Robyn Doolittle, Myth Maker

Say, wasn’t that Robyn Doolittle throwing a shitfit this week over the Hollywood version of the Rob Ford story—currently shooting in TO?

The Globe and Minion hack used Matt Galloway’s CBC morning show to kvetch that producers had cast a man in the role of the composite reporter.

What an outrage!  Everyone knows it was Robyn, then a reporter with the Toronto Star, who singlehandedly brought low the bumbaclot mayor. She was the Woodward and the Bernstein of the whole sleazy affair. So the idea of making her character in the new film a man, well, that’s just more Hollywood sexism, MeTooism, male oppression (insert your pejorative here.)

But insiders at the Star recall it differently, i.e., Doolittle was a shameless self promoter who dined out for years on the  Ford saga, without giving credit to others on the assignment. (Consider that she wasn’t even alone in the car when the black dude played the infamous Ford coke video for Star reporters in December 2013. She was riding shotgun with colleague Kevin Donovan, a, er, man).

The following year, she parlayed her Ford fame into a whopping contract at the Globe. Newly appointed editor David Walmsley, anxious to impress his superiors, opened David Thomson’s wallet and made Doolittle his first big splash.

This gave her a long leash and for the next couple of years she did next to nothing because Walmsley et al didn’t want to look like they fucked up (Kendrys Morales, anyone?)

She finally had a burst of energy last year—50 or so impenetrable repetitions of the same notion–rape complainants are not implicitly believed and cases don’t go to trial if they can’t be won on the evidence. (Shall we come to Reception or just roll up our Globe van to the back door for the Michener?)

Of course, tub-thumping about credit-for-past-feats ain’t a new development in the news biz. Who can forget Lisa Priest, who complained mightily in the press when she was not used adequately or thanked when CBC won awards for its TV movie based on her book about the Helen Betty Osborne murder in The Pas. But what the hell, TV is notorious for stealing print stories and pretending they didn’t.

Now where was I? Oh, yes, some punters suggest that the reporter in the Ford film should be a man since it was Donovan who did much of the heavy lifting on the Ford coverage. He’s also produced infinitely more ‘investigative’ work than Doolittle–she really is a one-trick pony–while he just plugs away and gets result. He just hasn’t marketed his myth as successfully as Doolittle.

In short, in the Star stable of Rob Cribb, Marco Chown Oved, Donovan and a couple of others, Doolittle was the self-admiring songbird who shamelessly played on Her Story.

Thus, there were few tears when she flitted to the Globe. The only amusement was that, like Vernon Wells being traded to Anaheim, the opposition ‎had paid heavily for a dud and–(that’s enough Blue Jays clichés!—ed.)

 

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