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Duly Quoted: City Hall Reporter Daniel Dale

“At some point, perhaps 10 or 15 seconds into the encounter, he cocked his fist near his head and began charging at me at a full run. I began pleading with him, as loud as I could, with my hands up, for him to stop. I yelled, at the top of my lungs, something like, ‘Mayor Ford, I’m writing about the land! I’m just looking at the land!’”

—Toronto Star urban affairs reporter Daniel Dale, who was met with a very angry Rob Ford while researching a story on a piece of land the mayor wants to buy, adjacent to the mayor’s current home. Ford contends that Dale trespassed on his property and was trying to shoot photos of him; the police have confirmed that Ford called to report the incident. A fairly terrified-sounding Dale—who has covered City Hall since 2010 and would be well-known to Ford—writes that he didn’t come within 10 metres of Ford’s yard, was not staking out the Ford home, and that the mayor was so aggressive he feared for his safety.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Daniel Dale crossed the line.

    If Rob Ford saw a strange man with a camera stand behind his backyard fence taking pictures do you blame him for reacting that way? His wife was in the house, his kids were in the house, and Ford had no idea who this strange man was. He could have been someone dangerous. The man was protecting his family. Dale was reporting on a story, and that’s fine, but taking pictures of the Mayor’s property at night after work hours is crossing the line.

    • http://twitter.com/OTerry O. Terry

      Except it wasn’t at night.

      • v79

        Yes, it was. By the reporter’s own account it was after 7:30 PM. There’s no reason he couldn’t have done this in the day time. The story was already prepared, with a graphic of the property drawn by Star illustrators. They obviously already knew what the area in question looked like. There was no reason to invade their privacy like this. The portion of the park the reporter was in is well covered with trees. No reasonable user of the park would have any reason to go there. The Star has a history of stalking public figures outside their homes, they even traveled to Ford’s cottage near Huntsville last year. That’s far beyond reasonable reporting of city business. Ford’s private affairs regarding his property should never have been written about in the first place.

        • http://paul.kishimoto.name Paul Kishimoto

          http://www.theweathernetwork.com/index.php?product=moonsun

          Exercise: when was sunset in Toronto on 02 May 2012?

          • v79

            Sunset does not make it night time, the time of day does. Sunset simply makes in dark.

          • http://paul.kishimoto.name Paul Kishimoto

            Hilarious.

          • looneyleft

            Ok the sun set at 10, does that means its ok to go lurking around somebodies backyard at say 9 o’clock because there is still sunlight out?

            P.S Doug Ford just said there is video of the reporter. Can’t wait to see it.

            P.P.S your “exercise” comment makes you sound like such a tool

          • Eric S. Smith

            P.S Doug Ford just said there is video of the reporter. Can’t wait to see it.

            I wonder if the video captures Ford’s actions as well.

          • http://paul.kishimoto.name Paul Kishimoto

            Your inability to read 24-hour time makes you sound like such a fool. 20:22 is 8:22 pm.

    • http://twitter.com/torkevo Kevin

      Although I don’t really see the point at all of reporting on Ford buying property, so long as Dale was a) standing on public property (sidewalk, road) and b) was not invading privacy by taking pictures of an area assumed to have privacy (inside the house), then he did absolutely nothing wrong from what I understand.

      • Anonymous

        Dale was standing on the other side for Ford’s backyard fence taking pictures of Ford’s property. The camera was pointed at Ford’s property. Would you be okay if someone was standing just outside your backyard taking pictures of your property? I know I wouldn’t be. It was highly inappropriate by the Star.

        • Anonymous

          “The camera was pointed at Ford’s property.”
          You say this like you know it to be true, even though the reporter, “attempted to take photos of the trees and fencing — and not Ford’s backyard,” according to the Toronto Star. If he was taking photos of the park and the park side of the fence from the park, then he was doing nothing wrong. He was on public property and not invading private space.

        • Anonymous

          How do you propose the Star get photos of private property owned by someone openly hostile to the Star, in order to report relevant stories about said property? I haven’t seen today’s paper yet, but I guarantee there are over a dozen shots, intentional and incidental, of private property they didn’t need special permission to take.

          • looneyleft

            The story was already reported the day before by the same reporter.

          • Anonymous

            And as we know, newspapers never return to a story later.

        • Guest

          HE DIDN’T HAVE A CAMERA. There was no camera. Daniel Dale was not holding a camera. Understand now?

          He had a cell phone, which he was not using to take photos (he sent an email to his editor and then his phone died). The police have the phone now, so they will confirm this.

          By Ford’s own admission, Dale wasn’t within 5m of his fence, this photo-taking nonsense is ridiculous.

        • Anonymous

          “Would you be okay if someone was standing just outside your backyard taking pictures of your property? I know I wouldn’t be.”

          For the vast majority of Toronto citizens, or at least those who live near something interesting, in an apt building, on major street, near a park, in a nice looking building, etc. we get photos taken of our homes on a fairly regular basis. Perhaps if you lived in a gated community that sort of thing wouldn’t happen but in the real world it does, I don’t see what the big deal is about having photos taken of or near your home, assuming the person photographing isn’t on your property or in your home uninvited that is. The reporter was in a public park and not in Ford’s home or even on his property, if Ford hates people getting near his home he shouldn’t have bought a house that borders a public park, that land belongs to all of us and is not for Ford to decide you gets to be in that space or not.

    • http://twitter.com/matthewfabb matthewfabb

      ” He could have been someone dangerous.”

      Ford said he recognized him. So Ford clearly knew he was going after a reporter not some strange man. So yeah, he did over react.

      The funny thing is that other reporters have been now taking pictures of the area at night when it is actually dark to cover this story.

      Perhaps they could use them as reference later if they want to cover the story about Rob Ford wanting to buy public land.

    • Anonymous

      “He could have been someone dangerous.”

      Armed with a camera?

      Staying on the other side of the fence (public property)?

      What was the immediate danger?

      “…taking pictures of the Mayor’s property at night after work hours is crossing the line.”

      But the same scenario – vulnerable wife and children in the house – taking place before 5pm would change everything? What if it was a weekend, or bank holiday? Or, or, or a PD day?

    • EJ

      It was not dark and, by Ford’s own admission, he recognized Dale – this whole ‘strange man’ taking pictures at night narrative is as BS as Ford’s own penchance for over reaction – which is what this was. He routinely corners and bullies people (even in council) and this comes as little surprise to no one except his most ardent supporters who routinely stick their fingers in their ears and chant “Na-na-na-na-na, I’m not listening!”

      • Anonymous

        No, they say nothing, because they approve of a leader who bullies their political opponents.

    • Anonymous

      @leafer22 If you think Ford acted appropriately then I would encourage you to do the same thing that Ford did. The next time you see someone on public property either looking at your home or taking photos of your fence, especially if its someone you know or someone you see on a regular basis, chase after them and threaten them with violence unless they give you their property. When the cops arrive I can assure you that you won’t be treated as Ford was by the police, instead you’d be arrested for theft and threatening and spend the night in jail. Tell the cops that you had to mug this person to protect your family, cops needs a laugh too after all.

      This is just yet another example of our laws not applying equally to everyone. If you’re Rob Ford you can mug a person with no fear of arrest. There is one law for the police, one law for the wealthy, one law for Ford, and one law for the rest of us and they are not all the same though they are supposed to be in a democracy. The fact that Ford hasn’t been arrested for theft and threatening is yet another example of how unequally our laws are applied here in Toronto. It doesn’t matter if he returns the property he stole by threatening violence against his victim, when has a mugger ever had charges dropped against them for returning the property they stole?

      I’m not saying Rob Ford belongs in prison, though the citizens of Toronto would be better off with him in prison instead of at city hall, but for the sake of maintaining the illusion that our laws apply equally to everyone Ford should be arrested for mugging. I think an appropriate sentence for him would be probation and mandatory anger management courses.

  • Avik Mukerjee

    I didn’t know he could do a “Full Run” … and you were going to be safe given the fat in his arms he could extend it past his stomach.

  • looneyleft

    Retard. The Star is becoming tabloid junk jourrnalism at its best. Douchebag Dale writes that he wanted to see if the property was fenced but in his earlier article he writes “The Fords did not explain why they believe buying the land would make them safer. Their backyard is already fully fenced.” Then he writes a piece crying like a little girl before the story breaks. He should consider himself lucky, if someone was lurking around my backyard I would punch first and ask for media credentials later. Moron.

    • http://twitter.com/blernsball Bill H

      Oh internet tough guy, you are so brave!

      • looneyleft

        Nope not a tough guy, but if I’ve had death threats and people ambushing me in my driveway previous to this then yes its act first questions later. Now hop on your bike and go away comment lurker.

        • Vampchick21

          Yeah, because This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the characters they create are so dangerous! You do realize that every other politician of every stripe has happily gone along with the gag when 22 Minutes comes a-knocking, right? The death threats is an ok excuse to be wary of people in an adjoining park, but frankly when it comes to encountering a comedian dressed up as a character they created that’s been highly visible on tv for probably 20 years, and who is highly familiar to politicians around the country, then you turn yourself into the joke.

        • http://twitter.com/blernsball Bill H

          In modern society you can’t just go around assaulting people because they are standing near your property.

        • Hammertime2013

          Why bother writing comments on an open and anonymous online forum and then tell people to ‘go away’?

  • Dave Kates

    Good to know that the mayor of Canada’s largest city, its business and cultural capital, is led by such a rational, even-keeled individual. Mr. Ford seriously needs professional help in dealing with his rage issues if he can’t even speak with the man before charging at him like a lunatic.

    Why is this man so afraid of a scrawny, scared little reporter?

    • looneyleft

      Let’s see how you feel about someone creeping around your backyard taking picture of your house and family at night.

      • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

        Technically speaking 8 pm isn’t night at this time of year. Also, source for claim that he was taking pictures of family?

        • v79

          No, technically speaking it might not be dark at 8 pm this time of year, but it’s still night, and still an odd time to be sneaking around a wooded area behind someones home supposedly researching a story that had already been published.

          • Anonymous

            Dictionary definition of night:

            The period of darkness in each twenty-four hours; the time from sunset to sunrise: “a moonless night”.

            Also, he wasn’t creeping around the mayor’s back yard, and he wasn’t taking pictures of his house or family. So?

          • looneyleft

            Actually according to his neighbour,the only witness besides Ford and Dale, he WAS creeping around and taking pictures of his house. Seeing as how you weren’t there, how can you claim he wasn’t??

          • Anonymous

            I don’t have a park behind my house; I have an alley. If someone wants to creep around the alley taking pictures of the back of my fence at any time day or night, they’re perfectly welcome (and legally entitled). If someone stands on a chair and peers over that fence to photograph my backyard, then yes I’d have a problem with that. At this point it’s a he said/he said problem. I’d love to see some sort of proof either way.

          • Vampchick21

            Seeing as you weren’t there either, how can you claim he actually was?

          • Pagesaremissing

            I fear such a simple logic is over the head our simple friend, even if it is clearly evident to others.

          • v79

            You better go tell the CBC to rename their hockey broadcast, we can’t have them showing Hockey Night in Canada at 7 pm when the sun is still up – talk about false advertising. Anyone with a brain knows that night time is the evening, whether the sun is up or not. 8 pm is unquestionably night time for anyone with an ounce of reasoning/logic or the most basic of educations. To argue differently is just grasping at straws to support the Star’s crying little stalker.

          • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

            “Anyone with a brain” knows that Hockey Night in Canada uses the other meaning of “night”, “an evening or night taken as an occasion or point of time: the opening night”, “an evening used or set aside for a particular event, celebration, or other special purpose: a night on the town; poker night.”

            In this case, it’s correct to say “the night Ford threatened to assault someone” but not “at night, Ford threatened to assault someone.”

            Now can we please stop this idiotic discussion? If the argument is seemingly strengthened by saying “at night” rather than “at 7:30 pm” or “at 8 pm,” it’s a bad argument.

          • http://twitter.com/matthewfabb matthewfabb

            I guess to most, they find someone going around at dark taking photos a bit suspicious but don’t see an issue when it’s still daylight out.

            It’s interesting as when CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes were on Ford’s driveway, he also was calming that it was still dark out to make it seem more suspicious, when in the camera footage you can clearly see the sun has risen.

            Also does anyone really think this reporter was trying to take pictures of Ford’s family & kids? That there would be any story or any worth for those kind of photos compared to a story about the mayor trying to buy public land?

          • Anonymous

            Also: it’s harder to take pictures at night… because it’s dark.

      • http://twitter.com/matthewfabb matthewfabb

        I also live by a park with a pathway going through it that is near by house. So there are people out there until at least 11 pm or so, many times with smartphones and sometimes taking pictures. So I’m a bit used to it and don’t freak out and call the police.

        Also a good solution is just to buy some trees and put them by the fence for a bit more privacy as I enjoy living beside a park. As I really don’t have the option of buying part of the park (not that I would want to if I could).

    • Dave Kates

      @looneyleft:

      If it was some random guy peering into my living room window with a camera, then yes, I would be creeped out. But this doesn’t sound like it’s anywhere near as sinister as you may wish to suggest. It was simply a reporter taking pictures of trees and a fence, standing at a distance – albeit apparently not far enough – from Ford’s property.

      In any event, as a public official, Ford should know by now that his expectations of privacy are different than they are for the rest of us. So if the same were to happen to, say, me, then you’re damn right I’d be wondering why someone was taking pictures near my property.

      But I’m not the mayor of Toronto. I’m just some guy. And as much as Ford would like us to think that he, too, is just some guy, well, that shit is getting a little old.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    What an embarrassing shit show all around.

    • http://hanlonsrzr.blogspot.com/ Antisthenes

      Ford’s upcoming heart attack will solve all of our troubles with him,

  • Anonymous

    Rob Ford is a moron. However, Daniel Dale acted like a snivelling little rat. This has nothing to do with his right to be there and take pictures, it’s just a complete lack of self-dignity.

    • Anonymous

      I like your arguing style. Facts are irrelevant. Whoever gets the most insults loses.

    • Marcg

      Pot, meet Kettle.

  • Anonymous

    I think there’s a level of drama queen hyperbole on both sides here, but if Ford didn’t indulge in dipshit bullying politics, I doubt there’d be reporters outside his home at any hour

  • Anonymous

    Use your words Robbie

  • Eric S. Smith

    The mayor’s defenders have had to reach to new lengths in their comments if they’re claiming that the sun is up at night.

    The reporter could of course be exaggerating, but some details of his story, like the dropped phone and voice recorder, should be possible to confirm.

    • v79

      I guess Northern Europe doesn’t have night time in the summers then, because it never gets dark. By that logic, it must be “morning” all day long. Night time=evening, whether the sun is still up or not.

      • Eric S. Smith

        Night time=evening, whether the sun is still up or not.

        Are you seriously claiming that the days are not longer and the nights are not shorter in the summer? I have no objection to calling 19:00, 18:00, or even 17:00 “the evening,” regardless of the time of year and the position of the sun, but pretending that anyone would call it night time when the sun is still up is silly.

        More to the point, regardless of the time of day, even if the guy is right there on your front lawn with lights and a film crew, charging on in waving your fist is not the right move. If Ford really did that, he overreacted.

      • Anonymous

        No, northern Europe doesn’t have nights in summer, because it doesn’t get dark.
        Simple really.

      • Anonymous

        The clock doesn’t make it dark. That’s what matters.

        You (paid?) Ford defenders are trying to make it look like he was hiding in the bushes under the cover of darkness. But that isn’t true.

  • Anonymous

    The winds of shit are always blowing around Mayor Ford. He should have been on Trailer Park Boys.

    I miss having a respectable mayor.

    • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

      Look on the bright side… at least Ford hasn’t had a natives in Mombasa moment yet.

  • Anonymous

    Why on earth are Dale and//or the Star NOT pressing charges? Clearly Dale was robbed and threatened with violence. Even Robbie doesn’t dispute those facts.

  • Anonymous

    I was wondering the same thing, if it had been anyone else who had used the threat of violence to gain possession of someone elses’s property they’d be charged with theft and threatening regardless if the victim wanted to press charges or not. Ford mugged this reporter, no other way to describe it. Ford knew who the reporter was, he knew his name, he knew he was no threat at all yet he still used the threat of violence against the reporter to gain possession of that reporter’s property. Please explain to me how that is not a mugging.

    If you think Ford didn’t mug the reporter then I’d encourage you to try the same thing that Ford did. The next time you see someone on public property near your home or looking at your home or taking photos of your home while they’re on public property I encourage you to rush out and threaten them with violence unless they give you their personal property. When the cops arrive just tell them you were protecting your property, when their done laughing I guarantee you you will be arrested for mugging the person.

    Of course this is Toronto where there is one set of laws for the police, one set for the wealthy, one set for Rob Ford himself and one set for the rest of us. if the TPS were serious about regaining a shred of credibility with the citizens of this city they’d start by demonstrating that our laws apply to everyone equally and arrest Rob Ford for theft and threatening.

    • Anonymous

      IMO the answer is simple: Power. Disgusting but true.

      I’ll add that the TPS aren’t the sharpest police force in all of Canada

  • Anonymous

    This was supposed to be in reply to torontothegreat’s post but it didn’t connect to it for some reason.