The Mayor-Elect and the Inept Interview

Okay … so election day in Toronto was Monday.

And the man that polarized a lot of people in this city – Rob Ford – won the horse-race to people’s chagrin OR utter glee, depending on your feelings about the man.

Yesterday, the day after the election, one of CBC’s big radio programs, As It Happens, tried to interview him on the air for the show.

To say it didn’t go well would be, well, kind of an understatement.

In fact, you can find the transcript HERE.

Since then, it’s been the talk at the water cooler. And on the Radio. AND on Facebook.

And it didn’t take long to irk me.

When one of my friends wrote, “One day in, and already its crystal clear how little he actually cares. If he can’t even dedicate himself enough for a 3 minute interview, imagine the next 4 years….“, on her page …

The inner journalist in me had HAD it.

So if you’ll indulge me, here’s my Facebook rebuttal that comment:

“Okay … I’ve been hearing this make the rounds for about 24 hours now.

“And while I’m NO fan of Ford AT ALL (I’m extremely skeptical about him anyway), I’m finding the whole kerfuffle with yesterday’s As It Happens interview to be EXASPERATING.

“Why? Well, I’ll tell you.

“(1) Following the interview, Carol Off explained on air that the show called his handler and asked when a good time would be to talk to him. Whomever it was, thought that 3 p.m. would be a good time to call. Obviously it wasn’t. And no, maybe he shouldn’t have prioritized football over media requests. But while I don’t completely agree with how he handled it (I guess he figured a distracted interview was better than, “Sorry CBC, can’t today, sorry” … which might have made him look WORSE), in this case, I blame whomever sticklehandled the media request, more than anything.

“(2) I know what it’s like to interview a politician who’s done tonnes of interviews with CBC before and, under normal circumstances, are more than happy to because they want to get their message out … and then to interview them on an afternoon when they’ve got a packed schedule, and have them get a little impatient when I’ve got a question or two left and they’re like, “Is this going to take much longer? I’ve gotta be at ______ in 25 minutes.” It happens.

“(3) Did NO ONE listen to Metro Morning today? Matt Galloway interviewed Rob Ford at about 7:20 a.m. They had been trying to get an interview with him this week. Today happened to be the day. (And whomever works on that show, you can TOTALLY correct me, if in actual fact he’d been dodging your calls for 2 days, rather than actually being busy with election-related stuff.)

“Seriously, YES, a lot of us are upset this man is mayor. And I’m proof-positive I’m one of hundreds of thousands of residents who will be scrutinizing Mr Ford’s every move from here on in.

“But for the love of GOD, we GOTTA pick our battles. And this doesn’t quite qualify.”

There. I’ve said my piece. If you want to have at me, go right ahead. But I stand by this 100 percent.

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