John Ivison: Why are Harper supporters heckling the media?

Have a read of National Post’s John Ivison: Why are Harper supporters heckling the media? Here is an excerpt,

“Stephen Harper is a bit like Alexander Keith’s beer — those who like him, like him a lot. More to the point, Mr. Harper’s supporters don’t like anyone who suggests the Conservative leader is fallible, such as the travelling news media. […]

But it was during the press conference that followed the speech that the temperature rose. CBC Television’s Terry Milewski asked whether Mr. Harper would respect the Governor-General’s decision, if he called on a second-placed party to form government after a Conservative minority was brought down. The Prime Minister said he wasn’t going to speculate on what might happen after the election, despite the fact his whole campaign has been based on conjecture about what might happen post May 2. Mr. Milewski accused the Conservative leader of ducking the question and repeatedly asked him to answer. By this point, the assembled partisans felt it their duty to jump in for their man. “Shut down the CBC,” shouted one man. Another behind Mr. Harper was screaming, gesticulating and visibly upset. To be fair to Mr. Harper, he gestured for calm and maintained his composure. In days gone by, he would have responded to such a challenge by attacking the source.

Quite why the press conference needed to be held in front of a hostile crowd is not clear, unless it was an attempt to intimidate journalists. Other parties hold the presser in a separate room after the event.

Party spindoctors suggest Mr. Harper likes the visuals of being surrounded by supporters but it lends the appearance of a lynch mob when the inevitable happens. One suspects the visuals of this morning’s episode will be replayed on newscasts across the country and confirm many people’s impressions of the Conservative Party as the home of anger, intolerance and blind partisanship.”

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