A Toronto media outlet runs a story about Rob Ford’s involvement with his football teams and subsequently finds the mayor’s brother “going after” it. Sound familiar? 

Fords make foe with another journalist and media outlet

A Toronto media outlet runs a story about Rob Ford’s involvement with his football team and subsequently finds the mayor’s brother “going after” it because of its treatment of the story.

Storified by J-Source · Thu, Sep 13 2012 10:08:59


A Toronto media outlet runs a story about Rob Ford’s involvementwith his football team and subsequently finds the mayor’s brother “going after” it.

Sound familiar? 

The Globe and Mail is but the latest media outlet to find itself on the receiving end of Ford-family fury after running a story by City Hall bureau chief Kelly Grant on Wednesday that said the mayor had been misusing city staff and resources to assist with the community football teams that Ford volunteers his time to coach. 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s office aides help run his football teamsHe has also hired Andrew Gillis, the former quarterback of the University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues football squad, to work as a "specia…
The Globe reports that George Christopoulos, the mayor’s press secretary, didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment before the initial story, leaving the Mayor’s office playing defence after the fact.

Mayor Ford spent much of Wednesday avoiding reporters, first at City Hall, then at Don Bosco football field, where he spent three hours coaching football practice. 

Councillor Doug Ford spoke up, though, calling The Globe Wednesday morning after the story appeared online and in the paper.

Doug Ford tells me that he aides in the mayor’s office helping with football are volunteering on their own time, on top of 40-hour weeks.Kelly Grant
Early Wednesday afternoon, the Mayor’s office issued an official statement, which included the following:
Ford: "I’m okay if Councillors want to criticize me for helping kids. That’s their right. I’m a big guy and I can take it." #topoliKelly Grant
Ford:"However, councillors should not be criticizing staff. Each and every one of them work every day for the taxpayers of this great city."Kelly Grant
Ford: "They (staff) put in at least 40 hours of work for taxpayers every week. Often more." #topoliKelly Grant
Ford: "Only a coward would criticize my staff. They can’t defend themselves in the media against elected officials." #topolitKelly Grant
As seen, Mayor Ford’s take on the aides’ time allocation to the football teams was less clear than that of his brother. As well, neither Rob or Doug Ford addressed the other issue that Grant’s story raised: the fact that these staffers were using City-issued cell phones for their supposed volunteer work. 
Ford says critics of his football-coaching staff are ‘cowards’Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is turning to his passion for football and his volunteer work with youth in the face of findings that he is using …
Grant tweeted this choice quote from the Wednesday morning phone call from Councillor Ford:
Doug Ford said he plans to be more aggressive with media: "I’m changing my rules. Every time you guys go after Rob, I’m going after you."Kelly Grant
Doug Ford appeared on AM 640 Thursday morning. In an interview with host John Oakley, Ford laced into the reporter, accusing Grant of lying and urging her to get “off her lazy ass.”
Cllr Doug Ford on AM640 accuses Globe & Mail reporter Kelly Grant of "lying" and again publicly urges her to get off her "lazy ass" #TOpoliDon Peat
I’m no lawyer, but surely that’s defamatory. RT @reporterdonpeat: Doug Ford on AM640 accuses Globe & Mail reporter Kelly Grant of "lying"Tim Falconer
(The podcast of Doug Ford on Oakley’s show is not yet available, but when it is, we’ll be sure to add it in here.)

For a little bit of context and history for those unfamiliar: The story that appeared in the Star that was the catalyst of the mayor’s still-standing boycott of the Toronto paper had to do with some people accusing Rob Ford of physically assaulting a former football player whom he coached.

Grant was The Globe journalist who then tracked down that former player and got his side of the story: Rob Ford never laid a hand on him.

Former student football player says Rob Ford never hit himThe former high-school football player who Rob Ford is accused of hitting says the mayoralty candidate never laid a hand on him. In an in…
As OpenFile Toronto’s John Michael McGrath said today, that 2010 story by Grant “turned what could have been a damaging tale for Ford into fodder for Ford’s grievance-driven campaign against the Toronto Star.”

McGrath says that these examples suggest that Doug Ford’s idea of what constitutes lazy journalism is rooted in what is politically convenient for him. 

Doug Ford’s idea of what makes "lazy" reporting is shamefully convenientSo apparently Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) was on the radio this morning-AM 640, to be precise-and said some charming things: Cllr…
Journalists took to Twitter to publicly denounce and challenge Councillor Ford’s claims about Grant’s reporting skills and work ethic. 
None of her reporting was lazy but if by chance Doug Ford sees @kellygrant1 sitting around a lot, it could be cuz she’s pregnant.Adam C-F
.@kellygrant1, like Ford nemesis @ddale8, does a great job. Her work is in no way gutter journalism, but Doug’s attack is gutter politics.David Hains
From personal experience, @kellygrant1 is neither lazy nor a liar. Great reporter and role model for interns doing daily news.Jordan Press
I hope if one day I get pregnant I’ll be as lazy as @kellygrant1robyndoolittle
Me too. "@robyndoolittle: I hope if one day I get pregnant I’ll be as lazy as @kellygrant1"Daniel Dale
.@kellygrant1 doesn’t need my assistance, but it’s hard to imagine a less credible attack on a reporter at City Hall.John Michael McGrath
Thanks so much everyone for the kind comments about my work ethic. And my ass.Kelly Grant