The Toronto Star shot back Friday after one of its city hall reporters was questioned by police about a run-in with Mayor Rob Ford on Wednesday evening.
The Star took a jab at Ford with an editorial cartoon that read: “Mayor chases, catches and eats reporter. Cancels Monday’s weigh-in.” The paper also published an allegation that the cellphone journalist Daniel Dale dropped when he was confronted by the angry mayor was used to make at least one call later that night.
It’s not known who made the call or reportedly charged the battery.
Ford and the paper are embattled in a war of words after the mayor confronted Dale near the back of his property, near James Gardens Park on Wednesday evening. Dale said he was working on a story about Ford trying to buy a piece of city land, which the reporter thought was behind the mayor’s yard, but turns out is adjacent to the his property. Ford accused the reporter of spying on him.
In his published account of what happened, Dale said he dropped his gear, including a phone and voice recorder, and ran off because he thought Ford was going to hit him.
On Friday, the Star ran a piece alleging Dale’s phone was recharged and used to make at least one call — to Coun. Maria Augimeri’s executive assistant — less than an hour after the confrontation.
Dale claims his BlackBerry was dead when he dropped it. Ford gave the recorder and phone to police for the investigation later Wednesday, the Star reports.
Police have interviewed Dale about the incident. The Fords claim they have security video showing Dale peering over the mayor’s back fence, which they say was surrendered to police. Dale insists he was always on public property, but admits he snapped a few pictures of Ford’s fence from a distance, because it was relevant for his story.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority was slated to discuss the mayor’s land purchase request at a meeting Friday. A decision on the matter was deferred pending further study. The city will issue a report to be reviewed in June.
The paper continues to back its reporter and insists it won’t remove him from his beat at city hall. Ford said Thursday that he won’t speak to any reporter in a media scrum if Dale is present.