'They Don't Ask Questions at My Press Conferences'
Stephen Harper, Canada's Conservative prime minister, has stepped up his criticism of that country's elite media, stating flatly that they're dominated by left-wingers and he won't have anything to do with them:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national media are biased against him so he will avoid them from now on.
The prime minister says the Ottawa press gallery seems to have decided to become the opposition to his Conservative government.
He told a London, Ont., TV station Wednesday that he is having problems with the media that a Liberal prime minister would never have to face.
So Harper says he will take his message out on the road and deal with the less hostile local media.
"Unfortunately the press gallery has taken the view they are going to be the opposition to the government,'' Harper told London's A-Channel.
"They don't ask questions at my press conferences now.
"We'll just take the message out on the road. There's lots of media who do want to ask questions and hear what the government is doing.''
Two dozen Ottawa reporters walked out on a Harper event this week when he refused to take their questions.
The prime minister does not want to hold press conferences unless his staff gets to pick which journalists ask questions.
The Ottawa press gallery has refused to play by those rules.
Harper has grumbled publicly about an anti-Conservative bias in the media before -- but not since becoming prime minister.
"I have trouble believing that a Liberal prime minister would have this problem,'' he said Wednesday.
"But the press gallery at the leadership level has taken an anti-Conservative view.''