"Our government does not tell journalists what to say, or attempt to intimidate those with whom it disagrees," he [Stephen Harper] said.Flashback.
"Instead we believe strongly that Canadians' freedom is enhanced when journalists are free to pursue the truth, to shine light into dark corners, and to assist the process of holding governments accountable."
Shortly after making the speech and handing out awards, Harper was whisked through the black curtains behind the stage without taking media questions.
New governments tend to exercise tight control over their message, at least initially. In that respect Harper's no different.
But veteran Hill reporter Hugh Winsor says something is different under Harper.
"Other Prime Ministers have always accepted the press, but Harper's essentially said, 'Fuck you'," he explains.
Tom Flanagan, Harper's 2004 campaign manager and 2006 campaign editor general, says that Harper's fine without the Gallery.
"The Press Gallery is a bunch of self-important, preening prima donnas who think they're crucial because they're stationed in Ottawa and they've watched All the President's Men too many times."