The Fords and the Toronto Media: Story Out of Control

Created by Small Print.

Created by Small Print.

I’m not overly concerned that Doug Ford (allegedly) sold hash when he was a kid. Growing up in Markham, the scene was pretty much identical to the Ford’s Etobicoke. I’d be hard pressed to state that I didn’t know my fair share of Doug Ford types. Or visited where they lived. If I ever run for office, there is much from my youth that I think I will have to answer to.

Really, I’m all for cutting the Ford’s some slack in the boozing and doping department. What they choose to do when not at work is up to them.

There’s no place for the state in the bongs of the nation.

But here’s the dealio, kids: If, as an elected official, you have transgressed, then fess up. Don’t make things worse by trying to bury it. And definitely don’t take an absolute “tough on drugs/tough on crime” stance if you used to carry your hash by the brick, get caught with a joint in your pocket by Florida State troopers, or like to share a pipe or two of foo foo dust with your gangsta homies.

(I know, I know… allegedly).

What bothers me about the Fords — in particular, Rob — is the fact that they have an astonishing track record for lying.

Rob Ford is a guy who has lied about drinking and driving, lied about past drug use, lied about drunken belligerency and threats of violence, lied about just plain ol’ threats of violence, lied about domestic disputes, lied about how he spends his work time and the taxpayers’ dollars, lied about lying, and probably lied about things we still haven’t bothered to follow up on.

Now, that should be seen as problematic. It means that Toronto can no longer trust their mayor to tell the truth. Period. Actually, they probably shouldn’t have trusted him with truth before he was even elected.

It’s a story that needs to be covered.

That said, I can’t help but think that the Toronto-based media — in particular the Star, but also other local and national outlets — are showing some pretty lousy journalism. And appear to be acting on vendettas.

Coverage is non-stop and, often, gleeful.

Over the top. Frequently unsubstantiated.

And it concerns me.

At some point public opinion is going to turn. You can only publicly chase, hack, bash, and accuse a family for so long before: a) people tire of it, and b) you lose credibility.

And we’re almost there on both counts.

I’ve heard more and more people saying “enough is enough.”

The last thing that Toronto needs is Rob Ford the folk hero.

Tell the story. Don’t sell it.

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