Now that Conrad Black has entered the fray, the Rob Ford scandal has gone all cock-eyed.
The guy fighting the elites, that would be Rob, has an elitist going to bat for him in the pages of the National Post which, with Black's offering Saturday seems to have taken up the mantle vacated by the Sun as defender of all things Ford. Wow. If you thought Conrad's VisionTV one-on-one with Ford was a mess...
Conny really dumped on the Star and its "values," used a lot of big words to show how highbrow he is. I think I read a verbal assault in there somewhere of Rosie DiManno who, according to Black, can't get over his wife Babs' "timeless appearance." There was a reference in there to a "malignant orifice." But I guess one good fart-catching joke deserves another.
Black called the Star's reporting of the Ford scandal a "hate" campaign. But it was the criticisms he's taken from other media folks for that Vision-ing "conversation" masquerading as an interview with the mayor that has Black's back up. Black came out of that one looking the fool. Black didn't ask the pointed questions he now says, because he was trying to "de-escalate" the Ford situation. In other words, he was trying to do us all a favour.
Lord Black protests too much. He's a former newspaperman. He came ill prepared. He blew it. No amount of witty prose will change that. He let the mayor lie about his encounter with Star reporter Daniel Dale back in 2012, insinuate he was a pedophile without challenging him and that has resulted in Dale filing suit against the mayor and Vision and embarrassed Black.
Unless Black is that naïve. A lot of people choose to be about Ford.
He did address the mayor as "your honour," which is usually a title afforded judges, in a segment filmed just before the their conversation. Come to think of it, there was a weird jailhouse brotherliness to the whole thing.
Black still feels persecuted for that stint he had to do in the can for defrauding his shareholders of that global media empire he used to own. And so the former con Black seems to genuinely feel for the cad Ford who, like him, is being crucified by the media and framed by the justice system.
I'm tempted to call codswallop on that. As Black told As It Happens, he really hadn't familiarized himself with not only the Dale, but most of anything else related to the police probe of Ford. That would including the small matter of the mayor's connection to a wide-ranging gangs and guns probe.
Black called the mayor's activities "antics," oblivious to the fact, it would seem, that the mayor's drug dealer friend has been charged with extortion over efforts to retrieve that video of Ford hovering on a crack pipe.
If the mayor was lying, Black told Carol Off, well then he's offended, insulted or some such. But that apparently hasn't changed his view of the SNAFU Ford. Exceptional.
Black's defence of his mishandling of the Dale incident is no less magical in its thinking.
It rests on the fact the mayor didn't actually utter the word "pedophile," in describing how the Star reporter was snapping picks of his kids from beyond his backyard fence one day in May back in 2012. The cops concluded differently, as anyone who has investigated the situation would know.
For someone so concerned about the wrongfully accused, Black seems not to be overly analytical when it comes to the false accusations being hurled by the mayor at Dale.
Black should know better. The mayor's insinuation was clear to everyone but the willfully deluded. That the mayor didn't actually utter the P word makes not a lick of difference either in truth or in libel law. Innuendo is also a grounds to sue for libel.
Besides, the P word was not a creation of the Star's and the rest of the media's fertile imagination, as Black suggests. Black is missing the context. And without it, he can't pretend to offer an educated opinion.
"Peeping Tom" and "pedophile" were definitely the operative words in the Ford offensive at the time the incident went down.
The really queer thing about the entire Dale affair is the anti-gay undertow nobody's talking about.
Ford took such glee in recounting to Black how surprised Dale was when he was confronted by the mayor, dropping his phone and "running away."
Like a little girl? I had to wonder if those were the next words to come out of Ford's mouth. Maybe it's just me.
But I seem to recall David Menzies, the guy who used to have a show called Man Cave on Sun News Network, being invited on Ford's radio show to do his thing on the Dale matter when it happened.
And so Menzies did, claiming the Star sent "it's most effeminate reporter" in Dale to the mayor's house to make the mayor look bad when the inevitable freak out came. If you're having trouble getting your head around that, there was also an AIDS related rant by Menzies on the same show and a reference to George Smitherman, Ford's main challenger in 2010 who happens to be gay.
Because we all know that it's not just the media elites after the mayor. It's the gay elites, too. Ford doesn't have to do the talking when it comes to some of his more unseemly beliefs. Others close to him are happy to do it for him.
Easy to forget that the mayor's not only smoking crack in the famous video everyone can't wait to see. He's also heard calling Lib leader Justin Trudeau "a fag."
In the minds of whatever's left of Ford Nation, however, the Dale issue is a little more grist for the media conspiracy supposedly out to get the mayor, especially now that Dale's suing Ford with the financial backing of the Star.
It's a tricky proposition for the Star. Made more complicated by the fact Dale will be staying on the City Hall beat. Arguably Dale should be able to carry on. After all, he's not the one responsible for the maligning here. Separating the personal from the political is part of a reporter's job.
Back in 2012, Ford was able to convince most everyone, including members of the City Hall press corps, that the Star reporter was snooping round his backyard fence. That was a different time. A good number among them, couldn't or wouldn't see the mayor for the lying scoundrel he really is. Apparently, Conrad Black can't either.