With election season fully underway and a slew of non-campaign-but-close videos hitting the web it was only a matter of time before Rob Ford’s now infamous crack cocaine denials made the rounds on social media yet again, but even those suffering from Ford Fatigue can appreciate this new take.
“Rob Ford’s words in the mouth of a child” takes near direct quotes from Ford’s denial and later admission of smoking crack cocaine and puts them in the context of a frustrated father dealing with a daughter who left a “crack” in a window after playing inside.
The short leaves viewers by stating “our children are listening” evoking concerns of the example being set for youth by Toronto’s mayor. The issue it presents isn’t an example of a child mimicking smoking crack or associating with gangs and drug dealers (in fact the girl in the video is doing homework when her father comes in and is only guilty of tossing a ball around indoors) but taking from him the lesson that constant lies and denials wont land you in any hot water and can, in fact, leave you better off than you were before. Uh oh, seems like one of those pesky situations where parents might have to explain right from wrong to their kids.
Media knows best
The real draw in this video isn’t the lines you’ve heard ad nauseam for the past year, it’s the reaction of the father character as he deals with his unruly child. It isn’t exactly clear if the father is supposed to represent the electorate of Toronto (you know, those people still polling Rob Ford in the 30% range) or the frustrated reporters and journalists of the media who have stopped short of declaring all out war on Ford the Man and Ford the Mayor.
What is missing from the father/daughter scenario is a clear punishment — a smart mouth like that would still land children over their father’s knee in a lot of households, the same way voters have the ability to boot out Ford in the fall.
The hands up what-the-heck-can-I-do-here response from the father here seems more in tune with the reaction of many in the media right now. “We’ve done all we can” is a common subtext to much of the reporting and comment on Ford at this point. “We’ve caught him in his lies, exposed the scandal, and now there is nothing more we can do! But look how awful he is! Why aren’t you listening to us? Boy are we mad!” Mad indeed.
Most stories at Toronto’s dailies now completely and totally count out Ford as a viable candidate in the current election period. We’re told regularly that there is no point in portraying him as anything other than a cartoonish style super villain because of his lies. He lied about crack, he lied about saving a billion dollars, and who knows what else he has lied about.
But still, despite being reduced to nothing but a few shreds of good press over the last year, Ford still polls well into the territory it would take to secure another mandate at the helm of this city.
The father of the Ford quoting girl represents Toronto’s media in sense that they are both throwing their hands up in reaction to the situation. They are both stuck dealing with lies and denials, and although they want nothing more in the world, they simply cannot correct this behaviour. The difference is that fathers have a responsibility to correct the behaviour of their children.
The media entitlement and desire to control the outcome of this election has become a heavy and insufferable inflated ego that has wedged its way into all of the coverage around Ford and his opponents.
In an age where our politics are almost always presented through a lens it is irresponsible and undemocratic for the media to try and make up our minds for us. The father in the video can spank his child and send her to her room, but as much as the journalists and reporters who make up the media in Toronto wish they could do the same to Ford they simply have no such right.