Chequebook journalism distracts from the core duty of reporting the news. Instead of publishing a story about the existence of the video, the Star's editors haggled over the price of possessing it. In an era of layoffs and demoralized newsrooms, paying cash to drug dealers is not in the public interest. We don't need more photos of Rob Ford with a crack pipe. We need money for gathering news.
If you're middle or lower class in Canada -- the very group of people Rob Ford has always professed to represent -- you can't just go to rehab when you want to go. If you can't afford private treatment, you have to get in line. You will likely spend months before your name makes it to the top of the list, and hopefully when your turn arrives you'll still be willing to go and will still be alive. I ended up getting fast-tracked to my government rehab after I overdosed while on the wait list. It's easy to give up when the pain is unbearable, even when help is just weeks away.