12.11.2013 08:24 AM

Dale vs. Ford: …and Ford wins

Rob Ford, who is the scum of the Earth, this week called Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale a pedophile.

Quite a few of us immediately suggested that Dale needed to sue.  Falsely calling someone a pedophile is among the most serious libels.  It is libel per se.  When Ford reaffirmed his words, Dale had no choice but to sue.

Instead, Dale and his employer have apparently chosen to use Ford’s words as an occasion to write op-eds and throw back some insults of their own.

In so doing, they have (a) signalled they intend to do nothing, or (b) seriously undermined any case they may bring to the court.

Either way, Ford has won.

For Dale, who is an excellent journalist, it will mean his name and “pedophile” will live in the Internet ether forever.  If he thinks the haters in Ford Nation won’t now repeat their hero’s words ad nauseum, ad infinitum, he’s dreaming in technicolour.

For the Star, they have lost an opportunity to stand by their writer – and to show all their staff that they will not let scumbags like Ford destroy a fine reporter’s reputation with impunity.  In effect, they have implied that it is open season on journalists.

Like I say, Dale may sue now, but it’s likely too late.  If you are going to sue, and if you are serious, always let your lawyer do the talking.  Don’t turn it into a meeting of the fucking debate club.

Dale, and the Star, didn’t.  And that’s a real shame.



  1. Chris says:

    I agree the comment was an abomination but was it really libel? Ford said: “When a guy’s taking pictures of little kids, I don’t want to say that word, but you start thinking, ‘What’s this guy all about?’”. There seems to be a lot of wiggle room in the statement. We can suspect what “that word” is but it’s not clear. Also, it’s not necessarily wrong for Ford to have said he was thinking about what the guy was about. I am no expert and I agree the insinuation was disgraceful but it was perhaps not as clear cut a statement as would justify a libel action. These lawsuits are also expensive and the Star and Dale are perhaps better off with everyone’s sympathy. A court victory years down the road would not likely add anything. The court case would also garner lots of attention. Would Dale really like having the allegations repeated every night on television as the case proceeded through the courts? And Ford’s credibility is so low that I am not sure anyone is going to really think ill of Dale as a result of this.

  2. Carey says:

    I feel for Dale. It must be tough being accused by a man who takes his greatest pleasure from training teenagers to bang their young bodies against each other then follows them to the locker room to finish his session while they parade in towels or less.

    I don’t want to say that word but when a guy likes to be surrounded by young men of a certain age, one can only wonder, what’s this guy all about?

    • Matt says:

      Or you know, a close friend of the Ontario Liberal Premier creating a very graphic sex ed program to be introduce to grade 3 students then gets charged with several counts of producing and distributing child porn.

  3. Matt says:

    At no point in the interview or after with reporters did the word “pedophile” come out of Ford’s mouth.

    We can all INTERPRET Ford was calling Dale a pedophile, but you can’t sue for libel based on someone’s interpretation of a statement can you?

    George Fidoulis tried to sue Ford because he claimed Ford called him corrupt. Ford actually called the process in which Fidoulis was awarded an exclusive 20 year contract to provide food along the boardwalk corrupt.

    Fidoulis INTERPRETED Ford’s commentsas calling him personally corrupt, sued and lost.

    • Mark Francis says:


      Yes you can sue for an interpretation of what someone said. ‘What would a reasonable person think Ford meant?’ is the standard used. Be it ‘pedophile’ or ‘peeping Tom’ if it’s defamatory and false, and/or said maliciously, yes, it’s libel.

      The Fidoulis case had other issues as well. But if you aren’t being defamed, you can’t claim libel. Fidoulis said the defamation arising from the false corruption claim extended to him. The judge disagreed. Not the same thing. The judge also said Fidoulis wasn’t a proper plaintiff as he no longer owned the company in question.

  4. Kevin T. says:

    Forum told them they win this in a landslide.

  5. BrIan Young says:

    I’d say at the very least we as individuals should register our disgust at Ford’s innuendo by contacting Vision TV with a complaint.
    They have a stated principle (#5 if you look it up on their site) of not allowing programs they air to incite hatred against individuals or groups. This is exactly what Ford has done, of course. It’s how he corrals support from Ford Nation all the time. He’s the master of Goebbels’s dictum: “we do not talk to say anything, but to obtain a certain effect.”
    If Vision doesn’t get it, I’m for lodging a complaint with the CRTC.
    [As a certified geezer, I’m also boycotting everything Zoomer, which is a bit of a cheat because I already despise everything they do.]

  6. Zoe says:

    Does repeating the libel imply consent? Is consent not a full defence to libel?

    • Warren says:

      Yes, consent is a very effective defence. Repeating the libel against you, as Dale and the Star have done repeatedly, doesn’t mean that they would lose for sure.

      But it sure isn’t frigging helpful. And you are the first commenter to figure this out! The likes of Graham Parley and Dave Bidini, who I have blocked for tossing insults around, have their heads so far up the asses of the Star’s management (one was management there, one wrote columns for them), they are missing the big picture.

      And you didn’t!

      • Kevin Brown says:

        Warren, I think a lot of people are missing the big picture here.

        We know as FACT that police reviewed he surveillance footage from Fords back yard.

        Presumably it proves that Dale did not peep over the back fence as Ford alleged (hence no charges against Dale)

        What this also proves is Ford lied about Dale peeping over the fence which begs the question – why no charges from TPS for public mischief against Ford?

        Based on Ford’s false allegations Police opened a peeping tom criminal investigation. The allegation by Ford is proven a lie and yet no charges from police?

        Going to police and wrongly accusing someone of being a pedophile is a far worse crime than smoking crack. If convicted Ford could have landed behind bars (in which case he would have lost his job).

    • Mark Francis says:

      Repeating the libel in order to repudiate it is not consent. People have the right to defend their reputation. Stuff like this has gone though the courts with plaintiffs winning, but you get opened up to possible counter-claims, diminished damages, bolstered fair comment defenses…

      But Ford opened fired loud and clear first, and repeated it after having time to think about it. Dale was right to protect his reputation in print. He still has a case.

      But media rarely sues the news.

  7. Dave Ruddell says:

    I’d have more sympathy for Dale if he could remember to charge his friggin’ phone…

    • Jonathan Giggs says:

      I have an older BlackBerry that dies without warning when I attempt to take a picture or video. I’m charging the phone all day too! I assumed that The Star provided better equipment.

  8. Civil Discourse says:

    @ Chris: Freud said that the Irish are the only people that can’t be psychoanalysed. Looking at the Ford family—not just the two ratchet jawed, mutual masturbators, stroking each others Id’s—-but the whole family…. They’re all cracked in one way or another. And when I say cracked, I mean there are some mighty large splinters in the windmills of their collective minds. Now, getting back to the libel…

    What’s libel? You don’t need to be a lawyer to figure out what constitutes libel or slander. You do however have to be a lawyer and/or a judge to successfully prove or decide upon it in court. I’ll harken back to what I heard a very popular Scottish satarist, comedian and television personality once say about a British politician and if Warren wants to weigh in on whether this is libelous or not, I’m sure we would all be grateful. To date, no lawsuits have been levelled at this man regarding this statement.

    If a person were to say, “Rob Ford has a rapists face,” is that libel? As reprehensible as that statement might be, I don’t think it’s libelous. It’s gross. It’s offensive. At the same time, it’s also a very funny way of laying a horrible insult on an abhorrent person.

    What Slob Ford did though; in my opinion, was libelous. He intentionally painted a picture and presented that twisted picture to the media and the public. He referred to “a guy taking pictures of little kids” and said, “I don’t want to use the word…” What word, Rob?

    Douchebag Connie Black said, “I thought he meant “Peeping Tom.” Honestly, in as long as I’ve read, listened to, or watched Connie, he’s never been one to lower himself to monosyllabic words and short sentences. He, himself indeed, is showing how shallow and stupid he actually is by making that statement.

    As for what I just said: “Rob Ford has a rapists face.” One has to prove that the statement is false, that the statement caused defamation of character or reputation, demonstrate that the statement was made public, that the statement was about “you,” and finally one must show that the statement negatively affects your reputation. In the case of Ford, (at this point anyway,) he’s an admitted crack user that consorts with the lowest form of life; gangs and gun runners. He’s an admitted drunk, an accused fondler of women’s behinds, has a violent temper and has a history of lying about all of it. None of these factors have hurt his reputation. In fact, he has embraced all of it and even gone so far as to say “he’s lovin’ it.” In a court of law and given his admitted love for attention, (for negative attention) and his want for as much media coverage as he can get, I can only surmise that nary a court in the land would find a statement like “Rob Ford has a rapists face,” libel at all. He admits that “the negative is his positive.” He’s like: “Opposite George” from an episode of that show I hate, Seinfeld.

    In terms of Daniel Dale… He cares not to be a celebrity. He wants no media attention.

    The Ford’s appear not to like Mr. Dale because he’s not as manly as they see themselves to be. He’s not loud, he’s not obnoxious, he’s not a liar, he’s been proven innocent of all that Slob and Slug Ford accuse him of.

    Back on the farm when I was growing up, some of the most difficult horses were geldings. The Ford brothers are just that. Geldings. All attitude and no balls. Mr. Dale needs to sue and if he does, he’ll prove just how little the Ford’s have below the waist when they “settle out.” I will offer this advice to Mr. Dale… Don’t accept a non disclose as part of the settlement.

  9. John says:

    All this vacuous soap opera fluff is distracting from the REAL pedophile issue concerning the McWynnety administration and Benjamin Levin. If the Ford comment was actionable, Clayton Ruby would have been in front of a microphone within minutes. The silence roars.

  10. Ian Howard says:

    Ford’s assertion will convince absolutely no one that Daniel Dale is a pedophile unless they have already lost the ability to reason. Starting a lawsuit will only give credence to those who believe that the Star has an agenda to destroy Ford. As it turns out even if that was their intent Ford has accomplished it by himself with an assist from his enabling brother.
    Media organizations do not sue people for making vile observations, they report them objectively and continue to reveal those speaking for what they are. Let Rob Ford make any assertion he wishes for ultimately his words will finish him politically. Daniel Dale will only be held in higher regard because of what Ford said and the only clear and present danger is to Rob Ford and it happens every time he opens his mouth.

  11. david ray says:

    are the English bookies taking bets yet on when Rob Ford finally implodes. anyone here care to guess. over Christmas maybe. it will happen long before a court date is set for a libel suit. Sue the prick.

  12. bir says:

    I don’t see how Dale could have won a suit since Ford didn’t actually use the word “pedophile.” I really sympathize with the poor guy. It’s a no-win situation.

  13. Kevin Brown says:

    What I don’t understand is why didn’t Daniel Dale sue Ford back in May 2012. In the hours and days after the incident Ford was already making ugly insinuations about Ford peeping over the backyard taking pictures of his kids . Although Dale asserted that he was nowhere near the fence he did nothing to protest the ugly insinuations being made back in May 2012 that he was a pedophile.

    Not only was Ford lying about Dale being a peeping tom – a video from the Fords backyard supposedly proved him a liar. The police reviewed this video and the investigator told Dale that if there had been evidence that he trespassed he would have been charged. This begs the question WHY DIDN’T POLICE CHARGE FORD WITH PUBLIC MISCHIEF? Why didn’t Daniel Dale insist police charge Ford with public mischief? If I was the subject of a police peeping tom investigation as a result of lies I would be demanding that police lay charges of public mischief against my false accuser!

    This would be a good subject for Warren to cover in his blog or in a SUN article. Why didn’t police charge Ford with public mischief after they reviewed the video? What exactly did the police investigator see on the video ? Did police retain a copy of this video? It just amazes me that these important questions have been completely overlooked – even by the victim – Dale Dale!

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