Throwing Goose Scat at Rob Ford

 

 

The case of Rob Ford has proven that the glorious days of the Canadian mainstream media are far behind us. When covering the Mayor’s work and his ideas, the principles of journalism are ignored and replaced by the principle that if you throw enough shit around, some of it will stick.

A few days ago the Globe and Mail – Canada’s self-proclaimed “National Newspaper” – literally went into the shit territory with the article “Threats and goose scat: The allegations behind Rob Ford’s coaching ban.” The filth they managed to excavate after diving in the news outhouse dealt with the end of his coaching career:

In the months before Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was banned from coaching high school football, he allegedly threatened a teacher, appeared inebriated for a crucial practice and at an equipment handout and forced his teenaged players to roll around in goose scat as he berated them with profanity after winning a big game.

It was interesting to see that one of the authors of the article was Robyn Doolittle. I didn’t know that she switched jobs. Lauded at the Toronto Star for uncovering the “Toronto Watergate” (what a stupid term), she is a fine specimen of the new breed of journalists, who don’t cover events, but dig for dirty information to destroy their targets. Like a Bizarro World Eliza Doolittle, she doesn’t improve herself, but helps bring down the media she works for.

Now it’s The Globe and Mail’s turn to join the tabloid crowd – Miss Doolittle didn’t start the process, but her presence there is a sure sign of the paper’s deterioration. The Globe is turning into a National Enquirer with a better Style Manual. If Michael Jackson were alive, they’d write the same dirt about him, but would call him Mr. Jackson instead of Wacko Jacko (the name the Enquirer used).

The article is a classic of the tabloid “journalism” – it has nothing to do with Ford’s policies, but covers shady allegations from documents that The Globe had to literally wrestle out of the school. The administration originally refused to provide them, but The Globe went through the courts to get them:

The same document, titled “Critical incidents involving Mayor Ford,” outlines other serious accusations: Mr. Ford allegedly offered custodians cash to keep the school open an extra hour in the summer, but the custodians refused; he delayed mandatory criminal background checks for himself and his coaching staff and then had a staffer “rush” the paperwork through police Chief Bill Blair, according to a briefing note; he showed up late and appeared “visibly inebriated” at the final practice before the Metro Bowl championship game; he took players on an unsanctioned overnight trip to play a football team in Peterborough, Ont.; and he allegedly made his players roll around in goose scat and swore at them after a game against Father Henry Carr in October, 2012.

What a string of crimes! A football game is definitely not a Swan Lake rehearsal (even though football might be banned in the future as being too harsh on trannies and intersexed). Ford evidently should be banished to the Yukon to redeem himself. It looks strange that after coaching at the Don Bosco School for over ten years, he suddenly turned into something that Miss Doolittle and her pals see as a monster. But that’s the beauty of the allegations – instead of waiting patiently for the truth to emerge, it is much easier to throw shit around, hoping that it would stick.

Nothing in the “revelations” deals with Ford’s performance as a Mayor, but who cares? The Globe Enquirer keeps pushing the same junk. The accusations are denied and still unproven:

Councillor Ford denied the allegations when asked by a Globe reporter Wednesday evening.

“You guys are nuts,” he said at City Hall. “Did you actually talk to him? He’s a friend of mine.”

He also denied uttering a racial slur against Mr. Rodrigues, calling the accusation “ridiculous.”

“It’s a lie. Ridiculous. You guys make up all this shit. That’s what you do. You’re ruthless.”

Mr. Rossi could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

One of Miss Doolittle’s points of attack is the Mayor’s statement that through his coaching he helped kids in difficult situation, who came from broken families:

Despite earlier concerns with some of Mr. Ford’s conduct, the documents reveal that the catalyst for his dismissal was a television interview he gave to Sun News Network that aired March 1, 2013.

“A lot of these kids come from gangs, they come from broken homes, the stories you would hear would bring a tear to your eye,” Mr. Ford told the host.

That evening, Mr. Rossi e-mailed his superiors. “I am a very patient Catholic but this is enough. This is our Bosco, these are our students, they deserve better.”

… A parent council meeting was held on March 25. According to a briefing note prepared afterward, parents felt the mayor was “using the school and the team for political gain.” They were angry about his comments and the media attention, although most believed he genuinely loved his players. In the end, a majority of parents at the meeting felt it was time for Mr. Ford to go.

So the school and the parents were upset, because Rob Ford supposedly embarrassed them. The pile of alleged dirt revealed in the documents can’t be proven or disproven without interviewing many witnesses. However, the condition of Don Bosco shouldn’t be so hard to evaluate. Did the evil Rob Ford really put down that “outstanding” school?

After a simple search, lo and behold, I found an article dealing specifically with that issue published in 2012 by none other but The Globe and Mail. It wasn’t even written by Miss Doolittle, which may give it more credibility.

The author complains that the Ford brothers make the school look worse than it is, but the facts don’t add up:

The high school at 2 St. Andrews Boulevard, near the corner of Islington Avenue and Dixon Road, is in the midst of a turnaround. And conversations with students and parents suggest the transformation has little to do with football victories and much to do with dedicated staff and the arrival four years ago of an energetic new principal.

Literacy scores are up. More students are on track to graduate. Suspension rates have plummeted by 48 per cent since 2008-2009.

Of course, if the victories are achieved through contributions by Coach Ford, they mean nothing. Despite of helping create structure and discipline in kids’ lives, sports should be ignored. The school had serious problems with the academic performance:

All the good news does not mean Don Bosco is problem-free. Math scores have fallen and, despite positive strides, the school’s academic performance still lags behind the board and provincial averages. Only a handful of Don Bosco parents came to cheer on the Eagles when they won the Catholic league championship Nov. 8, but as those who turned up that day pointed out, the game was at 2 p.m. on a weekday, when most people work.

Things are actually getting worse:

Scores on the province’s standardized Grade 9 math test have dropped in the past couple of years. The results are particularly abysmal for students in the less rigorous applied math stream: Only 10 per cent of those students met or exceeded the provincial standard in 2010-2012, down from 26 per cent in 2008-2010, according to official scores.

Students in the academic stream fared better, but only 50 per cent met the standard in the past two years, down from 65 per cent.

The author reluctantly admits that many students come from difficult families:

Although those scores are indeed up, Don Bosco performs well below the average for the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the province.

The school is ethnically diverse. The neighbourhood immediately to the school’s west is made up of brick bungalows with tidy lawns and double-car garages, but the school also draws students from more modest areas, including the rundown apartment blocks on the east side of Islington, and some tougher pockets of North Etobicoke.

In the stands of North York’s Esther Shiner stadium at another Eagles victory on Nov. 8, some Don Bosco parents admitted there is a grain of truth to the Ford brothers’ characterization of the football team.

The article clearly proves that the situation in the school is far from being only roses and sunshine. It has serious problems, which are hard to resolve. If during the last two years they haven’t imported a new neighbourhood of astrophysicists and doctors, the situation might be even worse now.

So Rob Ford was correct to point out the problems of the school and the administration and parents were unfair to him by attacking him for telling the truth. How many more half-truths and outright lies about Ford are we going to find in that extorted pile of documents? We will probably never know. The only purpose of revealing those documents is to smear the Mayor shortly before the elections. Miss Doolittle and her tabloid pals don’t have even the slightest interest in revealing the truth, if it benefits Rob Ford. Otherwise they wouldn’t have gone out of their way to get those slanderous “documents”.

Do they really think that the public is that stupid?

© 2014 Blogwrath.com

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2 Comments

  1. The Lone Ranger says:

    I see that one poll has John Tory 24 points ahead of Rob Ford in the mayoral race, while another has them separated by a mere three points. I bet that Ford’s serial critics are secretly hoping he’ll win re-election. After all, most of them will be out of a job without Ford to demonize every week.

    1. admiwrath says:

      I am not sure what the truth is – there is too much anti-Ford blackmail and contradictory polls.

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