Harper Children Must Appear in All News Photos of PM Canadian Media Told
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office has barred Canadian newspapers, TV stations, and Facebook sites from using any photographs of him that don’t include his immensely popular teenaged son and daughter.
Alternatively — on Ben and Rachel’s weekly day off — photographs of the PM must include either of his family’s cats, Stanley or Gypsy.
The order was issued early today after the Ottawa Citizen ran a front-page photo of Harper at a Conservative fund-raiser without his children or any kittens or puppies.
Mr. Harper’s children, Ben (19) and Rachel (15), have been drawing huge crowds of young people to Conservative rallies recently and an Ipsos national poll released yesterday shows that either would be the preferred choice as Prime Minister over their father. 43% of voters indicated they would also prefer Stanley (5) or Gypsy (3).
“Effective immediately, no photographs, videos, memes, or editorial cartoons of the Right Honourable Prime Minister Harper shall appear in Canadian media without prominent exposure for Mr. Harper’s children, his cats, a rescue puppy, or a photogenic, non-crying baby,” read the six a.m. e-mail from Harper’s Chief of Staff Ray Novak.
“All questions must be pre-approved by myself and may or may not be seen by the Prime Minister personally.”
While the National Post, Calgary Herald, and Sun newspaper chain all agreed today to abide by the photograph order, social media sites Twitter and Facebook have exploded with mostly harsh reactions and altered photos of Harper often appearing with Mother Teresa, the Pope, and even Jesus himself.
“This is no different than everyone else’s take-your-children-to-work day,” said Harper’s re-re-re-re-election spokesman Kory Teneycke.
“Prime Minister Harper is just like you and me. He loves his family…he loves each and every Canadian family.”
“Saying that he is using his children for political gain by simply ordering that they appear in every photo used anywhere by anyone is nothing but NDP and Liberal snarking.”
“Mr. Harper is paying Ben and Rachel minimum wage I’ll have you know — time and a half for any overtime.”
Reportering for The Lapine