The Fords get the front page of the Toronto Star, but not the one they're looking for. Rhiannon Russell explains.

Rhiannon Russell explains how the Rob Ford vs. Toronto Star battle began and how it got to today's "Drop dead" headline on the front page of the Star. 

 

According to Rob Ford’s brother Doug, the mayor is adamant he won’t talk to the Toronto Star until it issues a front-page apology for a story he maintains is false.

“You can quote me: if you apologize on the front page, it’s done. You can go to the Supreme Court and try to get Rob to talk to the Star — he won’t talk to you. He just won’t," Councillor Ford said in a brief interview during a council meeting. "Until you do it. It’s simple: put that one-liner (apology) in there, it’s over.” His statements were published on the front page of today’s Star.

Today's front-page headline of the Star reads: "Doug Ford to Star: Drop dead." It should be noted that nowhere in the story is Councillor Ford quoted as saying “Drop dead.”

He was responding to a statement by Torstar chair John Honderich in yesterday’s newspaper. Honderich writes that the Star would file a complaint with the city’s integrity commissioner based on the mayor's office's practice of excluding the Star from official releases. The practice has been in place since the controversial story was published during mayor Ford's election campaign in July 2010.

“The Star has always stood by the story, noting it was carefully checked by our lawyer before publication," Honderich wrote. "Candidate Ford was furious and filed an immediate notice of libel, which is entirely and appropriately his prerogative. But he never followed up, as required, and his suit has now lapsed."

When Rob Ford’s executive committee put the brakes on Councillor Adam Vaughan’s “free press and democracy” motion last month, it was unknown if the Toronto Star would pursue the long-standing issue with Ford.

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At the time, councillors agreed Ford and the Star should work out the dispute together, and that a city-wide motion wasn’t necessary or relevant.

Rob Ford spoke on The John Oakley Show on AM640 this morning, and responded to the situation. According to The Natonal Post mayor Ford said, “It’s not even worth talking about. If people want to read a paper, pick up a Globe, Post or Sun. That’s what I encourage people to do.”

On social media, there’s been a dramatic reaction to the story’s recent developments. What do you think of the dispute between Toronto's mayor and the city's largest newspaper? Leave a comment below or tweet us @jsource