Rob Ford Crack-gate 2013: They Win, We Lose

Now let me start by saying that I’m a supporter of Rob Ford. I believe that in regards to what he’s been trying to do down at City Hall he has been on the right track, he came into office pledging to reduce spending while attempting to reduce our taxes both of which he has done well and it has not left the city in dire straits swinging from financial crisis to crisis.

But even before he came into office, Rob Ford had been at the center of a concerted attack from left leaning councillors and organizations (unions and media alike)

who were concentrating their time on opposing everything that he was for, from garbage privatization to cost cutting spending across the board, all the way down to transit and casinos, and their goal was simple; “take down Rob Ford, by any means necessary”. Councillors with their own agenda have stabbed him in the back  even though he appointed them to assist in his mandated agenda. Then there are the constant personal attacks and dispersion’s made by the Toronto Star and its “journalists” against him , most of which were unverified or completely false.

It’s safe to say in fact, that this Mayor has endured the most personal attack of any sitting politician in Canada that I can remember  during my 20 years of following politics.

But no matter the personal or political attack, Teflon Rob as he had become known, had enjoyed relatively consistent support regarding his agenda, especially from what he and his brother Doug call Ford Nation. One could argue that outside of the liberal epicentre of city(ie. Downtown), with each attack from sources such as the Star support for him grew.

Then came Thursday May 16th

As most of the world is now aware Gawker released a story late Thursday detailing an account in which their “reporter” John Cooke had been contacted by an individual from the Rexdale area that had a video that allegedly shows the Mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. What followed is not of extreme concern except to say that Mr. Cooke indicated that the contacts had wanted six figures for the video (which he did not pay, at the time).

Later that same evening, Mr. Ford old nemesis the Toronto Star reared its ugly head, indicting that they too had been contacted, 2 of its reporters had seen the video and had discussed the price of purchasing the video without actually purchasing the video. But their account was similar to that of the reporter from Gawker indicating that a man looking like Mayor Ford was seen smoking something from what looks to be a crack pipe.

Needless to say this is the strongest, most troublesome attack Rob Ford, not only because of what he was alleged to be doing (smoking crack cocaine and hanging around gangsters/drug dealers) but because there was an alleged video of this transgression and that it wasn’t just the Toronto Star making the allegation.

So now the question has become; Is our Mayor a “Crack smoking Pig”? As one caller stated when calling into the Grapevine on G98.7 FM on Sunday.

So here is my take on the situation…

Truth be told it doesn’t really even matter anymore whether the story is true or not because the city loses!!!!

Why you might ask???

Well lets look at the 3 possible answers to the big question…

It is him in the video and the account is exactly as reported:

Well for Ford it may or may not be the end of him as a politician as some of the public maybe sympathetic to his issue and will still stand behind him and will mean a lot of help is needed to get him back on his feet as a man. But the bigger issue will be the damage to his type of populist message in this city and his brand of authentic politician.

Let’s face it the Liberal/NDP mindset is strong in this city nowadays, a mindset that believes more is better. More taxes, more social programs, more government regardless of if it is effective. They forgive easy when waste happens because they believe that it’s just a cost of progress, and that restricting government spending is worse than wasting their money. It was most obvious in the last provincial election where Toronto almost on its own reelected a McGuinty gov’t that had shown a reluctance to be honest with the taxpayers dollar. Rob Ford’s election as Mayor was special because the populous in the city finally decided that 10 years of Miller-like liberalism could no longer be tolerated as it had placed us in a position of weakness and not strength. We cowered before every union that claimed they were downtrodden and poor when they typically have it better than most people who aren’t part of the establishment. We never met a social program that we didn’t like, regardless of it was cost-effective or the right thing to do. There was not a tax that Miller didn’t like whether it was the normal taxes (like property taxes) or his new taxing powers given to him, Miller always found it necessary to tax us more. Never once did he hold the line on the budget, not once did we ever see a reduction in the cost of living within the city, life in the city just became increasingly expensive. Ford brought in a message of restraint and good governance that wanted to build the city (whether it was as much as needed is debatable) while respecting the fact that people are heavily taxed already. He discussed making the hard choices on how to make the city of efficient, reined in union contracts that had gotten out of hand and actually held spending at a normal level that saw the lowest increase in over 10 years. Ford’s election drove the left leaning council and their sidekicks in the city crazy because they saw an end to their way of life, and a possibility that people were on to their style of governing. But what of that now, how much has this allegation increased the resolve that this liberal machine in its attempt to remove that type of voice from the narrative in this city? How will the public outside of Ford Nation see that brand of politics as they deal with this? Will they support him or will they banish him and people who believe in similar ideals about fiscal responsibility?

How will they respond to someone who doesn’t have the polish of a Harvard grad, someone who is just like everyone out there, a person with their faults no matter big or small?

We Just Don’t know!!!!

But that’s just the politics of the issue…

That’s doesn’t take into account the human aspect, which is even more troubling.

We would have a man who clearly needs some help and health wellness to get better. Many people who don’t like him will revel in his fall, but they forget they are the same people who say that it’s a disease and that the gov’t should help him. Now as a conservative and a Christian I believe if he does have this issue he needs to tell it like it is; confess his sins and transgression if you will, and seek help that he needs. I think  it’s also responsible for the public to hold him to account for this, but respect him and allow for him to deal with it, instead of harping more to see if we can find a bit more dirt. God asks us that we rebuke but forgive; forgive because he has forgiven us. And no matter your personal feelings we should all do that.

It’s not him in the video but he has smoked crack at sometime in his life/It was him in the video but it’s not crack:

Well these types of scenarios aren’t being talked about likely because its to complex a conversation for our sound bite world we live in, but they could either be true as well.

Ultimately he would have some sort of problem that either has been dealt with or might still be problem but again he needs to be honest and we need to judge and forgive appropriately.

But the second half of these possibilities, speaks the basis of the third possibility… which is…

This story is not in the least true, he’s never smoked crack and its not him in the video:

Which would mean that the entire thing was fabricated.

And we have a system so corrupt in this city that people would completely lie to take someone out of office.

And the Media plays along as operatives…

If it’s not him in the alleged video, but he has smoked crack prior to being in office, we have to hold people like the Toronto Star & Gawker for saying it was him in the video without them verifying it. As a former editor for the Star said they have a responsibility to in their journalistic mantra to prove all sources. Crack is a serious allegation and as much as you can say you are sure that’s who you saw you can’t simply say we haven’t verified it and its OK when the video had been doctored to make it look like him. You have to be prudent and diligent in your reporting in ensuring that you have the facts straight no matter what the cost. For reasons unknown the Star and Gawker felt it was fine to run the story without verify who was in it. That’s something that is troublesome because they are supposed to be independent and not be agenda based when reporting. The fact that they didn’t and it turns out that it’s not him means they don’t care anymore and will print whatever.

The same would apply if  he was in the video but it wasn’t Crack he was smoking. To even come out with the headline, “Ford in Crack Video Scandal”


without have the ability to verify what he was smoking borders on reprehensible.

Why not come out with “Ford Caught in Potential Drug Video Scandal” headline and report what you saw and what evidence you have to go on in saying what you know about when it exactly it happened, a history of his whereabouts during those times and as well have the video.

You likely are never going to be able to prove that it was crack because you were not there and for you as “Investigative Journalist” to say it was crack in your headline knowing that its unlikely to be proven sensationalized the situation without proper evidence.

This also means that there people who would create a video and somehow put in the mayor in it,  or say the mayor is smoking crack knowing already that it’s not true. We can blame the media for not fact checking but who does that? Who would lie on someone to this extent? For what purpose?  Just to get him in trouble? Just because you don’t like his politics? Is that who we have become as people, that we would falsify video’s and make up things about politicians personal lives and try to sell it to people? What a shame that would be for our political process. Its bad enough he might have a problem but you then you lie and make it national news.


This is a tragedy

It’s a tragedy if its true because Rob Ford is a good politician, a man who had a message and someone who was getting the job done till his demons derailed him and what will become of him and his message but the media (The Star) wins they took out their guy.

It’s a tragedy if it’s not true for The Toronto Star and the media, because it has exposed blood thirst for vindication (the stalking at his front door and at the cottage of his family has been disgusting) and that they will sink to any depths. Rob Ford wins and he defeated The Star.

But what about us the citizens of Toronto, what do we win?

Either we lose a Good mayor with a proper sense to get us righted financially or we lose what little faith we had in our media and their work.

The city loses… And that’s the biggest Tragedy!!!!


Posted on May 23, 2013, in Media Watch, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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