The Globe’s sympathetic take on Rob Ford’s unlikely mayoral landslide this morning reveals a seamier side that goes beyond the mention of that tweet that has the blogosphere all a twitter.
For those who are just shrugging off last night’s buzz, the Globe (and Macleans) reveal a nifty bit of online shiftiness on the part of Ford’s team to get a hold of that now infamous tape catching Ford promising to score Oxycontin on the street for one Dieter Henderson.
Henderson, readers will remember, was the HIV sufferer who the Ford team used to great effect early in the campaign to dispel those anti-gay stories about Ford.
Turns out Henderson wasn’t fibbing in the months that followed when he was telling anybody who’d listen that he had a bigger story to tell, besides Ford agreeing to score some Oxycontin for him.
That story is this: seems a member of the Ford team set up a fake Twitter account to befriend Henderson and, presto, convince the poor sucker to share the recording of Ford, which then was dutifully turned over to Sue-Ann Levy of the Sun for some sympathetic treatment. Nice pre-emptive strike.
And just like that, a potential bomb that could have ended his run, was nicely defused.
Instead of a story about what the hell a candidate for mayor was doing trying to score a heroin knock-off for a potential voter, the spin became, look what a great guy Ford is. He was just trying to help a fellow Canadian, to borrow a phrase from that old Bogart movie, down on his luck.
Besides what the episode says about the blurred and sometimes cozy relationship between the Sun columnist and Ford (Ford was a contributor to Levy’s campaign when she ran in St. Paul’s for the Tories), it also highlights what depths the Ford team was willing to go to cover up their man’s, ahem, imperfections.
All’s fair in politics, it seems, from the Ford team’s perspective. We saw ample evidence of that throughout the campaign.
Why else would the team let hang in the ether, for example, Ford’s comment in the CP24 debate about a brown wave of immigrants descending on our fair city without clearing up any misimpression?
Because they didn’t want to alienate potential voters, even the bigots out there who seemed to gravitate to the campaign. A vote’s a vote, right?
Ditto on the gay file.
Take what happened just days before the election, when Ford was asked by the Smitherman team, but declined, to denounce an anti-gay ad that appeared on Tamil radio urging listeners to vote for Ford because “he’s not married to a man.”
Now that Ford’s mayor-elect, the media has taken to treating him with a new kind of legitimacy. Somehow forgotten in the buzz following Ford’s win is that this is the same guy who has said some of the stupidest things on record, and has been caught in a few lies in his time.
This morning’s revelations remind us why we can’t forget that behind the new and improved teflon Ford, there’s the old Ford whose political instincts clearly remain baser than ever.
And now, after the election, finally people begin to realize that I was telling the truth all along!
The nay sayers were believing a man with a rap-sheet a mile long, versus a Toronto Resident, all by himself, no campaign team, who tried to uphold the truth.
But that’s too late now, Ford’s been elected, via duplicity, deception, manipulation & with the help of the Minister of Propaganda herself, long time Ford Family Friend Sue-Ann Lesbian of the Toronto Sun.
If what the Ford camp did with me is seen as a horrific affront to democracy, then I ask, what about all that we don’t know, that Team Rob Ford got away with and continues to get away with?
I have a bad feeling for Toronto as a whole, nothing good can come from being “Led” by these types of thugs, with these types of tactics.
There’s winning hands-down and then there is cheating a La Rob Ford.