Friday, November 14, 2008

Sore Thumb Chronicles, Day Two: Paranoia

The morning began badly. I was at the Centre by about 7:35. I entered by the side door and tried to go down the breezeway I had used yesterday to get to the front.

> Sorry. Doors are locked.

So I headed to the media pen and tried to go through that iron curtain I mentioned yesterday.

> Closed to the media until 8:00.

> How do I get to Rooms 2 and 3? [Where social policy is being debated]

> Just go to the media room. You'll be told where you go and what you do and so on.

Jim Travers from the Toronto Star came by. Seems we won't be allowed into the debates.


Yup. I flew all the way here for very little, as it turns out. Sorry, readers, no blow-by-blow on fetal rights and the Human Rights Act and fixed terms for SCC judges and "three strikes and yer out" legislation. Maybe they'll let us know what happened. There will be "press availability" at 10:00--in the pen.

Transparency. Openness.

I mentioned the hostility with which the media are being treated here. "Sore winners," Jim said. "Back-to-back elections and they still do this. I have no idea why. There just giving rise to suspicions that may be groundless."

It was past 8:00. I went back to the curtain.

Yeah, you guessed it.

> Closed to the media.

> It was supposed to be open at 8:00.

> You were misinformed.

That's a cop with a sniffer dog during the setting-up for the presser . The latter seemed to take a fancy to me. Two dawgs on a leash.

If more than ten reporters show up, there will be a list. Manage, control, spin.

The frustration in the pen is palpable. "May as well spend the rest of our time in a bar," one journo said. But the bars don't open until 11:00.

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