A friend called me shortly after I published my story criticising Antonia Zerbisias’s shameless Toronto Star article canonizing a G20 ringleader. She told me to watch out because Zerbisias is a bit of a hothead who often reacts quicker than she thinks. Well, it appears that she’s decided to go ahead and prove it again for us today- following the same path of a con-artist who abuses indigenous people, and that crazy guy who believes that Obama has been to Mars.
So, yes, it appears that my friend was right on the money when she said Zerbisias is a hothead. In many ways she’s the Sandy Garossino of the East. Because, not only is she afraid of criticism- but it appears that Zerbisias would also sooner bully someone than to address it.
She came after me on Twitter with a very dirty attack. First, she blocked me from sending messages to her- then, she began sharing links that said bad things about me. The problem is, the links she was sharing was a website that was setup by incarcerated G20 anarchist Alex Hundert- a man who has put a lot of effort into stalking me both online and in real-life (and he got violent.)
Yes, you read that right- Zerbisias used the words of an incarcerated violent criminal to deflect from criticism she is working too closely with incarcerated violent criminals. You can’t make this sort of thing up- it can only come from real-life. Zerbisias also tweeted an insult to my intelligence- knowing she was silly enough to quote Alex Hundert makes that a bit easier to digest…
I’ve just been reading through the Toronto Star’s Journalistic Standards Guide– after a quick scan, it appears that Zerbisias has violated that code on several counts:
1. Toronto Star Statement of Principles
“Section 2 (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”
Zerbisias took a vicious personal attack on me in response to my criticising one of her articles. She then tried to frame the situation as ‘stalking’ using a series of ad-hominem attacks. Her intention was to deny me of my freedom of expression.
This sentence is quite poignant today:
“Journalists who abuse the power of their professional roles for selfish motives or unworthy purposes are faithless to that public trust.”
2. Fair Play
“The Star respects the rights of people involved in the news, acts with decency in its conduct with readers and those we report on and stands accountable for the fairness and reliability of its reporting. The Star reports and presents the news fairly and openly, so as not to mislead readers or those we report on.”
Zerbisias took a link from an anonymous website that was obviously created to hurt my reputation and used it to publicly make accusations about my character. Her conduct lacked decency and it was misleading.
“The Star does not degrade any person nor make gratuitous, stereotypical references to appearance.”
Her tweet making an insult against my intelligence conflicted with this rule.
3. Opinions And News
“Columns: Columnists and Op-Ed writers have wide latitude to express their own views in the Star, including views directly contrary to the Star’s editorial views, as long as they fall within the boundaries of good taste and the laws of libel. Columnists ought to deal with matters of public interest, not engage in personal axe-grinding or internecine debates with other columnists who write for the Star or other publications. Columnists may debate issues with readers via the online comments system but should do so respectfully and courteously.”
Here’s where Zerbisias really goes wrong. First, what she has done most probably doesn’t fall within the boundaries of the laws of libel- she’s on very shaky ground right now. Next, she is engaging in personal axe-grinding. And, finally, she is being the opposite of respectful & courteous.
Perhaps she’s spending too much time with anarchists these days?
4. Courtesy and Public
“Staff members are expected to be courteous to readers and the public at all times. Rudeness is inexcusable even under provocation.”
This is redundant, as it was already covered in the previous section- but it show’s how important of a rule this is at the Star (on-paper at least…).
I’ve read through the Star’s a few times now- and, perhaps I’ve missed it, but I’ve not been able to find any rules saying that a columnist is (or isn’t) allowed to issue public threats like Zerbisias has. I’m guessing they haven’t added rules about columnists making threats because they never imagined they’d have to.
Who’d have thought that the Toronto Star could have people there who are so dirty. And, in case you aren’t very familiar with Alex Hundert- here’s a video of him sharing his thoughts on ‘the law’ on a night he came specifically to Occupy Toronto to assault me…
Does the Toronto Star support people like this- or, is it just Zerbisias?
Let’s not forget how this got started- I wrote an piece criticising Zerbisias support for one of the violent criminals who caused Toronto great shame during the G20. That she reacted this way, without addressing the meat of my criticism indicates she may have something to hide…
Update: Wouldn’t you know it- Zerbisias is an Alex Hundert fangirl. Such a surprise…