The headlines you missed because of Crackgate

image: Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

If you live in–or within a one million mile radius of–Toronto, chances are you have been inundated with a steady stream of stories on Rob Ford that range from stupid to insane to deeply disturbing. I think we’ve all been through a lot in the past few weeks; I have seen Torontonians go from jaded and narcissistic to a new, scary level of jaded and narcissistic. Statistics show that there has been an increase in visits to the emergency room due to eyes getting stuck from excessive eye-rolling. I made that up actually, but nothing surprises me anymore. (Rolls eyes.)

Yes–this scandal is disturbing and obviously the media needs to report on it. This is an important part of holding politicians accountable. However, I find the amount of coverage excessive, aggressive, and predatory at times, though with every new revelation I find it harder and harder to stand by my previous pleas for privacy for Ford. It’s really hard to be concerned about someone who seems hellbent on fucking himself over as badly as possible.

However, I will continue to wish that the media would stop making this situation the central theme of all news everywhere. Rob Ford is the third-billed story on the Huffington Post‘s WORLD NEWS SECTION. The Toronto Star should rename itself the Rob Ford Star, because it’s barely about Toronto anymore. Enough! This story warrants one page of coverage, not five. No one needs to know the details of Ford’s oral sex habits. For the love of God, NO. What did outlets report on before all of this went down? I feel like it was something about world events and shit that happens in Canada too? And stuff about Miley Cyrus maybe?

Here’s what you missed because of reporters’ and the general public’s obsession with Rob Ford:

image: AFP Photo/Karlos Manlupig

Crazy shit happened in the Philippines.

Let’s all get our heads out of our asses and cast an eye over to the Philippines, which has just been ravaged by a horrific typhoon. The current death toll is 2,357, though some estimates place it at a staggering 10,000. This story is below the aforementioned Rob Ford story on HuffPost‘s world news page. Because that’s old news. Far more relevant is what world leaders are saying about Rob Ford’s fellatio comments. Blarg.

Iran allegedly stopped trying to build a bomb

This should be big news, but no one seems to care all that much. We have heard about this ongoing saga for years, and now its denouement is just quietly going to go unreported. While it is overly optimistic to assume that this is a permanent state of affairs, it at least merits some coverage!

Obama is also inching toward a deal with Iran to permanently stop its nuclear program. But wait–Rob Ford asked a woman out on the subway? HOLY SHIT!

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Harper is using the Ford scandal as an invisibility cloak…

…and when people snap out of their Ford-sensationalism-induced state of hypnosis, they’re gonna be pissed! Yesterday Wikileaks released excerpts from Harper’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership; apparently the thing will erode civil liberties. (I disagree, but many would not.) He also blamed everyone but himself in the Senate scandal. The three senators who improperly claimed expenses were suspended without pay. No one noticed. The Supreme Court is set to make a ruling any day on the possibility of Senate reform. No one cares. That’s not even a cool scandal anymore–where are the crack and prostitutes?!

And nary a whisper was heard when it emerged that the government spent $106m last year on litigation costs battling those silly aboriginals who seem to think they have a right to decide what to do with their own land. The courts agreed with them, hence the high legal fees. The media would have had a field day with this one in the pre-Ford (PF) era.

Also, Harper just released a book on hockey that got favorable reviews from frenemy papers the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail. Because after all that Ford-bashing, reporters who would ordinarily lambast the book as blatant political posturing just didn’t have it in them. What has the world come to?

image: EPA

Russia is quietly taking over the world

You know something, fools? When we lose interest in speculating who would play Rob Ford or Karen Stintz in the movie version of Crackgate (a good example of why I call Torontonians narcissistic), we are going to log off Twitter, step out the door, and find that Russia now owns the GTA. When asked how this could have happened, Ford will apologize and say he must have signed something weird in one of his drunken stupors.

But seriously–Russia’s foreign policy is getting more aggressive by the day. Today Russian officials are being received in Egypt. But maybe it’s just a casual thing…

I’m obviously not in favor of the US erecting puppet regimes all over the Mid-East, but this seems pretty undesirable too. Even worse, if the US elects a more hawkish president in 2016 (likely), we might see the re-emergence of the proxy conflicts that characterized the US’s relations with the USSR during the Cold War. We are already seeing echos of this in Syria, where Assad is being propped up by Iran and Russia, and where the US presumably wishes Assad were…just somewhere else.

I won’t delve too deeply into all of this right now, but my point is: PAY ATTENTION EVERYONE. THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND TORONTO AND ITS STUPID CRACK SCANDALS.

image: Rex Features/ZUMA

Other people said stupid shit too

One of my favorite parts of following the news is the stupid shit that politicians say and do. But due to the apparent monopoly on idiocy that Ford now has, barely anyone batted an eye this week when Sarah Palin went on a psychotic rant about Obamacare and how the Pope is too liberal. Here she fleshes out her vision of the alternative to Obamacare:

“The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases? And those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans? It’s the far left. It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care!”

That doesn’t mean anything! And it’s amazing.

Kosovo is having an election this week

There are worries of Serbian violence in the Nor–why do I even bother? Is anyone even still reading?

Go stare at your own navel, Toronto–see if I care. I’m gonna get me a drink and try not to end up at the same party as Rob Ford.

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