If the medium is the message, should we be even a little bit surprised that Canada's sitting government is trying to control the former?
On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the launch of a new video series promising to keep Canadians “in the know” with a weekly ration of edited government updates to trumpet Tory achievements.
With “The Maple Leaf Forever” playing in the background, the first episode of “24 Seven” features a highlight reel of the prime minister’s travels from Vancouver to Inuvik and the appointment of Canada’s new ambassador to Israel.
Noticeably absent from the week's play-by-play is acknowledgement of the prime minister's run-in with climate change activists, crowds of protesters, and fresh criticism over claims the government is destroying Department of Fisheries and Oceans research.
Fisheries Minister Gail Shea has since denied accusations her department is stifling science, calling the reports "serious misinformation."
The prime minister's new “video magazine” project is the latest effort to soften Harper’s reputation for being secretive. However, it’s also being construed as an attempt by the PMO to circumvent mainstream media and avoid hard questions about the Senate scandal.
Other world leaders have also taken similar initiatives: U.S. President Barack Obama offers weekly updates with his "West Wing Week" series, and footage from North Korea offers the public an inside look at the inner workings of the secretive state.
Last year, Canadians were privy to a rare glimpse into the prime minister’s life when photos of his daily routine were shared on Twitter and Flickr in January.
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