Need A Video Of Mayor Ford Smoking Crack? No Problem – It’s Easy To Make One
There has been an unbelievable amount of press coverage over an alleged video that purportedly shows Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, smoking crack cocaine. The allegations were originally made on the American website Gawker and almost pathologically jumped on by The Star, Toronto’s largest newspaper and anti-Ford crusaders.
Not long after, Canada’s largest national newspaper the Globe and Mail was out with its own story about the Mayor’s brother, Toronto councilor Doug Ford. Quoting unnamed sources, the Globe alleged that Councilor Ford had been a drug dealer in his younger years.
Since then, it’s been a feeding frenzy of abject stupidity with all kinds of people and media jumping all over the two stories. Everything is examined in minute detail. Why didn’t the Mayor sue The Star? Why are so many of his staff leaving his office? Every new detail becomes one more piece of ‘pseudo’ evidence that he is guilty.
But even if he isn’t, his attackers have almost achieved their objective. Guilty or not, they have succeeded in turning Toronto City politics into a circus sideshow for which the Mayor is being blamed. There’s nice work if you can get it.
Even the new Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, has come out with dire warnings that if the issue isn’t resolved soon, she is prepared to take action. It’s unfortunate the Premier isn’t as resolved to take action on the corruption within her own party and give the people an opportunity to vote for or against her program.
In the end, however, it all hinges on that video. Two Star reporters claim to have seen it. They viewed it on a mobile device in the back seat of a car. I hope they practiced safe viewing because they certainly weren’t practicing professional journalism.
There is a difference between what is and wanting desperately for something to be the truth. There was never an attempt to corroborate this story by either Gawker or The Star. They saw the video, which unfortunately is no longer available it seems, and that was absolute proof of the Mayor’s guilt.
Or was it?
For his part, the Mayor has denied that the video exists because he denies that he has ever smoked crack but let’s assume for a moment that The Star’s crack investigative reporting team (I know bad pun but deal with it) actually did see a video that showed Rob Ford smoking crack. Let’s also assume that they wouldn’t lie about something like that.
Does the existence of that video actually prove that the Mayor was caught on video smoking crack cocaine?
Watch this short video and decide for yourself whether or not the Mayor was caught smoking crack on video.
It’s that easy. We live in an era of special effects and computerized graphics. Photographs are doctored and manipulated repeatedly. Facebook is full of PhotoShoped images and our movies ignore reality by using special effects and video editing to make all kinds of unbelievable things believable.
Want someone to fly through the air? No problem in Iron Man, Superman or any one of dozens of other movies. Need someone to morph into a wolf? That can easily be done – out on Highway 61 as Bob Dylan sang once.
In other words, you can’t necessarily believe your eyes when it comes to some photographs or videos; they’re just too easily manipulated these days and it doesn’t take a well-trained professional. Even I can manipulate photos and have for my own amusement in the past. All it takes is the right software and a bit of practice.
If there was ever an era when we needed objective journalism willing to hold publishing stories until they had corroborating evidence; it’s this one. Unfortunately, ‘gotcha’ journalism is quickly eroding the professional standards of too many media outlets these days.
For the record, I have no idea if Toronto Mayor Rob Ford did or did not smoke crack cocaine. I don’t know if a video purporting to show him smoking crack actually exists or existed and if does or did, I don’t know if it is authentic or manufactured.
Neither do the people at Gawker or The Star’s intrepid reporter.
This entire sordid mess is based entirely on what is presented as a poor screen capture from the video and some uncorroborated ‘he sid / she said’ by three or four people. While I appreciate that it has become almost common place these days to simply say whatever pops into our heads without regard for verification of the truth of it or not, this has gone beyond the pale.
Like I said, I have no idea if the mayor did or didn’t smoke crack or if there is or is not a video showing him doing so. Until it has been corroborated, I would suggest nobody else does either.
© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
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