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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Rob Ford controversy raises the question: Should it be open season on everyone's private life?

A public official's conduct in office is the only matter about their conduct that should be of public concern.

At least that's what I think.

That's how I felt about Bill Clinton and his Lewinsky affair and that's how I feel about Rob Ford and his crack episode.

Some people say the issue with Clinton was less the affair than the lying about it. His lying about Lewinsky came about because he had to face questions that in all decency should never have been put to him in the public sphere.

Bill Clinton's personal life may have been checkered, but in the execution of his duties as a public official, he was meticulously honest and a person of integrity (though the same isn't necessarily true of his wife).

The same is true of Rob Ford. His personal life may be a mess, but he is inscrutably honest in protecting public interests and doggedly determined to serve the public.

Which isn't to say we can't make fun of them over it, and I have to admit, I found Jon Stewart's recent bit about Rob Ford very amusing.

But trying to destroy a person over these matters crosses the line. Fortunately, as was the case with Clinton, and I anticipate will be with Ford, that effort to destroy them ends up being self-discrediting and self-destructive to those attacking a public person for private behavior.

Ford's lies had nothing to do with his conduct as a public official. Contrast that with the lies from Ontario Liberal Party leaders who lied to cover up their misappropriation of public funds.

Yet over whom has the media has worked itself into near ecstatic frenzy?

If personal foibles are so relevant, does this mean we should be exposing more of them?

What about the married Canadian political party leader who frequented Gay bathhouses and tried to pick up underage boys? Many in the media know of that, but covered it up.

News media has a great deal of public influence, so does that mean their lives are part of the public interest?

Since so many of Rob Ford's vindictive enemies claim that, 'really, we just want him to get help,'
perhaps it would be helpful to expose which Toronto news anchorwoman worked as a call girl. After all, the trauma may be affecting her and the way she does her job still and I just want her to get help.

Or how about those married folk at The Toronto Star and Globe and Mail who are having affairs with their married colleagues, or the married CBC producers having affairs with their junior staffers?

Or what about some of the deviant sexual practices of some members of Toronto's City Council and some of the MPPs at Queen's Park?

That is probably affecting their ability to perform their jobs, so should I start naming names?

All this is to say nothing of the widespread past use of cocaine by many of those same people who are now falling over themselves to condemn Rob Ford for using what is in essence the same substance.

I guess we need to know who those people are too. I know people who were involved with them directly in those activities.

Is that now fair game?

I hope not, because these are games that no one should want to begin.


Anonymous said...

Maybe its time to name names and give the media party a taste of their own poison?

1389 said...

"Bill Clinton's personal life may have been checkered, but in the execution of his duties as a public official, he was meticulously honest and a person of integrity..."

Bzzzzzt, wroooong.

As soon as the impeachment trial was over and he knew he'd stay in office, he immediately began spreading Muslim propaganda against the Serbs to provide an excuse to go to war as a convenient distraction.

Turns out the Juanita Broaddrick rape allegations were coming out. Yes, sometimes it does matter what people do in private, at least when they've victimized somebody else.

Minicapt said...

"... he was meticulously honest and a person of integrity ..."
... between bouts of fondling the female staff, and refusing to allow Bin Laden news to interfere with his golfing pleasures. And his fitness regime and rapes.


Unknown said...

I think you're confusing private behavior with crimes, and that could be problematic.

I could actually give a shit if Rob Ford "gets better." His pathetic spectacles amuse me to the point that I might actually vote for him. Since he has no real power of influence as of yesterday, four more years of funny would be great!

It's the very real possibility that he's committed serious crimes that's problematic to me.

I supported the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice until the GOP decided that Scooter Libby's was all right. But the point stands that personal behavior stops being personal when a grand jury is impaneled.

As for Crackhead Rob, it's turning out that Tupac Shakur might have had fewer criminal associations, and that can hardly be described as private.

There's a compelling case to be made that Ford was involved in a conspiracy to commit extortion, and that's not private. There are dark mutterings that city staff were looking to hire computer hackers, which also isn't private.

My guess is that Etobicoke Slim will be criminally charged within weeks of a Crown being named in the Lisi case.

That's a far sight different from politicians and journalists drinking and fucking, which, the last I checked, aren't crimes. Nor is being a call girl.

And are you seriously suggesting that an officeholder that's cruising boys under 16 shouldn't be reported? At a minimum, you have a moral obligation to call the police! And if you're satisfied to use that kind of conduct as a buffer for the likes of Ford, that might be the most twisted revolting thing imaginable.

But if, like the Brothers Ford, you want to go full retard on political and media enemies, feel free. If you think going scorched earth is going to reflect well on you and your guy, i think you're sadly mistaken, but what do I know?

I just hope, for your sake, that you can prove it, because those people can and will sue you out of existence.

Anonymous said...

Jack Layton cannot sue anyone.

Paulie said...

I disagree that no one should want to begin those games. Firstly, turn about is fair play. Secondly, we are in a fight here. Thirdly, lulz. If you liked Stewart on crack-smoking mayors, you will love Shaidle on bath house cruising party leaders.