Ottawa — The Manatee has filed an appeal with the Ombudsman’s Office for Satirical Journalism challenging a gag order imposed by the Harper government following a recent story about the prime minister being mistaken for a boa constrictor.
The gag order, which was issued on Tuesday by the prime minister’s office, states: “The Manatee must forthwith cease and desist all correspondence, broadcasting, publication and reporting that contains any material relating or not relating to the prime minister.” Failure to do so, The Manatee was warned, could result in all Manatee writers and staff being enrolled as members of the Conservative Party of Canada.
The gag order also censures the newspaper for an article that reported on Harper allegedly camping in New Brunswick. Toby Magee, the prime minister’s aide for all issues relating to public disinformation, said that the PM’s recreational activities were none of the public’s business. “In the same way that his public policies, decision-making processes and motivations have always remained secret,” said Magee, “we ask that the same courtesy be extended to the Mr. Harper in his private life.”
However, The Manatee has learned that this gag order is far more personal for the prime minister than his aide has let on. A confidential source close to Harper intimated that he has been heard to say, “Let’s not stop until this ‘manatee’ is extinct, torn up by the propellers of the ship of state.”
When asked to respond to these allegations, Magee only referred us to this Youtube video about manatees being endangered.