Windbag Sid Ryan should shut up
Is it just me, or has anyone else had enough of Sid Ryan?
Ryan, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour and a union leader since the 1970s, is a vigorous defender of organized labor, a necessary job at a time when unions are under attack from all sides.
As a union member, I appreciate being part of a collective bargaining unit that gives me a good wage, workplace protections, benefits and a defined pension.
I also appreciate that The Star is enlightened enough to deal with our union, rather than trying to break us, as is the case in the U.S., where corporate spin has demonized unions.
Having said that, it seems to me that Ryan has outlived his best-before date and should cash in his fat pension, and the sooner the better.
On Monday, Ryan managed to turn a workaday tweet from Toronto Sun reporter Don Peat into a personal attack that was petty and unbecoming of someone in his position.
Peat covers city hall for the Sun, which puts him into the wobbly orbit of Mayor Rob Ford. He uses Twitter to tweet to his followers (including me) whatever Ford happens to say, which can be entertaining, given the mayor’s gift of outrageousness.
He tweeted a quote from Ford, saying he wants to keep the Gardiner Expressway and not impose tolls.
Ryan tweeted back a question to Peat: “Are you Rob Ford’s personal communications assistant?”
Peat replied: No. I’m doing my job as a city hall reporter.”
Ryan persisted: “Are you expected to tweet every sentence he expresses? Why is the Sun acting as his personal aide?”
Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, a labor relations specialist who was part of the cabal that brought down Ford, interceded on Peat’s behalf, tweeting that Peat is also a union member and deserves a little respect.
Ryan: “I asked a question as to why Don tweets every sentence that comes out of Ford’s mouth. It’s weird. Nothing to do with work ethic.”
Chaleff-Freudenthaler: “If you’d asked that without the insulting sarcasm, I wouldn’t have had any issue with your question.”
Ryan: “To be honest, I could give a sh+t what you think.”
Chaleff-Freudenthaler: “Thanks Sid. As someone who’s been respectful to you and whose dues pay your salary, that’s awfully nice to hear.”
Sid apparently doesn’t understand that it is Peat’s job to tweet Ford’s quotes. Reporters are required to use Twitter these days to bring followers into media websites, particularly those who might not otherwise get there.
What better way than with pearls from Ford?
I have never met Peat, but I have worked alongside a lot of excellent Sun reporters over many years, whose personal politics are as diverse as those of my Star colleagues.
To publicly accuse Peat of being a stooge for the mayor because his paper supports Ford, and insult him, as well as Chaleff-Freudenthaler, makes Ryan a blowhard who doesn't understand how media works in 2013 and an embarrassment to labour.
I think a small portion of my union dues pays his salary, which qualifies me to nominate Ryan for a buyout.
If he is too dumb to see the writing on the wall, he should at least shut his cake hole when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
And I don’t give a sh+t what you think, Sid.