Opinions

Public needs to re-examine its obsession with Toronto mayor

I hate Shakespeare’s Hamlet, grapefruits, and the fact that the Arctic Monkeys are playing in my hometown on my birthday and I can’t go see them.  But as for Rob Ford, I am simply annoyed that he continues to occupy such a large part of our collective consciousness.

Perhaps Canadians are flattered. It’s not every day that a Canadian politician is making global headlines. The Toronto mayor has brought infamy to his country in a way only equalled by Bill Clinton and Silvio Berlusconi. Even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have taken a break from poking fun at ObamaCare and Fox News to shower Ford with their trademark belittlement.

Our major news organizations are selling the stories they hope will get them the largest audience, devoid of any journalistic integrity to report what is most important for their audience. When the Globe and Mail has dedicated a full 400 words on their website to the inappropriateness of Rob Ford’s 1995 football tie, you know Canadian news media is no longer primarily concerned with educating the public.

We are humoured by this story when we should be outraged. Ford has embarrassed the city of Toronto. He should not be allowed  to continue his role as mayor on that reason alone.

I cannot bring myself to say that I hate Ford or what he has done because hatred denotes an admission to the importance and the influence of Ford. I hate drone strikes that are illegal under the United Nations Charter of Human Rights but are still being perpetrated. I hate the fact that a young man named Michael Saffioti recently died in a Washington jail after being convicted of marijuana possesion. But mostly, I hate that our media has prioritized Ford while these much more important issues are pushed to the back of the paper and newscasts.