"After having witnessed Jack Ruby kill Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy, I was sent to cover surely the strangest court case ever." This is the first of three excerpts from the memoirs of the late, legendary Canadian journalist who died a year ago, available for the first time as an ebook.
People will say Peter Worthington faced death bravely, and he did. But he also faced it with that same curiosity that led him to run away and enlist in WW2 and again in Korea; that eventually led him to every major crisis and hotspot of the second half of the 20th century; to the farthest places of the earth; to the most interesting people on the planet; and sometimes, simply, just to see what something felt like, such as jack-knifing off a cliff.
If you are reading this, I am dead. How's that for a lead? Guarantees you read on, at least for a bit. After attending George Gross's funeral in 2008 I half-facetiously remarked to the Toronto Sun's deputy managing editor, Al Parker, that I had been around so long that no one was left who knew me back then, and I had better write my own obituary. "Good idea!" said Parker with more enthusiasm than I appreciated. So here it is, not exactly an obit but a reflection back on a life and a career that I had never planned, but which unfolded in a way that I've never regretted.
Jan Wong was one of Canada's ace reporters. She won readers and admirers for the Globe and Mail. Then suddenly, a couple of years ago, she vanished from the pages of her paper. Why? Because she suffered from depression, and management refused to acknowledge the fact; they thought she was just being lazy. One has some sympathy with the Globe's misunderstanding, but it's come at the cost of the thinning of the ranks of honest frontline journalism.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker inherited a $30 billion debt in 2010 and has since reduced it to a $150 surplus. If Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is really looking to cut back on his city's debt, he should take out a page from Walker's book and cut the bonuses that city managers receive for simply turning up for work.