There's been an ongoing battle (like, over a year now!) between Toronto's top politico, Mayor Rob "hold the gravy" Ford and the city's top daily, the Toronto "leaning left" Star.
The feuding began when the paper ran a front page story about Ford's run in with one of the young high school footballers he coaches. It claimed there were heated words between the two, and that the then- mayoral candidate actually put hands on the player.
Ford denied it and the player eventually backed him, but the Star has stuck to its story citing two eyewitnesses.
Now according to the Star, not only has Mr. Ford snubbed the paper since, which is his prerogative, but after taking office he's put the kibosh on all communiqués from the mayor's desk. The paper sometimes relies on the co-operation of other media to pass on press releases, the Globe and Mail said.
Obviously, if this is true, and I have no reason to doubt the Star, the mayor is out of line. Don't want to talk to the paper, fine. Don't want to inform its readers, not fine... NOT SMART!
Star lovers, and their numbers are many, have every right to expect that news out of Toronto City Hall, that may well affect their lives, will be shared with their favourite paper. After all, they too are the mayor's constituents.
Friday morning, on AM640's John Oakley show, the mayor went so far as to suggest a boycott of the Star! "I have no respect for the Toronto Star whatsoever. If people want to read a paper, pick up the Globe, Post or Sun. That's what I encourage people to do," he said.
The mayor's sibling, Councillor Doug "he ain't heavy, he's my bro" Ford, says Rob will never speak to the Star again, unless it issues a front page apology for its article on the football confrontation. Of course the odds of that happening are slim to nil. A safer bet would be Michele "duh" Bachmann winning the White House!
But honestly, who really gives a rats ass?! The IMPORTANT issue is the withholding of City Hall press releases!
Other than his brother, those close to the mayor, including allies on council, would like to see an end to the standoff, because they are well aware of the potential political damage. This power play (as many will see it) and his over-the-top reaction to an "ambush" by CBC's comedy troupe 22 Minutes are not big point-getters for Ford Nation.
It's now becoming obvious to the mayor's friends and backers that Rob is in need of an attitude adjustment, something his opponents have said for years.
So, if you're buying for His Honour this holiday season, forget the ties... think "image consultant."
He may now doubt my sincerity (and no longer take my calls), but I do wish Rob and his entire clan a very Merry Christmas!
Paul and Carol Mott can be heard discussing the issues weekdays from 11 a.m. until noon streamed through their website themotts.ca.