Mayor Rob Ford Feeding Frenzy: Objective Reporting Anyone?

Is it possible for some news media organizations to dispense with the over-the-top drama, the whining voice, the condescending remarks, the speculation and innuendo when reporting the news?

What every happened to the dichotomy between objective news reporting and editorializing?

Why is it difficult to find objective, decent, sober (pardon the pun), unbiased reporting of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s personal issues.  It’s too bad that a once serious and dependable news industry has almost been taken over by a ratings-driven, sensational journalism machine–“news-tainment” for short.

We can see why the news-tainment media put so many resources into reporting Mr. Ford’s personal issues, while unsexy topics that have a fundamental affect on the public, such as $1.1 BILLION of taxpayers’ dollars spent to save five MPPs seats in the 2011 Ontario election, get sidelined.  We saw it again last Thursday with the low priority given to Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s economic statement.

Mr. Anthony Furey does an excellent job here of explaining the ethos that drives the feeding frenzy surrounding Mayor Rob Ford.

What is needed here is perspective.  Consider for a moment that a former drug dealer was not only invited to the last US presidential inauguration, but sat near the president-elect, the current and former presidents.  You may agree or disagree with this invitation, but it shows the human capacity to move beyond past serious transgressions.  The private indiscretions of a mayor that have not been shown to be criminal, nor have affected his ability to perform his job, therefore, do not warrant the degree of harassment we have witnessed.

Toronto AM640’s The John Oakley Show reminded us yesterday of the 1950s McCarthy-Army hearings when Senator McCarthy falsely accused a young attorney of being a communist.  The attorney’s boss gave this rebuke, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator.  You have done enough.  Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”


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