It’s bound to happen one day, and the sooner, the better. When our earth will require suppositories, the place it will be applied at is going to be Toronto.
Have you followed national newscasts lately, be it on radio or on television? The leading item the last few days: did Toronto mayor Bob Ford smoke crack cocaine or did he not? Was some grainy and perfectly inconclusive video footage the smoking gun or was it not? And so on, and so forth.
The self-important Toronto journalists, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward rolled into one, one and all of them, with Egon Erwin Kisch thrown in, for good measure, shout questions, most of them perfectly loaded, none of them really relevant, as if the world was coming to its end.
An aside for Toronto’s intrepid journalists: if you happen not to know who the heck was Egon Erwin Kisch, don’t despair. You can’t know it all. To enlighten you, as if you needed it: following in Dante Alighieri’s footsteps, Egon Erwin Kisch was the first investigative reporter of modern times. How were YOU supposed to know?
Our national broadcasters, public and private, the lot, think that anyone outside of that gigantic village a.k.a. the centre of universe as we know it, cares about their mayor’s smoking habits.
Who knows whether anybody in Toronto itself really cares, but that’s another matter altogether.
In their coverage, the Toronto journalists ignore perfectly that their police chief is absolutely out of bounds. Announcing the video that reminded him of earlier media reports, a remark that triggered all that frenzy, Bill Blair went on to offer his personal opinion as to what mayor Bob Ford ought to do. He, thus he told the multitudes, was making his suggestions as a citizen.
A surprise for you, police chief: that’s not cricket. You may have whatever personal opinions you wish to have, but these opinions must not interfere with your performance as a professional. Expressing your personal opinions on matters in public domain, and on matters under police investigation in particular, should have triggered something else: an avalanche of calls for your immediate resignation. Not from your office of a police chief, Sir, but from the police force.
Of course, Toronto’s journalists were busy interfering with mayor Bob Ford’s private property, ignoring his requests that they leave his driveway forthwith. How could they notice their police chief’s perfect misbehaviour if it happened to coincide with their lust for their mayor’s blood?
What is really behind the scandal, nobody seems to know, or, better: those who know keep their mouths shut.
Considering you wouldn’t catch a Toronto journalist with her or his mouth shut, there’s but one conclusion to be made: they know practically nothing.
It could be that mayor Bob Ford could really be a crack cocaine addict. Except, those amongst us who have seen a crack cocaine addict or two would confirm that people like that don’t look as healthy as mayor Bob Ford does.
It could be that mayor Bob Ford stepped on a toe or two in matters involving tenders for publicly-funded projects.
It could be anything else, for that matter, even though the option with toes the mayor interfered with looks quite probable, given his size.
Still, the entire scenario resembles the good old rule about journalism: reporters cover events, journalists think THEY are the events.
Having followed a national newscast or two the last few days, one is tempted to say the latter rule prevails.
Who cares in the rest of the country is of no concern to them, so long as their faces, carrying seriously stern expressions, can fill the air all over the place.
One day, they’ll wake up, let’s hope. When? The day medical people start applying suppositories to mother earth, that’s when.