Today Thu Fri
It is forecast to be Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM EDT on July 23, 2014
Thunderstorm
23°/15°
It is forecast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on July 24, 2014
Partly Cloudy
22°/14°
It is forecast to be Clear at 11:00 PM EDT on July 25, 2014
Clear
24°/17°

64 Comments

culture

Rob Ford, Daniel Dale, and Our Notions of Masculinity

A great many things have and will continue to be written in the wake of a confrontation between the mayor and Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale—about the mayor and his temper, the Star and its coverage of him, and the perpetually tense relationship between the two. But armchair psychologizing and media theory aside, there is also this: a lot of people, in comment sections and message boards and Twitter and coffee shops, are calling Daniel Dale some pretty nasty things.

Apparently, Dale defies some notion of masculinity that involves meeting physical intimidation with more of the same. Apparently, that’s a bad thing.

Dale, if you’ve never met him, is a mild-mannered, quiet, gentle guy. He is an award-winning journalist. And he has handled the media attention this situation has garnered with a great deal of composure.

None of that matters for the purpose of this point. The point would hold even if Dale was a talentless loudmouth who bungled at every turn.

What matters is that Dale had a 300-pound angry man with a football player’s build coming at him. He got the hell out of there. And for this he has been widely mocked.

We can continue to discuss those other questions about media relations at City Hall, but there should be no debate about whether running from a guy who is twice your size and has his fist raised, when nobody else is in danger and nothing but your phone is at stake, makes you less of a man.

It makes you a sensible human being with survival instincts. It means you are capable of keeping your head under pressure. It is, most of all, a sign that you have a sense of proportion—that you prize safety over some ego-driven display of bravado that can make a precarious situation worse. And if you did run when there was something more vital at stake—someone else’s safety, for instance—that wouldn’t make you less of a man, either, though it might make you less of a person.

If it were a woman who’d been sent to cover the story, it’s unlikely anyone would have faulted her for running away—it would have just been a sensible precaution. Calling Dale a wuss because he fails to conform to some kind of retrograde conflation of masculinity with brute force says everything about the name-callers, and nothing about Dale.

It also, perhaps, says something about the appeal Rob Ford continues to hold for a great many Torontonians. If Dale is somehow deficient for running then Ford is correspondingly manly in successfully intimidating him: it reinforces a conception of the mayor as strong, powerful, someone who won’t take crap—from journalists he doesn’t like, from staffers who give him disagreeable advice, from unions in the midst of negotiations. (There’s a lot more to say about the way that particular norm plays out in our political sphere—and especially about how it affects and is affected by the lack of diversity in elected officials—but we’ll save that for a future piece.)

Strength is a virtue. But it isn’t primarily one that manifests in physical action, and it takes many forms. (Self-control is one.) And it’s certainly not the domain of any particular gender.

Maybe the Star does have a vendetta against the mayor. Or maybe this is just the kind of scrunity they bring to every mayor: they sent a photographer to David Miller’s house to see if he kept his lights on during Earth Hour back when he was in office, after all. But whether he should have been working on this story or not, at that hour or not, nobody should fault a male reporter—one working on a real estate story in Toronto rather than, say, a street battle in Syria—for running from a raised fist.

Comments

  • http://www.miroslavglavic.ca Miroslav Glavic

    Hamutal,

    1) You have seen the same threats I, Don Peat and others have seen that Mayor Ford gets (Yes I know David Miller, Mel Lastman and other have gotten when they were in office).

    2) All main stream media have George Christopoulos’ number, some non-main stream media (Torontosit, BlogTO, etc…)

    3) I can’t remember which TOStar wrote that article (we both know which article) about the Mayor, Robyn Dolittle chased Mama Ford (Journo 101 here, don’t chase family). Most media (both main stream and non-main stream) know who Mama Ford is.

    4) Why did Daniel go at 7:30pm when it was getting darker and take photos with his BLACKBERRY? I don’t know how many Photographers TOStar but I am going to guess quite a few, since TOStar family is #1 paper family out there.

    5) It seems you are taking Daniel’s side. A so called award-winning journalist would NEVER EVER drop their voice recorders. Mine is attached to my hand almost every second that I am at City Hall. Daniel is twisting things

    6) What about that call to Maria Augimeri’s assistant?

    7) What kind of idiot does not charge their phone? I have always made sure I have a fully charged battery and 2 backups.

    8) Daniel should of made a courtesy call to George Christopoulos. “Hey, I am coming to check out the area you want to buy” type call.

    9) I can guarantee you that if Sue-Ann Levy would of gone to David Miller’s house when he was Mayor and done the same thing…they would of been attacking her, tar & feather her.

    10) Mayor Ford, along with all TO Councillors, MPPs, Dalton McGuinty, MPs and Harper…they do take off their politician hats and do become private citizens.

    11) Of course TOStar has a vendetta against him, look at th KFC incident, all other media condemned TOStar for doing that article. They are bringing journalism to a new low with their “Gottcha!” attitude.

    WOULD YOU SIDE WITH SUE-ANN LEVY IF SHE WOULD OF DONE THE SAME THING TO DAVID MILLER?

    • Djamesle

      Way to miss the point, Miroslav. This article isn’t about what Ford and Dale did or didn’t do; it’s about the reaction to what Dale and Ford did or didn’t do and how people were saying Dale should’ve done this or Ford that based on the fact that each is a man, but one is considered more masculine than the other for some stupid reason.

      Relax.

      • Anonymous

        I think that what Dale did and the choices he made are relevant since they inform the reactions.

    • asdf

      Miroslav, it is people like you in Toronto who are clouding our politics by reacting first and thinking later.
      If you actually took a second to think critically about the points being made rather than just reacting, I would hope you then might have written a more relevant and topical comment…

    • Anonymous

      Internet Tough Guy wonders why real guy can’t be tough like Internet Tough Guy.

      1. To the extent that Ford may have initially felt threatened learning there was a stranger behind his yard, that threat immediately dissipated when he saw that it was Daniel Dale, whom he recognized.

      4. It does not get dark at 7:30. Sunset that day (which is, btw, also not dark) was at 8:20. Did you read Dale’s account? If you had you would have known the reason he was there at that time was that he was on deadline. In fact the Star published Dale’s article on the land acquisition (independent of the subsequent incident) that same night. And obviously Dale was not taking pictures to be published in the Star, but almost certainly to give himself an orientation that he could subsequently use in writing further on the land acquisition story.

      5. Rob Ford threatened him, and thus committed the criminal offence of robbery. Not everyone can be as tough as Internet Tough Guy Mirsoslav. And btw, he is not a “so-called” award winning journalist, he IS an award winning journalist. Seriously, are you disputing his awards now?

      6. What about the call? Is any non-tinfoil hat wearing sentient being suggesting it was actually placed by Dale? None of the characters in any account suggest Dale had the phone at that time. The call was either placed by someone is Ford’s retinue or the police.

    • Anonymous

      1. David Miller would not try to buy a public park for his own use. 2. If David Miller lived beside a little park, he wouldn’t let it look like such a pig sty. 3. David Miller would not charge Sue Anne Levy and mug her.neither would david crombie or even lastman. he’s behaving like a wild animal.

    • Zachovi tata

      “would of been attacking,” “should of made a call”, “would of done”.

      Miroslav, I don’t know if you’re really a journalist as you claim to be, but maybe a journalist who confuses “of” and “have” should refrain from calling someone else an idiot. Just a thought.

    • Eric S. Smith

      A so called award-winning journalist would NEVER EVER drop their voice recorders. […] Daniel is twisting things

      Are you seriously claiming that Dale didn’t drop his phone and recorder? Ford agrees that he did. The cops took them off Ford’s hands — I don’t know whether they’ve yet returned them to Dale; the last I read of it, they were holding on to them.Face it, Rage!Mayor admits he mugged the guy.

    • Anonymous

      Blaming the victim? Poor taste, Miroslav. Do you blame rape victims too?

      Someday I’d like to see you muster up the courage to reply to the people who call you on your bullshit.

    • http://francocignelli.com/ Franco

      Oh dear God. Way off base.

  • Anonymous

    A big problem here is that too many people, including many smart people, refuse to believe what the facts clearly show: the Mayor of Toronto basically mugged a Toronto Star reporter on public parkland because he was doing his job. Not only that, the mayor continues to say the journalist deserved to get beaten up, and he continues to threaten harm against the journalist’s career.

    To some, this is a case of a peeping Tom getting what he deserved. Perhaps that is why some are mocking Daniel Dale. To them, Dale was behaving badly, and when you play with fire you get burnt.

    But to believe this, you need to believe Rob Ford and not believe Daniel Dale. Dale says he did not trespass, did not approach close to Ford’s fence, did not take pictures of Ford’s backyard, and was simply verifying the facts of a story he was filing that night. If this is true, then Dale was doing absolutely nothing even close to being wrong, and had absolutely no reason to think he might anger the mayor.

    Of course, you could instead believe Rob Ford, and laugh at Dale’s clumsy attempts at “gotcha” journalism. But to do so, you would have to believe that Daniel Dale is a liar and Rob Ford is not.

    And to do that, given everything we know about Rob Ford, you would have to be a gullible, dishonorable, lazy, stupid and weak journalist.

  • http://www.leschinskidesign.com/contact/addme picard102

    I think a bit too much is being given to Dale in thinking he keept his head about him under pressure. He got scared and ran away, does it make him less of a man, probably not, but it doesn’t make him any more of one either.

    • Anonymous

      Internet Tought Guys are crawling out of their parents’ basements all over the city…

      Imagine for a moment if Dale had responded to the mayor’s assault with force. You think this is a clusterfuck now? Just imagine what kind of circus this would be if Dale had stood his ground and either received a blow from Ford or struck one himself (which he was well within his rights to do by way of self-defence). You would have a situation where the police would be obligated to put one of the parties in cuffs, and then we would have months of drama as this played out in court. So, in short, if Dale had acted like Internet Tough Guys around the city seem to think he should have, this already terrible situation would be exponentially worse – there is literally no good thing that could have come from that except it would have shut up all the Internet Tough Guys out there.

      So actually, yeah, Dale acting like a fucking rational adult does make him more of a man. And it makes him a fucking giant compared to the infant we have for a mayor.

      • http://www.leschinskidesign.com/contact/addme picard102

        White knight internet tough guy to the rescue.

      • Eric S. Smith

        Imagine for a moment if Dale had responded to the mayor’s assault with force.

        “TORONTO STAR THUG ATTACKS MAYOR” etc.

    • Brian Young

      What happened to discretion being the better part of valour. Bully-boyism is Ford’s stock in trade. Sad to say, it works. I’m just thankful we don’t have guns and “Stand your ground” laws here in TO, but I bet the Mayor would “Like” them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566357199 Paul Mansfield

        The only way to stop a bully is to stand up to the bully. Rob Ford wasn’t stood up to, here. It may be that if we had “stand your ground” laws, the mayor may not have charged in so foolishly. A bully isn’t as brave when the field is leveled.

        But, be that as it may, standing up to a confrontation does not require you to behave violently – you need to not be bullied. Running away simply postpones the fate and in this case, allows the armchair quarterbacks who weren’t there to criticize you.

        As well, “The better part of valor is discretion” is spoken by Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 in defense of his cowardice and of his falsehoods. Is this the example for us to live by?

        • Brian Young

          Regardless of the origin of the phrase, it has come to be accepted as wisdom to pick your fights carefully (not always easy to do). In much the same vein, Bertrand Russell, who advocated honesty above all, sanctioned lying only to those who have power over you.
          Were Dale to have “stood his ground” in the face of the charging Mayor, he would have inserted himself into a story for which he was merely doing research. I believe he was not a coward, but wise to have removed himself when confronted.
          It is the Mayor who created this story when he could just have easily not called the cops once it was clear that Dale, whom he knew, had quit the field.
          As it turns out from reports today, the Mayor seems to have had other goals than protection of his family land and privacy in seeking to purchase public property. That is the real story here.

  • Alexmeyers1

    I wish he had stood in to take to the shot not because of some bizarre sense of masculinity but because then someone could press charges against Ford.

    P.S. Why is almost ALL of this article a hyperlink?

    • Dave Ryan

      Just like all the other hipster pussyboys in Toronto…pisses his pants at the first sign of trouble.

      • Anonymous

        Piss off.

      • gorf

        Just like all the other bone heads who can’t even read well enough to tell what this article is about . . . shoots off his mouth at the first opportunity without a care of how foolish he looks.

      • Anonymous

        Post your address. That way you can show everyone what you would have done.

      • Brian Young

        Way to go, Dave!!!! Show us how to elevate the level of discussion!!!!!!!

    • Jenny

      If it is true that Rob Ford used his phone 40 minutes after Dale gave it up, then technically Dale could press charges.

      Both the mayor and Dale agreed on a few facts: that Dale was on public land, that the mayor confronted Dale, that the mayor raised his fist menacingly at him (Ford in fact admitted publicly that he did so with the intent to hurt), and that the mayor demanded Dale drop his phone and recorder.

      Using someone’s property that was obtained by force is a criminal offense.

      • Eric S. Smith

        Are you thinking of Criminal Code section 354 (1), “Possession of property obtained by crime?”

        I’d go right to assault if I were looking for something that Ford should be charged with: section 265 (1) (b).

        It would be kind of a hoot if tampering with a smartphone could land Ford in hot water under section 342.1 (1), “Unauthorized use of computer,” but I’m not sure it’s applicable. Assault is a slam dunk in comparison; as far as I’m concerned, the only way Ford could escape conviction would be by somehow getting all of his published comments ruled inadmissible and then testifying to something substantially less damaging.

  • Anonymous

    People are missing the forest for the trees here. On Daniel Dale’s account – which is in most instances *confirmed* by the mayor, Rob Ford committed the criminal act of robbery.

    But when the media talks about the police having not given any indication of laying charges, they do so in the context of Daniel Dale’s behaviour. But even if every single thing Rob Ford said is true*, Daniel Dale did absolutely nothing that contravenes any criminal or provincial statute, nor any municipal bylaw.

    [*and we know that is highly unlikely, a) because he has already contradicted himself on key points, and b) he has a demonstrated pathological inability to tell the truth on any controversy he has created for himself - honestly, in the face of a controversy, when has Rob Ford's initial account ever been true?]

    What we should be talking about is why Rob Ford is not wearing bracelets. On Daniel Dale’s account, the mayor committed an assault by raising a fist at him and charging at him (and bear in mind that the mayor himself has admitted that he didn’t know whether or not he was going to hit him). Ford then continued to intentionally block his escape while continuing to cock his fist and demanded that Dale drop his phone; this is a robbery. I realize that it is not in Dale’s interest to pursue this because it makes his job that much harder. But the police have an obligation to pursue this whether or not it is politically expedient.

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

      The police, I suspect, feel obliged only to offer quid pro quo to the party who preserved their jobs and uniquely high salary increases in the last budget.

  • Valiantcitizen

    So internet troll/armchair opinionators have been spouting off. So what? Let’s hew a little closer to the facts. Legally speaking, the mayor broke the law, the journalist didn’t. We have laws for reasons, right folks? Time honoured, time tested laws.

  • Anonymous

    Would you be making the same article bashing people for defending a woman who ran away due to her cowardice when it was not really necessary?

    • Unknown_nolessofaman

      It can only look “not really necessary” after the fact, because there wasn’t a physical assault, because Dale left. If Dale had stayed, stood his ground, what reason do you have to believe that the Mayor would not have taken a poke at him?

  • http://twitter.com/ChefWendyB Wendy Baskerville

    Nicely put Hamutal: I’m not sure I would say he has a football players build. But he is a huge man with a bright red face when aroused. It is astonishing to me that someone as dignified and well spoken as Daniel is taking such heat for doing what I feel certain, just about anyone else would have done under similar circumstances.
    It is ludicrous that our mayor would react in such a patently out of control way to someone simply standing in a park, albeit behind his house. It was daylight still. I walked my dogs at 8:15 that evening and it was still light. Don’t you simply walk out and maybe ask “hey, what are you doing?” Maybe say “get lost”. Why on earth would a man who gives out his address and phone number on city wide radio be surprised when anyone shows up in his neighbourhood?
    Daniel has handled this brouhaha with incredible dignity. I am ashamed of the people in this city who are so intent on ignoring the growing and growing evidence of Rob Ford’s inability to perform the job he was elected to do with any dignity whatsoever. He got himself elected to a position he is woefully unequipped to execute. Is it to much to ask that he attempt to learn a bit of self control and humility for the remaining 2.5 years we have to put up with him.

    • Anonymous

      “Is it to much to ask that he attempt to learn a bit of self control and humility for the remaining 2.5 years we have to put up with him.”

      Well yes, yes it it is. This is a train wreck. All we can do is pull up a chair and a bowl of popcorn. Now what was it someone said about “schadenford” ?

  • Anonymous

    I agree that the mayor is a buffoon and did wrong here, perhaps criminally. But there’s something about the Star’s grasping self-congratulation that I find off putting. Maybe the negative reaction is connected to that.

    • Anonymous

      I tend to agree. It is in the Star’s best interest to keep the “feud” with Ford ongoing. It surely helps boost the paper’s profile around town. There are a couple of things in Dale’s story that seem a little odd. I don’t think a set-up is out of the question. When you provoke this mayor, you get a great story. And provoking someone as immature and unstable as Ford is like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

    • Anonymous

      I tend to agree. It is in the Star’s best interest to keep the “feud” with Ford ongoing. It surely helps boost the paper’s profile around town. There are a couple of things in Dale’s story that seem a little odd. I don’t think a set-up is out of the question. When you provoke this mayor, you get a great story. And provoking someone as immature and unstable as Ford is like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

  • http://twitter.com/ZacSwan Zachary Swan

    No one has an issue with the fact poor Danny boy ran away from a 300 pounder heading in his direction. He didn’t just run away. He tossed away the tools of his trade at the first threat (which he must have expected would happen when he decided to skulk around behind the Mayor’s home and climb up on cinder blocks to snoop into his backyard). He then started squealing like a school girl. His parents must be ashamed that they raised such a meek little weasel.

    • Anonymous

      Well Zachary, you have repeated Rob Ford’s narrative at the first opportunity. Congratulations are in order, I suppose…

      • http://twitter.com/ZacSwan Zachary Swan

        Actually, the bulk of my comment comes from Dan himself. But good for you for fighting the good fight against Ford regardless of the facts. You are a very impressive smart person, indeed.

        • Anonymous

          Yo Bro! Bro! I’m with you. I would’ve ruined him bro.

          We should hang out bro.I’ll pick up a case of Laker and swing by your place.

        • stopitman

          Last I heard, from the police reports, the cinder blocks weren’t stacked until after Dale left and the cops came, and even if he was standing on them, it doesn’t make anything illegal. Besides all this, as long as he wasn’t taking pictures into areas where privacy is expected (i.e. something happening inside the house), it’s perfectly within his rights to be on public property and take pictures of things that are in public view.

          Since you’re so manly, why not post your home address and phone number up on the internet, or are you too much of a “meek little weasel” and “school girl”? Real men don’t fight unless absolutely necessary and can control their anger, but poor Robbie is so used to getting what he wants when he wants it, even though he only ever got it because of Daddy’s name.

          • Anonymous

            Yawn. You’re boring me.

            Just because something is LEGAL does not make it ACCEPTABLE. What this yellow little cub reporter did was scummy and on par with calibre of journalism practiced at the News of the World. He should be ashamed.

    • Anonymous

      Nonsense.

  • Unknown_nolessofaman

    FWIW, I think the Mayor Ford’s behaviour in this situation is excusable, given the very real threats against him–some having nothing to do with his political life.

    Or would be excusable if he’d handled the aftermath differently.

  • Lurkerjoe

    What’s creepy is a guy stalking around a person’s house (who cares whose house it is) near dark. He may be an award-winning journalist but his judgement is way off.

    • Anonymous

      If only poor judgment were a crime.

  • Damien

    You wrote an entire article about a reporter who ran away from Rob Ford. You deserve a cookie.

    • Brian Young

      Hunh?

  • Schedlich

    We don’t like Rob Ford. I don’t like Rob Ford. I wish Toronto had been nicer to Miller, yet here we are. In this particular instance, ROb Ford is not in the wrong. He didn’t steal, isn’t even embellishing. You can tell by that CBC interview, that he is man that finally has an advantage. He is certain that he has been done wrong. And he wants every one to know it. The fact is, Rob Ford is a civil servant and is due the repect that title deserves. It’s not like being the George bush of mayors is making him any fat cash. Which means he believes in what he is doing. (the voting majority in Toronto agree) this TS reporter was more than likely stepping over what is acceptable.

    • Antinephalist

      Ford intimidated Dale, by his own admission, and demanded that Dale drop his phone.

      If that happened between two people downtown, you’d call it a mugging.

    • Eric S. Smith

      He didn’t steal, isn’t even embellishing.

      Uh, except where he took someone else’s property (stealing) and then lied about the person being a trespasser (embellishing).

      He is certain that he has been done wrong.

      When has Ford ever not been certain that someone’s wronged him, for God’s sake? And, as usual, running his mouth is digging him deeper: he proudly admits to cornering and threatening someone.

    • Hammertime2013

      It’s not like being the George bush of mayors is making him any fat cash. Which means he believes in what he is doing.

      He is setting up some fat cash jobs for when his term is over, the friends that have or will profit from his decisions willl not forget and he will have some cushy job as soon as he’s done here I assure you.

  • Schedlich

    I think you may be letting your distaste for Ford cloud your rational on this one. He is a lousy mayor. Done. Completely. But at 8:15 as the last vestibules of light sink into night, is not daylight. Being Mayor, Even a shitty one, is a public service. He deserves to go home at the end of the day. Toronto voted. And be a regular person. The fact is Dale was in the backyard and the neighbors backyard doing what? If he wanted to investigate land deals, why not do it during the day when Ford is busy being an ass. And this 300 pound man is more likely to cardiac out before punching anyone.

    • Anonymous

      Dale was not in the backyard. Even Rob Ford is not claiming he was. Dale was there on a legitimate assignment with a deadline, doing his job. He was investigating why Rob Ford claimed he needed a parcel of land for his kids’ security, when the land in question is beside, not behind his house. That is why Dale walked on publicly-owned and publicly accessible land (not Rob Ford’s fenced-in backyard) behind Rob Ford’s house. Doing what reporters do. Doing his job.

    • Antinephalist

      Dale was not in the back yard, it was not 8:15, and Ford has no right whatsoever to dictate who can be on public property.

  • Anonymous

    This is public property. The reporter can go there any time he wants. He does not need the permission of Mr Ford or Miroslav. He was working on a legit story. If he had been doing something that was clearly threatening to the Ford household that’s a different matter. But there is absolutely no evidence that he was and he has no history of being any kind of troublemaker. Mr Ford claims he has video proof but, as with the 911 calls, he will not release it.

    I will take the word of the reporter over Mr Ford, a known incessant liar. And why does almost every such incident with this Mayor involve a threat of violence? Ford says the guy was lucky to get away. Why was he lucky? Ford was going to kick the crap out of him?

    What amazes me no end is how many dimwitted people still support this Mayor, who constantly embarrasses this great city. Toronto is the butt of jokes everywhere because of Ford and his neanderthal followers.

    • Eric S. Smith

      Why was he lucky? Ford was going to kick the crap out of him?

      To Ford supporters, the fact that Ford was about to slug the guy just means that Ford is that much more in the right.

  • anon

    The reason why people are upset with Dale is because if he didn’t run and stayed there, and if Rob Ford did *anything* physical to him at all, Rob Ford would be booted from office instantly.

    • Eric S. Smith

      Ford’s defenders are proudly arguing that day is night. They’d probably accuse Dale of faking a black eye.

  • Eric S. Smith

    Are you thinking of Criminal Code section 354 (1), “Possession of property obtained by crime?”

    I’d go right to assault if I were looking for something that Ford should be charged with: section 265 (1) (b).

    It would be kind of a hoot if tampering with a smartphone could land Ford in hot water under section 342.1 (1), “Unauthorized use of computer,” but I’m not sure it’s applicable. Assault is a slam dunk in comparison; as far as I’m concerned, the only way Ford could escape conviction would be by somehow getting all of his published comments ruled inadmissible and then testifying to something substantially less damaging.

  • Ashleigh

    Back on topic….

    The article questions the questioner’s assessment of masculinity based on our reporter’s reactions (note: REactions, not actions).

    Our reporter, faced with an adversarial confrontation ran away. In our society this action is the antithesis of masculinity. Don’t confuse the particulars of the action: whether he was on public property, dark or not, large red faced man, fist waving.

    We celebrate our brave soldiers, police, etc. who in an adversarial confrontation do not run away. We celebrate our store keepers when faced with shoplifting chase down the thief and catch him. We celebrate protestors who when faced with adversarial confrontation do not run away but face the confrontation. On the news tonight we celebrate an octogenarian man who tackles hold-up men to the floor.

    When faced with a serious confrontation these men did not run away. Our reporter ran away.

    Of course, to choose when to stand or run is itself a valid choice. But again, men such faced do not run, our reporter ran.

    So, lets imagine if our reporter actually did stand up to 300Lbs of charging fist waving red faced mayor instead of screaming, dropping and running? What epithets would our reporter then be receiving? Something about courage, intrepid, an example, masculine even?

    • Anonymous

      Nope, he would have been arrested for assaulting the Mayor. “Star reporter stalks and attacks Mayor Ford in his own backyard.”

  • Donald

    Daniel Dale is the Captain Schettino of news reporters.

    “Vado a fordo, cazzo!”

  • http://twitter.com/darceymcl Darcey McLaughlin

    I’m going to speak from the point of view of someone who has been in Daniel Dale’s position. A few years back, working for my local newspaper, I was similarly confronted by a much larger individual. I was on a public street taking photos of homes for a story. This man marched out of his house, yelling at me and confronted me, getting very close.
    In this case I stood my ground. I looked him in the eye, and I was defiant in the face of his threats (even saying he didn’t care if he got arrested for assaulting me) while I explained the reason for my being there. In the end the man huffed off, I finished what I was doing and drove back to my office to let my editor know what had just happened.
    It would be a lie to say i wasn’t rattled or that my heart wasn’t racing. But I would like to think I handled myself with a bit of dignity.
    And I think for a lot of people they see Dale’s actions as less than dignified. It may have been survival to run away, but begging and pleading with the mayor to not hit him, is a bit hard to hear. It’s cowardly. There is no other way to say it. If the mayor was going to hit him, he was going to hit him. I doubt begging stopped it.
    I don’t think Dale needed to mouth off to the mayor or square off, fist raised. But he could have shown some courage and some dignity.