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culture

Mayor Rob Ford and Christie Blatchford Made This Week’s New Yorker, Sort Of

Another shining moment in the international press for Toronto.

From page 50 of this week's New Yorker

From page 50 of this week’s New Yorker.

Hey look, New York City noticed us. Oh boy.

Flip to page 50 of this week’s New Yorker and you’ll see, right below the last column of Lena Dunham’s essay about dog ownership, something way more entertaining than any writing about dog ownership could ever be: a hilariously convoluted couple of paragraphs about Mayor Rob Ford’s recent (and since overturned) ouster on conflict-of-interest charges. It’s credited to the “Ontario National Post.”

Here’s a transcription:

So, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been given the boot from office because an opportunistic citizen hired a smart and politically savvy lawyer who found a club of an arcane statute with which to tie the hands of a judge who was willing to play ball.

That’s the short and dirt version of the bombshell that has dropped.

For those not familiar with The New Yorker, this is something the magazine has been doing for decades. To fill out a blank space on a page, the editors grab a strangely worded sentence or two from a newspaper or some other source, and then give it a headline to indicate what they found funny about it.

In this case, they’re amused by a mixed metaphor. Mayor Ford’s legal misfortune is a boot, then it’s a club, then it’s handcuffs, then it’s a ball, and then, finally, it becomes a nuclear strike.

Who was the author of this shapeshifter of a summary? Christie Blatchford.

On the bright side, she can now claim to have been published in one of the world’s most prestigious general-interest magazines. “I’ve written for The New Yorker and other places” sounds pretty good.

Coincidentally, there’s a Gary Taxali illustration on the following page, making this maybe the most Torontonian New Yorker spread since the last time Calvin Trillin was here.

Photo by Steve Kupferman/Torontoist.

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