Conrad Black Is Right About the Toronto Star

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posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 08:04 AM
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I'm really getting tired of writing about this subject but I consider it a duty, and so . . .

Conrad Black, who needs no introduction, has recently called the Toronto Star a "menace to democracy", in a very well written piece dealing with the fallout from his TV interview with Mayor Rob Ford. I agree with him. Black's comments can be read at

fullcomment.nationalpost.com...

The Star is a very large newspaper with a very large circulation in Toronto. It covers local issues like no other paper in the city. In the not too distant past it embraced a policy of the pursuit of "watchdog journalism".

I wholeheartely support this stance.

A few years ago, coverage of politics in its pages was insipid. This situation really started to bother me and I said, in more than one thread in these forums, that Canada needed to engage in a politics of issues rather than one of ideological bromides and blather about political personalities.

The Star has done a reasonably good job of going after issues related to corruption involving misuse of taxpayers money, golden handshakes, etc. The Star cannot, itself, start a police investigation of the 247 million dollars that vanished in the Harper government's wild spending spree at the time of the G8/G20 conference in Toronto a couple of years ago, but it did draw attention to the orgy of patronage spending that went on at that time, some 1.1 billion dollars to do a job done for 12 million dollars by the conference's previous host, Philadelphia. It did tell us that some contracts stipulated that the contracted companies could not be identified to the public.

That is outrageous stuff and I thank the Star for bringing it out. What the voters do about it is up to them.

I hope the Star continues to expose financial chicanery at all levels of government. Many a homeless person or wretched mental case huddling in the cold streets of Toronto this winter will owe their situation to the activities of a group of despicable individuals who regard tax money, at all levels of government, as their personal grab bag. Such people need to be dealt with.

One would think that the Star would regard the Mayor as an ally in the fight against wasting money at City Hall. But no, and the reasons for that are obscure to me.

The politically tendentious nature of reporting at the Toronto Star is epitomized for me by the contrast between the way they have handled the behavior of Rob Ford and the way they handled the behavior of former Attorney General of Ontario, Michael Bryant. See my thread Bizarre Dragging Death in Toronto for a detailed discussion.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

For those unfamiliar with the case, the former Attorney General of the province got into an altercation with a drunk, obnoxious, off duty bicyle courier, ran into him and his bicycle and then attempted to flee the scene with the bicycle courier holding onto the side of his car, trying to prevent the AG's flight. The courier was subsequently dragged to his death. There are numerous unanswered questions about what actually happened between the two men. The former Attorney General was not given a breathalyzer test. The bicycle courier was re-dragged to the death of his character by the Toronto Star and other media outlets.

Bryant subsequently wrote an account of what happend in a book titled, 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy and Hope. For me, his account is very problematic. I don't believe his account. Fortunately, if MacLeans Magazine is quoting him accurately in their extract from the book, it can be proven beyond doubt that Bryant was lying about at least one important detail of his account.

I discussed this in my Bizarre Dragging Death thread:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



"The 28 seconds began:

His front wheel was within a couple of feet of the Saab's front bumper. I knew he was too close for me to drive around him. In a millisecond, my eyes darted up to my rear-view mirror, then back to this man. I saw there were cars behind me, so I couldn't back up. I couldn't move forward. Trapped."

The CCTV (video) images not support Mr. Bryant's statement that he had no room to back up.

In fact, throughout the portion of the incident from the time Mr. Bryant first stalled his vehicle when cut off by Mr. Sheppard, until the point when his vehicle pushes Mr. Sheppard and his bicycle offscreen, there is no point at which there was less than half a car length of space behind Mr. Bryant's Saab.



That is plenty of room to back up. Here is the video.



In a real trial with a Crown Prosecutor free to do his duty to the public, testimony by Mr. Bryant that he had no space in which to back up his car, if contradicted by witnesses or CCTV tape, might lead to an additonal charge of perjury against him.


What happened on the night of August 31, 2009 and in the months that followed in this city represents a monumental failure of law enforcement, the justice system and the press in this city.

Now, I learn, from the Toronto Star, that the former Attorney General has been appointed to a new job, a new political plum job.

www.thestar.com...


Former attorney general Michael Bryant has landed a new job with the Ontario government, chairing a body that regulates the province’s public accounting profession.

This is noted in another "softball" style news article that describes Bryant's meeting with the bicycle courier that he killed, a meeting that spanned almost all of a long city block in which the courier was dragged shrieking all the way to his death as a "fatal collision" by the Star.

In my view the Star is overdue for a little self examination. I don't want them to put Bryant on the rack. I'm sure he is a fundamentally decent person who simply snapped with disastrous consequences. What's done is done.

I do think that the Star should rein in the agression against the Mayor. I agree with Conrad Black that the Star is way out of line in this Ford business. They have whipped up such a frenzy at City Hall that they have succeeded in getting the Mayor all but deposed over deeds that pale in comparison to those of the coddled former Attorney General.

Last word to Conrad Black:


The voters control this city, not the Toronto Star. And the attempt to end-run the electoral system is dishonest and a menace to democracy.
edit on 16-12-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 09:54 AM
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You bring up Conrad Black and I am sure you have heard the interview on as it happens ...www.cbc.ca...

No doubt that Rob Ford has been a stick in the spokes of reporters trying to figure out just what is happening ..I am thinking that there is much coming out on different sides that if paid close attention to we can make our own minds up . Harpers gang is not shy in throwing many of their own under the bus eventually but boy do they like to try and hang on ...The latest is Flaherty and Kennedy being at odds with Rob ...under the bus or no dont . Most of it is slowly oozing out and in small drips ...I think that there are lots of Canadians becoming politically aware ...Now weather that can be directed into votes remains to be seen ..There is a lot that are just giving up on the electoral process because of things like robo calls and the like ....Still interesting to watch and try and figure out .



posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by the2ofusr1
 

I think there is a deep story here that is not being told and that is the story of what political faction is using the Toronto Star as a stalking horse, or perhaps more correctly, a special forces unconventional political warfare unit, to go after Ford. Is it the provincial Liberals?

I think Ford is perceived as a genuine threat because he campaigned successfully on a platform opposed to the established consensus as to how tax dollars should be spent in Toronto. One of my friends always used to say, "Don't mess with my money!"

I think Ford has messed with somebody's access to our, the taxpayer's money and has run into heavy flack for it, but the details of who is organizing all of this are obscure.
edit on 16-12-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)
edit on 16-12-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 10:14 AM
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here in the states, it's obvious most of us do not keep up with Canadian politics, but it seems you are giving Ford a pass....from our side of the border, it appears that he has so many personal problems, that it would seem there should be someone more capable to take up the cause of reform, than an drug-addicted buffoon like Rob Ford.



posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 10:29 AM
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reply to post by ipsedixit
 


I am pretty sure you can nail down the most obvious reason for their different level of coverage and investigation in Regards to Bryant and Ford.

While I have a small amount of respect for the Star as a paper because they have done some really good things in the past, that respect has waned immeasurably in the last few years.

So much so that it has dropped out of my list of online newspapers I read regularly because of what I see as to much of a bias and blinders when it comes to the left in this country and in Ontario in particular.

It's sad, they tossed reporting aside for vendettas and political hackery, even going so far as to blame Ford for the former mayors spending commitments.
edit on 16-12-2013 by GAOTU789 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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jimmyx
here in the states, it's obvious most of us do not keep up with Canadian politics, but it seems you are giving Ford a pass....from our side of the border, it appears that he has so many personal problems, that it would seem there should be someone more capable to take up the cause of reform, than an drug-addicted buffoon like Rob Ford.


I hear you.

Your thoughts are echoed in Toronto by some, but the majority of Ford's opponents are people who were more or less satisfied with the way the city's spending has been prioritized.

I don't see anyone with Ford's toughness on the scene who can ride herd on spending at City Hall. I am willing to overlook his personal issues so that a conservative policy agenda at City Hall will be followed with regard to spending. I also agree with his thoughts on the best way to develop the transit system.

I think a city crisscrossed by surface streetcar lines is a utopian fantasy. Toronto is a major North American city. It should be about style and liveability, yes, but first and foremost comes commerce and industry. This place has to be able to do business efficiently at every level. Traffic has to move. Streetcars are a disaster for traffic flow. Streetcar loops in the downtown core, yes. Running them out to the edge of the city for commuters, NO.

Nobody else that I am aware of is articulating those ideas.



Edit: Apologies. During an edit I screwed up the "code" for the bolding, etc.

The last part of my initial post should read:

Now, I learn, from the Toronto Star, that the former Attorney General has been appointed to a new job, a new political plum job.

www.thestar.com...


Former attorney general Michael Bryant has landed a new job with the Ontario government, chairing a body that regulates the province’s public accounting profession.


This is noted in another "softball" style news article that describes Bryant's meeting with the bicycle courier that he killed, a meeting that spanned almost all of a long city block in which the courier was dragged shrieking all the way to his death as a "fatal collision" by the Star.

In my view the Star is overdue for a little self examination. I don't want them to put Bryant on the rack. I'm sure he is a fundamentally decent person who simply snapped with disastrous consequences. What's done is done.

I do think that the Star should rein in the agression against the Mayor. I agree with Conrad Black that the Star is way out of line in this Ford business. They have whipped up such a frenzy at City Hall that they have succeeded in getting the Mayor all but deposed over deeds that pale in comparison to those of the coddled former Attorney General.

Last word to Conrad Black:


The voters control this city, not the Toronto Star. And the attempt to end-run the electoral system is dishonest and a menace to democracy.


edit on 16-12-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2013 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by ipsedixit
 

Gee well it's not only the Ford nation that seems to be carrying the day in some respects .I think all political groups save the greens have a nice foot hold on the sharing of power and feeding from the trough .I see Liz just doubled her seats eh ..lol Harper was just way too ambitious in his declaration to destroy the Liberals .. I guess he didn't think that the youth may like a younger face and may be a bit more savvy than they are turning out to be . Never mind the senate scandal that the NDP will not let up on ...The cuts the Govt. are making are slowly trickling down while the corruption is rising . The open and transparent side that was once trumped is coming to light in small bits of MSM . I think that Canadians may be ready to actually elect that third party . But with new revelations getting to the public as quickly as it can now and our ability to share and discuss this stuff I think the old guard may be having to quiet it down a peg or two . Interesting times and we seem to be keeping our news sources on their toes ..



posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 07:07 AM
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Infantile games continue at Toronto City Council and at the Toronto Star (where spite lives, apparently.)

Toronto Star reporter says Ford apology unsatisfactory; proceeding with lawsuit

ca.news.yahoo.com...

I would strongly suggest to the Mayor that he apologize abjectly, on bended knee, for his egregious verbal atrocities, so that council can enjoy the Christmas break without suffering too terribly much by his relentless brutal assaults on all that council and the Toronto Star hold dear.

There is a fine example of the kind of apology required in this video. Just scroll ahead to the 3 minute mark and you'll get to the situation and the apology.:

edit on 18-12-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 08:09 AM
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From one extreme to the other, watching this following video made me wonder if the term "politically correct" actually derives from the period of the Cultural Revolution in China.

There are striking similarities between what has been done to Rob Ford because he smoked an illegal substance and acted like a lout and what happened in China to various dissenting groups and individuals who didn't fit the mold of the Maoists. Of course Ford's humiliations are piffling in comparison, but the "groupthink" that motivates his enemies is very similar.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear it suggested that Ford be outfitted with a slogan emblazoned dunce cap and publicly humiliated in Nathan Phillips Square, before his tormentors were finally satisfied.



Another thing that occurred to me is that the wording of Ford's apology, objected to by the Star reporter who feels he was libeled, is probably a product of careful scrutiny by the Mayor's legal advisors. If the Mayor apologized, he could still be sued, so the wording of the apology could have legal consequences.

One suggestion, to the Star reporter, if he is truly sincere about wanting to bring an end to the matter without dragging it out, would be for him to write the apology, in words that are satisfactory to him. This apology, written by the reporter, could then be vetted by Ford's lawyers for legal pitfalls and revised, if necessary, and sent back to the reporter for approval before being delivered publicly by the Mayor.

Perhaps the United Nations could delegate a diplomatic emissary to facilitate the proceedings.

That's where we are folks.
edit on 18-12-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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What else can Ford do?

He apologized and the reporter for the Star, Daniel Dale, has said he is going to sue anyway.

In order for this to stop, Dale himself has to write the apology!

Jonathan Swift, the famous 18th century English satirist, author of Gulliver's Travels, couldn't think of this stuff.

Confronted by an unprecedented flood of idiocy emanating from the Mayor, the Star and some members of City Council have decided to fight fire with fire.
edit on 18-12-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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Update:

Ford has re-apologized, with more rigor.

Daniel Dale has accepted his apology.

Finis. (Curtain)

Huzzah!!





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