Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley stepped in a Prairie cake of hypocrisy — and it's a pile she has stepped in before..The self-proclaimed champion of openness and transparency with the media thinks she has the right to determine who exactly the media are..On Sunday evening Notley tweeted she'd be holding a press conference the next day, and she "will take media questions ... as I have done for 15 years as an MLA, nearly nine years as Alberta NDP leader, four years as premier and four years as Opposition leader.".It was a dig at Alberta Premier and UCP Leader Danielle Smith, who days earlier announced she'd be restricting media outlets to one question each, in order that she could get to more questions overall. Notley and some in the media argued that was designed to limit how far pesky reporters could probe. So far, Notley has the high ground. .But Notley's proclamation of openness with the media struck me as a bit odd. Back in March, the Notley NDP banned the Western Standard from receiving any of its news releases or media advisories. The idea was to make it more difficult for our reporters to do their jobs until we repented for some undisclosed articles they claimed were causing death threats to their MLAs. Of course, we made clear we'd never entertain allowing a political party to dictate our editorial policies. .And for the record, Jason Kenney's UCP also banned the Western Standard from receiving news releases for a long while. It had a similar impact on our editorial policies. .We discussed Notley's media openness proclamation at our morning news meeting, and agreed it was a bit incongruent with her policy of blacklisting the Western Standard because we are seemingly not nice enough to them. So we sent our opinion editor, Nigel Hannaford, to the NDP presser to see what's what. . Notley versus Western Standard .Before any of it got underway, the NDP had Keean Bexte of Counter Signal escorted out by police. No soup for you, Keean..Trying to contrast herself with the "no follow-up questions" premier, Notley made clear how eager she was for question time with the press. ."I wanna make it very clear that I'm happy to take any questions from the media, and any follow-up questions." She was clear to emphasize the word "any" twice in that sentence. .Our man Hannaford asked the would-be restored premier if in light of her commitment to openness and transparency with the media, if she would be lifting her party's ban on the Western Standard receiving news releases. .Notley said, no..She said the Western Standard has “been engaging in very active homophobic, discriminatory, hateful editorial positioning as it relates to some of our caucus members. And, until such time as that is retracted and an apology offered, we will not be answering questions.".She continues into some dubious legal territory. ."It is a breach of our Human Rights Code. A breach of our Charter.".The woman who served as an MLA for 15 years and as premier for four, doesn't seem to grasp that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to governments in Canada, not individuals or privately owned businesses. Otherwise, I and you, dear reader, would have to hold elections every five years. In other words, it's rubbish. .One moment, the NDP leader proclaims, "I'm happy to take any questions from the media, and any follow-up questions.".The next, "we will not be answering questions," unless the Western Standard is nicer to her and says sorry. .CTV's Jordan Kanygin seemed to recognize how bizarre Notley's "any questions/no questions" routine was, but also how dangerous it is for politicians to award themselves the power of determining who is media, and who is not. ."How appropriate do you think it is — whether it's the premier or yourself and your party — to choose which journalists can take questions?".Notley repeats her line that somehow the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to individuals and businesses, not just governments; and that the Western Standard are a bunch of bigots beneath talking to. .She says she will only make herself available to "mainstream, accredited journalists"..That last part is funny. The Western Standard is an accredited member of the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Parliamentary (Ottawa) press galleries. Most of our reporters, columnists and editors are recruited from the mainstream media. Our man, Nigel Hannaford himself was a member of the Calgary Herald's editorial board and career journalist. .Accredited:Check. .Mainstream: Check. .Just maybe not her flavour of mainstream. .In fact, Notley even took questions from LiveWire Calgary, a left-leaning independent digital media outlet, which is not an accredited member of the Alberta Legislative Press Gallery. That's just fine in my books. It just puts lie to her assertion she only answers questions from "mainstream, accredited journalists." .The NDP leader stepped in this one before, albeit in a different set of circumstances. In 2016, they banned Rebel Media from the Alberta Legislature. For all the controversy around The Rebel, other journalists rightly saw the move as dangerous. Notley punted the issue to Heather Boyd, a veteran journalist who had worked at both The Canadian Press and the Edmonton Journal. Her report addressed the evolving nature of media, in particular the new digital challengers. .“Media organizations and individuals should not be denied accreditation strictly on the basis of their point of view," wrote Boyd. "Whoever decides on issues of accreditation must also take the evolving realities of new media into account.” .Boyd concluded that politicians don't get to decide who's an official journalist, and who's not. She recommended that role be left to the Alberta Legislative Press Gallery; that is, a vote among the journalists already accredited. .It was an imperfect solution. Press galleries can be as susceptible to gate-keeping as any professional association, and indeed they are from time-time. But it's probably the least-worst of a lot of bad options. .But Notley's logic pretzel yesterday raises the very real question of will she return to the policy of her and her party banning journalists they take issue with from reporting at the legislature?.Her allies are beating their chests right now over Twitter labeling the CBC "government-funded media," but the real threat to freedom of the press is coming from the politicians who claim the power to decide who the media are.