I wasn’t going to write about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford because I didn’t feel I could add anything. Before I start, I don’t live in Toronto so have no personal axe to grind. I do however think it is sad to watch a life spiralling out of control, especially when that life is that of a public figure.
A little recap first. Back in May the Toronto Star and the website Gawker were offered – for a six figure sum – a video tape of Robbie smoking crack. He stated he did not use crack cocaine and had never used crack cocaine and further stated the video in question did not exist. About a week ago Bill Blair, the Chief of Police for Toronto, announced they had recovered a video tape from a hard drive and when asked by reporters, said the tape was consistent with earlier media reports. In other words, it appeared to show Hiz Honour smoking crack. After a few days of typical Ford denial, during which his lawyer said that it may not have been crack in the pipe, Robbie finally admitted that yes, he had smoked crack, about a year ago, but said it was “probably while in a drunken stupor.”
Yesterday another tape surfaced, this one showing his rotundness ranting and jumping about while he demonstrated how he was going to kill someone and dropping the f-word many times. This time he had the grace to come out early and admit that yes, it was him on the tape, but he was “extremely inebriated,.”
So, from his own mouth, we have admissions that the mayor of all subway-loving citizens of Toronto has used crack and is a drunk. Or do we?
CP24, the Toronto all-news station, was granted an exclusive interview with the rest of the Ford family yesterday. During this interview, his mother tried to defend Robbie by saying something along the lines of he isn’t a drunk although he does engage in binge-drinking every two or three months. Excuse me? As I understand it, binge-drinking involves pouring back the alcohol until you are absolutely blotto. And if you drink with the express purpose of getting hammered, doesn’t that make you a drunk? Of course the Fords seem to have their own method of quantifying alcoholic influence. Is being in a drunken stupor and smoking crack better or worse than ranting about killing someone while extremely intoxicated? Or are both states roughly equal?
Rob Ford has consistently lied to the citizens of Toronto. Yet his brother Doug, a Toronto City Councillor, stated on the Ford radio show last Sunday that “Rob is the most honest person I know”. Doesn’t say much for Doug’s standards, does it? Doug has been defending his brother for years and when the police announced they had the now infamous crack tape, called for the police chief to step down as he had a bias against the mayor. In a move more worthy of children in a schoolyard than elected municipal officials, neither Ford attended the annual Police Gala two nights ago and withdrew their donation for the charity auction that forms part of the Gala. I understand it was dinner with the mayor, so perhaps withdrawing it was the wise thing to do under the circumstances.
Robbie, listen to your advisors and all of city council and take a leave of absence and enter rehab. You know the situation is dire when even Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” turns serious and urges you to go to rehab. And do us a favour and take mini-mayor Doug with you.
Finally, while not confirmed, rumours in the area of Toronto where the first two tapes were supposedly shot are that yet another tape exists. That should be interesting if true.