Look. I don’t begrudge Mayor Ford the perks of the job. Despite my demand for perfection from those holding the office, it is, ultimately, a thankless position. You can never make everybody happy. There is unceasing scrutiny and criticism from assholes like me. (I’m thinking that should be an ‘I’. Assholes like I am?) The pay level is far below what someone with this kind responsibility and oversight would get in the much vaunted private sector. Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown, and all that.
Nor do I take exception to journalists covering the local political scene the fun outing that occasionally crops up in their line of duty. Have at it, folks. Embrace the breaks from the usual grind of the job.
But along with the fringe benefits come the odd bouts of doing the more mundane aspects of the job. Like, I don’t know, forging a consensus across political lines. Leading the discussion on the city’s more pressing problems like transit. Attending events you don’t necessarily share an affinity with.
Because our mayor seems to have an allergy to that particular aspect of his job description, I then resent the times he enthusiastically goes about doing the things he so clearly enjoys. And the journalists and their news outlets who so willingly play along and give Mayor Ford an unfettered platform to deliver the Everyman schtick he loves to play. Hey, everybody! It is all fun and games.
I watched Jamie Strashin’s coverage of the mayor’s Sportsmen’s Show outing yesterday with dumb amazement. Lookit. Mayor Ford fishes! Mayor Ford’s apprehensive around skunks! Owls love Mayor Ford! Mayor Ford shoots a target with an air rifle! Mayor Ford loves the Sportsmen’s Show. It’s Mayor Ford’s favourite show after the Super Bowl halftime show!
Again, I get that part of the mayor’s role is as an ambassador for the city, a promoter of all things Toronto. I’m sure in that capacity David Miller did likewise. Touting Toronto FC. Hanging out at the Wine and Cheese Show. Proclaiming a David Suzuki Day.
But why does the normally prickly with the press Mayor Ford get a free pass when he finally deigns to make a public relations appearance? Oh come on. Leave the guy alone. He’s having a little fun. Hey, Mayor Ford? What do you think of the city worker caught surfing porn while on the job? Keep it in your pants, boys, until you get home.
“And with that, the mayor was gone. Out of the wilderness and back to City Hall.”
Am I being a killjoy here? Clearly I don’t understand the relationship etiquette between the mayor and the media. Coverage on the mayor’s terms. He’s available when he’s available, take it or leave it. And if you don’t mind lobbing up a couple softball questions for him, it’d be much appreciated.
I probably could’ve let it all pass unremarked on had I not read fedora sporting Joe Warmington’s Sun scribblings. Why did I do such a thing on this beautiful wintery day? I cannot tell you. Maybe I was up too early this morning. Hadn’t had my cuppa before turning on the interwebs. My bad. Serves me right.
Talk about taking direct aim at a political foe.
Even it was just an air-powered pellet gun, it was a very clear message sent:
Hunters and sportsmen and women are very welcome in the city of Toronto.
And take that, former mayor David Miller. Councillor Adam Vaughan, too.
What a contrast from three years ago when the legal gun owners and law-abiding hunters were discriminated against.
So yesterday’s outing wasn’t simply an exercise in mayoral city building and promotion. It served as a dog whistle to his supporters that he was out erasing all traces of the previous administration while sticking it to his political rival, Councillor Adam Vaughan. Bet Vaughanie’s never petted a possum.
It seems rather than combat ‘murderous gangster gun crime’ in the city like Mayor Ford was by shooting an air rifle at targets, the Millerites banned the gun loving Sportmen’s Show from city property at the CNE. They exiled it all the way north of the lake and a few blocks east to the Convention Centre. Fucking downtown elite despots. Enough was enough.
“I told [Sportsmen Show chair] Walter Oster if I am mayor it will be back here,” said Ford with a Cheshire Cat grin. “I am a man of my word and it’s back here at the CNE where it never should have left in the first place.”
Yep. Political correctness by damned. Sportsmen shouldn’t have to be subject to no stinkin’ trip to a convention centre when they want to battle a fish on a television set. They should be allowed to roam free in the cavernous halls of the Direct Energy Centre. As God intended.
If the mayor’s going to load even the most innocuous of outings with politics, the press can’t just stand idly by, playing along and dutifully noting his exploits. That’s what I would call, if you’ll excuse my Joe Warmington attempts at punning, court reporting. (Think about it for a sec.) Just because Mayor Ford refuses to buckle down and do his job, doesn’t mean the media should too.
– poor sportingly submitted by Cityslikr