The Mayor of Toronto Would Prefer Not to Discuss Whether He Smokes Crack

Friday, May 24, 2013


Late last week, Gawker published a post that achieved something Gawker posts rarely do -- it changed Canadian politics. Gawker’s John Cook alleged that he’d seen a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. It's been the lead story in the Canadian press for the past week, but so far the mayor has dismissed the charge and avoided answering any questions from the press. Brooke talks to The Toronto Star's Robyn Doolittle, who's been reporting the story from Toronto, about Ford's ability to disregard the media.

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Comments [6]

Grim Reaper from Toronto

Jeffrey Dvorkin,

During the "debate" with John Cook on Jian Gomeshi's show, Q, you sounded like an apologist for the Fords. Your outrage at Gawker's revelation of the "unproven" existence of the video showing Rob Ford using a crack pipe and paying to obtain it to prove it is disingenuous of you particularly since you are paid for whatever you do, including your running of the Journalism Department at Ryerson, and/or receipt of non-monetary compensation in the form of self-promotion through broadcast, print, and internet media. Everyone who produces and/or owns something is entitled to compensation for it including writers, photograghers, videographers, and drug dealers.

You used a lot of "red herrings" in your rhetoric such as when you stated that the purveyor(s) of the video are drug dealers and would use the proceeds to buy guns. What they may do with the money is pure speculation and is irrelevant to the question of why should the video be paid for. Paying for evidence is an accepted practise of the police, CSIS, so why shouldn't it be for journalists and news media publishers. In fact, paid informants are regularly used in court by prosecutors to further cases against criminals. Those drug dealers already have the use of guns, as evidenced by the murder of one and wounding of the other Rob Ford buddies in the widely distributed photo of them together with Rob Ford which raises the question; why were they targeted and who targeted them? What's important is revealing the truth, even if it means paying for it.

May. 29 2013 02:22 PM
Stacy Harris from Nashville, TN

Why would a journalist be the slightest bit reticent, when asked, to express an opinion about wanting to accept an offer from drug dealers (not to mention any other "sources") resulting in checkbook journalism?

May. 26 2013 04:14 PM
Marion Brown from Washington, D.C.

He'll probably be reelected. If the voters of Toronto are as stupid as the voters of Washington D.C. once were.

May. 26 2013 10:46 AM
Jeez Krist from La La Land

Nothing about a British soldier being beheaded in public??!!! Has OTM heard about this event? We have to hear a story about a fat jerk?

May. 26 2013 10:44 AM
Wally Ballou from Just over here.

It's best not to discuss these things. I guess he's wise crack head.

May. 25 2013 01:23 PM
Jeffrey Dvorkin

Brooke and Bob - The Toronto mayor story is a good one and Gawker pointed out just how the Canadian media was caught off guard. But...Gawker's attempt to raise money to buy the video in question was check book journalism at its worst. Gawker is run by an ex-Fleet Streeter so the dubious practices have crossed the pond. Gawker has raised the about $165k of the asked for $200k demanded by the owners of the video (allegedly local Somali-Canadian drug dealers). Now the owners of the pics have disappeared. Gawker hasn't been in contact with them for almost a week. Rumor has it that someone else has bought the video and possibly destroyed it. I'm debating John Cook of Gawker on CBC Radio this Tuesday on a show called "Q with Jian Ghomeshi" about the ethics of this. Gawker has apparently been able to raise its advertising rates in anticipation of obtaining the video. Meanwhile the local hacks keep poling on. The mayor is pretty sleazy and so are the people around him. But this hasn't made journalism here look much better so far. I catch your show on Sirius here. You both sounds great! I miss US pubradio! Best, J

May. 25 2013 10:11 AM

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