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Never has an unfair fight gone on for so long.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, councillor Doug Ford, want you to believe that they are the victims; that they are trying to fight for “the little guy” in the face of fierce opposition from the left, the unions and—of course—the media.

Doug Ford came to Ryerson today to peddle this sad, imagined narrative. He spoke to a media law and ethics class about “a politician’s view of the media.” He sang all the hits: He said that CP24 reporter, Katie Simpson, is “vicious” and “biased” against the mayor; he said that apart from The City, which he co-hosts with the mayor, Newstalk 1010 is “all trash,morning to night”; he said he didn’t sue The Globe and Mail over its investigation into his teenage years because he couldn’t possibly compete with the Thomson family’s wealth; he said that the media hound his family worse than they did Princess Diana.

The thing is, Ford isn’t wrong. He and his brother are seriously outgunned—in a different fight, for different reasons.

The real fight at city hall is not between the mayor and the media, but between the mayor and the truth—and journalism’s first obligation, a thousand students will tell you, is to the truth. That has been, despite allegations of bias, the only force driving the coverage of the crack scandal; it is the only force driving any story: the pursuit of truth. Full, complete, ugly truth.

Slowly and aggressively, journalists are getting at the truth. First, there was an unsealed warrant, then there was the police chief and today, the mayor himself.

The fight, as imagined in the Fords’s minds, will continue. Rob and Doug Ford will continue to insist that they are the victims and the underdogs in this “fight.” They will continue to be right. They will continue to misunderstand why.

And there will be more truths: redacted portions of the ITO will probably be unsealed. Lisi will stand trial. The ship will spring more leaks. The truth will win.

Remember to follow the Review and its masthead on Twitter. You can look back at how the second-year Master of Journalism students live-tweeted Ford’s visit here

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About the author

Ronan O'Beirne was the Blog Editor for the Spring 2014 issue of Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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