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Toronto’s media – school children with microphones…

March 15, 2014

If anyone is under any illusions about the maturity of the Toronto Press corps and their handling of the Rob Ford affair, I think the recent events around Olivia Chow’s announcement that she will be running for mayor has taken care of that.

The Toronto press can be as immature with a serious candidate as they were with a buffoon like Ford.

At her initial announcement the first question of her campaign from Sun Media was what her position would be on where brothels should be placed in Toronto? That’s their first question, in a packed house, at her much anticipated announcement that she would be running for mayor!

And today she was asked about whether she had ever smoked pot or not.

Not that these questions shouldn’t be asked, if they were at all relevant. But when they are asked in the first two days of starting a campaign to be the mayor of the 5th largest city in North America they just show the immaturity of the press.

Anyone who took two minutes to research Olivia’s career would know that if she had smoked pot, it would have been 30 years ago, as she is squeaky clean in that regard as a politician. And as far as it goes regarding brothels, the feds haven’t even decided how they are going to proceed after the Supreme Court threw out our prostitution laws. And, Olivia has a long record of working for women’s rights and in community development. She isn’t going to have a pat answer to such a serious issue.

Sure, these were questions thrown at her from the conservative media trying to muck about for dirt and throw her off her game, but we live in an age where the media controls the public agenda about what we will talk about. So CBC felt it necessary to report on the pot question as did every other media outlet and that became today’s discussion about Toronto’s mayoral race.

Stupid questions become the discussion and distracts us from the real issues of politics. Colorado legalizes pot and has moved on in the world, meanwhile we are acting like silly prurient giggling school children who want to point our fingers and ask “have you ever smoked pot?”

Toronto is now the 5th largest city on North America, with infrastructure and economic problems that impact the entire country. Toronto’s housing bubble is about to go poof, it’s aging infrastructure is costing billions in lost revenue, manufacturing jobs have all but disappeared, more people now work for minimum wage than any other sector of the city’s economy, and Toronto’s small business community is suffocating under some of the stupidest red tape you can imagine, and this is the best the press has to ask her about?

It’s time for the press to grow up. You were embarrassing in your coverage of Rob Ford. But now the joke is just sad.

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