I’ve become accustomed to seeing reporters complaining about Stephen Harper’s extreme style of message control in the Canadian press. You can really hear in the tone of their voice on the radio, or read between the lines in a newspaper article, the frustration they feel when literally no-one in government is authorized to respond to their questions, or when Harper pulls a trick like only allowing camera people into a press briefing, thus giving him the visual of delivering talking points while flashbulbs go off but in the safety of a room where no reporters are allowed in to ask a potentially embarrassing question. Someone’s patience must have finally run out, though, because The Star is currently running a week-long series on Harper’s spin control. My favourite anecdote was that all Conservative MPs are required to carry wallet cards with instructions on how to avoid the media. Another popular trick is to only speak to small regional or ethnic news outlets, which generally don’t have the resources for in-depth research and so print statements unchallenged, and besides are never seen outside of their target audience and thus allow careful message targeting without fear of consequences. Anyways, interesting reading.