Monday, November 09, 2009

Battling Over Celebrity Mugs

Canadian media are complaining about the way the PMO is restricting their access to the prime minister. The PMO releases staged photos of Harper, sometimes mislabeling them, and in some cases forces journalists to accept their claims about what happened.

Now my readers will know that I abhor the tactics of this government. There's a definite Big Brother quality to the cyncial manipulation and obfuscation they employ.

But. Coverage of political figures is a sad joke. Political photojournalists are too much like Hollywood paparazzi. The tiniest slip of the tongue is treated like an indictable offence. Unfortunate candid photos are used to totally discredit someone.

So what are the actual problems the Globe cites in the article I link to above? There appear to be three: a photo of Harper playing the piano was taken at a rehearsal, not the actual event; the claim that he ate raw seal is backed up by a PR photo that journalists didn't witness; and they weren't granted access to photograph him climbing a ladder onto a submarine. This is truly a case of "Where's the beef?"

The focus on photos makes this whole issue less about journalistic freedom and more about freedom to provide profitable infotainment.


Cari said...

That government nauseates me to the point, that it IS like Big Brother.
They cheated their way into winning the Quebec by-election, with near 250 million on Friday and making phone calls pretending to be the Bloc, turned people off with those calls, and phoned seniors not to bother to vote, as the polls were closed.
I saw those picture,in the G&M and boy are they fake...why doesn't the media come out and say so, like the G&M did. I am so fed up with that bunch.

Bert said...

Well Cari, it sounds like you are making the voters of Quebec about as bright as the voters in Florida.

Do you have any links backing up those claims ?. Real links, not blogs or anything similar.

I agree with you on a few points of this post, Yappa, mostly with the fact that I wish people could take more candid shots of our leaders without fear of them being used to discredit said leaders. I can understand the PMO releasing staged photo's, because hey, they want to put the PM in the best possible light, but that's just because the media has a field day with the pictures they took. Look at the interview CTV had with Stephan Dion.

Yappa said...

What really got to me about the Globe article was the complaint that they weren't given access to photograph Harper climbing a ladder onto the top of a submarine. You can just imagine it: the sub is bobbing in the ocean, and anyone not used to climbing up top will be extremely awkward and might even fall. Most of the "photo opp" would be of his butt.

We've really come a long way from the days when the US media didn't photograph FDR in his wheelchair. Now serious newspapers lodge complaints about not being able to take embarrassing photos of our PM.