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