Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why Rob Ford Wasn't Wrong to Call the Media "Maggots"

Media outlets have made quite a bit out of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford calling journalists "maggots." Some of them even made that remark the headline of their stories about Ford addressing the public via radio -- which reminds you what the media think this story is really about.

Perhaps it's not hard to see what they're so upset about. After all, calling the media maggots isn't very nice. Why, the media aren't maggots at all. They're human beings, right? Right?

Actually, I'm not so sure they are human. At least in any meaningful sense. To explain why, I'm going to pick on Cjenk Uygur.

The reason why I'm going to pick on Uygur is pretty much the following: he calls his YouTube channel "The Young Turks" but it just so happens he is not young. He's 43 years old. He's got old balls. And while his YouTube channel does, from time to time, feature younger commentators, he's the only one I've ever seen there who's actually Turkish. I'd say that Uygur has an integrity problem. I'd also question whether he's meaningfully human.

So let's take a ride in the not-so-wayback machine and watch one of Uygur's segments on the so-called "crack scandal":
For a moment, let's set aside the fact that Uygur doesn't mention even a single so-called "crack" that couldn't easily be explained away with just a little logical thinking. For a moment, let's put ourselves in Uygur's shoes.

Okay. You at least aspire to journalistic credibility. You'd like to think of yourself as a journalist. You even once landed yourself a gig working as a substitute commentator on MSNBC (although that didn't work out). You think of yourself a journalist. You'd even like to be a journalist.

Now: you're on your inaccurately-branded YouTube channel talking about potentially career-ending allegations for which, it turns out, there is actually no evidence. There is actually more evidence for the existence of sasquatch or UFOs than there is for the allegations you're reporting on. Do you:

A.) Adopt a sombre tone, considering that you're reporting on unproven and -- more importantly -- unsupported allegations?

Or do you:

B.) Grin widely and laugh a lot, relishing every alleged sordid detail of these allegations, despite the fact that they're unproven and -- more importantly -- unsupported?

Why, as it turns out, Uygur opted for the latter. He clearly took very profound pleasure in reporting on this story, despite the fact that there is to date -- and will seemingly remain -- not an iota of evidence to demonstrate that there actually is a story. Toronto's left still prays that this story will destroy Ford's political career and force him out of the office that he won fair and square. And maggots like Cjenk Uygur are enjoying every second of it.

Uygur even went so far as to snicker when Ford skipped over any questions regarding the alleged crack video, which allegedly exists and is allegedly of him, by asking "anything else." I can't imagine how Uygur himself would feel if it were he who was falsely being accused of using crack. Perhaps he'd take a little less pleasure in that particular scenario. But it didn't prevent him from taking an almost-psychopathic degree of pleasure in Rob Ford's situation.

Gee. It's almost enough to wonder why a growing segment of people around the world -- 49 percent in Toronto alone -- don't trust the media anymore.

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