Today's been a pretty crazy day here in Toronto. We had an earthquake this morning, and then the Toronto Star broke a story about a video supposedly showing Rob Ford smoking crack and making racial slurs.
Except the Star didn't break the story. I happened to be on Gawker last night when they put up the whole thing, read it, (you should too, it's kind of amazing) and then went to the Star to see their reaction.
Except there was nothing there.
Come today, it turns out the Star has been sitting on the story and the released it, and pretended as though it was theirs all along. As a result, there's some pretty funny (and nasty) stuff going on between the Star and Gawker on twitter, which is actually kind of sad, because although Gawker is completely right that the Star is being stupid in claiming this is their story, Gawker doesn't seem to know that the Star, as far as Canadian papers go, is maybe the last bastion of relatively decent journalism in the country and not a front for business interests like the Globe and Mail and National Post. Instead they're playing the whole "Canadians are dumb boring people who don't really know much about things", except for the fact that they get all the same media as we Americans and watch it obsessively..."
That being said, it's comically cheeky of the Star to call their slightly differing account of the tape an "exclusive", and I can see why people at Gawker, like Tom Scocca, are so angry about it, or at least appear to be really angry about it on twitter. And it's also annoying for the Star to get all self-righteous about Gawker getting pissed off, given how much of the paper lauds its own muckraking when no one else is doing it.
I'm actually really glad Gawker broke it, in part because Canadians usually only take something seriously when Americans are involved, and it also makes it a lot harder for the usual Ford crowd to merely blame the Star for this.
I guess I'm talking about this and not about the actual video in part because these are the only people to have seen it, and so this is actually the story right now, in which two rare outfits where decent journalism is still practiced are totally crapping over each other.
That's actually the saddest part because Rob Ford has been a lost cause for so long now that's it's not actually even worth talking about him.