'When the premier speaks, we would rather her comments not be reported'

North Shore News reporter Benjamin Alldritt has a great column on getting kicked out of a Christy Clark rally here.
Allldrit got a personal invitation from the local Liberal riding association. So did hundreds of other people. So he went to the meeting in a hotel, was admitted, got his name tag and was then booted out by Gabe Garfinkel, executive assistant to the premier. (Garfinkel was an aide to federal Liberal MP Joyce Murray who came over to the provincial payroll when Clark won the leadership.)
You have to leave, he said. It's not a media event. You shouldn't have been invited.
"When the premier speaks, we would rather her comments not be reported," Garfinkle said. "I'm sure you can understand that we don't want comments made in front of a private audience made public."
Let us count the gigantic failures here.
First, and most important, in promoting the notion that Clark wants to say one thing to several hundred Liberal supporters, but that it must be kept secret from the public. Fine, a strategy session with key people might need to be secret. But a speech to a throng of invited supporters hardly justifies secrecy, and creates the sense the premier has something to hide. (When in fact, as Alldritt notes, the speech was almost certainly the usual platitudes.)
Second, the hamhanded and dumb way Alldritt got the boot (although it did provide grist for a very nice column).
And third, the incompetence shown by the supposedly organized Liberals. If you do want to keep things secret as some sort of political strategy, or just to make supporters feel special, then you also need to manage the guest list so you don't invite journalists.
The result is that an innocuous event has become a political liability on several level.

But read the whole column here - it's worth your time.


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