SunTV broke this story yesterday on New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jack Layton’s exploits at a well-known bawdy house during his time as Toronto City Councilor. Thanks to SDAMatt2 for the video (hat-tip Blazing Cat Fur).
And here’s Jack Layton’s respond to this story.
Not really a response at all actually. It’s a dodge. In my opinion, his dishonesty pretty much confirms police suspicions about what occurred. Instead of answering the question posed to him by reporters, he changes topics and attacks the nature of politics. Says a lot about the man who seems set on leading the opposition, if not a coalition government.
So what should be taken away from this story? Not much. It damages Jack’s credibility, but considering that this man is leading the NDP, it isn’t like he had much credibility to begin with. I mean, how can anyone take you seriously with the kind of candidates your party is running? I mean, aside from Libby Davies.
I can see disheartened Liberals refusing to vote NDP over this story, but not much else. Actually, considering former President Bill Clinton’s popularity, ill-informed and immoral youth might actually vote for Jack because of this past indiscretion.
The real question raised by this story is why did it take sixteen years for this incident to come to light? Surely NDP insiders knew of this past discretion, but why was it SunTV that broke this story? I think it speaks to the quality (or lack thereof) of journalism in this country. According to Blazing Cat Fur Andre Coyne of Maclean’s Magazine, as well as others in the media, knew of this story months ago (hat-tip Five Feet of Fury). So why wasn’t it reported? While I might not be a devoted follower of the station, SunTV has demonstrated with this story that they are needed to report on news other media outlets refuse to due to their political biases.
Liberal Party supporters will be happy with the release of this story. It might just be enough to keep them as the official opposition. With this incident now made public, they could only hope that it spreads fast enough and far enough to change their party’s political fortunes. Is it possible? Maybe, but this story might have come out too late to have any significant impact on predicted election results.
We’ll see come Monday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this loses NDP much needed votes in some of the closer races. As Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet of Fury said, talk of an NDP election win could just be another case of premature Jack Layton.
UPDATE: More information is coming out, this from Jenny Yuen at the Toronto Sun.
The Velvet Touch Massage parlour — where Jack Layton was found during a 1996 police visit — was suspected by himself and others to be a rub and tug since it opened, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti says.
The massage parlour at 787 Dundas St. W., which ceased operations shortly after the police came calling, opened in 1994 and was among 26 suspected bawdy houses Toronto Police cracked down on with more than 300 charges.
Layton has denied any wrongdoing and said he did not know it was a suspected bawdy house…
…As for his thoughts on Layton being caught in the room with an attractive 5-foot-10 Asian woman, he’s not really buying that the NDP leader didn’t know it was a place where he could get sexual services.
“He’s claiming he got a legitimate massage, but the issue here is it’s clear it was a rub and tug and most people in society would know that when they go in. I’d be very surprised that a very smart politician would not have known … and Jack was very smart.”
The Velvet Touch doesn’t sound like a “community clinic” at all. How many “community clinics” are suspected of underage prostitution? The more we hear about the it and what is suspected to have occurred there, the more damning this story becomes. I don’t know how anyone who cares about women’s rights, let alone self-proclaimed feminists, could support a man who frequented a massage parlour suspected of sex trafficking of young girls.
“Jack the John” Layton literally got caught with his pants down and now, with a day left in this campaign, the NDP and its supporters are lashing out, calling this story an unsubstantiated smear. Hopefully Canadians are smart enough to to understand that just because charges weren’t laid, doesn’t mean a crime didn’t occur.