You may have seen them on Facebook recently: a female reporter, microphone in hand, reporting breaking news about Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford.
Pretty normal stuff during a political campaign, except that the reporter is not a reporter. She is, in fact, a senior member of Ford’s staff and the shots of Ford mingling with “ordinary” voters are carefully staged scenes with Ford supporters.
That’s right: Doug Ford has brought fake news to the Ontario election.
Ford’s team justifies the showbiz antics by complaining that the media doesn’t give him a fair shake in their coverage.
What the Ford team is trying to avoid is the scrutiny and accountability that should be part of any democratic election.
During one of the leadership debates, Ford said that the PCs needed a leader who would stand up to media. What they got with Ford is a leader who runs away from the media.
His campaign to date has been a series of pre-arranged photo-ops and cliché-ridden speeches.
We expect a certain amount of staging in any campaign, but if a candidate doesn’t have the ability to explain their policies and defend their positions, voters may well wonder if he’s qualified for the job.
Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News
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