Transcript: An Underdog's Confessions | Nov 02, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale peach shirt, checked purple tie, and a poppy in his lapel.

A caption on screen reads "An underdog's confessions. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IF YOU READ SUE-ANN
LEVY IN THE TORONTO SUN, YOU
KNOW SHE WRITES WITH A
PARTICULARLY SHARP PEN,
SKEWERING LEFT-WING POLITICIANS
AND WASTEFUL SPENDING ON A
REGULAR BASIS.
BUT THERE'S A LOT OF VERY
DRAMATIC STUFF ABOUT HER YOU
PROBABLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, AND
SHE'S CHRONICLED THAT STORY IN
HER NEW BOOK: "UNDERDOG:
CONFESSIONS OF A RIGHT-WING GAY JEWISH MUCKRAKER."
AND SUE-ANN LEVY JOINS US NOW HERE IN STUDIO.

A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a collage of newspaper articles under the title in red and white bold lettering.
Sue-Ann is in her late fifties, with short wavy blond hair. She's wearing a purple tweed jacket and a poppy brooch.

Steve continues THAT IS A GREAT SUBTITLE, I HAVE
TO SAY.

Sue-Ann says ISN'T IT TERRIFIC?

Steve says IT'S NOT BAD.
SUE-ANN, FULL DISCLOSURE OFF THE
TOP, YOU AND I ARE FROM
HAMILTON.
WE DON'T KNOW EACH OTHER...

Sue-Ann says I'M A LITTLE
BIT OLDER THAN YOU.

Steve says IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TODD.
WE'RE BOTH FROM THE HAMMER AND
WE KNEW EACH OTHER A BIT BACK IN
THE DAY.
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THREE
THINGS ESSENTIALLY OVER THE
PERIOD OF TIME WE HAVE.
I WANT TO START, AS I SUGGESTED
IN THE INTRO, A COUPLE OF
DEVASTATING PHYSICAL ASSAULTS
YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED IN YOUR
LIFE.
I WOULD LIKE TO, AS THE SUBTITLE
SUGGESTS, TALK ABOUT YOUR LIFE
AS A CLOSETED GAY WOMAN FOR A
COUPLE OF DECADES, AND FINALLY
THE THING PEOPLE KNOW YOU FOR IS
YOUR SKEWERING OF POLITICIANS
YOU DON'T LIKE.
WE'LL FINISH UP ON THAT.
I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE DAYS
WHEN YOU WERE A STUDENT AT
CARLETON UNIVERSITY.
SOMEONE COMES IN TO YOUR PLACE,
YOUR APARTMENT, ON THE PRETEXT
OF SUBLETTING, AND I'M GOING TO
HAND YOU YOUR BOOK AND ASK YOU
TO BASICALLY SET THE STAGE FOR
OUR DISCUSSION HERE BY READING
THIS EXCERPT, STARTING FROM HERE.

Steve hands a copy of the book over to Sue-Ann.

The caption changes to "Traumatic assaults."

Sue-Ann says OKAY.
WHEN I TURNED MY BACK ON HIM FOR
JUST A MOMENT, HE STRUCK,
BLUDGEONING ME SEVERAL TYPES IN
THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH A LEAD
PIPE HE HAD HITTEN IN THE POCKET
OF HIS COAT, WITH BLOOD FROM MY
WOUND STREAMING DOWN MY FACE AND
INTO MY EYES, I COULD THINK OF
NOTHING BUT FIGHTING BACK.
AS HE CONTINUED TO HIT ME, I
TURNED AROUND AND TRIED TO KNEE
HIM IN THE BALLS BY SCREAMING AT
THE TOP OF MY LUNGS FOR HELP.
THIS MADE HIM ANGRIER AND MORE
DES AT THAT TIME.
HE PUSHED ME TO THE GROUND,
CLIMBED ON TOP OF ME AND
SQUEEZED HIS HANDS AROUND MY
THROAT.
AT THAT POINT ALL I COULD THINK
OF IS HOW MY FAMILY WOULD TAKE
MY DEATH.
WITH THE BLOOD ROARING IN MY
HEAD AND MY OWN VOICE SOUNDING
LIKE IT WAS COMING FROM WITHIN A
DEEP TUNNEL, I FINALLY AND
MERCIFULLY PASSED OUT.
THE OTTAWA POLICE LATER TOLD ME
THAT THAT WAS WHAT SAVED ME,
THINKING HE HAD MURDERED ME, MY
ASSAILANT FLED.

Steve says HOW IS IT READING THAT AGAIN?

The caption changes to "Sue-Ann Levy. Author, 'Underdog.'"

Sue-Ann says YOU KNOW, YOU
NEVER GET OVER THE TRAUMA.
READING THAT, IT TOOK ME RIGHT
BACK TO THAT DAY.
HOW MANY YEARS AGO NOW?
IT'S 1978.
SO IT'S 38 YEARS AGO, IF I'M
COUNTING CORRECTLY.
AND MARCH 17TH IS THE DAY IT
HAPPENED.
AND I WILL NEVER LOOK AT
ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN ANY SORT OF
HAPPY OR JOYOUS MANNER.

Steve says DO YOU STILL THINK
ABOUT IT FREQUENTLY?

Sue-Ann says I THINK
PROBABLY WHEN I WROTE THE BOOK,
IT WAS VERY CATHARTIC AND THE
FIRST TIME I HAD WRITTEN IN
DETAIL ABOUT THE ASSAULT AND
SOMETHING I HAD BURIED AS I SAY
IN THE BOOK FOR ABOUT 25 YEARS.

Steve says YOU SUSTAINED
ABRASIONS AND CUT TO YOUR NECK
AND THROAT.
DID THEY EVER GET THE GUY?

Sue-Ann says THEY NEVER
CAUGHT HIM.
I BLAME MYSELF TO SOME EXTENT
BECAUSE I REALIZE NOW, IN
HINDSIGHT, AND I WAS ONLY 21 AT
THE TIME, THAT YOU'VE REALLY GOT
TO KEEP ON THESE PEOPLE, ON THE
POLICE.
HOW I REALIZED THAT IS BECAUSE I
WAS ASSAULTED AGAIN IN 2004.

Steve says WE'LL GET TO THAT
ONE IN A SECOND.
YOU THINK THE POLICE DID NOT
TAKE YOUR CASE SERIOUSLY?

Sue-Ann says IT'S NOT THAT
THEY DIDN'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.
THE DAY AFTER I WAS DOWN AT THE
POLICE STATION AND I DID A
SKETCH WITH THE POLICE ARTIST.
THAT WAS WAY BACK IN 1978.
IT WAS VERY DIFFERENT THEN.
AND THEY TOLD ME THAT THEY WERE
GOING TO PUT IT OUT IN EVERY
VEHICLE.
BUT WHAT THEY SAID TO ME AT THE
TIME WAS THAT THE ONLY WAY THEY
WOULD CATCH HIM IS IF HE HAD
DONE IT AGAIN.
SO I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING AND,
YOU KNOW, AND I DIDN'T FOLLOW UP
WITH THEM.

Steve says HOW COULD YOU BLAME
YOURSELF?

The caption changes to "Sue-Ann Levy. Toronto Sun."

Sue-Ann says I THINK
PROBABLY BECAUSE... FOR A COUPLE
OF REASONS.
I WAS ENCOURAGED TO SWEEP IT
UNDER THE RUG.
I DIDN'T SEEK COUNSELLING WHEN I
SHOULD HAVE FOR THE TRAUMA.
AND THE ONLY THING I WOULD SAY
IS I LOST A LOT OF YEARS BEING
VERY, VERY ANGRY ABOUT IT, AND I
STILL GET VERY EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT.

Steve says YOU BASICALLY
SUFFERED PTSD, I'M ASSUMING.

Sue-Ann says I DID.
I DID.
TREMENDOUSLY.
YOU KNOW, IT'S FUNNY, BECAUSE
OVER THE YEARS, MY DEAR EDITOR,
THE EDITOR EMERITUS OF THE SUN,
HE HAD SAID TO ME ONCE I SOUGHT
COUNSELLING AND I'M VERY HONEST
ABOUT THAT, THAT HE NOTICED A
REAL CHANGE IN ME AFTER A COUPLE
OF YEARS OF COUNSELLING, THAT I
WAS EXTREMELY ANGRY.
AND IF YOU THINK MY PEN IS
POISON NOW, WAY BACK IN THE DAY
WHEN I WAS DEAL WITH THE TRAUMA,
I WAS VERY ANGRY.
THE OTHER THING WAS I COULDN'T
WALK DOWN THE STREET WITHOUT
WORRYING ABOUT WHO WAS COMING UP
BEHIND ME.

Steve says SURE.
WHAT DID YOUR FAMILY RECOMMEND
THAT YOU DO AT THE TIME?

Sue-Ann says SWEEP IT
UNDER THE RUG.

Steve says AND IN HINDSIGHT,
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT
ADVICE?

Sue-Ann says IT WAS A VERY
DIFFERENT ERA THEN.
THAT'S ALL I CAN SAY.
AND I'VE HEARD A LOT OF STORIES
ABOUT THAT, AND I THINK, YOU
KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY IT REALLY
AFFECTED MY LIFE, FAR MORE THAN
I REALIZED.

Steve says AND THEN, FAST
FORWARD 26 YEARS, YOU'RE LIVING
IN YORKVILLE, IN TORONTO, YOU
PURCHASED, WHAT WAS IT?
A STORAGE BENCH FROM A STORE
DOWN THE STREET.
YOU GIVE THE SALESMAN 25 BUCKS
TO COME UP TO YOUR PLACE AND SET
IT UP FOR YOU, AND WHAT HAPPENED
NEXT?

Sue-Ann says WELL, HE JUST
BARELY HAD GOTTEN STARTED AND I
WAS IN MY WALK-IN KITCHEN AND AS
HE WAS WORKING ON THE BENCH, I
LOOK UP AND HE HAS NOT ONLY
REMOVED HIS CLOTHING BUT HE'S
STANDING THERE FULLY EXPOSED AND
ASKING ME TO HAVE SEX WITH HIM.

Steve says WHAT GAVE HIM THE
BRILLIANT IDEA THAT MADE HIM
THINK THAT WAS THE RIGHT THING
TO DO?

Sue-Ann says I HAVE NO
IDEA.
I CERTAINLY... YOU KNOW, I WAS
BUSY DOING MY THING, I WAS
LETTING HIM DO HIS WORK.
HE SAID TO ME AT THE TIME THAT
HE HAD ALWAYS HAD THIS, I GUESS,
FANTASY ABOUT HAVING SEX WITH AN
OLDER WOMAN IN A CONDO.
IT WAS REALLY QUITE BIZARRE,
STEVE.
AND ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT I WAS
EXTREMELY NUMB AND I THINK MAYBE
THE FIRST ASSAULT HELPED ME KEEP
MY COOL, AND ALL I COULD THINK
IS, DON'T LET HIM RAPE YOU,
DON'T LET HIM RAPE YOU, DON'T
LET HIM RAPE YOU.

Steve says DID HE TOUCH YOU?

Sue-Ann says NO, HE
DIDN'T... WELL, ACTUALLY, HE
DID.
HE HAD COME UP BEHIND ME WHEN I
WAS... I HAD A WALK-OUT PATIO
AND I WAS GOING OUT TO TURN MY
BARBECUE ON AND HE CAME UP
BEHIND ME AND TOUCHED ME AND I
PULLED AWAY AND I FLINCHED, AND
I DIDN'T THINK ANYTHING OF IT.
I KIND OF, YOU KNOW, JUST LET
HIM CONTINUE WITH HIS WORK.
I GUESS ALSO IN HINDSIGHT,
PROBABLY THAT WAS HIS FIRST
MOVE.

Steve says THIS TIME, HOW WELL
AND HOW EFFECTIVELY DO YOU THINK
THE POLICE INVESTIGATED?

Sue-Ann says NOT WELL.
NOT WELL AT ALL.
I ACTUALLY WROTE ABOUT IT IN
2005 FOR THE SUN, THEN WROTE
ABOUT IT IN DETAIL IN THE BOOK.
I WAS VERY LUCKY AT THE TIME
BECAUSE I WAS EXTREMELY GOOD
FRIENDS OR HAD GOTTEN TO KNOW A
JEFF GRIFFITHS WHO WAS AUDITOR
GENERAL OF THE CITY, A FINE
AUDITOR GENERAL, AND HE SAT DOWN
WITH ME TWO DAYS AFTER THE
SECOND ASSAULT AND I STARTED
TELLING HIM WHAT HAD HAPPENED
AND HE SAID, BASICALLY THE
POLICE HAD DONE EVERYTHING WRONG
BECAUSE HE HAD DONE THIS AUDIT
OF HOW POLICE SHOULD HANDLE SEX
ASSAULTS.
SO HE GUIDED ME THROUGH WHAT
SHOULD BE DONE, AND IT WAS ABOUT
A YEAR-LONG PROCESS, AND I
WANTED TO GET... I WAS
DETERMINED TO GET MY DAY IN
COURT.
I HAD TO FIGHT THE CROWN.
I HAD TO FIGHT THE POLICE.
THEY BOTCHED UP FROM THE VERY
BEGINNING BECAUSE THE YOUNG MAN
CONTINUED TO WORK IN THE STORE.
THEY DIDN'T GIVE HIM...

Steve says THAT'S THE
DIFFERENCE.
YOU KNOW THIS GUY.
UNLIKE THE FIRST GUY, YOU KNOW
WHO THIS GUY IS.

Sue-Ann says THEY GAVE HIM
THE TERMS OF RELEASE, CHARGED
HIM, AND THEY SAID HE COULD
CONTINUE TO WORK IN THE STORE,
THAT HE ONLY HAD TO STAY 100
METRES AWAY FROM MY CONDO.
WELL, THE STORE WAS JUST MAYBE
200 METRES, 300 METRES, AND I
HAD TO WALK BY THAT STORE FOR 9
MONTHS AND I RAN INTO THE GUY
THREE TIMES.
AND WHEN I BROUGHT THAT UP WITH
THE COP THAT WAS INVESTIGATING
THE CASE, HE SAID, WELL, IF IT
WERE ME, I'D JUST GO OUT OF MY
WAY AND, YOU KNOW?

Steve says DID THEY EVER PUNISH HIM?

Sue-Ann says YES.
HE PLED GUILTY.
I REALLY PUSHED THE CROWN TO GO
TO COURT.
HE PLED GUILTY.

Steve says DID HE GO TO JAIL?

Sue-Ann says NO.
HE GOT A CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE,
BUT HE WAS LISTED ON THE
NATIONAL SEX OFFENDERS REGISTRY,
AND THE BIG THING WAS THAT
AFTER... I WENT TO TRIAL AND HE
PLED GUILTY, HIS MOTHER CAME UP
TO ME AND SAID TO ME THAT... SHE
THANKED ME THROUGH TEARS AND
SAID THAT SHE ALWAYS SUSPECTED
THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH
HER SON AND SHE THANKED ME.

Steve says THIS NEXT COUPLE OF
QUESTIONS I'M GOING TO ASK YOU
ARE NOT IN THE BOOK, BUT I WANT
TO ASK YOU ANYWAY: DO YOU
BELIEVE IN GOD?

Sue-Ann says I DO.

Steve says AT SOME POINT IN
YOUR LIFE, I PRESUME YOU HAVE
HAD YOUR MOMENTS WITH YOUR MAKER
AND SAID, HOW COULD YOU LET
THESE TWO THINGS HAPPEN TO ME?
HAS THAT HAPPENED?

Sue-Ann says I GET VERY
EMOTIONAL WHEN YOU ASK ME THAT
QUESTION BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S
FUNNY, BECAUSE I ALWAYS GO BY
THE ADAGE THAT WHATEVER DOESN'T
KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER, AND
I THINK I MENTION THAT IN THE
BOOK, AND I THINK... YOU KNOW,
IT'S FUNNY, BECAUSE LAURIE
GOLDSTEIN WAS INVOLVED WITH A
COUPLE OF MY READERS EVENTS.

Steve says FROM THE SUN.

Sue-Ann says FROM THE SUN,
MY DEAR EDITOR, LONG-TIME
EDITOR, AND HE SAID TO ME, NOW I
GET YOU.
I GET YOU.
I GET WHY YOU ARE ON THIS
CRUSADE AND YOU HAVE THIS SENSE
OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.
AND THANKFULLY I WAS ABLE TO
TURN IT INTO SOMETHING GOOD AND
SOMETHING CREATIVE.
BUT, YOU KNOW, I NEVER MUCH FELT
SORRY FOR MYSELF.
I THINK MORE IT WAS MANIFESTED
IN ANGER, YOU KNOW, AND A DESIRE
TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT AND TO
FUEL IT INTO SOMETHING RIGHT.

Steve says WELL, THIS WAS NOT
THE ONLY CHALLENGE OF YOUR LIFE.
THE ONLY BIG CHALLENGE.
AS YOU DO TELL US IN THE BOOK.
BECAUSE NO DOUBT CONTRIBUTING TO
YOUR EMOTIONAL TRAVAILS ARE THE
FACT FOR THE FIRST FEW MONTHS AS
YOUR JOB AT THE TORONTO SUN YOU
WERE A GAY WOMAN BUT NOT FEELING
YOU COULD COME OUT.
WHY DID YOU FEEL ALL THOSE YEARS
YOU HAD TO BE IN THE CLOSET?

The caption changes to "A closeted life."

Sue-Ann says IT WAS A
COUPLE OF THINGS.
FULL DISCLOSURE.
YOU GREW UP IN HAMILTON.
IT WAS A SMALL TOWN AND I WAS
VERY CONCERNED ABOUT MY FAMILY
AND THE REACTION OF THE PEOPLE
IN HAMILTON, IN THE JEWISH
COMMUNITY.
I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE VERY
CAREER-LIMITING FOR ME AS WELL.
THE FUNNY THING WAS THAT, AND MY
MOTHER AND I HAVE HAD SOME VERY
INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS SINCE
THE BOOK CAME OUT.
THEY ALWAYS KNEW I WAS GAY.
THEY ALWAYS SUSPECTED.

Steve says YOUR FAMILY DID?

Sue-Ann says YEAH.
MY GRANDFATHER, AS A MATTER OF
FACT, WHO, YOU KNOW, ONLY PASSED
AWAY, OH, A LITTLE OVER 10 YEARS
AGO, HE SUSPECTED I WAS AND, YOU
KNOW, IT WAS...

Steve says DID YOU EVER TALK
ABOUT IT WITH HIM?

Sue-Ann says WHEN HE
WAS... AND I TALK ABOUT THAT IN
THE BOOK.
WHEN HE WAS 92 OR 3 AND HE WAS
SUFFERING FROM DEMENTIA AND
WASN'T SUPPOSED TO DRINK, ONE
DAY HE... HE LOVED MARTINIS.
AND HE ACTUALLY HAD A MARTINI
AND HE SAID THAT HE RESPECTED ME
AS A JOURNALIST BUT HE DIDN'T
AGREE WITH MY LIFESTYLE.
AND I SAID, A 93-YEAR-OLD, HOW
DID HE KNOW THE WORD LIFESTYLE.
HE WAS AMAZINGLY PLUGGED IN FOR
HIS AGE.
THE FACT IS I CAME FROM A VERY
PATRIARCHAL FAMILY.
WHEN I CAME OUT TO MY PARENTS,
AND I'M BEING VERY HONEST ABOUT
THIS WHOLE THING, WHEN I CAME
OUT TO THEM, I STARTED TO CRY,
AND I SAID, I FEEL LIKE I HAVE
LET YOU DOWN.
AND I STILL OBVIOUSLY GET
EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT.
AND MY FATHER SAID TO ME, NO,
WE'VE ALWAYS LOVED YOU.
YOU REMIND ME OF ELLEN
DEGENERES.
AND I WAS SO TOUCHED BY THAT.
YEAH, WE'RE VERY POLITICALLY
OPPOSED, DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED
POLITICALLY BUT...

Steve says AT SOME POINT,
HOWEVER, I GUESS YOU GOT
COMFORTABLE ENOUGH WITH IT TO
COME OUT AS ELLEN DID AND MAKE
YOUR DECLARATION.
WHAT MADE YOU GET TO THAT POINT?

Sue-Ann says I GOT TIRED
OF LIVING IN THE CLOSET AND
LIVING A LIE AND, FRANKLY, EVEN
THOUGH I JOKE ABOUT THE FACT
THAT I HAD A WALK-IN CLOSET AND
IT WAS RATHER LARGE AND I COULD
HIDE OUT THERE, YOU KNOW, YOU
HAVE ONE STEP IN THE
HETEROSEXUAL WORLD, ONE IN THE
HOMOSEXUAL WORLD, AND I
ALWAYS... YOU KNOW, I WAS THE
CONSUMMATE ACTRESS AND I WOULD
MAKE UP THIS LIFE THAT DIDN'T
EXIST TO MY SUN FRIENDS AND I
FELT LIKE I WAS DECEIVING
EVERYBODY, AND I GOT TIRED OF
THE LIES.

Steve says WILL YOU PERMIT...
WELL, YOU HAVE NO CHOICE.
I'M GOING TO MAKE THIS
OBSERVATION ANYWAY HERE.
HAVING READ THE BOOK, I NOTE
THIS REALLY FASCINATING
CONTRADICTION IN YOUR LIFE,
BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE A NAME FOR
YOURSELF AS THE COLUMNIST WHO
DOESN'T TAKE ANY B.S. OR ANY
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS OR ANY
SUBTERFUGE FROM ANYBODY ELSE,
BUT HERE'S YOU LIVING A LIE FOR
20-PLUS YEARS.
HOW DO YOU RATIONALIZE THAT
CONTRADICTION?

Sue-Ann says WELL, I'M A
VERY CONTRADICTORY PERSON.
ALL I WILL SAY IS THAT PEOPLE
SAY TO ME WHEN THEY MEET ME THAT
YOU ARE NOT AT ALL THE PERSON
THAT WE, YOU KNOW, SUSPECT YOU
ARE FROM READING YOU IN THE
PAPER.
SO, YOU KNOW, I'M A VERY
DIFFERENT PERSON IN PRIVATE.
BUT I WILL ALSO SAY THAT MY
DIFFICULTIES AND MY OBSTACLES
HAVE FUELED THIS CRUSADE.
SO, YOU KNOW, I WILL ONLY SAY
THAT IT HAS HELPED ME PURSUE
WHAT I CONSIDER A BIT OF A
CRUSADE.

Steve says AND LET US PICK UP
ON THAT THEN.
I WANT TO KNOW, FIRST OF ALL,
SUE-ANN, WHY ARE YOU A
CONSERVATIVE?

Sue-Ann says OH, GOD.
I SHOULDN'T BE, SHOULD I?

Steve says NO.
GIVEN YOUR BACKGROUND, GIVEN
WHERE YOU'RE FROM, GIVEN WHO
YOUR FOLKS ARE...

The caption changes to "A columnist's anger."

Sue-Ann says YOU KNOW WHAT?
I'M GOING TO BLAME MY LATE UNCLE
JEFFREY LYONS.
HE'S THE ONE WHO GOT ME STARTED
WITH THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY WAY
BACK IN MY SECOND YEAR OF
UNIVERSITY.
HE SAID I HAD TO WORK ON A
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN, SO HE PUT ME
IN TOUCH WITH THE JOE CLARK
CAMPAIGN, I WORKED ON HIS
LEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN.
BUT I OFTEN JOKE THAT, YOU KNOW,
GIVEN THE CRUSADES I TAKE ON AND
THE FACT THAT I'M A CHAMPION FOR
THE DOWNTRODDEN AND THE POOR AND
I'M GAY, I REALLY AM BASICALLY A
LIB LEFT IN DRAG.
[LAUGHTER]
I WOULD SAY FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE

Steve says FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE.
I WANT TO TAKE A LOOK.
HERE'S AN EXAMPLE OF YOUR RATHER
POISONOUS PEN, AND I CAN PUT IT
THAT WAY.
KYLE RAY WAS TO PUT UP A TALL
BUILDING IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
OF YORKVILLE, AND HERE WE GO,
FROM THE BOOK...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Stirring the pot." The quote reads "The residents' associations with which I was connected fought vociferously against his attempts to 'Manhattanize' Yorkville. It was an uphill battle. Mr. Rae was well known to be beholden to the many developers who were building the condo projects. All they had to do was donate the maximum amount to his election campaigns and their approvals sailed through the City Hall approval process."
Quoted from Sue-Ann Levy, "Underdog." 2016.

Steve says SUE-ANN, DID YOU GET
SUED FOR WRITING THAT?

Sue-Ann says NO.

Steve says NOT YET?

Sue-Ann says NOT YET.
YOU KNOW, THIS WENT THROUGH TWO
MONTHS OF LAWYERING.

Steve says AND THEY LET THAT IN
ANYWAY?

Sue-Ann says WELL, A LOT
OF THIS STUFF WAS BASED ON WHAT
I HAD WRITTEN OVER THE YEARS.

Steve says BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,
YOU'RE BASICALLY ACCUSING HIM OF
TAKING BRIBES HERE FOR HIS VOTE
ON COUNCIL.

Sue-Ann says I THINK WHAT
I'M TRYING TO SAY IS HE GOT A
LOT OF... HE GOT A LOT OF
DONATIONS ON HIS CAMPAIGN FROM
DEVELOPERS.

Steve says AS EVERYBODY DOES.
ALMOST EVERYBODY.

Sue-Ann says YES.
HOWEVER, I WILL USE THE FOUR
SEASONS YORKVILLE CASE AS AN
EXAMPLE.
THAT WAS THE ISSUE THAT WE WERE
FIGHTING.
THE BIG CONCERN WAS, AND THERE
WAS A LOT OF SCUTTLEBUTT GOING
AROUND THE COMMUNITY, THAT HE
WOULD NOT BACK DOWN AT ALL EVEN
THOUGH THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, THE
ENTIRE NEIGHBOURHOOD WAS AGAINST
THE HEIGHT AND DENSITY, WHICH
WAS JUST WAY BEYOND DENSITY
RULES.
IT ALSO CAST A SHADOW ON THE
SCHOOL ACROSS THE ROAD.
I MEAN, IT'S A BEAUTIFUL TALL
BUILDING.
YOU KNOW AS I KNOW, ONCE YOU
HAVE A TALL BUILDING, IT SETS A
PRECEDENT FOR ANOTHER AND
ANOTHER AND ANOTHER.
AND HERE WE SEE DOWNTOWN.
SO, YOU KNOW...

Steve says HOWEVER, THIS IS TORONTO.

Sue-Ann says IT IS TORONTO.

Steve says THE DAYS OF
FOUR-STOREY SKYSCRAPERS ARE OVER.

Sue-Ann says IT IS
TORONTO, BUT IT JUST COMPLETELY
DESTROYED THE CHARM OF
YORKVILLE.
I MEAN, HAVING SAID THAT, I'VE
GONE DOWN TO YORKVILLE, IT'S
BEAUTIFUL.
I DON'T LIVE THERE ANYMORE.
BUT IT DID.
AND AT THE TIME WE WERE REALLY
CONCERNED ABOUT THE DENSITY.

Steve says HOW MANY COLUMNS
HAVE YOU WRITTEN ACCUSING OTHER
PEOPLE OF NIMBYISM AND YOU TURN
AROUND AND DO THIS.

Sue-Ann says INTERESTING
YOU SAY THAT.
I HAVE DONE A LOT OF STORIES ON
THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ISSUE AND
THE ATTEMPTS BY VARIOUS AND
SUNDRY COUNCILLORS TO RAM
SHELTERS OR WHATEVER IN VARIOUS
NEIGHBOURHOODS, AND OF COURSE
THE ACTUAL... ALWAYS THE EXCUSE
IS, WE CAN DO IT.
WE BROUGHT THE SHELTER BY-LAW.
WE CAN RAM IT THROUGH.
WHAT I OBJECT TO IS THE LACK OF
CONSULTATION.
CITY HALL IS BASICALLY TONE DEAF
TO RESIDENTS' CONCERNS.
AND THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY...
THE THING THAT DRIVES ME AND
UPSETS ME.
IT UPSET ME IN YORKVILLE AND IT
UPSETS ME IN OTHER AREAS.

Steve says LET'S TALK ABOUT A
GUY WHO WAS NOT TONE DEAF TO
CONSTITUENTS' CONCERNS AND
THAT'S ROB FORD.
HE WAS GOOD PARTICULARLY AS AN
ALDERMAN BUT ALSO AS MAYOR.
CITY HALL WAS YOUR BEAT.
THE MAYOR AT THE TIME WAS
MELTING DOWN, RIGHT?
HIS PERSONAL LIFE WAS A COMPLETE
MESS.
HE WAS CAVORTING WITH CRIMINALS,
HE WAS ABUSING ALCOHOL, HE WAS
MISSING MEETINGS.
THIS WHOLE AWFUL AND TRAGIC
STORY WAS HAPPENING, IF I CAN
PUT IT THIS WAY, KIND OF RIGHT
UNDER YOUR NOSE, AND YOU MISSED IT.
WHAT HAPPENED?

Sue-Ann says I DON'T KNOW
IF I MISSED IT.

Steve says WELL, YOU DIDN'T
REPORT ON IT.
YOU DIDN'T BREAK IT.

Sue-Ann says WELL, NO.
BUT IT'S EASY WHEN A VIDEO FALLS
INTO SOMEBODY'S LAP, YOU KNOW?

Steve says WHICH YOU CRITICIZED
THEM ABOUT BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T...

Sue-Ann says YOU KNOW, I
DON'T THINK I CRITICIZED, I JUST
SAID THAT I WAS NOT GOING TO
ACCUSE HIM AND FIND HIM GUILTY
UNTIL I ACTUALLY SAW WHAT WAS ON
THE VIDEO, AND AS WE'VE SEEN IN
THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, NOT
EVERYTHING THAT WAS REPORTED WAS
EXACTLY ON THE VIDEO.

Steve says NO, THEY ONLY GOT IT
95 PERCENT ACCURATE.

Sue-Ann says WELL, I WOULD
SAY PROBABLY ABOUT 80.

Steve says ALL RIGHT.
EVEN THEN...

Sue-Ann says THE FACT THAT
HE HAD... HE WAS GOADED BY THIS
OTHER PERSON.
THE THING WITH ROB FORD WAS THAT
I HAD FOLLOWED HIM FOR SO MANY
YEARS.
I HAD SEEN HIM AS A COUNCILLOR,
I HAD SEEN THE GOOD THAT HE
TRIED TO DO.
THAT HE LISTENED TO THE
CONSTITUENTS.
HE WENT WHEREVER HE WAS ASKED
TO.
AND I WATCHED HOW HE... AND I
LOOKED AT HIM FROM A VERY
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE, AS I
REPORT IN THE BOOK.
AND I SAW HOW HE WAS BULLIED AND
HE WAS MOCKED AND HE WAS
VILIFIED FROM THE TIME HE WAS A
COUNCILLOR.
MAYBE I IDENTIFIED.
OKAY.
I FREELY ADMIT, I IDENTIFIED
BECAUSE I WAS BULLIED TOO.
AND I THINK HE WAS REALLY,
REALLY TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT
THING BUT HE WAS A FLAWED MAN.

Steve says AFTER HE DIED, IN
THE BOOK YOU BLAST THE, QUOTE,
UNQUOTE, LEFT-WING COUNCILLORS
WHO SHOWED UP AT HIS FUNERAL TO
PAY THEIR RESPECTS.

Sue-Ann says RIGHT.

Steve says I'M GUESSING,
THOUGH, IF THEY HADN'T SHOWN UP,
YOU WOULD HAVE BLASTED THEM AS
MUCH FOR NOT SHOWING UP AND
PAYING THEIR RESPECTS.

Sue-Ann says YOU KNOW WHAT
REALLY UPSET ME WAS ADAM VAUGHAN
SITTING IN THE FRONT ROW WHERE
THE CAMERAS WOULD CATCH HIM.
THE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS, ADAM
VAUGHAN WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE
MOST VOCIFEROUS PEOPLE WHO
VILIFIED HIM...

Steve says I GET YOU.
BUT HOW ABOUT MY POINT, THAT IF
ADAM VAUGHAN HADN'T SHOWN UP,
YOU WOULD HAVE WRITTEN SOMETHING
NASTY ABOUT HIM...

Sue-Ann says I WOULDN'T
HAVE CARED IF HE HADN'T SHOWN UP.
I HOLD PEOPLE TO A LITTLE BIT
HIGHER STANDARD.
I THINK IF YOU'VE MADE FUN OF
THIS GUY AND YOU'VE DIMINISHED
HIS POWER, YOU'VE TAKEN AWAY HIS
POWERS, THEN PROBABLY YOU
SHOULDN'T BE PRETENDING THAT YOU
REALLY ACTUALLY FEEL SORRY FOR
THE FACT THAT HE HAS PASSED
AWAY.

Steve says LET'S MOVE ON HERE.
I WANT TO READ ONE MORE SEGMENT
FROM THE BOOK.
HERE WE GO.
BECAUSE YOU DID COVER QUEEN'S
PARK FOR A WHILE, AND YOU WROTE...

Another quote from the book appears on screen, under the title "Free rides." The quote reads "For ten years, most of the media –except for the Toronto Sun- had given Premier Dalton McGuinty a free ride as he repeatedly broke his promises not to raise taxes, imposing tax after tax and stumbling from one billion-dollar scandal to another."

Steve says MY QUESTION IS:
SUE-ANN, YOU KNOW THAT WHAT YOU
JUST WROTE THERE IS COMPLETE
UNADULTERATED HORSE CRAP, RIGHT?

Sue-Ann says WHY DO YOU
SAY IT'S HORSE CRAP?

Steve says HERE WE GO.
ONLY THE TORONTO SUN WAS A BURR
IN DALTON McGUINTY'S SIDE?
NO OTHER NEWSPAPER REPORTED THE
FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, HE BROKE
HIS PROMISE NOT TO RAISE TAXES
AND NOBODY ELSE COVERED ALL THE
e-HEALTH, THE ORNGE, THE GAS PLANT...

Sue-Ann says YOU KNOW WHAT?
IN FAIRNESS, OTHERS DID.

Steve says OF COURSE OTHERS DID.
THE STAR LED THE WAY ON IT.

Sue-Ann says YES, THEY DID
ON THAT FOR SURE.

Steve says OKAY.
SO THE TORONTO SUN WASN'T THE
ONLY ONE OUT THERE CALLING HIM
TO ACCOUNT.

Sue-Ann says WELL, I THINK
PROBABLY... YOU'RE PROBABLY
RIGHT ON THAT ONE.

Steve says HANG ON.
AT LEAST I'VE LIVED LONG ENOUGH
TO HEAR THAT.

Sue-Ann says YOU'RE
PROBABLY RIGHT ON THAT ONE.

Steve says YOU BASICALLY ACCUSE
THE MEDIA OF GIVING KATHLEEN
WYNNE A FREE RIDE AS WELL.
SHE CAN'T BUY A GOOD ARTICLE
THESE DAYS.

Sue-Ann says BACK WHEN I
WAS THERE, STEVE, I WAS DOWN IN
MANY A SCRUM AND NOBODY WOULD
ASK HER HARD QUESTIONS.
I WAS THERE.
I LIVED IT.

Steve says HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT
FOR THE FACT THAT THE LIBERALS
HAVE WON FOUR STRAIGHT ELECTIONS
THEN?

The caption changes to "Sue-Ann Levy, @SueAnnLevy"

Sue-Ann says THEY'RE A
GREAT SPIN MACHINE.
YOU KNOW, AND I TALKED ABOUT
THAT IN MY CHAPTER ON THE
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES.
THEY, I BELIEVE, HAVE A DEATH
WISH.
I STILL HAVEN'T SEEN MUCH
MOVEMENT.
I HOPE THAT THAT WILL CHANGE IN
2018.
BUT THEY CAN'T GET THEIR ACT
TOGETHER.

Steve says WELL, YOU WOULD KNOW
THAT FIRSTHAND BECAUSE YOU RAN
IN A BY-ELECTION.

Sue-Ann says YES.

Steve says IN THE RIDING WHERE
THIS T.V. STATION IS LOCATED.

Sue-Ann says YES.

Steve says ST. PAUL'S RIDING.
YOU RAN AGAINST ERIC HOSKINS,
CURRENTLY MINISTER OF HEALTH.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram."

Sue-Ann says RIGHT.
AS I SAID AT A RECENT BOOK
EVENT, SEE WHAT YOU COULD HAVE
HAD INSTEAD OF ERIC HOSS KINS
WHO ALL THE DOCTORS LOATH.

Steve says HE SENT YOU AN
EMAIL TO HANG IN THERE AND YOU
HAVE WRITTEN SOME OF THE MOST
VICIOUS SMACK ABOUT JOHN TORY
EVER.
HOW COME?

Sue-Ann says WELL, YOU
KNOW WHAT?
I'M THERE TO DO A JOB AT CITY
HALL, AND, IN FACT, HAVE BEEN
ASKED TO GO BACK AND DO A JOB AT
CITY HALL.
SO I THINK... HE MAY NOT LIKE
IT, BUT I THINK HE RESPECTS ME
AND I WANT... AND HE'S WRITTEN
ME A COUPLE OF e-mails,
PERSONAL e-mails, IN THE LAST
LITTLE WHILE, BECAUSE HE HASN'T
BEEN EXACTLY HAPPY WITH A COUPLE
OF THE SMACK-DOWNS, AND I SAID,
I WANT YOU TO DO A GREAT JOB.
I WANT YOU TO BE THE BEST MAYOR
YOU CAN BE.
AND I THINK THAT MEANS BEING
DECISIVE.

Steve says HERE IS WHAT SUE-ANN
LEVY THINKS OF SOME OF OUR
LEADERS THESE DAYS...

A slate based on the cover of the book appears on screen. It reads "Joe Mihevc, 'One of those insufferable NDP troughers.' Norm Kelly, 'Failed real estate agent.' Dave Miller, 'Bloated ego-driven, elitist.' Mary-Margaret McMahon, 'Scared mouse.' Tim Hudak, 'Weak, uninspiring leader with a team of mindless puppets.' Ontario PC Caucus, 'Barely mediocre yes-men and women, many of them lazy and well past their due date.' Ontario PC Party, 'White men's club run by a bunch of misogynists.'"

Steve says THIS IS JUST FROM
THE BOOK.
I DIDN'T EVEN GO BACK AND LOOK
AT YOUR COLUMNS.
THAT'S JUST FROM THE BOOK.

Sue-Ann says YEAH, WELL,
YOU KNOW...

Steve says SUE-ANN, WHAT'S THE
VALUE IN SAYING THESE KINDS OF
THINGS THAT WAY?

Sue-Ann says I WANT TO
SHAKE IT UP, YOU KNOW?
I AM... I CALL IT THE WAY I SEE
IT AND I LIVE THROUGH ALL OF
THESE PEOPLE, I'VE WATCHED THEM
FOR ALL OF THESE YEARS.
THE LAST THING I WANT TO BE IS
POLITICALLY CORRECT, STEVE.

Steve says I GET THAT.
WELL, I GUESS WE'VE TALKED ABOUT
IT A LITTLE BIT.
MAYBE WE SHOULD END ON THIS.
YOU SEEM VERY ANGRY WHEN YOU
WRITE.
BUT I DON'T THINK OF YOU THAT
WAY.
I MEAN, ALL OF MY DEALINGS WITH
YOU, YOU'RE A PERFECTLY PLEASANT
AND ADORABLE PERSON.
SO WHO IS THE REAL SUE-ANN LEVY?

Sue-Ann says SHE IS SORT
OF HALFWAY IN BETWEEN.
SHE IS SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO
HOLD POLITICIANS' FEET TO THE
FIRE, WHO BELIEVES VERY STRONGLY
AND IS STILL VERY PASSIONATE
ABOUT WHAT SHE DOES.
BUT SHE ALSO HAS A VERY, VERY,
VERY WARM HEART, JUST ASK MY
WIFE, AND TAKES ON CAUSES, LIKE
THE POOR AND THE HOMELESS AND
JUST WANTS POLITICIANS TO DO
WHAT THEY PROMISE, YEAH.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin"

Steve says WELL, I HAVE TO SAY,
BOTH SIDES OF THAT PERSONALITY
YOU'VE JUST DESCRIBED DO COME
OUT IN THE BOOK VERY STRONGLY,
AND CONGRATULATIONS FOR GETTING
IT DONE.
IT'S CALLED: "UNDERDOG."
SUE-ANN LEVY, GOOD TO HAVE YOU
HERE AT TVO TONIGHT.
GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

Watch: An Underdog's Confessions