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article imageOp-Ed: Media has a Rob Ford obsession and it's kinda getting tiresome

By Marcus Hondro     May 8, 2014 in Politics
In the past few days we have read that many do not believe Rob Ford is in rehab, and some media reported that he was at a Tim Horton's. His brother Doug said it was him at Tim's, though few believed that until the store checked security tapes.
Is this getting a little goofy?
Yeah, Mr. Ford has done a great deal of lying, about crack cocaine usage, and about other things, and he's behaved in odd, even childish, ways. The media has always maintained it hasn't created his reputation, that it hasn't added to it by obsessively reporting about him. They have said they reported about him so often because, as mayor, Mr. Ford's actions warranted reportage. And that is correct.
But not now it isn't. Now? Now it's all about sensationalism and selling papers. Now — leave the man alone. He's in treatment, he's trying to get well. He has an illness, addiction is an illness, and he needs time, and the mental space, along with the care of professionals, to get his life back.
Ford decides it's time for rehab
This latest saga began with reports in The Globe and Mail about a drug video — a second drug video, not to be confused with the much ballyhooed drug video from last year — that featured Mayor Ford. There was also a audio tape the Toronto Sun released that features Mr. Ford making crude remarks about mayoral candidate Karen Stintz, and arguably homophobic remarks.
The following day, after all of this became public, he himself said he'd had enough, that he was taking a break from the campaign and going into treatment. Since, incredibly, there are those in the media who've suggested that simply because no one knows where he is, it could mean that he hasn't even gone into treatment.
Really? Do they expect to be told which facility he's in? Would the facility itself, trying to get people well, want the media outside their doors, making it harder not just for Rob Ford to get well, but for all their clients? Politicians, athletes and celebs generally don't give out their treatment facility location because they need privacy and the need for privacy is something a lot of media refuses to respect.
A mature, ethical reaction to Ford going into treatment is to stop reporting on him. Move on the the next subject. Aren't we tired of this anyhow? Shouldn't the press, given there's nothing substantive to report, back off? When he comes out of rehab a press conference, a few words on how he's feeling and his plans, then he goes back to work and the media reports on real issues. But before he gets out of treatment?
Before he gets out — enough already.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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