Musings —11.04.2013 09:27 PM—
“Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel,” Mark Twain of course said, although, in the modern era, that aphorism could be easily amended to avoiding fisticuffs with multinationals possessing converged media platforms.
To Twain’s dictum we should add another: “Don’t pick fights with people who have badges, guns and the ability to toss you in the slammer.”
Rob Ford should reflect on that one, perhaps.
Ford is the classless, world-class fool who, for the time being, is Toronto’s mayor. For months, he has denied a video existed of him appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
Last week, Toronto’s police chief said the video exists, and he has entered it into evidence in a prosecution of Ford’s occasional chauffeur.
Everyone, including conservatives, want him to step aside, get help, or both. He won’t.
He is a pig-headed yob, and he thinks he can lie and elbow his way past the train wreck that is his reputation.
That’s not all: On the weekly radio program where he and his addled councillor brother Doug regularly receive screened calls from the undereducated and overly opinionated, Ford dared the police to produce the crack video, knowing full well they presently can’t, it being evidence in a criminal trial. He thinks his dare to the police is a smart strategy.
Rob Ford, meet Gary Hart.
In May 1987, when he was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination for the second time, rumours were rampant that the handsome former Colorado senator was a philanderer and was following his little soldier into battle too often.
The New York Times asked him about the rumours. Said Hart, “Follow me around. I don’t care. I’m serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead.
“They’ll be bored.”
Gary was many things. Boring was not one of them.
Coincidentally, reporters from the Miami Herald were already tailing Hart, and they had staked out his Washington, D.C., townhouse.
In the wee hours of the very day Hart had dared folks to tail him, the reporters spotted a pretty young woman named Donna Rice slipping out a side door at night.
Ms. Donna Rice was not Mrs. Gary Hart.
A couple days later, the Herald received photos of Hart on a boat with Ms. Rice on his lap. The boat was called — this is the best part — Monkey Business. (You can’t make this stuff up, folks).
Hart gave a celebrated press conference in which he attacked everyone, which was almost as dumb as daring them to follow him around in the first place.
A few days later, he pulled out of the race. He now practises law, and he probably reflects — every now and then — on if it all could have been different.
Well, yes, Gary. It could have been quite different, if only (a) you had stayed away from leggy former models and yachts, and (b) you hadn’t issued a dare for people to come after you.
Rob Ford and his idiotic (and shrinking) inner circle probably think they can weather the raging storm. They think they can brazen it out by daring the cops to come up with evidence of a crime.
They should ask Gary Hart about that strategy.