Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ah, Rob Ford, Rob Ford, Rob Ford... Part 7

I need to address one more statement that my friend James made. He suggests that I, in particular, am attempting to smear Ford's reputation. Pray tell, why would I want to smear Ford's reputation???

I fully support Rob Ford's policies and proposals for rebuilding Toronto's infrastructure. I fully support his attempt to reign in spending and lower taxes. I have NEVER, EVER opposed his political position.

But it is very clear that he is a public embarrassment. He keeps shooting himself in the foot, and his supporters keep expecting Ford to be given a pass. Let's be perfectly clear: I do NOT believe in blind loyalty. For all the good that Ford does, he also needs to earn our respect. It is not enough that he is a good policy wonk.

A comparison with Stephen Harper is in order. Harper is also a good policy wonk, but he has never personally bothered me. So Harper does earn my respect. I can't really fault the man.

But it is, oh, so easy to fault Rob Ford.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ah, Rob Ford, Rob Ford, Rob Ford... Part 6

John Stackhouse, Editor-In-Chief of the Globe, is interviewed about the Ford family story. Honestly, he sounds MUCH more reasonable and convincing than does Doug Ford. And Stackhouse is not nearly as smooth and slick as Doug is. I have to believe Stackhouse.

It is unfortunate that the Globe's sources want to remain unnamed because of their fear of the Fords' powerful influence. But this is not new in journalism. Historically, people in power have always scared their enemies into silence, but that has not prevented journalists from reporting on important stories. News organizations have to rely on journalistic integrity to gain the trust of the public. I have no reason to doubt Stackhouse or the Globe and Mail.

Ah, Rob Ford, Rob Ford, Rob Ford... Part 5

I just watched Doug Ford's interview on CBC News. It is soooo exasperating! Doug is doing this elaborate song and dance (just as I expected) and basically evading all of Asha Tomlinson's questions. Watch for yourself and you be the judge.

He just won't give a straight answer. His responses are full of diversions and innuendoes and he goes off on wild tangents. In particular, he repeatedly says that journalism today has gone into the gutter. He accuses the Globe and Mail of fraudulent reporting. So I did a bit of investigating of my own...

There is no record of the Globe ever having been sued (successfully or unsuccessfully) for fraudulent reporting or violating journalistic integrity. Perhaps my Google search is faulty–it wouldn't be the first time. If any of you can show me that the Globe has, in fact, engaged in fraudulent reporting, please, please, inform me. I'd like to know whether Doug Ford is correct about the Globe or simply blowing hot air. Thanks.

Ah, Rob Ford, Rob Ford, Rob Ford... Part 4
This weekend,  The Globe and Mail is publishing an extensive examination of the Toronto Ford family’s decades-old connection to illicit drugs We are doing so with utmost caution, journalistic rigour and legal scrutiny – ultimately believing that Torontonians and, more broadly, Canadians need to understand the background of the most politically powerful family in the country’s biggest city. 
Mr. McArthur, one of the country’s most respected investigative reporters, began work on this project in late 2011, in an attempt to detail the history of the Fords. Although Rob Ford had been well-documented as a councillor and mayor, little existed on the public record about his older brother Doug, who has emerged as a force in the mayor’s office and across the city. 
We have approached Rob and Doug Ford several times to speak to the allegations. A senior Globe editor visited Doug Ford, privately, to explain the purpose of our research. Doug Ford rebuffed our entreaties, and aggressively threatened legal action. [My emphasis.]
Doug Ford's public response this afternoon to the Globe story is pathetic. Of course, a news organization should and must conduct investigative journalism:  that's their frickin' job! Why should it be hands off for the Ford family?? Especially in light of recent events, it behooves all of us to further understand the story behind the story, the background of this powerful family.

It is all the more timely given the insipid response of Rob Ford to the crack cocaine allegations. On the highly dubious advice of his legal counsel, and against the advice of his Chief of Staff, Rob Ford chose to remain oddly silent on the story, failing to get out in front of it and perform damage control. Then finally he did release a (carefully crafted) statement and it was reminiscent of Bill Clinton's song and dance with the public–a terrible PR failure. This just made everybody more curious. With this latest Globe story, we now have a better understanding of what's going on.

All the telltale signs are here. They may be "circumstantial" but they paint a fairly reliable picture of the truth. We don't really need the video anymore. The same can be said for Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky story 15 years ago. Did we not all "know" the truth back then even before Clinton finally 'fessed up? I sure did.

So how can there be any doubt about Rob Ford today? Unless you are blindly loyal to him. Unless you are partisan to the extreme. Unless you were also one of the fools who believed Bill Clinton in 1998. Unless you are terribly delusional. Unless you are really, really dense. This is soooo obvious, folks!! Really. I can't believe I even have to write all this. It's a sad commentary on Rob Ford supporters...

Ah, Rob Ford, Rob Ford, Rob Ford... Part 3

This is one of the FUNNIEST reader comments I have ever read:
He doesn't need to see the video to comment. He knows or has reason to suspect whether or not the video is authentic. If he is certain that he has never smoked crack with drug dealers, then he can categorically deny that it is him in the video without ever seeing the video. Saying the accusations are "ridiculous" is NOT denying the authenticity of the video. It IS ridiculous to think a that the mayor of our nation's largest city would be so stupid as to hangout with drug dealers and smoke crack. There are only a few reasons why his legal counsel would advise him to refrain from immediately denying and dispelling the accusations.
  1. He is not certain if the video is fake or not because he has smoked crack so many times and with so many different drug dealers that he can't be sure if one such occasion could have been caught on video.
  2. The video is authentic but he was working undercover with the TPS at the time trying to "smoke out" crime.
  3. He knows the video is fake because when he smokes crack he only ever uses a brillo pad.
  4. ... ?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ah, Rob Ford, Rob Ford, Rob Ford... Part 2

Rob Ford had better pray the video never gets out. I think this is what Ford and his idiot brother are hoping against hope for–that they can delay making a statement until they have absolutely no choice, until the video is released and forensically verified. Until then, Ford is counting on a miracle to pull his fat ass out of the fire that he himself created.

It's been 5 days since Gawker lost contact. Maybe the crack dealer was only temporarily detained. Ford is rolling around his bed in the middle of the night dreaming that the dealer has gone for good. If only. Please, God, make it happen. Please! I'll do anything. I'll be Grand Marshal in the next Gay Pride Parade. I'll stop eating burgers and fries and pizzas and guzzling beer. I'll stop grabbing women's asses. I won't read and drive anymore. Just do this one little solid for me, pleeeease...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ah, Rob Ford, Rob Ford, Rob Ford... Part 1

Rob Ford's behaviour is completely inexplicable, unless he has something to hide. Why is he not vigorously defending himself?? If there were no merit to the veracity of the video or the crack cocaine accusation, I'd be screaming my defence from the top of the highest mountain.

It seems to me that he has fired his Chief of Staff because he refuses to follow any of his advice. (Presumably, his Chief of Staff has given him some very sound advice.)

My gut tells me that Ford is guilty and he's hoping the whole thing will blow over if he simply shuts the fuck up. It ain't gonna work.

What astonishes me to no end is how stupid Ford is. He's the Mayor of Toronto under the constant scrutiny of the public and the press. And yet, he takes the risk of smoking crack! This goes beyond horribly bad judgment. This goes beyond monumental stupidity. It speaks to a highly defective personality and an EF5 level of arrogance and narcissism.

The situation is so bad that we haven't even heard from my friend James. I'm guessing that even James has given up recycling his usual defence (ie, the left-leaning press and city council are out to get him). This latest event is simply "a bridge too far", one too many in a long line of scandals and controversies that has plagued the Mayor's tenure. James has had enough. I don't blame him.

It baffles me that anyone would defend Ford in the first place. I knew he was a buffoon from the first moment I laid eyes on him...