Monday, 19 May 2014

Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story
It’s difficult to believe the stories you hear about Rob Ford, but do we really need to hear more?  I wasn’t looking to know more until I heard a review of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story on The Next Chapter (my favourite radio program on CBC).  The reviewer mentioned how well-written this book is and how, by telling her story in the first person, Robyn Doolittle creates a riveting book.  *Spoiler Alert*
            In an interview with Jian Ghomeshi, Doolittle mentioned she wrote the book to answer what people still want to know about Rob Ford; firstly, how did Rob Ford get to be mayor of Toronto and what in his upbringing caused him to be the way he is.  Through an incredible amount of diligent research, Doolittle answers this questions many times over. 
            I also found it interesting to have the whole story put together, or at least the story so far.  Hearing snippets and pieces of the story on the news made the story seem like a fiction – more like celebrity news than fact.  I was greatly impressed with Doolittle’s journalistic abilities in the telling of the story.  As someone who studied journalism in the 90’s, I was also amazed at the legal precautions newspapers are now required to consider.  I am quite certain the general public, including myself, is unaware of how careful journalists must be to present the news.  Doolittle herself was part of an investigation by the Ontario Press Council to ensure the Toronto Star was covering the Rob Ford story in an honest and responsible manner.  “On October 16, 2013, the Ontario Press Council dismissed complaints against the Star and Globe.  The panel found that both papers had acted responsibly while reporting on a matter of significant public interest.”  (Crazy Town, p. 250 – 251)
            Rob Ford is certainly a character who will not soon be forgotten in Canada.  In fact, Doolittle predicts that he will likely win another term as mayor.  The general feeling seems to be that, other than his personal problems, he is doing good things as mayor.  The question I ask is, since when is someone allowed to maintain any job, from janitor to judge, when they are involved in illegal activities?  Even if it has yet to be proven in court, people in my profession would, at least, be suspended from their job until the allegations were proven or disproven in court.  Doolittle explains the legalities of why Ford can yet retain his office and the way councillors have tried to curtail his power, but it still baffles me.
            In conclusion, I found this a fascinating read, which is saying a lot for someone who generally can’t follow politics. 

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