While their reporting on Rob Ford’s misgivings is treading a fine line of responsible journalism, the Toronto Star is still providing a necessary public service.
In the past three weeks, the Toronto Mayor has allegedly groped an ex-mayoral candidate while drunk at a public event and has been asked to leave the Toronto Garrison Ball due to intoxication.
These recent accusations have raised concerns about Ford’s alcohol use within and outside of City Hall.
The splashy front pages denouncing Ford’s actions send a clear message — the Star is set on putting Ford in a negative light.
This stance is counterintuitive if the Star wants to be seen as an unbiased, objective news source.
In fact, it gives off the feel of a tabloid, with the dramatic language and direct focus on Ford’s personal flaws.
Though the Star has taken it too far in some senses, they have a duty to report the ongoings of Toronto’s mayor.
Ford’s behaviour is definitely a cause for concern. Whether or not he is an alcoholic is a private matter.
However, his actions as a public figure at public events deserve to be scrutinized by Toronto citizens and media alike. And yet, Ford is notorious for failing to adequately address any sort of criticism. While he blatantly denies accusations of moral misgivings, he has a reputation for repeatedly stonewalling the Toronto press.
This partially justifies the Star’s intense focus on Ford — he refuses to grant interviews, thus stopping the media from fulfilling their duty to Toronto citizens.
As a result of this embittered relationship, both the Star and Ford are putting themselves in a less than favourable light.
The onus is now on Ford to remedy this relationship. As one of the most well-read papers in Toronto, it’s the Star’s job to discuss Ford’s public actions.
Ford should be the one to reach out to the media and clear up or admit to the allegations once and for all.
— Journal Editorial Board
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