Frankly, I don't give a damn about Rob Ford. What I do give a damn about is this trigger-happy, irrational thought process amongst his detractors (the supposed Vanguards of Truth) that is allowing their hatred -- justified or not -- to willingly give $200,000 to a drug gang.
I am referring to what everyone has been talking about over the long weekend: Much despised Toronto Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine on tape.
Gawker reported to have met the man in possession of the tape. And the man -- a regular Peter Parker -- offered to sell it to them. But no, not for any reasonable amount, but rather, for a staggering six-figure sum. Gawker does not have the funds to pay the man so that the people may have the "truth come out." So instead, they have gone directly to the people and asked them to front the cash via an Indigogo campaign wittily called "Crackstarter." You know, just so you don't forget that this is hard-hitting journalism.
All this -- your giving money -- makes sense, right? I mean, after all, the truth shouldn't be free, or at least go for less than the price of an Aston Martin, correct?
But the fact of the matter is that no one cares about the truth right now. Rob Ford's detractors will continue to despise the man whether or not he has smoked crack. In fact, with the way people are talking, one would think that the mayor smoking rock is a foregone conclusion. People "know" he smokes crack; they now just want the gong show so they can pat themselves on the back.
The Gawker media group does not care about the truth in this situation either; they simply care about their page views. This goes without saying for most media outlets, fine, but when a collection of websites exists on headlines as sensationalist as those of a left-wing New York Post (you don't need me to list examples, you just need to type in their URL) it becomes more clear where their true objectives lie.
Nor does the man in possession of the video care about the truth. He just cares about his (your) $200,000. Nor does he care about the city either, why else would he be part of a criminal gang that strives every day to rip it apart?
This is how the entire situation boils down: You are giving your money to a website so they can give your money to a member of a gang which wreaks violence on your city so that they, the website, can make money for themselves. Does this make any sense to you whatsoever?
By contributing to "Crackstarter" you're contributing to violence. You're contributing to the murder of Toronto's citizens, and the bolstering of a drug gang's operations. I know the media cycle is quick nowadays, but have we already forgotten incidents such as the Eaton Centre shooting?
If you don't like Rob Ford, fine, don't vote for him. Smear him all you want. Insult him at every party. Call him a fascist Michelin Man. Frankly, I don't give a damn.
But for the love of God, please don't give money to drug dealers. Don't give $200,000 to a New York-based website so they can give your money to people who make your city, Toronto, a worse place to live in. If you sincerely care about Toronto, and believe that Mayor Rob Ford doesn't, then don't be a worse (or at least, just as bad) man than he and happily hand cash to criminals to get your "fix."
However, if you do wish to give money to individuals who murder Torontonians, by all means, go ahead. But then have the decency to buy drugs, as opposed to video tapes which make you think you're doing something noble.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/08/sarah-thomson-rob-ford-facebook-photo_n_2836245.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">In March, former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson accused Rob Ford of grabbing her behind</a> while at an event. She <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/11/sarah-thomson-rob-ford-cocaine_n_2853183.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">later suggested the mayor was so out of it that she wondered if he was on cocaine. Ford has denied the accusations.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/26/rob-ford-court-ruling-toronto_n_2191814.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">In November of 2012, an Ontario Superior Court Judge ordered Rob Ford to be removed from office</a> for violating Toronto's Conflict-of-Interest Act. The ruling stemmed from Ford's participation in a council vote to recommend he repay donations that he solicited for his private football foundation using official city letterhead. After weeks of uncertainty about who would replace Ford, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/25/rob-ford-appeal-granted_n_2547358.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">mayor won his appeal</a>, allowing him to remain in power.
<A href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/rob-ford-football">Ford's role as coach of a high school football team</a> has repeatedly landed him in hot water. From a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/05/rob-ford-ttc-bus-football_n_2076761.html">city bus used to ferry the team home</a> after a reported brawl, to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/16/rob-ford-to-testify-today_n_2143353.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">missed council meetings and court appearances</a>, Ford's gridiron exploits have made headlines again and again. Despite the controversy, Ford has maintained that he's not giving up his other job to focus on running the city.
On a trade mission to Chicago, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/19/rob-ford-chicago-winnipeg-windsor_n_1896249.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">Ford infamously confused Winnipeg and Windsor</a>, a verbal stumble that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/25/22-minutes-rob-ford-video_n_1913744.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">prompted chuckles on both sides of the border</a>.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/21/rob-ford-fall-gif-video_n_2170653.html">A video clip of Ford falling</a> while attempting to throw a football at a Grey Cup event was quickly turned into GIF image that went viral.
In October of 2012, a photo hit the web of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/14/rob-ford-reading-driving-car-gardiner_n_1776183.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">Ford reading while driving</a>. The mayor admitted to doing it, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/21/rob-ford-driver-toronto_n_1819165.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">refused to hire a driver</a>, despite pleas from the police and political allies. The incident was far from the first Fordian fail on the road. The mayor has also been <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/07/26/ford-calls-alleged-middle-finger-incident-with-motorist-a-%E2%80%98misunderstanding%E2%80%99/">accused of giving a motorist the finger while driving</a> and has admitted that he <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2010/08/19/ford-marijuana-possession-charge489.html">pleaded guilty to refusing to provide a breath sample</a> after driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida.
A photo hit the web in September of 2012 of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/26/rob-ford-nazi-photo_n_1707326.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">Ford posing with a neo-Nazi</a> dressed in a foreign military uniform. Ford explained that he was unaware of the man's political beliefs. At least <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/26/rob-ford-neo-nazi-picture_n_1708329.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">one major Jewish group said it was satisfied the mayor meant no harm</a>.
For several months in 2012, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/18/rob-ford-weight-diet-toronto-ankle_n_1606268.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">Ford took part in a very public weight-loss campaign</a>. Weigh-ins staged before the press meant the mayor had nowhere to hide, and after some initial success, he actually started putting on pounds. Ford admitted to giving up soon after.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/02/rob-ford-toronto-mayor-star-reporter_n_1472929.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">Ford called the police in May of 2012 and alleged that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale trespassed on his property</a>. Dale denied the allegations and said Ford approached him with a raised fist. Ford would subsequently refuse to speak with reporters from the Star or to co-operate with the paper in any way.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/18/rob-ford-gay-pride-parade-toronto_n_1434581.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">Ford has twice bucked tradition and refused to attend Toronto's Pride parade</a>, prompting widespread criticism.
Late in 2011, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/10/24/rob-ford-cops-cbc_n_1029601.html?utm_hp_ref=robford">Ford called the police after Marg Delahunty (Mary Walsh) and the crew of CBC's satirical show "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" showed up at his home</a>. While other politicians have reacted with laughter when approached by Delahunty, Ford said the "ambush" at his family home crossed the line.
Follow Daniel Alexandre Portoraro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dportoraro