Sunday, October 24, 2004

Conservatives Say Media Are Biased

Sun, October 24, 2004
Conservatives say press biased
By BILL RODGERS

Stephen Harper's Conservatives have launched a searing attack on the national press gallery, charging it's full of Liberal-friendly reporters. "Too many media people are right in bed with the Liberal government and that's scary," fumed Conservative House leader John Reynolds last Friday.
Reynolds used former CBC radio journalist Susan Murray as an example, saying during the last election she openly attacked him in an Ottawa scrum over Tory calls in the past to privatize the CBC.
"'Are you going to hire me after the election? I won't have a job. You guys will privatize the CBC,' " Reynolds quoted Murray as saying.
"I can categorically deny that 1,000%," Murray told Capital Chat. "I never saw John Reynolds during the entire election campaign."
Murray said she was on the road and "never scrummed or talked to him at all during the election campaign," adding she'd like to hear some tape or other proof of the conversation.
The veteran journalist was hired earlier this year as communications director to Public Works Minister Scott Brison. She is one of a growing list of reporters who have left the press gallery to work as press secretaries or communications advisers to Liberal cabinet ministers.
In the Commons, Conservative MP Scott Reid has moved a motion asking the government to provide a list of national reporters, dating back to 1992, who received government appointments, contracts and employment. No reason was given for the request.
Earlier in the week, Tory Maurice Vellacott suggested in the Commons a journalist who has been writing stories on the Conservative leader has been "seriously compromised" because her husband is "on the prime minister's payroll."
Stay tuned.