Oh my another story that just had to be told, because the Star deemed it so and these so important revelations just keep on coming. One would have to believe that there just is nothing more important to write about than whether or not the mayor slept with a prostitute and the revealing of every word and syllable in every accusation that is in a court document that has yet to be proven to be true, or false. The presses handling and coverage of the whole Mayor Ford story and why it had to be told in the manner that it was made public by Gawker, the Star and the Globe, is still a mystery to me. I must be one of those die-hard Mayor Ford supporters the Star and the Globe and Gawker were talking about and poking fun at on television, because for the life of me I can not see what any of this did, or is doing to improve the lives of Torontonians, the reputation of the city, or the way people look at Canada as a whole. Unless you think that making Canada look worse than the USA when it comes to politicians using absolutely stupid, illegal and unethical practices when it comes to shutting down the government, there isn’t one good that has come out of the breaking of this story or the keeping of it as front page newspapers.
The credibility of the Star, Gawker and the Globe in my opinion is shot, because my idea of reporting the news responsibly, is reporting a story with the proof to back it up and not reporting gossip and waiting for the police to do the leg work for you and prove what you have written months later? Everyone in the world thanks to gossip rags like the Star already knew that the mayor of Toronto had a substance abuse problem, but until the Star decided to do the work of the people who wanted to be mayor, but lost the election and who the star thought would make a better mayor, most Torontonians were happy with what the mayor as a person and the job the was doing for them. If there was any doubt that the Star was on a witch hunt before when they wrote a story without proof about the mayor smoking crack cocaine, it would seem painfully obvious that they will stop at nothing to try and vindicate themselves and ruin this man’s life. These papers in my opinion will stop at nothing to win the day and have proved that they could careless about the cost to Toronto’s reputation, or that of Canada’s reputation around the world; the people of Toronto, or the functioning of the city; all they seem to care about is getting the gossip out first. I say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.
Is it the purpose of the news to control who is in office after the fact, by digging and reporting all the short comings and personal problems of one politician (In this case Mayor Rob Ford) while pretending that all other candidates in opposition to him are perfect and without a fault worthy of their type of sensationalized reporting? Where is the balance, the ethics and the journalistic integrity of this news paper? I can not disagree that it is indeed a disgusting exhibition of a man drunk, very angry and in his intoxicating state making threats, but does that alone make it news worthy, or is it just because it is Mayor Rob Ford that makes it news worthy to the Star? I think that the mayor is being harassed, baited, goaded and pushed over the edge by the press and especially the Star. The Star in my opinion has decided that they do not care what the rules are concerning the mayor’s rights to remain in office, or whether their approach to getting him removed is legal, ethical, or in violation of his rights under Canadian law.
The Star’s position seems to be that despite the law they are going to see that Mayor Ford is forced from office, no matter how non democratic this is, no matter that there is just no legal justification for it and without caring that it is their job to report the news and not to control who is the mayor of the city. Was this story news? I guess so in the lowest form of journalism. It was a good kick in the head of a man already down. Did it need to be reported? It needed to be reported as much as the personal business of you, or I. Did it have to do with how Mayor Ford was running the city? I do not think so. What it did do was show what we already knew and that is that Mayor Ford has serious substance abuse issues and needs to get some help and that unless he chooses to step down there is no way to get him to do so legally.
There is also a lot of talk going around about how Mayor Ford is embarrassing Toronto and Torontonians, but I say it was not the Mayor who just had to go public with this story, it was Gawker, the Globe and the Star. It is the Star that continues to single out Mayor Ford, like it is the most important story needing to be covered in the city of Toronto. It is the Star that is intent on getting all the copy mileage off the story it can in hopes of selling a few more papers and keeping itself in the center of attention, no matter the cost to the reputation of Toronto, the embarrassment to Torontonians as well to Canada and all Canadians. If there is chaos in the city council and that chaos is having a negative impact on how the city of Toronto is being run than the Star the Globe and Gawker should stand up and take a bow for their handiwork. They are the ones that sought to help the city and its people by putting this story out there and are responsible for keeping it out.
Helena C. Guergis, PC was a Canadian politician who represented the Ontario riding of Simcoe—Grey, and is an example of a dangerous situation recurring in Canadian politics. The example that I am speaking to is the one that has the press actually deciding when it is time to ignore the rules of parliament, or government when it comes to firing politician as well as what constitutes an act or action befitting their removal. Helena Guergis acted up in an airport throwing her political weight around, she was not kicked from caucus, or forced from her job and no voter expected her to be removed illegally from her position without consideration being given to the legality of it and the taking of her rights into consideration and rightfully so. Unfortunately for her and her husband, this angered the press and the opposition parties who wanted her job whether, or not it was legal, ethical, or in violation of her rights.
Later it is reported in the press without a witness, without any hard evidence to back up their story that Helena Guergis and her husband allegedly are taking cocaine. The allegation is never proved, not one shred of evidence is brought forward to support the allegations, but the press along with the opposition parties wanted her to lose her job whether, or not it was legal, ethical, or in violation of her rights. I say this, “Helena Guergis and her husband may not have been the best politicians and they might have been arrogant and drunk with power, but at the end of the day I believe that they should have been judged and punished according to the rules of parliamentary procedure and the laws of Canada and not by the press and for damage control, by a government seeking to save its brand name by throwing one of its own under the bus.
It has since been proven in a court of law that Helena Guergis was not guilty of breaking any parliamentary rules, or laws of Canada, that should have cost her, her career, or her reputation, which leads me to believe that the media and negative publicity was responsible for her being stripped of all her responsibilities, removed form caucus and rebuked in public by the Prime Minister.
To this day the Prime Minister has not gone on record and stated why he felt it necessary to strip her of all of her responsibility and remove her from caucus and has never told her directly why he fired her, although she requested it both officially and publicly. I feel that Helena Guergis was accused, tried and convicted on the word of the press that sensationalized a story, kept it on the front page without providing a single shred of proof for their story. I say that this is wrong and that it is never okay to bypass the rules of government, or the laws and human rights afforded every Canadian to achieve a quick fix to a problem that the media is causing by making unfounded allegations of things that they cannot prove in an effort to sell a few more papers.
Then we have Thomas Mulcair, leader of the new Democratic Party, who has acted a little strange to say the least at certain times in his career and who has himself been accused of libel when he was in the Liberal Party, that required the Liberals to foot a huge defense bill for him, speaking out about how Rob Ford needs to step down. If politicians are supposed to be judged on a higher level why is Mulcair still the leader of that party and why has he not been drummed out of office for failing to abide by the law, while he is sober?
Is it not interesting at the very least how the press decided to drop the story of how a federal party leader Thomas Mulcair who deliberately refused to obey first a guard at the security gate doing his job trying to keep the parliamentarians safe, because he (Mulcair) felt that he should have been recognised and deliberately ignored the guards request to stop and be identified. If that is not bad enough Mulcair admits that he saw the RCMP was following him with their lights flashing for him to pull over immediately, but he refuses to stop and in the process runs several stop signs. What is really interesting though is that the press and his fellow politicians accepted his reasoning for doing all of the afore-mentioned, which was that he was simply looking for a safe spot to pull over to avoid being a danger, or driving hazard; as if driving through stop signs was a safe, responsible thing to do and ignoring the police was his right. Here we go again, another fine example of the press practicing selective reporting and how the firing in politics is being decided by the press and not the rules and laws governing these political positions.
Now the Premier of Ontario, provincial Liberal Party leader, Kathleen Wynne is getting into the act, offering to change the law to remove Rob Ford, to alter the law by legislation, rather than allow the political process, which just happens to be the democratic process as well as the only legal process to work as it has always done and allow the people of Toronto to decide on election day who it is they want to represent them. If the city is not functioning, it is because of people like Councillor Denzil Minnan Wong, who are trying to do an end run around the laws that are in place and remove the mayor of the city despite the fact that they know it is not legally possible, nor democratically right. Not so long ago Kathleen Wynne would have been the story that the Star, the Globe and Gawker chose to exploit, because not only is she a woman, but she is also gay and some people would have rallied around a gossip paper to denounce her as incapable of running a province, an affront to decent people and the family structure and called her an embarrassment to Ontario and Canada.
I say, “It is always easier to run with the pack and not stand up for what is right, but when the pack is running against the law and going against the democratic established principles of this country it is a true leader that will stand up and fight for what is right not for what is easiest to do, like the people who stood up and made it possible for women and gays to enter politics and win”. It is leaders like Kathleen Wynne who have benefitted by the efforts of others that were willing to stand up for what is right that should now be saying, “As much as I wish that Mayor Ford would step down the law of the land says that he can not be forced out, or the job cannot be rewritten to limit his power of office and give it to another not elected to that position by the people just for the time he has left in office”. She might also say that, “We must wait for election day to let the people decide the mayor’s fate, because it is morally right and the democratic thing to do and we are a democratic state and people”.
It is always easy to give in to prejudice and the lynch them mentality of an angry mob, hold a kangaroo court and side step the law as it stands, because all that is needed for this scenario to work is an angry mob mentality, someone to keep the fire stoked and some officials in charge to turn a blind eye, or agree that the end justifies the means. I have no problem with changing the laws governing the removal of any bad leader at any level of government, but find a problem in changing the law just to get at one city mayor; this to me sets Canadians up and allows for a dangerous precedent to be set, where upon the hint of scandal from the press and based only on the personal issues in a public official’s life, they can be removed from office whether they are doing their jobs correctly or not. Ask yourself this, “Why is it acceptable for the police and the judge in this case to allow statements that a female city worker made to police saying that the mayor asked her for certain sexual favors be released to the press, but it is not okay for Mayor Ford to speak of those same charges openly and candidly in defense if himself and his marriage?” Seems like a double standard to me. If that is what he is being accused of doing politely in the press and by the police and the woman I question, why can he not defend himself, or is it his language and terminology that is being objected to here, lol? If he did do any of it take him to court, charge him, that is still the only option. We already have laws in place to deal with sexual harassment in the work place; no need here to rewrite Canadian federal, provincial, or civic law.
What about at the provincial level where there have been allegations of corruption, non transparency and other wrong doing in the past, is Premier Kathleen Wynne willing to change the laws of the province to allow the people of Ontario, or the federal government the ability to remove the Premier of Ontario for being drunk, using drugs, or for making lewd comments by law, rather than by the electoral process? I think not, because I fear we Canadians would be having an election every week, for one thing or another.
I think that people are being denied due process of law and being accused, tried and found guilty in the press, resulting in the loss of their respect, their jobs and in some cases their freedom and all without anyone seeing one iota of hard proof, way too often now in Canada. There was a time when a person got into journalism to protect the people, be the voice of the people without one and bring to the forefront the peoples concerns. Today I am of the opinion that the press seeks the power to govern from behind the scenes, to be career makers and breakers and the judge, jury and executioner and we the public and the government are allowing it more and more. Maybe it is time to get a handle on the freedom of the press, make clear laws on how and when a paper can go public with a story and allow for them to be sued for libel once again and force them to give up their sources, if they really have them. I find the press right now not to be worthy of the trust bestowed upon them to voluntarily adhere to their own rules of good journalism and have gone way over the line, abusing at every turn their right to have unnamed sources as though they were the law, or maybe better put, above it.
In closing I will say it again, “I think that the mayor is being harassed, baited, goaded and pushed over the edge by the press and especially the Star. The Star in my opinion has decided that they do not care what the rules are concerning the mayor’s rights to remain in office, or whether their approach to getting him removed is legal, ethical, or in violation of his rights under Canadian law and if we allow this to happen to Mayor Ford, then who will be next?”