Toronto Sun Editor-in-Chief James Wallace said he feels “a little bit stupid” after learning one of his editors disregarded a tipster who had approached the tabloid about the video allegedly showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, before the scandal made headlines around the world.
“My understanding is there was no mention of crack, no mention of the mayor smoking. It was a generic inquiry whether we paid for stories, and that there was a video that would be embarrassing to the mayor,” he told The Globe and Mail about the tipster's inquiry.
The editor may have believed the inquiry was a crank call, according to Wallace, and “had I known, I would have had someone follow up.” He only found out about the interaction in the past few days.
U.S. outlet Gawker first broke the story in mid-May, with Editor John Cook reporting he saw the video. A Toronto Star story followed soon after by two reporters who claimed they had seen the video.
Ford denied the allegations soon after, calling them “ridiculous” and accusing the Toronto Star of “going after” him.
And on Friday he made a statement to formally address the stories.
Ford's tumultuous month continued as The Star also reported a Ford staffer trying to obtain the video led to a police investigation. Ford declined to comment on the story Tuesday.
The video has not been released to the public and its existence and authenticity remain questionable. Gawker’s ‘Crackstarter,’ a crowdfunding effort to raise $200,000 to buy the video, reached its goal on Monday.