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Readers react as Rob Ford's press secretaries quit

Categories: Canada, Politics

mi-300-mayor-ford-scrum.jpgThe Rob Ford story took another turn Monday when the Toronto mayor's press secretary and deputy press secretary both quit, and CBC News readers were quick to comment.

George Christopoulos and Isaac Ransom's departures were unexpected. They came one day after Ford called the media a "bunch of maggots" during his weekly radio broadcast, and two days after an in-depth report in The Globe and Mail that made strong allegations of drug dealing by Ford's brother Doug.

Meanwhile, the U.S. gossip website Gawker has raised more than the $200,000 US it needs to buy a video it says shows Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Reporters from Gawker and the Toronto Star have seen the video and reported on what they saw.

Rob Ford said Sunday the video "doesn't exist." It was a stronger claim than he'd made on Friday, when he said he could not comment on a video "that I have never seen or does not exist."

"This is like a slow-motion train wreck. You want to look away but you just can't," wrote garnish on about the story, summing up a common attitude.

  • "Those closest to Ford in council (his bro excluded) are leaving the sinking ship. Why?" asked Daniel65.  "If they thought he was innocent wouldn't they stay with him? No matter what the con shills and apologists say, this looks like Ford is guilty."
  • "As a person who makes their living in communications, I am glad to see these two staffers resign," wrote Margarettt. "It has been obvious to me that Ford either had the worst PR people in the world, or was completely going against what any professional would ever advise, which is: tell the truth and get on with life."
  • "Boy this story goes from bad to worse," wrote Brennerm on "I think he has real nerve in slamming the media for doing their jobs... the people of Toronto need to know who is representing them, believe me the papers wouldn't have reported these stories unless there was truth in them, they do not make a habit of slandering people... otherwise they would be in court."
  • "His administration is coming apart at the seams - if he's really a drug user his refusal to acknowledge this is hurting the city," said Tony86. "If he isn't a drug user than he has some explaining to do why he can't hold his admin together."

But not everyone has such faith in the media.

  • "One thing seems sure: by the end of this, reputations will be ruined," declared J Story.  "Will it be the Toronto Star (what's left of their reputation, anyway) and the Global and Mail, or will it be the politicians? For me ... journalists will have been found to have let themselves be deluded in their haste to topple a political nemesis."
  • "The media is showing how completely irresponsible they are...very sad!" wrote Paul69.

Yet others wondered why the Fords hadn't fought back already - in court.

  • "With all the Ford Brothers condemnation of the media, I can't understand why they haven't launched various lawsuits to defend their name," wondered frat1309. "Maybe, there is truth to the stories and a lawsuit would prove that, and other non reported stories."
  • "I have no respect for this Mayor but this is starting to look like a witch hunt," said fontainerocks. "Newspapers are supposed to print facts that can be proven. Does the [Globe and Mail] have proof? Can the Star produce the evidence. If not, this is tantamount to slander."

It is unclear whether Gawker will be able to track down the video's owner in order to buy the video. Both Gawker and the Star reported last week they've lost contact with the person who has it.

What's your take on the latest development in the Rob Ford story? 

Tags: Community Reaction, Toronto

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