Is the Toronto Star story about Ford good journalism?

The Star and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford are in a scrap again. There have been many.

The latest is the allegation Ford was asked to leave a gala event because he was intoxicated. It went on to say his inner circle has requested that he seek counselling for his alcohol abuse for some time.

Ford denies it all.

But a Toronto councillor, Paul Ainslie, referenced in the Star as “a strong Ford ally,”  told the newspaper Ford was asked to leave. He wouldn’t say why.

There were a couple of other people who said the mayor was “fine” on the night of the gala.

The event co-chair Mark McQueen said people were posing for pictures with Ford and many were glad-handing. But he only saw the mayor from a distance.

Many unattributed sources say Ford was indeed drunk and stumbling. Some people in attendance were reportedly offended.

Sarah Thomson, a Toronto businesswoman and former mayoral candidate, was interviewed for this latest story as two weeks earlier she said the mayor groped her at a function. The mayor basically said she was off her rocker.

This is very troubling as discrediting someone who accuses you of a serious offence is the easy way out.

Thomson would only say this time that Ford’s family was in her prayers.

Ford’s behaviour has been erratic, but does he have an abuse problem? The Star says it’s “an open secret.”

Time will tell if the Star is correct. You can only hide a problem for so long.

I suspect there is some truth to the story. The problem is there are so many people unwilling to have their names printed that it becomes very murky.

It is understandable that Ford’s staff would fear losing their jobs if they went on the record.

But there has to be somebody far enough removed from Ford’s office that they are willing to speak up.

This leaves the Star looking like it has a vendetta, as the paper has been accused of in the past when it comes to Ford.

So is this good journalism?

If someone has a personal problem, does it have anything to do with his/her public role?

Well, yes, if it is affecting the way he or she does the job.

I would have liked the Star to work more sources until a few accountable people emerged. The Star does say it contacted many people at the function and most did not return calls. It became an issue of running with what they had or waiting and perhaps never getting the story to print.

The Star stands by its story, of course.

What is your opinion of this latest blow between the news organization and the Toronto mayor?

Here is said story.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2013/03/26/rob_ford_intoxicated_toronto_mayor_asked_to_leave_military_ball.html

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3 thoughts on “Is the Toronto Star story about Ford good journalism?

  1. The Star is certainly homing in on Toronto Mayor, just as the Free Press seems to be on
    London’s. (The latter more interested in getting at a fellow Council member about her ill-
    phrased “shock word” than the reputation of London as a prejudice-free city. Starr seems
    to be on good ground exposing the Mayor’s public behaviour.
    Sounds pretty likely that Ford did make a fool of himself as a representative of Torontonians
    at the Garrison Ball, a real lack of respect for the military. Naturally they aren’t going to get
    involved by comment to media.
    Personal issues and one’s job depend on the type of problem. Alcoholism does not sit well with
    an important figure in public life and on the public payroll. If this is the case, the brother is
    doing the Mayor no favour in covering
    for him.

  2. It seems to be the job of the Mayor’s brother to constantly cover for him. He seems more responsible than the Mayor.
    The question about alcoholism leads me to always wonder why people say it is a “disease” and then condemn someone for being an alcoholic.
    The interesting twist on the Star story is that the person(s) who went to the Star with the story about the Mayor’s bad behaviour seem to be doing so “for his own good.”
    I don’t really think so. More likely to be someone trying to get revenge or get rid of Ford to further their own political aspirations. Or perhaps someone just wanting to get rid of a bad boss.

    • As a Ward chosen member of Council, it’s not his paid job to babysit the Mayor, related or not.
      Is the coverage in the Star condemning him for being addicted to alcohol, which is what general
      opinion down there seems to be his problem ? Or is it the ‘Reaching the Bottom’ that’s usually
      necessary to get an alcoholic to stop denying he has a problem and seek professionalhelp?
      There is just too much of a pattern of erratic behaviour as a tax-paid elected official, first as
      Councillor, now Chief Magistrate, for this to be a setup by political opponents.
      “For his own good” is valid by those who care about this man’s personal welfare, but underlying
      all this scandal is the good of the citizens of Toronto who elected him and pay him and the image
      of the capital of Ontario generally.
      ..Get the feeling Mayor Ford is going to do something that is indisputably unacceptable, maybe
      a domestic situation, or someone getting hurt. Time will tell.

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