Media shows no compassion for Rob Ford and family
Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford. (Toronto Sun files)
Get well, Mayor Ford.
In the end, Rob’s health is all that matters.
It would be nice if the reporters at the news conference at Humber Memorial Hospital Wednesday night cared about that.
“Pure scum,” said a man who was in the room across from Ford.
You would think, just once, they would show some empathy for the man. Instead, they acted like sharks swirling the blood in the water.
They could just taste it. They want him out of the race and no longer mayor so bad they can’t even hide their contempt.
“Is the mayor going to focus on his health and step away from the mayoral race?” shouted one reporter to Councillor Doug Ford.
One reporter actually had the temerity to ask if Doug would replace him on the ballot.
Doug Ford has seen the pack at work before but even he seemed surprised by the lack of compassion.
“Give us a day,” he said politely.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ford was surrounded by doctors and nurses treating him.
“Renata was there and so was his mom, who was crying,” said the man in a room next door. “Doug was trying to put on a brave face. They are clearly a close family. It was wild because in all of the sadness, it was Rob who was keeping it light and calming people down.”
The man said the mayor was also greeting other patients and expressing concern.
“But I could tell he was in pain and discomfort,” said the man, whose relative is also in hospital.
Ford’s personal trainer Phil Zullo was driving in from Muskoka and came straight to the hospital.
“I knew he must be in real pain to come to hospital because I worked out with him for a month and he had a broken bone in his foot and he just worked through the pain.”
The press didn’t ask about any of that. They were focused on the election.
“Councillor Ford, what about the campaign?” came another shriek from the jackals.
It was bloody embarrassing.
How about how is the mayor doing? How is his family? How’s his wife? What about his young children? His mother coping OK?
Doug Ford talked about him being in “good spirits” and when I listened back to the tape, I didn’t actually hear anybody really ask the full question about his well being.
There was just a grunt or bark about it.
It’s like they don’t care. He’s their punching bag.
I think it’s time the media party do some soul searching on their approach. This mayor is a person and the over-the-top piling on is in many ways just as bad as any of his personal failings in his time as mayor.
The Twitter troll creeps are worse. Some of them are sick and twisted but they are trolls.
The media needs to be a little more respectful, in my view. Many were rude and classless.
It looked to me that Doug Ford had tears in his eyes. The poor doctor had a look of disgust on his face.
We need to be better than that.
Councillor Ford asked the press to “leave” his family “alone” to sort it out before dealing with what’s going to happen with the election campaign.
They don’t even know what this is yet. They have found a tumour and they need to do a biopsy to find where to go next.
The truth is the Fords were under no obligation to have this news conference and only did it because they knew the rumours on social media would conjure up images of a relapse of addictions or God knows what.
Some in this media party who have been hell bent to drive this mayor into the ground have got to learn some manners.
It’s time for them to start treating him like a person and show some humanity.
The real irony of this is Mayor Ford himself is compassionate about people who are down on their health. His media assistant Amin Massoudi will tell you that. He’s been battling cancer himself and Mayor Ford visited him regularly in the hospital even when he was embattled this summer.
It was the other way around Wednesday night. There was a solemn Massoudi at the hospital Wednesday.
“Brutal day,” he e-mailed me. “This is devastating.”
Or is it just a good story?
It may seem like that sometimes but not everybody is mean. A lot of Torontonians, as well as people around the world, are rooting for you, Rob.