BREAKING NEWS! Doug Ford really doesn’t like the Toronto Star
Ever since the Toronto Star ran that article about Rob Ford abusing a young football player—something later explicitly and totally denied by the player in question—Rob and his brother Doug Ford have almost entirely refused to speak with Star reporters, both when the former was a mayoral candidate and now as the mayor–councillor duo. This morning, the frostiness took a new turn as Doug Ford engaged in a long, angry rant about the Star’s insistence on reporting what the mayor does even if they can’t get a phone call returned.
According to the Star’s transcript of Ford’s “questions” for Press Gallery head David Nickle (which should be read in full):
Do you think it’s fair—I’ll pose it as a question. Do you think it’s fair the Toronto Star stalks my 76-year-old mother, follows her to a neighbour’s house two streets down, follows her in a car, she knocks on the door, [and] by the time she gets back, she gets a phone call from the neighbour saying, ‘The Toronto Star’s at my door asking what we just dropped off’—it was a bag of fruit. Do you think that is fair, that’s proper journalism? Or is that stalking?
The context for this morning’s eruption is that city council is debating new security measures that would seriously constrain the ability of reporters to do their jobs. Particularly worrying is the requirement that reporters be forced to sign in with every councillor’s office—exactly the kind of thing we’d expect if the people running city hall wanted to track who is leaking what to which reporters. Of course, councillors could just start taking meetings in the parking garage beneath city hall, because that’s never caused any trouble before.