Yet relentless in their slander and vilification of this servant of the people, the powerful not only fail to diminish him, but have created the image of a martyr standing bravely against the ferocious onslaught.
This martyr is Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford.
In the Editorial boardroom at the Toronto Star, the continual frustration at their inability to make a dent in Rob Ford's support must be competing with embarrassment that the highest elected municipal official in their cosmopolitan city is, in their eyes, a brash, overweight bumpkin. The pile-on is abetted by histrionic invective from the socialist weekly NOW magazine and disgruntled columnists like The Globe and Mail's Marcus Gee. Despite their best efforts, and unrelenting attacks that have gone on virtually daily since the former Etobicoke councillor declared his mayoral candidacy, they have done nothing to diminish his popularity with his core constituency.
They have portrayed Ford as racist and anti-immigrant, but in his home riding, made up mainly of immigrants and minority voters, he regularly polls overwhelming majorities, exceeding 75% of the vote.
What the Star's satraps have blinded themselves to is that rather than tear Ford down, their histrionic mudslinging is actually bolstering Ford's popularity.
At this point, one wonders what the anti-Ford media is up to? To whom are they trying to make their sale? The people who hate Ford don't need daily reminders. They will hate him no matter what. But these histrionic attacks only invigorate Ford's supporters.
Making a typically hyperbolic comparison to Marion Barry, the felonious former mayor of Washington D.C., even the Star's editor Bob Hepburn conceded that their scandal-mongering against Ford is unlikely to have any affect.
But like spoiled infants throwing a tantrum. they are just unable to restrain themselves.
|We hates the Ford, my Precious!|
Actually, it's Salutin, his colleagues, and employers who are the drama queens who have forgotten the city. They have incessantly been trying to make Ford an issue at the expense of Toronto\s best interests and with complete disregard for journalistic integrity.
What are the issues the Star has been so worked up about? That Ford may have been drinking? That he solicited charitable donations on City letterhead he paid for from his own pocket and from which he derives absolutely no personal fiduciary gain? That he might have smoked a joint when he was on vacation in Florida? None of the accusations, even if they are true, suggest that Ford has ever done anything improper for enriching himself.
Ford has devoted himself, while facing ridicule and scorn, to doing what is right for Toronto's taxpayers. He has fought hard to keep taxes and costs down for Torontonians, and he has been as successful as anyone could be given the magnitude of the opposition he's faced.
Today, when Ford was the voice fighting back against proposals to raise taxes, which had skyrocketed under his predecessor, David Miller, The Star published a spiteful article focusing on the way the mayor expressed disdain at imposing taxes on Torontonians while neglecting the detrimental affect of the new levies.
When Ford said there is corruption at City Hall, the Star was more interested in trying to vilify the mayor than serve public interests by exposing the corruption.
Something the media elites in Toronto don't realize is that people aren't as stupid as they think they are; nor will they believe everything they are told, just because it comes out of the mainstream news.
There isn't a major city in the world without some level of corruption at the municipal level. And people know it.
In Toronto, billions are being spent on condo and commercial developments, often over the objection of local residents. A lot of money is being thrown around amid interests that are tied to that development and it may not be coincidental that more than one downtown "left-wing" councilor is living awfully well for someone supposedly making $102,608 per annum.
Ford has said he is willing to act for the will of residents when it comes to development. But rather than pursue potential corruption where it actually may exist, The Star, which makes a tremendous amount of money carrying advertisements for condos, is more interested in pursuing Rob Ford for potential technical errors in his efforts to help underprivileged kids with his school football foundation.
Just because Torontonians have ignored the will of the media elites doesn't mean they are stupid, or nuts as Star columnist Heather Mallick shrieked around the time she wrote a bizarre, disturbed, imagined wretched sexual tryst with Ford. Nor are they "hordes" conjuring up the images of barbarity attempted by the Star's resident condominium aficionado, Christopher Hume.
People aren't as stupid as Toronto's media elites would like. Voters not obsessed with their own insecurity are not afraid to have opinions that aren't sanctioned at One Yonge Street by the Toronto Star.
Ford was elected by a city fed up with social engineers and special interests who wanted to impose their vision at other people's expense, while telling the public they knew what is best.
What Rob Ford represents is the common person saying "we don't need a pompous, self-interested political class to tell us they know more about what's best for us than we do ourselves."
And as much as a sanctimonious political and media elite may hate it, what they are telling us to think isn't turning people against Ford as much as turning him into a hero.