The Tomato joins the ranks of the Barrhaven Independent, la Rotonde
Financial fraud, collaborative coverups, mass resignations, and total allergy to accountability: Faced with such realities over the last year and beyond, students at the University of Ottawa may feel that campus politics better reflects a fragile pseudo-democracy in the third world than an official student government at a major Canadian university.
That being said … well … Actually, the Tomato tends to agree. Yes. In fact, we think these students would have a bright future in political science. Go take that elective.
Now, the Tomato has become aware of what can only be considered the next logical step in both the utter democratic degeneration and persistently amusing decision-making of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) and its handful of executives.
In a late-night Halloween tweet, former SFUO president Richie Lachic levelled accusations against the Tomato for publishing “fake news.” Retweeted a whopping five times since, Lachic’s post reads,
WOW! Can’t believe the FAKE NEWS stories coming from U of O’s very own. Someone tell @TheTomat0 to get a REAL JOB. Disgraceful. #2sp00ky4me #EnemyofthePeople
This comes following accusations by Lachic last year, that the Tomato “just makes stuff up.”
While remaining conscious of journalistic best practices for reporting on stories involving one’s own media company, the Tomato reached out to Lachic by email for further comment on his claims. In his reply, the former executive said, “You people know what I’m talking about … I read that [expletive] about tornado generators, trips to Morocco during BOUA [sic] meetings, even some whack story about me using student money for glasses and haircuts. Let me tell you, that last one really got me. The Fake News Media has no respect.”
Since August 2018, the Tomato has indeed published articles that match two of Lachic’s references. On Aug. 28, reporters detailed their investigation of what really goes on inside an in-camera BOA meeting, learning through trusted and 100 per cent real sources that then-president Lachic missed the meeting for an overseas trip. On Oct. 1, reporters published the findings of their complex exploration of an LRT construction site: there they discovered the SFUO’s hidden grand scheme to produce a tornado to distract from other affairs. The supporting science was flawless.
As for Lachic’s third reference, the one concerning the misallocation of student funds, the question was put to Editor-in-Chief of the Tomato, Audrey Sherman. In her official statement, she said, “After reviewing our archives I can confirm that the Tomato never published an article on the topic suggested by Mr. Lachic. I do not know where Mr. Lachic came across the story, but I would guess in a newspaper whose mission and focus are entirely different from ours.”
Meanwhile, the recused president’s accusations have garnered some support among sympathetic students. Posters have been seen around campus displaying slogans such as “Stop the Trolling Tomato.”
This does not appear to shake Sherman’s confidence in the paper. “We at the Tomato uphold the highest standards of integrity. I could not even fathom a newspaper whose sole focus is the production of false content for rhetorical purposes.”