Saturday 3 December 2011

Rob Ford = Fundamentally Undemocratic

Toronto mayor feuds with Canada's biggest daily
Conter likened Ford's war against the media to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's tight limits on media access during the recent election race, during which he only allowed five questions from reporters at each daily news conference during campaigning.
"With the five questions, it isn't just vetting questions, it is limiting access to the prime minister," said Conter. "So it is effectively blocking access to a whole bunch of people."
The concept, said Conter, seems to have inspired Ford in his war against the Toronto Star.
But it goes against the democratic duty of public officials, he added.
"Public officials in a democratic country have the duty, if not to answer all the questions of every reporter, at least to disseminate amongst all media press briefings, announcements, all that sort of thing," said Conter. "To cherry pick who you send your releases to is fundamentally undemocratic."

And, from the Huffington Post:
The recent revelation is that Rob Ford is holding the Toronto Star hostage by refusing to speak to it and provide it with news releases. The paper claims his staff are actively attempting to keep it in the dark on media stories provided to all other outlets covering Toronto City Hall, highlighting a dangerous abuse of power threatening to erode fundamental societal foundations. (Ford has since denied freezing out the Star.)
What's next for Toronto? Why don't we just close down all press and open an official propaganda office so that Mayor Ford won't have to worry about who writes what about what he is doing with other people's money in a city he shares with millions? The Chinese do it. North Korea seems to be OK at it. Soviet Russia must have left notes behind on how to run a propaganda office.

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