Canada prime minister prefers U.S. news

Stephen Harper calls out Allan Gregg during Q&A

TORONTO -- Canadian 24-hour news channels struggling for audience and advertising revenue against growing American competition from CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have one less viewer: Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

Harper turned heads in Ottawa when he told the Canadian Chamber of Commerce convention in Toronto that he prefers American to Canadian newscasts.

"I watched the last several elections in the United States very closely. I tend to watch mainly American news, because I don't like to watch Canadian news and hear what Allan (Gregg) and everybody else is saying about me. So my hobby is to watch politics elsewhere," the prime minister said during a Q&A session.

Harper made reference to prominent Canadian pollster and TV pundit Gregg, who was in the Toronto audience.

The prime minister's admission drew immediate disbelief from Harper's cabinet ministers, and criticism from opposition politicians.

"I'm sure (Harper) does" watch Canadian news, federal industry minister Tony Clement told reporters outside the House of Commons in Ottawa.

"We're news junkies, all of us are. Come on. You know what we're all about," Clement added.
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