Wednesday, October 3, 2007

CTV's Robert Fife drums up the wrong facts?

It has been quite some time since Robert Fife broke a political news story. Likely because in past Liberal governments, inside info was extremely easy to come across; a trend we see continuing in the Liberal Party today.

With the Conservative government's tight hold on messaging resulting in less leaks to media, is Robert's lust for breaking news leading him to see things that
aren't there?

Robert Fife hit the airwaves last night with a tale from an anonymous source that the Government had decided to replace General Hillier as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), and would not be renewing his term appointment.

Today, first Defence Minister Peter MacKay, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, shot down Fife's erroneous report. Both added that the service provided by General Hillier, in his role as leader of the Canadian Armed Forces, has been top-notch.

"There has been no discussion in my office or with me with any senior officials about the possibility of changing the Chief of Defence Staff," said Harper.

And it should be pointed out that being the Chief of Defence Staff does not come with a set "term". The CDS serves at the pleasure of the Prime Minister, so there is no term to extend or end anyway.

So not only has the PM not been planning to evict Hillier from his job, the subject hasn't even come up for discussion. That is because the government, and most Canadians, realize that the General has been doing a great job. And as the Prime Minister stated, "As a matter of fact, I think I just approved a pretty good rating for (him)."

In the end, it would appear that Fife's source was seriously misinformed, and Robert could lose a great deal of credibility.

Or, is there a chance that he was purposely fed that information, so the resulting story could tell the "my way or the highway" general that he had better start toeing the government line, or he could easily be replaced?

Naahh, who could be that politically devious?



Anonymous said...

The FIBS stopped leaking to Fife after the last election when he burned them on a couple breaking news stories.

Seems this guy will take any leads now as he has no insiders will ing to give him any dirt.

le politico said...

this guy will take any leads now

In Robert's defense, it is likely most media in Ottawa would have ran with the story.

One has to wonder if Fife was perhaps set-up on this one.

Matt said...

Of course the government has denied it. True or not, February is four months away. Do you think that Harper and MacKay want to be dogged by that question for the next four months?

I tend to think this likely is the plan, although that may change before then and may not even be a plan at all. Hillier hasn't always been consistent in the past, he's contradicted himself in a span of weeks and in the riding there was lots of rumour of an unhappy PMO for some time.

le politico said...

Maybe the gov let it slip to Fife that Hillier could be replaced, just to send Hillier a message.

He probably hadn't considered how easily he can be replaced before. This might bring the general more into line with the governments way of seeing things.

Anonymous said...

Now CTV is reporting:

...''However, Hillier may have personally decided not to stay on as the Armed Forces' chief of defence staff when his term expires.

Fife said a source told him late Tuesday that Hillier had decided against an extension to his term.''

So Fife now says: he's not being booted, he's quitting...????