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Truth

Posted on 6 November 2013

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that I find interesting about the Rob Ford revelations. There’s the obvious factors, but there’s something more, as well. And I think  that’s notions of “the truth.”

When Gawker and the Toronto Star first reported on the video back in May, we had three reporters saying that there was a video depicting the mayor of Toronto smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. No one else could see the video, so whether you believed this or not depended entirely on whether you felt these reporters could be trusted.

Despite defenses of the journalistic credentials of those who said they saw the video, there were still plenty of people who thought they should be doubted. Not least among them, the mayor himself. He may be getting semantic about it now, but he essentially denied he used crack cocaine. He also explicitly stated there was no video.

For months everyone without firsthand knowledge of this story were presented with two versions of reality. In the first, there was a video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.  In the second, there was no video and Ford had not smoked crack cocaine.

We lived with these two realities for months, and while many people questioned Ford’s version of events, many questioned the reliability of the media, as well.

Today, there is only one version: the video exists, and Ford used crack cocaine.

I guess what’s interesting about it is how seldom it seems two versions of reality get reconciled into a single truth, anymore.

Filed under: journalism, media

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