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They are much more controlled now than in the 1970s when reporters gathered in Ottawa outside  24 Sussex Drive to question Ontario premier Bill Davis (above). Now, if politicians even deign to talk to reporters in an unscripted setting, they do so with the wretches of the press behind ropes (no RCMP required). The informal start of scrums was in 1942 when Vic Mackie, a young reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, would chat with Prime Minister King in the corridor after cabinet meetings. “I was getting stories that nobody else had,” Mackie confided. Other press gallery reporters, tired of being scooped by Mackie, joined in the corridor confrontations. That gave way to the modern-day scrum — a practice that most politicians dread. P.159-160, Power, Prime Ministers and the Press. (Photo courtesy John Gray in white trench coat holding mic, Sydney Margolis to his left and, between the Mounties, Mike Duffy and Gail Scott of CTV).
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Robert Lewis

Twelve years in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, former Editor-in-Chief at Maclean's, Toronto resident since 1982.


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