On Rob Ford’s radio station (do we know why he even has one!) the two hosts spent quite a bit of time discussing why the Ontario Premier shouldn’t be worriedabout Toronto and why the Toronto media, specifically The Star, is out to get him.
Now, I have been following this story since it broke—The Toronto Star and the Gwaker both came out with stories alleging that there was a video in which Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoked crack. This is a serious accusation, and it was not addressed by the Mayor’s office until …. well never. When the video first came out, Rob Ford said the “Accusations were ridiculous,” and left it at that. It wasn’t until the video owners had fell off the grid, one week later, that he “does not smoke crack.”
Ever since the video “disappeared” (or city hall’s version, “never existed”), the Ford brothers and their subsequent followers have been attacking the media. They have called this story gutter journalism, and deemed it just another way the Toronto Star is trying to get him thrown out of office. He called the media “maggots” on his radio show and Doug Ford has made it clear that his brother is only answering the questions he wants to, and he will only talk to the media through prewritten statements on his own turf. Ford supporters (Yes, there are actually some) have been adament that the Toronto media is out to get the mayor due to some left wing conspiracy.
You can blame the media, but let’s look at the fact. Evidence has been given to the Toronto Star indicating that certain staffers asked about “hypothetically knowing where a video could be found,” and that Rob Ford had known the exact location of the building and the floor where the video was. Since this whole fiasco, Ford has fired his Chief of Staff and six consecutive people have left on their own accord. But of course, “everything if fine.”
Should the Toronto Star have bought the video? Yes, I think they should have, if anything to cover their own ass. But, their ass’ really don’t need that much saving. There have been no lawsuites, and the reporters continue to get information through inside sources about what really went on behind closed doors throughout this entire scandal. The reason why Rob Ford won’t sue them? Well, apparently these news outlets are multimillion dollar industries and it would be a David and Goliath struggle. I wonder if the Ford’s know how much we reporters actually get paid….
I think that all of this stalling—waiting until the video is gone to address the allegations, the negative comments towards the press, and the lack of legal action—proves that there is something going on. Whether there is a video or not, the Toronto Star caught on to something illegal, and City Hall wants to try and bury them without any more information coming out. Rob Ford is rebuilding his staff, hiring personal friends and, I can only assume, loyal members of the public.
I admire the Toronto Star for having the guts to go through with this story. I admire them for going on television and publicly explaining the process they went through to identify Rob Ford. And I admire them for standing up for their reporters when the government, and even some of the city, started to accuse them of unethical activity.
If I could offer one piece of advice to the Ford Brothers, this is what it would be: Get your heads out of the clouds boys. Bullying will not get you anywhere, if anything, it will encourage more people to prove you wrong. And trust me, we will.