

  • Liz J

    Susan Bonner and the rest of the PG can't seem to help themselves , their extreme dislike for PM Harper is just too strong, in fact it's palpable. They're press gallery spinners. In fact they stink.

    Many of us are aware of their problem, find them intolerable and have long ago tuned them out. They show no respect for the Prime Minister of their country or even the Office itself with that style of reporting.

  • Robert

    Wilson's posting on the Charles Adler link is a must read. It can be heard here on the audio vault of CJOB radio.

    Select Friday 20 Feb, 3pm It plays on windows mdeia player. Goto the 13 minute point.

  • dave

    It's all okay ,PMSH was all that any Canadian could ask for in a PM,rant and rave the press gets what it gives. A good day for Canada ,good enough for me .

  • Bec

    Susan Bonner, showed enourmous disdain for her fellow Canadians. In fact she demonstrated with her comments, how rarely she gets out amongst us real folk.

    Absolutely the most arrogant and partisan comment that I have ever heard,….and they are starting to get pretty regular with the gossip media in Canada.

    Did someone pay to send these people to a school of journalism? Most of us can do it at a coffee shop or while getting our nails or hair done!

  • northside777

    I wonder if the PPG in their present “Love IN” state of mind took the time to realize that OB’s ” I love Canada” statement was in fact meant as a stmnt of convenience in that it costs nothing to be charitable with one’s enthusiasm whilst a guest and to be a gracious guest is indeed a bridge builder.
    Five hours in another country is hardly time to formulate a real opinion of love though a gracious affirmation does send the right message.
    I sincerely hope that the PPG…(read that as the pampers panty groupies) did think to bring along spare undies as to hear them sqeal, there must have been some serious incontinence going on!

  • NK

    I saw her say it live yesterday then immediately shut off the TV. It will be some time before I turn CBC back on again, and that reinforces why.

    It has been a long time since I have felt the embarrassment that I did yesterday. I was embarrassed to be a Canadian from the fawning of the media. It was utterly humilating to think of that being broadcast across North America. Professionalism? I did not see it yesterday.

  • Robert

    That Charles Adler comment can be heard here at the CJOB audio vault.

    Friday 20 Feb @ 3pm. Plays on media player. 13 minute point.

  • JDot

    Stephen says..

    “snapping pictures with your cheap digital cameras during a bilateral meeting with the President of the United States ”


  • Chris

    Good lord what vacuous old cow! if i didn’t read your blog and others i would never have known who she was. And now if I ever come across her on the tele, I will know enough to keep right on clicking… not that I ever stop at CBC anyway.

  • terry1

    Liz J……the reporters are simply expressing the same feelings as poll results are now showing about your dear leader. Harper is a disgrace as PM and his November performance proved it.

  • revanche

    Iggy is so arrogant he is quickly becoming an embarassment to the whole country. Iggy's biggest problem is he actually believes he is an equal to either Harper or Obama.

    Consider that Obama spent 4 years of non-stop campaigning in that most gruelling of political contests to get to the Oval Office. Certainly Harper earned his place on stage as well, but Iggy? He arrived at his station through the back door after losing the only race he ever entered… to Stephane Dion of all people.

    Aside from writing a few books, has he accomplished anything remotely deserving of the respect he thinks the world owes him?

    For courtesy's sake, Obama let him hump his leg a few minutes in the airport; however, it is a huge stretch for me to believe Obama has anything to learn from this pretender.

    “Serious business was done….” Yeah right.

    What a poser.

  • batb

    The Parliamentary Press Gallery just will not allow Prime Minister Stephen Harper to “be” successful.

    Never mind that he is successful and has been successful as the leader of Canada's government since 2006. He's fulfilled pretty much every one of the planks of his 2006 mandate and has deftly negotiated the largely pre-fabricated shoals of the crazy Coalition of Quacks. That he's announced deficits for the foreseeable future is not an acknowledgment of lack of leadership, as the PPG alleges, but, rather, shows that PMSH is an able captain of the ship of state when the winds drastically change.

    Ironically, it's because Stephen Harper has managed to so deftly hold onto the reins of power, despite the MSM's determined plans to unseat him and his government at every turn, that they're mad as H*ll: “How dare this pipsqueak from nowhere — no Ottawa, l/Liberal, media, or silver-spoon pedigree — become Canada's PM and shut us out of our deserved and frequent leaks from government departments and invites to weekly Liberal cocktail parties. We're entitled to our entitlements, after all, and now they've all dried up.”

    I'm glad that the PPG seems to have no ability to self-monitor. They seem to have no idea how ridiculous they look to the average Canadian. To even ASK PMSH if he loves Canada is a major insult. He's spent all of his life here and has been a productive citizen and politician, slogging away in the Parliamentary trenches for years, unlike Count Iggy who the Press Gallery seem determined to crown as both Liberal leader and Canada's next prime minister. (As for President Obama's declaration of love for Canada: it didn't cost him anything!)

    In this ridiculous clip, Susan Bonner seems determined to continue the PPG's downward slide to irrelevancy. Most Canadians aren't paying any attention.

  • Cool Blue

    So Harper shouldn't be PM because he doesn't love Canada….

    Yet separatists deserve our respect and there's nothing wrong with them being part of a coalition government which they hold a veto over….

  • wilson

    When Obama said 'I love Canada',
    my first thought was the ease that rolled off his lips means he loves his superstar status here.
    O loves Canada like I 'love red shoes'.
    Obama loves the United States of America in the way PMSH loves Canada, with all his heart.
    Iffy …. ?

  • na

    On a side note: How did you like Peter mansbridges questions tot he US ambassador where he was asking “Does it matter that they only used titles not first names?” The US Ambassador looked at him with the strangest look like “WTF?” Which was my sentiments exactly? “WTF type of question is that?” Two leaders just met eachother and recently elected to the position. The both have earned the right to be addressed i public by their respective titles which as is should be.

    Not using first names…..Anyone remember the confluffle over GB using “Steve” rather than Prime Minister Harper as he should have?

  • batb

    'Looks like you've returned your blog comments to most recent ones at the bottom, earliest ones at the top. Many thanks! 'So much easier to read and keep track of …

  • BCVoiceOfReason

    Nik/Gregg and the other Liberal biased polsters usually have over night polls out after smaller events than this. Has no Friday polling done? or are the results going to be so positive for Harper that they obviously not correct and not worth publishing? I imagine that post back-room-appointment-as-leader honeymoon is over for Ignatieff.

  • Omanator

    How do you know that he did not? We don't really know what Iggy did in the States besides writing books.

  • Omanator

    Talking about polls. I gather OB aproval rating in the States runs at 62%. Our canadian public and the media whet their pants you to see him. Aproval rating 85%. That shows you how much they study his policies.

  • terry1

    I think the polls will continue to show Iggy's growth and harper's southward biund numbers.

  • PrairieDog

    CBC is simply a propaganda tool of the socialist elite. For most Canadians, Susan and the crew of programmed sheep mean nothing. Harper showed that he can stand up to the American government, and tried to tell the American people not to buy into the “Canada is bad” syndrome, that seems to grip them from time to time (usually when Liberals are in power). Had he not done that, the CBC would be jumping on him for not doing it. The credibility of these so-called journalists is questionable, at best.

  • Liz J

    Listen up fella, reporters are to report facts, not their feelings, we don't give a damn about either their opinions or feelings.
    Bonner is a reporter and as such she should give us the facts, we can form our own opinions.

    To call our PM a disgrace is proof of where you are at. It's all about the politics of the absurd and damn the Country. Prime Minister Harper is the best PM we've had in decades, that's what's eating Liberals.

    Perhaps you should be concerned about your party being short of cash and spending money on a billboard picture in Times Square. Last time I checked, Americans do not vote in Canada.
    You really should be ashamed of yourself and your party.

  • terry1

    Liz J…And here I thought the only angry tories were old white men and now you come along and spoil my ideas.

    Have a good day supporting the worst PM ever…….one columnist called him a second tier PM today and that was a high compliment!!!!

  • batb

    Whoops. I guess not! Oh well …

  • Maria

    Liz J – it is beneath you to respond to trash like terry1. Keep your dignity dear and treat him like a dog turd by ignorning him. I can smell his odor even through the internet.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Raise the tone of debate please

  • Robert

    Terry, could you please be more specific as to why you dislike Prime Minister Harper so. Backed up with fact and no personal attacks would be good. I'm not nterested in debating you. I'm just curious as to why the hatred. You sound very pro Mr. Ignatieff. I for one can't see how he is the ideal Liberal choice. Michael Ignatieff will turn 65 in a couple of years and yet he does not qualify for a pension as he has never worked in Canada. And yet he and the Liberal party feel he is the most qualified in the party to lead this great country. Am I the only one that feels this more than a little odd? An outsider, the most qualified to lead? And he didn’t even win the leadership of the party it self. All this man knows is how to win a safe riding. He can’t even keep his MPs in line. As bad as Mr. Dion was, he had more skill in controlling his caucus, and he won the position as leader as well. In reality, Iggy has not earned anything.

  • PrairieDog


    Don't compromise your own dignity by posting such undignified words.

  • Omanator

    Liz ,to call Bonner a reporter is an insult to the real reporters. Bonner is a brainless spinner. The Liberals must be desperate to give Bonner and the CBC so much propaganda air time. I shut out the CBC years ago.

  • Omanator

    I would suggest we ignore Terry1 he is just not worth it.

  • Liz J

    Would it be fair to say Iggy loves Canada for what it might do for him? Canada wasn't his choice as a place to live and work until he was lured by the promise of leadership of the Liberal Party. This all took place after all the old stalwarts said NO THANKS to the mess. They were desperate.
    This would in Liberal minds soon lead him to power as the PM, all the peons would adore him. They booted out a Black MP, Jean Augustine who had no intention of leaving, to give him a sure seat in the HOC. He signed his name to a coalition to attempt to take down the government with the help of Separatists knowing full well Dion would be banished and he'd be King because all other leadership candidates were asked to bow out. If that isn't desperation I don't know what is. It's has some resemblance to banana republic tactics for sure.

    IMHO, a person with a thought process of his proclaimed level should realize he needs a little more time on “probation” as he garners experience in politics before he'd be ready to lead the country. If he hasn't got the time for a few more bars on the banjo, he should give it up for the sake of the country. The Liberals are more concerned with window dressing than what's actually in the store. Right now they haven't got much to offer and the till is close to empty.

  • terry1

    1 he is a pathological liar who will say anything that suits his purpose.
    2. He is unethical.
    3. He does not see Canada as the vast majority of Canadians do.
    4. He has screwed up the Quebec “file”
    5. His November update is typical of his government's lack of understanding of the economy.

    As for Iggy the nonsense about pensions,etc is stupid talk

    Let the people decide on Iggy's character. thyatwill answer your questions.

  • Gabby in QC

    “Michael Ignatieff will turn 65 in a couple of years and yet he does not qualify for a pension as he has never worked in Canada.”

    Is that why Ignatieff decided to become stuck “… in the pedestrian life of a freshman civil servant — in Canada no less.”?
    Just to get an MP’s pension? Aha! Truth will out! ;-)

    Maybe all the Susie Qs on Parliament Hill are “Looking for Love” in all the wrong places

  • Liz J

    Wonder if the smarty pants who asked Stephen Harper if he loved Canada would ask the same question if Iggy?

  • terry1

    You thin skinned tories can't take the truth it appears…..

  • terry1

    Maria,Then you should also stop reading the columnist Richard Gwynn who yesterday said SH was a second tier PM and that Iggy was the logical next choice as a first tier guy.

    I do wear deodorant and its not scent of dog….LOL

  • Devin Maxwell

    The ship is sinking…

  • Gabby in QC

    “I do wear deodorant and its not scent of dog….LOL”

    I wouldn't necessarily brag about that, if I were you. As this quote states, we humans should maybe not look down our snouts … er … noses at our four-legged friends:
    “The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs.” (attributed to various people, as well as a Spanish proverb)

  • Big Mac in the North

    To all of our loyal CPC members . Never ever argue with a “brainwashed” IGNORANT Liberal. They refuse to educate themselves in regards to the past history of the Liberal scandals and management in the last 13 years of power before PMSH took charge. Perhaps these “brainwashed” Liberals can advise us 'unwashed Conservatives' who is going to repay the $54 billion dollars from the EI fund that the Liberals swindled and that the Supreme Court of Canada says has to be paid back by Dec 31/09????. Will it come out of the Liberal party bank account??? (some bank account). Perhaps the Liberals can advise us who is going to repay the $100 million it cost us taxpayers for the clean-up of the “adscam scandal”???? (again from the Liberal party bank account??? I understand it is $10 million in debt.)…As I say – pay no attention to these ranting ignoramuses because they know no better and see no further than their noses. I will not waste my time to further this discussion from these political wing-nuts who call themselves Liberals.

  • terry1

    Gabby,You can lower the dialogue IQ all you want to but my opinion of your leader fits that lower IQ and it appears you are following him blindly.
    Isn't that how Harper plays the game also since he has nothing good to offer Canadians?

  • terry1

    C'mon big mac…the money is in the treasury..quit the hysterical nonsense. And , if you want scandalous behaviour why not focus on Mulroney taking cash bribes while in office and Harper attempting to bribe an independent MP as well as the yet to be explained in and out scandal that continues to brew. We should not forget the absolutely scandalous behaviour of both Harper and Flaherty in November when they set out to destroy the opposition in revenge for not getting their beloved majority nstead of focusing on the economy. And there's the ongoing lies they tell almost daily.
    That will resonate well in the next election even though Harper won't have the guts to run.

  • BCVoiceOfReason

    Obviously you have faith in the Polls or the pollster and the framing of the question.

    “the reporters are simply expressing the same feelings as poll results are now showing ” And what were they doing when Harper was polling 40-60% higher in all leadership categories than Dion? Sniping at Harper to provide balance?

    How could the Parlamentary Press Gallery (Clique) attend Obama's conference when he would only take Questions from assigned reporters? This goes against the very nature of their organization.

    And of the quality of questions— you are allowed 1 question so work 6 questions into so that Harper/Obama can answer whichever or whatever they want.

    I won't be shedding any tears for these people in the Press Gallery whose industry is a major contraction and restucturing.

  • terry1

    Yep, the newspaper industry is in major contraction and the losses are set to occur in Tory friendly organizations like the Canwest bunch. thre founder was a staunch Liberal and when he died his heirs destroyed the old man's legacy, so there is no pity from this quarter

    I think you're in denial that Harper has destroyed his credibility however it wasn't the press who did it……..he managed that on his own with his small minded and bad tempered approach to things.