Harper snubs CTV, Trudeau shuns Sun News in year-end interviews

Justin Trudeau during a year-end interview on Parliament Hill'Tis the season for year-end interviews.

Throughout this month, our federal party leaders will be doing the media rounds to talk about the year that was.

But don't expect to see Prime Minister Harper on Canada's largest private broadcaster.

According to the Ottawa Citizen's Glen McGregor, Harper will, for the second year in a row, snub CTV.

Harper’s director of communications, Jason MacDonald, confirmed that the PM will bypass the broadcaster for the second consecutive year, despite the network’s long history of interviewing prime ministers at Christmas.

“We made a decision to go another route,” MacDonald said in email to the Citizen on Saturday.

Pre-Harper, the PM on CTV was a holiday tradition. According to a 2008 press release, the network has hosted 'A conversation with the prime minister' since the days of Lester B. Pearson.

The cynics and conspiracy theorists among us might wonder if the network's breaking coverage of the Senate expense scandal had anything to do with the PMO's decision.

You'll recall that CTV's Robert Fife was the one who broke the story about Nigel Wright's $90,000 gift to Sen. Mike Duffy.

MacDonald, of course, denied that CTV's coverage had anything to do with their decision not to be interviewed.

[ Related: Year in Review 2013: Top five Canadian political ads of 2013 ]

Team Harper aren't the only ones doing the snubbing.

According to Liberal insider and Sun News personality Warren Kinsella, Justin Trudeau won't speak to them — the newspaper chain Kinsella calls "the biggest" in the country.

"On the one hand, it’s easy to understand why," Kinsella writes claiming that he would have been the one to conduct the interview.

"Some Sun News folks have been completely over the top about Trudeau, calling him names and whatnot. If he feels that he sometimes doesn’t get a fair shake from Sun News, he’s entitled.

"On the other hand, it strikes Yours Truly as a pretty dumb media strategy. For example, Rob Ford famously stopped talking to the Toronto Star because it published a story about his conduct as a football coach. Didn’t exactly work out for Mayor Crackhead, did it? Nope."

So much for Trudeau's over-used line about listening and "speaking to all Canadians."

[ Related: Justin Trudeau questioned about poor attendance record in the House of Commons ]

Historically, year-end interviews have rarely been barn-burners.

Now, with parties picking and choosing who they speak to, they're sure to be even less useful.

(Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press)

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