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Posts Tagged ‘Toronto media’

Is the Media that stupid or is Mayor Robdoug that smart?

In The Maven on March 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

The Mayor can't even sit through a City Council meeting. Even on the occasions he wanders into the chamber, he often turns his back the proceedings to chat with his office staff and coterie of advisors

By the Maven | Don’t ask me why; I picked up my Saturday Globe this morning and found myself reading that well-known intellectual columnist Mark Schatzker. What he lacks in political insight he tries to make up with humour, the all-too often refuge of the lightweight thinker.

It his column Downtown elite, have you enjoyed Ford’s first 100 days? he pretends to quote stereotypical elite-types from downtown neighbourhoods, irrationally placing blame on Robdoug’s administration for things like dead birds and bad food.

Ok, cute.

But it is his opening paragraph that pisses me off. He says “Since entering office, Rob Ford has cut taxes, balanced the budget, revived the city’s once dead subway map, and discovered a vat of gravy at TCHC”.

Really? That’s pretty good for 100 days. Too bad Mark got his facts wrong. First, there is no Rob Ford. Ask any reporter who has tried to interview him. Have you seen or heard Rob Ford interviewed? Right. You’ve only seen his brother Doug, whom 12,660 voters supported in Etobicoke North in the last election, or one-half of one percent of the total population of Toronto. Rob isn’t good about thinking things through, so Doug doesn’t let him talk to reporters. Rob can’t even sit through a City Council meeting.

Nope, there is no Rob Ford. There is only Robdoug, a hideous amalgamation of two of the most unattractive politicians this city has ever spawned. As for his accomplishments to date, Robdoug has indeed cut taxes, leaving even his budget chief Mike Del Grande scratching his head and worried about the implications for 2012.

Robdoug cancelled the very worthwhile LRT program (you know, the one that we have already spent millions on–did you know the LRT was a gravy train?) only to substitute it with a much scaled back subway concept that, as yet, has no secure funding.

And the TCHC gravy train? Well the investigation into that wasn’t even initiated by Robdoug.

In the meantime, our proud and free media won’t even pressure Rob to submit to questions, instead letting Doug do all the talking.

The free and proud media is giving Robdoug a free ride because they believe his rhetoric that he is riding a wave of popularity, notwithstanding that he polled less than 50% of votes cast. Now 47% is good, but more people voted against him than for him.

And 100 days into his administration he has a 60% approval rating. That sounds good. However, six months into his first term David Miller’s was over 82%. Did Miller get a free ride from the media to bully every opponent into submission?

No, our media are missing in action. They are not asking the Mayor tough questions, they accept speaking to a local councillor who happens to be the Mayor’s brother as a substitute for the real thing, and they accept the gravy train analogy as given from on high without delving below the surface.

And you know what offends me most about Schtazker? Is it his conservative politics?

No. It’s that he isn’t even funny.

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Who’s the Mayor?

In The Maven, uncategorized on February 17, 2011 at 1:38 PM

The Ford Family Compact, Rob fifth from the left, Doug far right | image credit RobFordToronto

By The Maven | In the bad old days, Ontario was ruled by a group of wealthy, conservative, elite families. They were essentially dynasties.  They were called the Family Compact.

Things have changed. Today Toronto is run by a rich family of two brothers, Rob and Doug Ford. Or perhaps that should be Doug and Rob. Both are scions of a long-time Conservative politician. Both inherited wealth and business status. Rob is a career politician.

How come a rookie councillor (Doug) is the spokesperson for everything that is going on a City Hall? Why won’t Rob agree to be interviewed by the press? Why won’t he answer questions? Why can we only hear from his brother Doug?

Just who is running City Hall?

Why is it that before Rob became Mayor he would not shut up about anything, but now we can’t hear from him about anything?

But what really bugs me is the response of the press. Why is our press being such toadies to this First Family of Fords? If Rob will not give an interview or answer questions, why do they agree to speak to his surrogate? Why not simply say on air, “as the Mayor refused an interview and refused to answer our questions, we have sought answers from…” and then proceed with an interview of someone in the opposition at City Hall. Someone like our own councillor Adam Vaughan.

Why allow Robdoug to play these games with impunity? Why isn’t our press up to the job of either getting an interview or calling the mayor to account?

Did this city vote for Rob or Doug Ford?

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For other articles by this author, visit The Maven archive.

The image above is a screen capture from a video posted on RobFordToronto’s YouTube channel.