That Time Vice Paid A "Hacker" $5,000 For A Fake Rob Ford Story - 2020-04-09
At a quarter past noon on November 5, 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford casually admitted — after months of denying it — that, yes, he had smoked crack cocaine. This had most likely occurred, he quickly explained, in one his drunken stupors.
Nearly three hours later, as reporters stood crushed against the glass wall of Ford's office, tensely awaiting entry to what promised to be one hell of a press conference, Vice dropped a bombshell: "Rob Ford's Office Hired a Hacker to Destroy the Crack Tape."
The story was bursting with jaw-dropping details concerning alleged efforts by Ford's communications director, Amin Massoudi, to pay a "hacker" to break into a password-protected server in order to find and delete a video of the mayor smoking crack. Loaded with quotes from what it described as correspondence between Massoudi and the hacker, the report, by Vice Canada's then-managing editor Patrick McGuire, offered an apparently unprecedented view into a political office scrambling to contain a crisis.