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Mayor Ford Not The Only One Needing To Say Sorry

Mayor Ford not only one that needs to publicly apologise for bad judgement.

Mayor Ford not only one that needs to publicly apologise for bad judgement.

God bless the Rob Fords of the world lol, they kind of make you feel like politicians are really humans after all and not the pretentious, pompous, pious idiots they often portray themselves to be.  I have lived long enough to tell a witch hunt from honest reporting and I am still not impressed with Gawker, the Star, or the Globe’s style of just trust me  reporting.

When the chain-smoking, drunk driving, one time premier of Quebec was reported to have left the scene of an accident to avoid his drunkenness being detected by the Montreal police I watched fascinated as the story was dropped by the press and ignored by voters, and the legal authorities  ignored this premiers illegal activities refusing to press charges like it was all some big misunderstanding.  The whole affair was dropped as if it had never happened. No one lost their jobs, a single penny of pay; in fact no one was sanctioned at all.

My main beef with the kind of journalism the Globe, Gawker and the Star exhibited here is that they had no proof of their story that they could show their readers; not one witness that would have come forward  and they did not have the tape and asked the public to trust them.  I found it harder and harder to trust them as they continued to tell the lie that they did not have anything against Mayor Ford, they were not singling him out and they thought that everything that they had done to him in terms of reporting was news worthy and not sensationalized gossip / tabloid like reporting.  I find it hard to trust someone when they start off with a lie and then say trust me.

I think that Mayor Rob Ford acted like an irresponsible ass and I have no love for him and wish he would resign and get some professional help, but what was the problem with the reporters and editors of these papers, were they on crack cocaine as well?  I laughed until my sides ached as editor after editor went on television flanked by their reporters trying to explain how reporting on the  Mayor’s going to Kentucky Fried Chicken was news worthy and they were not trying to embarrass the mayor, but rather thought that Canadians and more importantly Torontonians really needed to have that vital news about their mayor.

I listened with shock and concern as they widened the story to attack the mayor’s family next in print with only the word and credibility of crack cocaine takers and dealers and of these not one of these suspect witnesses would go on the record.  What made it worse for me is when they asked the police about the criminal history of the Fords selling hash, crack or using any drug hash, crack for example and they were told point-blank that their was no evidence of the Ford brothers ever being arrested for anything along those lines, but this did not stop the 3 amigos from printing their at this point improvable story.  The press decided that if they could not get the elected officials then they would go after their sister. They found out that the sister of the Ford brothers had drug related problems in her past and decided to exploit them, not caring what affect their story could have on her rehabilitation, or the rest of her life. The press decided that her privacy was not important and so made her private life fodder for public consumption. Why did the press think that it was news worthy and good reporting to run such a story? Why did the press think that it was ethical to report on this non public figure’s private and very personal life as well as problems, for no other reason than to try to attack her brothers with? I think they were wrong and I think if they are allowed to get away with this type of reporting then anyone of us could be their next target.

It matters little to me in this post that the mayor has finally admitted that he in fact did smoke crack cocaine and whether he is forced out of office because of it matters to me even less, my problem right now at this very moment is where the freedom of the press is headed in this country when reporters violate the fundamentals of good journalism and start reporting and printing stories that they are incapable of proving and have to say trust me, you know we wouldn’t lie.  It is unimportant to me that they saw the video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine, in my opinion no video we wait on the story, unless there is other evidence that can be used to back it up other than a reporter working for a news paper that obviously had bad blood with the mayor.

This is the perfect example of why law makers do not like the notion of freedom of the press.  When the press behaves in such a cavalier way with the trust that it has been given and chooses not to follow its oath not to abuse the privilege it has been given to report only that which it can prove by two independent witnesses, or with authenticated hard evidence, I think we all have something real to fear far more important than if the mayor of Toronto smoked crack cocaine.  This story had nothing to do with bringing important news to the people of Toronto and everything to do with getting at a mayor whom the press did not like.  What has changed for the people of Toronto?  Is mayor Ford gone, driven out of office by the story that just had to be told, whether or not it could be proven?  I would warn Canadians to keep your blinds at your home closed at all times, where a mask when you are entering or exiting a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, refrain from telling anyone that you are going to lose weight and always keep the scale hidden, or you could be the next Gawker, Globe and Star breaking news story that the 3 amigos think the world needs to know about.

In closing I would say this, “Mayor Rob Ford, finally said sorry to the people of Toronto.  There  will always be debate about the sincerity of the apology and there will always be those who believe that the apology did not go far enough and feel that he should have to go into every dirty detail of what he is sorry for, but I am not one of those people.  I think that the mayor should step down, but if there is no way to force that to happen other than rehashing the same tired old story in the news, than let us move on and vote him out at the next election; that is the legal, democratic and only solution left on the table.  I think the Globe, the Star and Gawker owe their colleagues, the profession of journalism and the people who trusted them to delivery the news and not create it, a big apology.  The mayor can claim substance abuse for his lapse of good judgement, irrational behavior and the shame he has brought not only to his city but to politicians in general, but what can these three news papers claim was their reason for breaking every journalistic rule in the book and hurting the credibility of their fellow journalist, their right to freedom of the press and the trust of the people reading their papers?  In a time when the written word in print is not selling so good and people do not trust the press I have to ask, did the press as a whole really need this kind of negative attention; what is up Canada?”

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