Rob Ford's very bad day - Macleans.ca
 

Rob Ford’s very bad day

The Mayor of Toronto, baby-snatching eagles and a story in play


 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is not known to be a fan of the gays. Yet beneath a flapping rainbow flag — raised to mark the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia at Toronto City Hall –he looked at peace on Friday. He was safe, at least for a while, from the media and the question of the day: “Mayor Ford, do you smoke crack?”

I was twice in the Ford scrums on Friday. At one point, he emerged from an elevator, red faced and mumbling something to the effect of “it’s ridiculous.” He appeared again after the gay-rights flag ceremony where I’m not sure he said anything at all.

The only indication we have so far that Rob Ford is a crack user, is this and this. There’s also this photo of the mayor standing visibly blitzed  (in my opinion) between two men, one of whom appears to be the late Anthony Smith, a 21-year-old Torontonian who was killed in a gangland shooting.

Ford survived the conflict of interest suit, the boardwalk pub libel suit, accusations of the racism, the misplaced magnets and so much more, but he may not survive this.

If the video surfaces on the Internet, which I suspect it will, and the allegations are confirmed —remember the golden-eagle-snatching-a-baby video? — he may not only lose his job, he’ll have lost his last redeeming quality. Irrespective of  his boorishness, Ford has survived on his image as a folksy inner-city high school football coach full of tough love and high hopes for the downtrodden.

The narrative was the only thing his detractors could stand — it’s what made him most loveable to his boosters.

If the allegations are confirmed, a man who claimed to be a hero in a drug-ridden neighbourhood will turn out to be the villain. He’ll go from being a flawed human being— bad mayor, but an okay guy — to much darker and despicable.

Until it plays out, Ford will persevere — indifferent to everyone and everything, especially his past. Remember his short-lived Cut the Waist, weight-loss challenge? That famous scale  is still on display, unused  and in full view — a public relic of his personal failure.

On Friday at city hall, an anti-homophobia flag-raising seemed like the highlight of Rob Ford’s day — that alone speaks volumes.


 

Rob Ford’s very bad day

  1. How about we see the video first.

    • funds are being raised to buy the publishing rights as we speak. Over $53,000 so far and rising by the minute. Sounds like you are interested in seeing it yourself; why not throw in a few bucks as well? If you really cared about Rob Ford, you would. Do the right thing, Chuckie.

  2. Am I the only one who finds it remarkably unusual for the media to seek charity from the public to support such a major story…charity to give to Somali drug dealers no less.

    • It is unusual, and it’s Gawker that’s doing it. The Star didn’t want to pay for it for that very reason, and were in the process of trying to convince them to do the right thing release it for free when Gawker broke the story and their hand was forced.

      • If it were undeniably damning there’s no way the Star would have walked away. This is the paper that is so desperate to oust Ford as to make scandal of fridge magnets and fried chicken. Another accusation without proof is what this is, same as that Thomson crap.

        • If it were undeniably damning there’s no way the Star would have walked away.

          ***

          Please please please state more things which you could not possibly know for certain and are very unlikely.

          • Like…”I saw Rob Ford smoking crack on a Somali drug dealer’s iPhone”…that sort of thing?

        • Heh.

          Oh look! The media is going to give money to drug dealers!
          What’s that you say? OK then,
          Oh look! The media is not going to give money to drug dealers!

          • The media isn’t going to give money to the drug dealers. they’re going to con the public into doing it for them and reap for themselves the benefits if it is real or deny that it was what they saw if it isn’t. The makings of a magnificent lie thus far.

          • Update:

            Oh look! The media is going to give money to drug dealers!
            What’s that you say? OK then,
            Oh look! The media is not going to give money to drug dealers!

            No? Well…

            Oh look! The media is going to make the public give money to drug dealers!

            And

            If the story is true the media is bad cuz …uh something something.

            Whatever. Just start not reporting stuff we don’t want to hear, OK media?

          • Just start reporting something that can actually be verified or don’t bother at all because then it’s hearsay and nothing else. Hardly professional or ethical.

          • So you’re saying the media shouldn’t have run anything on adscam until it was actually verified?

            Stop being a moron. The media’s purpose is not to verify beyond doubt, that area belongs to the courts. The media’s purpose is to report. To take rumors and information that is of the public interest, verify it as far as they can, and then report accurately on what they know.

            And that’s exactly what they’ve done here. They’ve told us what the story is, and what the evidence is that they’ve seen. They’ve expressly noted the doubts and difficulties that evidence has. They’ve actually allowed the public to make up its own mind on the issue.

            If you want to be a mushroom, that’s your choice. Stop trying to force it on the rest of us.

          • Adscam reporting was supported by obtained documentation.

            17th century Salem allowed the public to make up its mind as well.

          • Are you saying that it can’t be verified that 3 reporters are reporting to have watched a video in which Rob Ford smokes a crack pipe?

          • Could be someone who simply resembles him. Could be staged. Could not exist at all. Could be absolutely real.

            If there’s no doubt the authenticity but there’s an ethical issue with paying for it then they should not be carrying the story like it’s unquestionably true that it was him smoking crack without the proof. And it’s no less unethical to encourage the public to cough up the money to give to the same people. The media paying for it is the lesser evil but their reluctance to do so suggests uncertainty.

            And why isn’t the money flowing like water from the well-to-do Ford Haters out there…Ruby and the like…hell, he must have made six figures a few times over trying to oust him over $3,000 in charitable donations.

          • This ‘staged’ thing is ridiculous, Not only would Fake Rob Ford have to be rehearsed and directed against a green screen, those images would have to be rotoscoped into a precisely formatted, pre-shot, background, colour corrected, light-matched then rendered.

            Which is exactly the expertise of crack dealers and their known associates.

          • I actually find that situation to be far more likely than a criminal drug organization taking video evidence of their crimes, and then actually contacting the media and informing the media about a large criminal conspiracy that they’re involved in, leading, and profiting from.

            I mean, from what I understand about being a successful criminal, ensuring that the entire continent is talking about your criminal activity is not really a good way to stay out of jail.

            I mean, I suppose it’s possible that the dumbest drug dealers on the planet have somehow managed to corner the high-end drug market in the continent’s 4th largest market, while recording evidence of high ranking public officials. I suppose these same people could be retarded enough to think that they’ll somehow not get killed by their “business partners” who find out they’ve been secretly recording conversations. They theoretically could even be stupid enough to think that they’ll somehow avoid spending a lot of time in jail (if they’re lucky enough to not get killed first).

            Possible. But not likely.

          • “…ensuring that the entire continent is talking about your criminal activity”

            Really good point, NotRick.

            Um, remind me what their names are again?

          • I don’t know their names, the only people who currently know their names are 2 reporters at the Star and an American gossip girl website. But if they release the video (I’m confident they won’t, because it doesn’t actually exist), they’ll be clearly identified on the video. Do you understand how that works?

            They can’t edit themselves out of the video, because if they did, then the video’s been doctored and there’s no way to prove it’s authenticity.

          • Anyone capable of independent thought would question all possibilities. Why rehearsed and directed against a green screen? They say he’s the only one in the frame so it could be shot anywhere, without any effects.

            I think crack dealers are perfectly capable of pulling a con much more than that they are doing this out of some sense of civic duty.

          • “… then they should not be carrying the story like it’s unquestionably true”

            So you agree with the way the story was carried by the Star. Glad we cleared that up.

            “And it’s no less unethical to encourage the public to cough up the money to give to the same people.”

            So you agree with the Star in neither paying for the video nor asking the public to do so.

            Now, if you’d just read the story yourself in the first place you would have saved us all that trouble.

          • I’ve read numerous stories…practically all from the Star, treating it like it is a done deal…without proof…and in doing so, encouraging (the word I used, not asking)their readership to donate money…Is that really so hard for you to see?

          • Against_the_grain, you truly live up to your name when you talk about “hearsay.” It doesn’t mean what you think it means. Two reporters talking about what they themselves saw is not hearsay. Hearsay is if they report about what someone else saw. In this case they were eyewitnesses.

          • Some 1,300 Canadians reported seeing UFOs last year…shall I naturally believe without question that we’re being visited by aliens?

            It’s hearsay to me because they’re only telling me that they saw a video and they think the person in it might be Ford. This doesn’t prove that the person in the video is, in fact, Ford, nor does the fact that they are reporters make it any more certain. They’ve been known to get things wrong too.

          • “This doesn’t prove that the person in the video is, in fact, Ford”

            Nor are they reporting to have “proven” anything. Stop with the strawmen.

          • Well, if they can’t prove anything (and I never said that they were reporting such) then maybe they should cool the presses until which time there is something that Ford has to answer for.

          • If you don’t think that three reporters from two different organizations testifying to having seen a high definition video shot in daylight, clearly showing someone they believe to be Rob Ford sucking on a crack pipe is something to answer for, that’ your perogative, I suppose.
            Rob Ford apparently sees if differently. Though his response of “ridiculous” stops well short of denial.

          • Why only two organizations? Why nothing from CBC, CTV, The Globe and Mail, CNN? If any of these organizations were contacted would they not respond in order to view the video as well?

            As for denial, maybe it just falls along the lines of dignifying something with a response. Sorry, it just seems to me that this is too major a story to turn over to the public to procure the evidence.

          • “Sorry, it just seems to me that this is too major a story to turn over to the public to procure the evidence.”

            Heh!

            No story here. Nope. Nothing.

            I mean…

            MAJOR story! Big!

          • Comprehension ain’t your strong suit is it?

          • “I think crack dealers are perfectly capable of pulling a con much more than that they are doing this out of some sense of civic duty.”

            Right, cuz if you ignore that fact that they’re asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can pretend that we’re being asked to believe they’re doing it “out of some sense of civic duty.”

            “I’ve read numerous stories…practically all from the Star…”

            Links please.

          • From the original story in the Gawker

            “The tipster wants this video out. Rob Ford needs to be held to account. The owner just wants money—preferably enough to get out of town after this blows up, since he doesn’t think it will be safe for him.”

            From the Star

            “Asked why they were selling the video, the man said the two who claimed ownership of the video wanted to make a change in their lives and use the money to move out west to Calgary.”

            The tipster wants to hold the mayor to account and the drug dealers want to go straight…sounds like civic duty to me.

          • Heh.

            They want money to move out west, that’s why they’re selling the video. In what kind of febrile mind is asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve your own life some sort of altruistic act?

            So no links to the numerous Star stories reporting Ford’s smoking crack as a “fact” or encouraging the public to donate money to pay for the video. That’s what I thought.

          • I said they’re carrying it like it’s a done deal and you put the word “fact” in quotation marks. You’re the Star’s kind of people alright.

            Altruism and civic duty are two different things. I have a civic duty to be a law abiding citizen and earn an honest living. That does not mean that I work a legitimate job for nothing or the bare minimum. Saying that they want to change their life can generally be taken to mean going straight in most circles.

          • Right. Because you meant something other than “fact” when you wrote, “it’s a done deal”. Do tell.

            You tried to claim we were supposed to believe the video makers are acting out of a sense of civic duty when clearly the video makers are trying to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can twist yourself into pretzels trying to turn their demand for hundreds of thousands of dollars into some unbelievable act of “civic duty” but it still won’t make it any harder to believe that drug dealers may be motivated by the prospect of making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

          • “LIKE it’s a done deal” as in “spending money LIKE I’m a millionaire or something”

            I never claimed anyone was supposed to believe anything. That’s you putting words in my mouth again.

          • Again, Against_the_grain, you can’t just suddenly decide to change the meaning of a word because you’d like it to apply to two people who say something you don’t want to believe.

            The two reporters cannot be accused of hearsay because they saw the video themselves. I am not even commenting on whether the video shows what they say it shows. How am I supposed to know? All I’m saying is that they are reporting something they themselves saw. So, therefore, they cannot be accused of hearsay.

            Now, if you go and tell someone that these two reporters saw such and such, yes, that’s hearsay.

          • The subsequent branding of this as yet another scandal based, thus far, solely upon what three people claim to have seen is acting out of hearsay, which, according to my dictionary, is defined as “information received from other people that cannot be adequately substantiated”…if you insist on flogging the minutiae.

          • Allrighty then:

            Right. Because you meant something other than “like its a fact” when you wrote, “like it’s a done deal”. Do tell.

          • When someone describes an accident scene as “like a war zone” are they saying it’s actually a war zone? Jeez man, you’re as thick as a BC pine.

          • Soo… what did you mean by “like it’s a done deal” then? Since that seems to be the point you’re arguing against

          • Well, to start with, I’m not arguing it…numb nuts is…but here we go;

            Like…as though…as if…similar to…somewhat resembling…in the same manner…

            Holy crap, I’m trying to reason with people who can’t understand basic English.

            Futile…incapable of producing any significant result.

          • So explain the difference between “a done deal” and “like a done deal” in this specific case.

          • Saying that something is like something else rather than actually being the something else is the same difference in any case.

            So far the only one that I’m thoroughly convinced is on the pipe is you.

          • Ok so the “like” in, “they’re carrying it like it’s a done deal” has some significant meaning that changes “done deal” to mean something else that you just can’t explain.

            I’m curious how you’d form that sentence if you didn’t want to modify the meaning of “done deal”. “They’re carrying it a done deal”? Seems to be grammatically problematic.

          • I reckon the A.D.D. must at least make it easier to live in such a tiny closed mind.

  3. Column inches are so cheap on the the Internet. Witness this nothing of an article.

  4. Hehe, the Toronto Star is now literally getting scooped by gossip websites, and producing much worse material on it. The Toronto Star should just burn to the ground already.