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Rob Ford Aside, Do We Have A Press Problem in Toronto?

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posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 06:00 PM
I think a Ford supporter in Toronto, looking at the media coverage of the underbelly of the Mayor's life over the last few weeks, might well be in danger of being taken in by an admittedly repulsive superficial appearance of chaos, and ugly personal excess.

The press in Toronto has gone to war on Rob Ford the man.

There have been some few attacks on his political record, but the story has mainly been that the Mayor is a liar (disputed by Ford) and is a reprobate writ large. According to the press, Rob Ford is an international embarassment to the city. He is certainly being covered by the world's press. Le Monde and other foreign papers are covering his story. He has been the butt of talkshow jokes in the US and has been interviewed on daytime TV down south.

He seems to be regarded with amusement by and large. The smug little ideosyncratic notion that Torontonians have, of Toronto being "New York run by the Swiss", now looks like Swiss cheese. How about "Philadelphia run by Chris Farley"?

The Americans are finally having a little fun with Toronto and one can hardly begrudge them the pleasure. After all the shoe has been on the other foot for a very long time.

To me a lot of this smacks of the brouhaha that erupted with press coverage of the Beatles when John Lennon said that they were more popular than Jesus Christ. Records were smashed, radio stations wouldn't play their music, they were upbraided in the press and forced to issue explanations and an apology. "Oh the humanity."

If Toronto is an international embarassment, I think the local press bears a share of the responsibility for that.

Ford seems to be holding together in much the same way that a goaded bull in a bullring holds together, at least until the coup de grace. It may be gleeful fun for some but it's not a pretty sight for me to watch a man I voted for coming apart psychologically under a relentless press drubbing.

The man smoked an illegal drug. He didn't engineer it that the city's restaurants spent large amounts of money to create smoking rooms and then turn around and ban smoking altogether in all restaurants.

Which is the more serious infraction?

At the time of the G8/G20 conference a few years ago, the Toronto Star reported a lot of oddities in contracts for which 1.1 billion dollars were spent on security and some cosmetic improvements to locations connected to the conference. Some contracts stipulated that the names of the companies or individuals contracted not be revealed. In addition, some 247 million dollars could not even be accounted for in any way whatsoever!

Does anybody remember the relentless press gauntlet being run by any politician over that? I don't. There was no press gauntlet.

I wonder if what the press is inflicting on Ford is the psychological equivalent of what happened to Darcy Allen Sheppard physically, when the bicycle courier was dragged to his death on Bloor Street by the former Attorney General of Ontario?

In my thread, Bizarre Dragging Death in Toronto, I argued that there should have been a trial in that case. It appeared to me that "the fix" was in to get the former Attorney General released without charges after what was surely the wildest series of "failures to remain" in Toronto's history.

The role of the press in that case was to support the driver of the fatal vehicle and to relentlessly assassinate the character of his victim.

We were assured by the press at the time that the former Attorney General had undergone six hours of questioning at the police station after the dust had settled, but he emerged from that session with a fresh change of clothing.

The press in the Ford case has had a lot of access to police documentation of the wayward meanderings of our juvenile Mayor. They have had ammunition galore with which to assassinate his character as they had in assassinating the character of Darcy Allen Sheppard.

However they did not look much into the character of the former Attorney General or spend much time probing the conduct of the police in the case. Did they demand to see transcripts of those six hours of questioning that they assured Torontonians had taken place after the former Attorney General was taken into custody? I never saw any reportage of that interrogation.

I don't know if it took place. I don't know if a breathalyzer test was administered to the former Attorney General or if any other tests for drugs were administered.

Not knowing anything about what happened and not being too clear on the law in these situations, I find myself wondering if there are different degrees of law enforcement and of press coverage of it for different people who might well have been using the same drug when they got into trouble, but who come from different sides of the tracks or different ends of the political spectrum.

When a fatality is involved in one case and a silly ass, low life social occasion is involved in the other, the contrast becomes even more shocking.

edit on 19-11-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 06:14 PM
Ford only hands out favours to his party and tight knit cronies, which everyone else hates. He runs on the "I won't spent your money platform" and for the most part, he hasn't blown up crazy budgets. He is in fact, not bad at his job.

He certainly hasn't made friends doing this though, as normal handouts to various interests are lacking, which put a ton of crosshairs as soon as the rest of the councillors had ammunition.

He is definitely Chris Farley as Mayor. I find him hilarious. While there are some pretty dark undertones to his debacles, from his own mouth, 'Everyone in this room has dirt on them, but I wasn't raised a rat.'

That was in City Hall when he made the declaration. (paraphrased but the end part is pretty close).

"I think we all know stories about each other here, but I wasn't raised that way -- I'm not a rat," says Mayor Ford.

The room filled with boos and probably a few people pissing themselves wondering if their secrets were gonna slip. If anything, this just goes to show how the whole lot of them ought to be smeared in pig dung. Ford came out honest (granted it took awhile) and blabbered a very childish apology, but none the less, he's out in the open now. He still wants to do his job, and I can respect that.

The fact that none of this came to light earlier just shows how bad it must be in there. If they were all truly morally superior good samaritans they claim to be, they would have made an issue about this a long time ago. (Because a few of ex-staffers and opposition are coming out and saying it was common knowledge, and also throwing down more accusations)

To me, that just says they are worse than him, hypocrites. They waited for an opportunity to run him through the muck, while trying to make themselves look good. And probably have an equal amount of skeletons.

I'd rather hear what he's not saying about his cohorts, than listen to the media embarrass themselves, embarrassing the city.
edit on 19-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 06:33 PM

The fact that none of this came to light earlier just shows how bad it must be in there. If they were all truly morally superior good samaritans they claim to be, they would have made an issue about this a long time ago. (Because a few of ex-staffers and opposition are coming out and saying it was common knowledge, and also throwing down more accusations)

I don't remember any reportage at all of Ford's personal shenanigans while he was an ordinary city councillor. They must have been common knowledge in the press.

Coincidentally, Lawrence Martin a reporter for the Globe and Mail, has a column in today's Globe, on the opinion page (Friday, November 19, 2013, P. A13) where he laments the fact that the country's Auditor-General has said in a recent report that there is 3.1 billion dollars of government money unaccounted for AND NOBODY SEEMS TO BE INTERESTED.

The Toronto press might well quote Robin Quivers' opinion of a "push up contest" that was broadcast on the Howard Stern show that took precedence over the firing of Norm MacDonald from Saturday Night Live, "We have our priorities," she said, ironically.
edit on 19-11-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 06:44 PM
I think it must be bigger than what it appears.

If people are talking about it across the ocean, than clearly something is amiss.
Because it actually isn't that important or really a big deal.

So why is it such a huge international debacle?
We have all of these problems to worry about but this is what the media wants to spend time on ?

Just looks like a script to me. It seems unrealistic.

Especially when all of these "differing" news agencies have the same "phraseology" day in and day out. They all seem to report the same stories, ask the same exact ambiguous questions, and portray things highly similarly. Therefore they are all the same entity essentially.

I don't trust any of it at all.

Something about all of this smells extremely fishy, and it isn't the drug smoking mayor.

posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 06:57 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

The Star was trying to derail him even before he was elected. Somebody had a very strong interest in keeping that guy out of office. Now it looks like they are very determined to cut him off at the knees while he is in office and to prevent him from being re-elected.

He is such a bonehead though, about some things. He sees himself in the role of President Bush responding to the attack on Kuwait, but in reality he is the Saddam figure, sticking up for the rights (anti slant drilling) of his own bailiwick and aggravating some power players behind the scenes. That's my suspicion anyway.

posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 07:57 PM
Well of course you have a press problem in Toronto. Since you asked, the canadian press is outrageously biased in it's First Nations reporting, what's chosen as news in the online Star is a joke, PLUS RF was a buffoon way before his latest implosion. His hijacking of a public bus to haul his kids sports team home was over the top. I'm betting the people that evening waiting to get home from work were very understanding tho….?

Fiscally he may be alright, but even you have to admit, his private shenanigans have bled over into his job. Dunno if it's ok for you to be drunk at work, but for the rest of us it's a immediate termination. Should be for him as well. Anyone else would have been fined as well for public intoxication.

That said, his actions shouldn't reflect on the city of Toronto. That part of the press reporting is just nasty.

posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 09:29 PM
reply to post by ipsedixit

The national press was navel-gazing long before the current brouhaha. People do live in other parts of the country and want to hear about other stuff, but the good press of T-O don't know or care. Centralized news focused on Toronto is getting ridiculous.

It began as apparent and incessant character assassination from my vantage point, and brought to a head deliberately by the chief of police. One has to ask why and whether this was a ploy by the cops to send him over the top in connection to their investigations? Or was it dictated by the powers behind the scenes?

The press has focused 'ad nauseum' on Ford and just like the American MSM, it makes us all wonder what else is happening that we will not hear about, such as the recent pipeline rupture and serious contamination of Assiniboia's water and soil, forcing natives to relocate. Or by focusing on Ford, the conservatives are grateful to have their senate scandals take second place to that one and maybe fade into oblivion as their polls were not good. Lots of people have a stake in this. Salaciousness is not a value of mine nor of the people I know.

None of my friends and family have discussed "the Toronto problem" except in the context that they always seem to back a losing team, lol.
Hey, maybe that's at the root of the press's problem?

posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 06:48 AM
I think quite a few people have seen the Chris Farley/Rob Ford connection.

posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 07:19 AM
I was born in Toronto, and I really resent how the American media is treating Rob Ford. Especially when they have had their share of womanizing boozing politicians...and some of them have been idolised.

They are bullying this man...calling him fat. Churchill was a fat boozer, but also a great leader.

Ford has admitted to using many political figures use and never admit? How many people have 'tried' drugs in their past, when they were younger...and are now fine upstanding citizens? How many public figures are celebrated for being 'partiers'?

The idea that 'leaders' must be perfect is ridiculous...they are people with jobs, lives, families...and problems. No one is perfect, and I'm sure he has a lot of dirt on his cohorts that he has chosen not to share. The hypocrisy must be infuriating.

Many Toronto people feel he is doing a good job, however others seem to be out to get him. Why? Is he not 'playing the game' properly? What is the real story here, because I believe there is more to it.

The public bashing of a person's character is like a sport now. Not cool.

posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 01:02 PM
reply to post by ipsedixit

I've been thinking about this some more, believe it or not. Besides the points you make in your OP, I distinctly remember yelling back at a CBC reporter on television when in scrum outside parliament with Chretien. The reporter asked where the money would come from and he fluffed it off in his usual joking way. I yelled back that this should be a call for a real follow-up and if not they would be mired in scandal. Well they did not ask any more questions about it until the HRDC scandal broke.

Now I realize it's the job of the opposition to represent us and try to keep the government accountable, but I also think that the press has a job to keep us informed of things rather than try to shape our thinking to that of a back alley mentality.

I have to go back to Chief Blair's conference and wonder why he so blatantly contravened protocol by making a personal remark and why this was never discussed or analyzed that I know of, other than by the Fords, and of course since it was coming from them I never heard any more about it.

By keeping us focused on minutiae of a scandal, the media is not reporting on things we citizens should be able to have input on such as the transportation of dangerous goods, or the oft reckless development and selling of our resources.

Impact of government decisions is way under reported, and my family has the deep scars to prove it.

posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 04:16 PM
reply to post by aboutface

I personally know a really nice group of people who completely lost their jobs as a result of tinkering that went on during the time Mayor Miller was in office. City Hall decided to destabilize a situation that had been marginal but stable for decades and people were thrown out of work as a result.

A lot of people in government are tinkerers. Government assets and government budgets are often, not always, but often treated like things to play around with. The results can be devastating.

posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 06:46 PM
reply to post by jacygirl

It's part of the culture these days. The media enjoys and gets off on ripping apart the character of the individual. It gives their station, their show higher ratings. Higher ratings brings in more money at the expense of destroying someone elses character. It's kind of a sadist mentallity within the media.

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