Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday February 13, 2009
McGuinty asks reporters to keep away five feet
It’s not you, it’s me.
That popular break-up refrain appeared to be Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s explanation Thursday as he defended his need for some “breathing space” — namely that reporters stand at least five feet away when posing questions.
In his first availability with the media since his office instituted the rule, McGuinty spoke of his “love” for the press gallery, called them “wonderful,” but asked for a little room to breathe all the same.
“I love them like my brothers and sisters, but not even my brothers and sisters want to stand as close to me as they do,” McGuinty said as he attempted to make light of the situation.
“What I’ve asked of my friends in the gallery is that I have a little bit more breathing space.”
The premier tried to claim that he was “fully supported in this by all the people who operate cameras here” until a veteran Queen’s Park cameraman loudly voiced his objection to the premier’s statement.
“There’s a bit of a divide and conquer tactic here,” said McGuinty, “which is obviously failing.”
The opposition parties wondered what McGuinty was “afraid of,” and suggested his new objection to the same close proximity question and answer sessions — called scrums — that he’s participated in for the past five years has more to do with the recession than anything else. (Source: CTV News)