Christy Clark's new media strategy raises eyebrows
Published Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:37PM PDT
A tense exchange between journalists and the B.C. premier's new director of communications has observers wondering if Christy Clark is modelling her media strategy after Stephen Harper.
This is Sara MacIntyre's first week in Victoria after moving west from Ottawa, where she served as the prime minister's press secretary until last month. During a photo opportunity Wednesday, she had a heated confrontation with reporters, refusing to allow any questions for Clark and explaining that "she took questions yesterday."
Public relations specialist Alan Edwards of Peak Communicators says it marks an obvious change in approach for the radio host-turned-premier.
"The premier has said that government is open and accessible. This is proving it's not," he told CTV News.
Video of the exchange has been shared extensively online, and Edwards says he's been passing it on as a learning tool
"We'll use it in my media training. It's an example of how not to manage the media," he said.
CTV News Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife says MacIntyre's apparent attitude toward the media closely mirrors the approach of the federal Conservatives.
"The exchange brought back all the memories of what we go through every day with the Harper government: tight media control, lack of respect for the media. She's taken the Harper media plan and brought it to B.C.," he said.
MacIntyre, who once took politicians to task as B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, was not available for comment Thursday.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward