Oh, I know what some of you are thinking: "Aha! You control freakish mainstream media types just don't want Canadians to be able to hear the prime minister speak without a filter!" But really, it's not always about the cuts, it's about taking part in the discussion -- asking follow-up questions, probing the answers, and yes, when necessary, saying, "Alright, let's move on to a different topic." It would be different if this actually had been an interactive chat, and the Canadians posing the questions were able to respond to the PM's replies, but it wasn't, and they weren't, and as Susan Delacourt points out, the resulting viewing experience was reminiscent of nothing so much as an oddly anodyne end-of-year outing.And now, Susan:
The optics are the same; the PM, made up for TV, in a chair, fielding questions from an interviewer. The people who asked the questions were not permitted a chance to interact or ask follow-up questions. There was no one there to say -- hey, wait a minute, you didn't answer the question. Or, in the case of the Prime Minister saying that questions about Afghan detainees were an insult to the troops, after he said he didn't always answer critics with that retort, there was no one to say, well, that.
Moreover, I suspect that if the Google interviewer had asked a question that the Prime Minister didn't like, that would have been the last interview he did with Harper. That, I'm afraid, is the sorry reality here -- the "you're so dead at recess" strategy of media management. So that's business as usual too.