Canada Thomas Walkom: Doug Ford’s media bus controversy is much ado about very little

01:30  10 april  2018
01:30  10 april  2018 Source:   Toronto Star

Doug Ford declines to participate in Black Community Provincial Leaders Debate

  Doug Ford declines to participate in Black Community Provincial Leaders Debate Doug Ford will not be participating in a provincial leaders' debate organized by the Black community scheduled for April 11. Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford will not be participating in a provincial leaders' debate organized by the black community scheduled for April 11, CBC Toronto has learned. In a statement to CBC Toronto, Ford's campaign says the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader will be in Northern Ontario on the date of the Black Community Provincial Leaders Debate. "Doug Ford has been meeting with Ontarians of every background and listening to their concerns," the statement reads.

Indeed, his Ford Nation backers are marked by their racial and ethnic diversity, writes Thomas Walkom . Doug Ford , Ontario’ s new Progressive Conservative leader, is very much a homegrown phenomenon.

Thomas Walkom : Why Doug Ford is not Donald Trump of the North. parsing the russian social media ‘plot’ to elect donald trump: walkom Breaking Daily News. Little "MAD BRAD" Takes On Three GoonUcks!

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.


Keeping the Queen’s Park press gallery at a distance won’t eliminate Ford’s gaffe potential. But it may minimize it, writes Thomas Walkom.© Chris Young Keeping the Queen’s Park press gallery at a distance won’t eliminate Ford’s gaffe potential. But it may minimize it, writes Thomas Walkom.

Critics are ripping into Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford’s decision to campaign during the upcoming provincial election without a media bus in tow.

Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne accuses Ford of trying to avoid media scrutiny. Ontario New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath says she’s shocked at a decision that “flies in the face of transparency.” They should relax.

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And then there's Sh*t Doug Ford Says, which quotes Ford ' s more controversial statements: You can be racist against people that eat little red apples Racism isn't just about religion and colour and race. — Shit Doug Ford Says (@shitdougfordsay) July 6, 2014.

Party nabobs may not want Doug Ford , writes Thomas Walkom . Most Ontarians know him only as the brother of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford , a man who until his death in 2016 was treated in the media as a populist buffoon.

Yes, Ford is trying to avoid press scrutiny that he doesn’t want. That’s what politicians do.

And he reckons – perhaps correctly – that if he can discourage reporters from traveling with him in the lead-up to the June 7 election, he will be able to achieve that aim.

Politicians and political reporters have a strange, symbiotic relationship. More often than not, they are at odds with one another. But at the same time, each side needs the other. Politicians who are unable to express themselves through one medium or another effectively don’t exist.

The rise of social media hasn’t changed that basic relationship. It has merely made it more complicated. The idea of Donald Trump without Twitter is inconceivable. But so is the idea of Trump without Fox News (which is where he gets all of his information) and the New York Times (which he loves to rant against).

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Much Ado About Nothing. by William Shakespeare. Both Claudio and Benedick turn to Don Pedro and tell him to find a wife and settle down. A messenger arrives at the very end and informs them that Don John was captured and has been returned to Messina.

Ursula (Rachel Kempson), Hero (Geraldine McEwan) and Margaret (Zoe Caldwell) in Much Ado About Nothing, 1958, directed by Douglas Seale. He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and Social media .

Nothing expresses the symbiotic relationship between press and politicians better than the campaign bus. It is organized and run by a political party but paid for by the media. Typically, the parties charge between $6,000 and $8,000 for a seat on the bus. But the reporters, whose employers pay for this privilege, get absolutely no control over where the bus goes or how long it stays at any stop.

What they do get are drinks (usually soft) and snacks. They are trundled in to hear the politician make announcements and the occasional speech. Then they are trundled out again.

Sometimes they are allowed to ask questions. But sometimes the politicians’ handlers prefer to keep their principal encased in bubble wrap.

To be a reporter on the campaign bus is like a cross between attending summer camp and being held hostage.

You hear the same speech over and over again. You attend predictably hokey photo opportunities where the politician poses with people wearing hard hats (to emphasize infrastructure) or people wearing lab coats (to emphasize innovation).

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Much Ado About Nothing. Please see the bottom of this page for detailed explanatory notes and related resources. Of this matter. Is little Cupid' s crafty arrow made, That only wounds by hearsay. Enter BEATRICE, behind, into the bower.

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare. First published in 1600, it was likely first performed in the winter of 1598-1599. A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers.

You rarely see a politician talking unscripted to a normal human being.

Yet in spite of the handlers’ best efforts, sometimes journalism does break out.

The politician may say something untoward that the press is able to pounce on. Or, when asked to respond to a real event that happened outside the bus, the politician may inadvertently say something newsworthy.

Still, the tradition of the press bus has generally satisfied both sides. The politicians are able to keep pesky reporters in one place and under control. The media companies, although they invariably talk of pioneering new and more relevant ways to cover elections, are reluctant to give up the traditional focus on party leaders.

Ford’s decision to eschew the campaign press bus has thrown this comfortable consensus into confusion. My guess is that he has two motives.

The first is a desire to minimize gaffes. Ford prides himself on being plainspoken. But sometimes, when speech is too plain, it risks giving offence. Trump can get away with being offensive and a bully. I’m not sure Ford can.

Keeping the Queen’s Park press gallery at a distance won’t eliminate Ford’s gaffe potential. But it may minimize it.

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Much Ado About Nothing is a 2012 American independent romantic comedy written, produced, and directed by Joss Whedon. Whedon explained his initial interest in the project, saying: "I fixated on this notion that our ideas of romantic love are created for us by the society around us.…It' s a very cynical

Much Ado About Nothing was very popular in Shakespeare' s day, and the title page of the 1600 quarto tells us that "the play hath been sundrie times publikely acted by the right honorable, the Lord Chamberlain his seruants."

The second motive is a desire to bypass media that Ford deems hostile. This is easier said than done.

I suspect that only those who are already die-hard Ford supporters will have the energy to sit through innumerable YouTube videos of their man speaking. Most Ontarians will continue to get their impression of Ford from mediated accounts – either traditional or social.

As for the now-cancelled Tory campaign bus, there is an alternative. The major media companies with reporters at Queen’s Park could combine forces to rent their own bus to tail Ford.

It would probably be cheaper than relying on the political parties to provide this potentially useful service.

Thomas Walkom appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Kathleen Wynne compares Doug Ford to Donald Trump, saying he 'traffics in smears and lies' .
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne blasted Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford on Wednesday, comparing him to U.S. President Donald Trump and saying he 'stands for nothing other than Doug Ford.' "Doug Ford sounds like Donald Trump and that's because he is like Donald Trump. Ugly, vicious, a brand of politics that traffics in smears and lies," Wynne told an audience at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

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