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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.


  • option_man

    I don’t know – I think there was an issue with Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Gopnick and Barry Blitt all represented once……

  • worstmayorever

    That’s the goof who told us to vote for Ford. The writing’s almost as bad as Wente, who plagiarizes other bad writers so even worse. But at least she’s not as stupid. They’re number 1 and 2 for the worst columnists of all time. Fitting fans of RF.

  • Paul Kishimoto

    I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at the “Ontario National Post” when they first saw this.

    Edit: should I have said “…when the shit hit the fan”? Is that even really a mixed metaphor, “be a fly on the wall…as the shit hits the fan”, if the fly would actually be acutely interested in such a situation? Maybe I should ask Ms Blatchford.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    So the New York Stater mentioned Ford, so what?

  • Dinah Might

    You’d never see crap like that published in the Rosedale Toronto Star.

  • Tristan

    Blatchford is hands down one of the most startlingly unskilled professional writers in print. The fact she’s a right wing shill is icing on the crap cake. I encourage everyone to read this her take on the Idle No More movement that’s basically a lot of hand-wringing about how it could maybe possibly somehow turn into a real life version of a book she sort of read.

    • dsmithhfx

      Her dispatches from the “front” [embedded version] would do William Hearst proud.

  • tomwest

    Wait, the Ontario Municipalities Act is “arcane”?

  • Louis

    I was almost certain that that was ironic (on the part of the original paper, though the “Ontario National Post” thing confused me too).

  • shuo.hao

  • pauldo

    Dear New Yorker, as a longtime reader I want you to know that Christie knew what she was doing when she wrote that piece.
    This is not an example of the inept mixed-metaphors that you’ve entertained us with all these years. It is a Blatch Metaphor Mockery Bomb, with each cliche carefully deployed.