Let's forget whether or not the truth matters at this point in the Saga of Rob Ford. In my opinion it doesn't. But there are 6,000 people who have given their money to the Crackstarter campaign who believe it does.
Well, they're not likely to get it.
Last night, Gawker reported that they have been unable to get in contact with their Somali Deep Throat -- the owner of now-infamous video supposedly depicting Rob Ford smoking crack-cocaine. Their "confidence" in acquiring the video has "diminished."
If you were buying drugs, would you publicize it? Of course not.
If you were a 14-year-old trying to impress his friends with how "hard" he is, however, you might post a Facebook status about it.
And that's exactly what Gawker has done.
By launching the Crackstarter campaign, Gawker has almost guaranteed that the video -- this nugget of truth -- will never come out.
Like the 14-year-old who has never bought weed before, Gawker seems to have forgotten that drug dealers are not exactly the sort of people who enjoy publicity. And yet, Gawker has given this one thug just that.
And it's set him off running.
But the owner of the video is not the only one in this race. I bet Rob Ford is chugging along too, faster than he has on any football pitch. Now, this is simply speculation, but I can imagine one of two conversations happening between the mayor and this Somali Peter Parker:
"Here's $300,000. Now, fork over the video."
"Here's a baseball bat -- I call her Sally. Now, fork over the video."
By announcing to the public that this video exists, Gawker has given Rob Ford a head start in squashing any possibility of its acquisition -- should it be real. Had Gawker been a media group actually concerned with the truth, they would have waited until they got their hands on the video, and then started talking about.
But Gawker, like a 14-year-old boy, simply cannot hold it in. They could not wait for the attention, and the publicity, and the page views that this premature story would produce.
I don't buy for a second that they couldn't cough up $200,000 of their own money to buy the video, and that's why they had to go live with the story. And I should think, if push came to shove, they could have formed a syndicate with similarly sleazy sites.
You can't possibly be surprised that this gang member is proving hard to reach. Drug dealers don't like everyday deals being publicized. Imagine how they feel when all the media is talking about the selling of a video of Canada's most powerful mayor doing crack-cocaine they sold him.
If Gawker were after the truth, if they cared whatsoever about Mayor Rob Ford, and the city of Toronto, they would have kept their mouths shut until they got the video. But they don't care about the truth. They care about page views. For them, this is but a gag at the city's expense (literally and figuratively) from which they rake in advertising revenue.
Or maybe I'm reading it wrong. Maybe offering Canadian flags "defiled by Gawker owner Nick Denton's signature" for donating $150 to Crackstarter is actually a sign of how seriously they're taking our politics.
But regardless of any of this, rest assured that because of the circus that's been launched, because of all the vitriol that's gone into the idea of exposing Rob Ford for the crack-smoking mayor that he may be, the video may never surface.
Gawker may have unearthed this nugget of truth, but they've just as quickly buried it back into the ground.