"Town Hall" Meetings

The neo-cons love to control the environment of a debate. If there's going to be a debate they get out there at 5 am and paint the boundaries where they want them, they set up spotlights that will hit their star players and they hire a crowd to cheer for them. This is why George Bush carefully screens his audience and then has an 'impromptu' heart-to-heart with them for the TV cameras. This is why Republicans in the United States are planning to avoid the presidential candidates Youtube debate with questions submitted by average Americans (and admittedly screened by CNN) This is why Stephen Harper sent the RCMP! to kick reporters out of the lobby of a hotel (which was crawling with other less politically touchy members of the public) during a Conservative strategy session, saying they were welcome to attend a specially prepared news conference across the street.

From the Toronto Star:

"CHARLOTTETOWN – RCMP officers, acting on orders from the Prime Minister's Office, evicted journalists from a hotel lobby Wednesday to prevent them from approaching Conservative MPs to discuss the country's governance.

While tour bus groups freely wandered the lobby of Charlottetown's Delta Hotel, plainclothes Mounties rebuffed reporters who had convened for the Conservative party's three-day summer strategy session."

The last thing that any Neo-con wants is an exchange that hasn't been pre-scripted, because improvisation leads to honesty and there's nothing more dangerous to the neo-con image than honesty. Do you remember when a homophobic Conservative candidate was hidden in the kitchen of a hotel. "When reporters tried to question Mr. Albrecht about his views after the rally, Conservative handlers blocked them from getting close. Mr. Albrecht was hustled into a kitchen where he stood alone as the news media were told he was too busy to speak with them." From the Globe about a year ago.


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