The Daily Blow

Lately in the news, some mayor smoked crack, the scandal lasted months with the Bob first denying and then admitting his acts.

The part I think blows is the part where the media focuses so much on this relatively insignificant story when there are so many other things to report. Even on this Bob Ford himself, why not talk about his policies and what he's been up to as mayor of Toronto for example.

I think most of the North American "news" outlets don't really care about that. What they really want is a sensational story that's easy to follow with actions that are Biblically offensive.

The Daily Blow

Even a segment on The Daily Show sided with the whole "Christian values are paramount" concept. Because of the crack smoking, he should step down and promise to follow a 12 step program.. . and never drink again. (I watch that show religiously and it's usually much better than this).

This reminds of that guy that was president of the U.S.A. and got so close to being impeached for having sexual relationships with someone who was not his god given wife. Or David Howard who had to resign for other people's ignorance and witch burning fright of learning new words.

This is part of the problems with politics these days, the reporting of it targets easy and sensational crap that people buy like it's crack cocaine. Most politicians cheat on their wives and do drugs, it's not news nor newsworthy. If they do their job properly, then those problems don't really concern the general public. Unless politicians are supposed to be like angels, held up to a standard so high they shouldn't need drugs ?

The cherry on the cake is when "the news" asks the important question:

"What's behind Rob Ford's 'mind-boggling' PR strategy?"

The strategy, if any, is that North American big medias cannot be bothered to report on things that aren't gossip to a point that Bob Ford can have such a strategy and even come out on top. In other words, the question asked by CBC (and others) is the problem.


Gail at Large -

I've been watching the circus from afar, after living in Toronto for 7.5 years. I was a resident until the middle of September, so Rob Ford was probably the politician who had the most effect on my day-to-day life in the city: all the municipal headaches, like no garbage pick-up and transit strikes and construction problems. My neighbourhood was under complete renovation for more than two years!

When he was elected in 2010 -- not with my vote! -- I knew the city would suffer. He's the wrong guy to be running a city of 6 million people. Rob Ford's from the suburbs (Etobicoke) and it's the suburbs that voted him in. He has no regard for people who actually live in Toronto. He drives everywhere (or is driven, because he likes to drink and drive and has even been caught reading while driving), and never takes public transit. However, his entire campaign platform was "SUBWAY! SUBWAY! SUBWAY!" I know one person who voted for him, and she said it was only because she wants more subways.

Of course, the media picks up on the one detail that gets everyone looking: "crack cocaine" but for the city of Toronto, who have known him and his family for years, it's just the straw that broke the camel's back, on top of a big pile of other straws. He gets drunk at city events and sexually harasses women "in a drunken stupor". He's racist, homophobic, belligerent, dismissive when sober but even worse while drunk. In fact, this is his excuse for everything: "I was drunk." This is a regular occurrence since he's been in office. And it gets worse. He's been caught on camera hanging out with known drug dealers, one of whom was shot in the head earlier this year and I won't be surprised if the evidence for a direct link from the murder to Rob Ford is uncovered soon.

The problem for the people who he is supposed to be working for (versus the people who just read the headlines) is that he is NOT DOING HIS JOB. His actions are completely hijacking his ability to get any work done. Instead, he's forever apologizing and then it's on to the next crisis, which he will then apologize for. City councillors are tired of having to run the city without him because he's mired in press conferences apologizing about some other thing he's done wrong. The things he is doing, even the relatively benign ones like reading while driving or using City resources without paying for them, are the things that ordinary people would get written up for, yet he never gets charged because he's the mayor. If he was someone's primary school teacher, that teacher would get suspended. Rob Ford keeps lying about what he's done, and now that he's finally admitted smoking crack (possession would be the charge), he still denies he's got a problem although it's clear he has one and needs to deal with it.

If you want to know about why a mayor of a Canadian city is in trouble, the last place I'd look is an American show or even Canada's national broadcaster. These are city politics, go to the city news. Read something written by the people who know him and his political record, not just hear about him:

manu -

Gail, I had indeed started reading the Wikipedia page on this guy, he certainly seems like the type of guy I wouldn't get along with.

I understand that the more popular shows and media are only interested in the juicy stuff, that's a problem and it's not really new. But here, even a show I understand and respect made me instinctively want to side with Rob Ford on this case.

In France, many say that Chirac's election was influenced by "Les Guignols" which is a news satire that is usually left-winged. The Daily Show's portrayal of Rob Ford reminded of this.

manu -

That article was posted 6 days before the first round of the elections during which the extreme right won second place. The problem is that the real winner is stupidity, and that can be dangerous.
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