As evidence I present this:
For those of you who aren’t aware, Gawker was approached by someone they allege is drug dealer from Toronto, Ontario who claims to have a video of their mayor Rob Ford, smoking from what appears to be a glass crack pipe and calling the newly minted leader of the federal Liberal party, Justin Trudeau, a “fag”. This video was viewed by two reporters from the Toronto Star who have attested to its existence.
The drug dealer wants $200,000 for the video so, in a world where a photo of a celebrity’s baby can fetch millions of dollars, Gawker started a crowd funding page to raise the $200K.
They’ve provided “perks” for those whose donation reached certain thresholds.
I went to the page this morning out of idle curiosity to see how close to their goal they were (as this story has all but vanished). $175K, with another 40 hours to go.
I looked down the list of perks. Being a world-class skimmer three words caught my eye “Canadian Flag” and “defiled”.
Deliberately defacing a nation’s flag in any manner is considered a desecration. However, doing such is protected speech in most countries, Canada included.
One has to wonder at Gawker’s motivation. Is this just an ill conceived idea that they didn’t think through?
In today’s day and age its possible that it didn’t occur to them that they were insulting a nation in offering to sign a flag as a reward for what to me appears to be nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Its equally possible that it did occur to them.
- Gawker’s bid to give $200,000 to Canadian drug dealers hits slight snag (guardian.co.uk)
- Tough questions for the Toronto Star (macleans.ca)
- Rob Ford crack scandal: Drug dealers with alleged video disappear (metronews.ca)
- Gawker editor admits he’s unable to contact sellers of alleged Rob Ford crack video (globalnews.ca)