Black: 'Attempted coup' against Ford
A libel notice against Rob Ford has prompted Conrad Black to come to the Toronto mayor's defence, accusing Canada's largest newspaper of being a "menace to democracy."
The former media mogul did an interview with Ford on Vision TV last Monday, which led to Star reporter Daniel Dale serving a legal notice to the mayor. Dale and the Star contend that Ford's comments during the interview about an incident last year amounted to accusing him of being a pedophile.
Ford has since said he stands by his comments about a confrontation he had with Dale outside his home.
Dale has said the legal action is his own, but Black used a National Post column to accuse the Star of dragging what he calls its prolonged effort to crucify Ford into the courts.
Black writes that Ford's comments about Dale are a sideshow to what he calls the Star's campaign of "rabid hostility" against the mayor.
Michael Cooke, the Toronto Star's Editor who Black referred to in his column as "my former protege," expressed surprise over Black's diatribe.
"My primary concern is the attack on our reporter, though it is increasingly odd that a man as brilliant as Conrad Black would plant his flag on Mount Ford and do battle from there," Cooke told The Canadian Press in an email.
"The notion that the mayor had insinuated that Dale was a pervert was a confection uniquely of his colleagues at the Star, and he has his colleagues to thank for whatever stigmatization he feels he has suffered," said Black.
Dale and the Star have said the reporter was near Ford's home researching a story about an adjacent parcel of public land that the mayor wanted to purchase.
Ford confronted Dale and accused him of taking pictures of his home, something the Star reporter denied and police later confirmed had not happened.
"The Star’s attempted coup is collapsing," writes Black, who is no stranger to controversy himself having served nearly five years in U.S. prison for fraud and obstruction of justice.
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