With all the conflicting and disputed accounts swirling around regarding what actually happened on that fateful Monday morning when 22 Minutes’ Mary Walsh ambushed Rob Ford outside his home, let’s take a moment to review what we actually know. When the CBC crew showed up at the Ford house, the mayor responded by calling 911 (according to the Toronto Sun, he sounded scared). The Sun also reports that there were three calls: two from Ford to dispatchers, and one from dispatchers to Ford (the CBC’s initial story failed to mention that last detail). Discussions with dispatch were tense, but it’s unclear what, exactly, was said. The CBC has stuck by a story citing sources that said Ford called someone a “bitch.” Ford denies this. (It seems possible that the CBC hadn’t actually heard the tapes when it ran the story.) However, some of Ford’s initial claims now appear untrue, including that the encounter took place while it was dark. Really, it all boils down to a lot of he-said-she-said. Beyond that, we’re struggling to see how the whole dramatic ordeal amounts to anything more.
The details, from a Toronto Star story today:
The disputed contents of that call have stirred fresh controversy for the embattled mayor following a CBC News report alleging Ford berated the 911 dispatcher in a profanity-laced tirade.
Ford admitted to using the F-word in the call, but has denied insulting the female operator, calling the CBC report “absolutely false.”
But pressure was mounting Thursday against Ford from within City Hall to obtain and release the tapes to set the allegations straight.
If recordings of the calls eventually prove Ford’s side of the story to be true, it’s not too hard to suggest where the CBC went wrong. A story of Ford calling a dispatcher a “bitch” fits easily enough with what has been reported about him in the past and the image a lot of people in the city already ascribe to him. Of course, that doesn’t make it fair.
For now though, the brouhaha seems to be nothing more than a tempest in a gravy boat. The CBC is sticking with its original story, and Ford’s tweeting detractors will probably continue to believe what they want to believe. The Sun and other defenders of Ford, on the other hand, will continue to hype the incident as an example of the left-wing media going after the everyman mayor in its continued efforts to promote a socialist agenda, waste your hard-earned tax money, and…yeah. But in the end, will anything actually come of it?
• Pressure mounts for Mayor Ford to release a tape of 911 call [Toronto Star]
• Ford nervous, daughter screaming in 911 call: Source [Toronto Sun]
• Controversy Continuing to Swirl Around Rob Ford’s 911 Call [Torontoist]
• What the #!%* did Rob Ford say to the 911 operator? [National Post]
Images: Gravy boat, Grannies Kitchen; Rob Ford, Christopher Drost