Once again, ladies and gentlemen, here's Ed Keenan →
I’m starting to develop a complex about over-tweeting certain writers. Should I be embarrassed that I always seem to be pumping the tires of scribblers such as Roy MacGregor, John McGrath and Edward Keenan? Does the way I express my respect for their work verge on stalking? I don’t know and until I can figure it out, I am going to keep sharing their stuff with others — on Twitter...
I only read it for the articles →
After the Toronto Sun’s Sue-Ann Levy whined about the Toronto Public Library paying for Playboy magazine, The Grid’s David Topping pointed out that the Metro Reference Library (a place I love) has one microfiche subscription to the girly mag (at a cost of $278 a year) while all the branches have 78 subscriptions to the Toronto Sun (at a cost of $21,060 a year). Have to admit I...
Spin, lies and the state of democracy →
When The Grid’s Edward Keenan goes after the Doug Ford, the mayor’s keeper, in “Ford Fact Check: When facts cease to matter,” he doesn’t just call bullshit on the most powerful man at Toronto’s City Hall, he says smart and important things about spin, lies and the state of democracy in this country. (On a crabbier note, though, I think Keenan — the...
Crime is the opium of conservatives →
Inventing bogeymen to scare old folks and people who aren’t too bright is a scathingly brilliant tactic that conservatives have pretty much perfected. I am encouraged, though, that more and more journalists are willing call bullshit on this nonsense — as OpenFile’s John McGrath does in “Mammoliti claims opium dens on the rise in Toronto, police say not so much.”
And these people call themselves conservatives? →
In “Why mandatory minimum sentences cost billions—and don’t reduce crime,” Graham F. Scott, editor of This Magazine, goes beyond pointing out that crime rates in Canada are low and falling to look at sentencing. While even some US states are abandoning mandatory minimums, the Canadian government has promised to pass legislation that will add $3.1 billion to the corrections...
After Doug Ford went on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning to whine that the only place to shop in downtown Toronto was the Eaton Centre, Jamie Woo did some crowdsourcing and then sung his response to the mayor’s brother. Great fun.
Doug Ford's shopping bag →
John Michael McGrath — who in simpler times, when he was my student, went by the more prosaic John McGrath — finally makes his debut on Fact Checking the Fords, though I predict it won’t be his last appearance (#FutureBabble). In “Of monorails and malls: Doug Ford’s waterfront plans get cool reception from Queen’s Park,” he does a brief fact check of the...
Fact checking the storyteller →
I usually think of a political fact check as a piece that uses facts, stats and other verifiable information to prove what a politician has said is wrong. So this one is a little different, but maybe a bit more brilliant because of it. In “The tale of Rob Ford and how he’s lost the plot,” Dan Yashinsky, founder of the Toronto Festival of Storytelling and co-founder of the...
The deliberate cultivation of stupidity →
This isn’t a fact check, but it’s an excellent explanation of why journalists need to do more fact checks. In “Winning back the words: reclaiming ‘elitism’ in the age of Rob Ford,” the perspicacious Sol Chrom looks at “the deliberate cultivation of stupidity” since Ronald Reagan debated Jimmy Carter in 1980. Of course, politicians lied — or...
So we're not going to debtor's prison? →
Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) takes a hard look at Toronto’s budget and separates fact from misperception and misdirection. People who think the city’s spending is out of control should check the chart that compares Toronto with the provincial and federal governments.
"We do not use statistics as an excuse not to get... →
Scott Tracey of The Guelph Mercury looks at how crime stats and the federal government’s tough-on-crime agenda are out of sync in “Lower crime rate an inconvenient truth for ruling Conservatives.” This part is gold: “’Unlike the opposition, we do not use statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals,’ Pamela Stephens, a spokesperson for Justice Minister...
It ain't always easy →
Here’s an excellent blog post called “How can journalists know the truth? A Twitter dialogue” by David Akin. He’s right, sometimes — particularly when science is involved — it is difficult for a journalist to know the truth. On the other hand, sometimes it is not.
Where have you gone, John Barber?
Today’s Globe and Mail has a story about Councillor Doug Ford, brother of Mayor Rob Ford, blaming unions for orchestrating criticism of proposed budget cuts. The reporter, Elizabeth Church, quotes the brother’s keeper ranting about how unions are issuing “marching orders” to their members and claiming that “Ford Nation is too busy working, paying taxes, creating jobs....
A highlight reel of getting it wrong →
After Edward Keenan fact checked Rob Ford’s July 22 date with CP24’s Stephen LeDrew, Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt on Twitter) figured the mayor’s performance was worthy of a highlight reel. So he created one.
You can't pick your family →
Bernie Farber, a candidate for the Ontario Liberals in the provincial election, wrote a piece for Shalom Life that all but blamed the Mike Harris-era Conservatives for the death of his sister-in-law because of hospital closures, layoffs of nurses and longer waiting times. After the woman’s widower disputed that take in the comments, the Toronto Sun’s Christina Blizzard called him up...
Tough on crime? Try tough on the truth →
You’d never know it from the media coverage, but Canada’s crime rate is falling and is now the lowest it has been since 1973. But Stephen Harper’s “tough on crime” Conservatives are not fond of facts — why do you think they hobbled the census? — so they just ignore them. In “Tories judge evidence of falling rates inadmissible,” Globe and...
The first casualty of dating is truth →
Rob Ford told a few whoppers on his cozy date with CP24’s Stephen LeDrew. So The Grid’s Edward Keenan went to work on “Ford fact check: CP24 edition.”
Doug Ford's double-double →
Toronto Councillor Doug Ford said, “We have more libraries per person that any other city in the world. I’ve got more libraries in my area than I have Tim Hortons.” Maureen O’Reilly of the Our Public Library blog didn’t have to go to the stacks to get the facts.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall →
In this piece — called “From $350 million surplus to $774 million deficit in one Ford year?” — The Grid’s Edward Keenan explains why the big scary numbers that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is throwing around don’t mean as much as he’d like us to think.