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Doug Ford defends mayor, takes on media in prepared statement

‘Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous, and I believe him’


 

(Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Earlier today, when confronted in a Tim Hortons by the CTV reporter Austin Delaney, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was kind enough to offer to tuck him in. “You want me to make your bed for you tonight?” he asked Delaney, who pursued his line of questioning, centred around allegations that the mayor has smoked crack, nonetheless.

This was the backdrop to Councillor Doug Ford’s strangely orchestrated press conference earlier today, which devolved into a tense standoff between Doug and a frustrated city hall press corps.

“If the mayor wants to make a statement, his press secretary will notify the media,” said Doug, the mayor’s older brother, speaking from a prepared statement. “There is no reason for you to be staking out his house and following him around town.” He said this amid the heckling of reporters puncturing his address with questions.

Looking nervous, and speaking in an uncharacteristically halting voice, Doug first announced that “I’m here today because you’ve been asking me for my comment–I’m here to give you my comments.

“I’m not speaking for the mayor. The mayor is my brother, I love him, and he’ll speak for himself.”

“When?” asked someone, presumably one of the members of a crush of reporters surrounding him, but Doug plowed on.

“He has already addressed these allegations three times on Friday, I don’t know how much more he can say.”

He added: “Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous, and I believe him. I will always support my brother as the mayor of this city, because I believe in his track record.”

Doug’s comments came as city councillors, media communications experts, and Torontonians in general marveled at how Rob Ford could withstand the growing pressure to address allegations contained in two press accounts, by Gawker and by the Toronto Star, that reporters at both outlets have viewed a video that appears to show Ford smoking from a glass crack pipe.

Ford has called these charges “ridiculous,” and his brother Doug, normally a ready speaker on his behalf, had given just one halfhearted statement on the matter before today.

Now, here was Doug in person: “My brother is an honest and hard-working man with integrity, a man who has dedicated his life to serving others.”

Then Doug issued a plea for distance. “Never, never has a Canadian politician or his family … been targeted by the media this way. They zealously, and I say zealously, stalk my mother, my children, the media hides in the bushes at our cottage, as they did this weekend, that my kids couldn’t even enjoy the weekend because they were in the bushes, taking videos of them, and harasses our family at home. They have shown that they have no regard, absolutely no regard for what they are doing to our family, who should have no part of all of this.

“I am asking all of you today, please stop. Please stop harassing my children, please stop harassing my mother. Please leave them out of this. I never, ever expected that these were the rules of engagement. That we would go through this abuse and my family would suffer.”

During an accounting of what Doug characterized as Rob Ford’s many accomplishments, Doug’s voice took on a crisper tone, and his confidence grew. Taking a page from Stephen Harper’s recent handling of his government’s Senate woes, Doug mentioned how he and his brother have reigned in out-of-control spending, eliminated the budget gap, reduced property tax, and made a number of other governance strides.

“This mayor is fighting for the little guy to keep taxes affordable and low,” says Doug.

Doug became the first from the Ford camp to address Gawker’s role in breaking the story, and referred to a crowdfunding scheme aimed at raising money to buy video footage Gawker claims shows the mayor smoking crack.

“To the folks at Gawker,” said Doug, “what you are doing is disgusting and morally wrong. Giving away prizes to try to raise money for drug dealers and extortionists is disgraceful.”

But as the presser wound down, Doug’s voice risked getting lost in the din of questions. He ducked aside of the podium set up at city hall, his speech ended, and was quickly engulfed in maelstrom of cameras and queries.


 
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Doug Ford defends mayor, takes on media in prepared statement

  1. Even if there were no crack allegations, this conference would be offensive due to that whole “turning the fiscal ship around” line. Oh Doug! Even you know your baby bro has done nothing good for the city and Toronto is doing well in spite of, not because of him.

    • Have been asleep or somewhere else….he has done a lot to reign in Toronto’s out of control expenditures….maybe you should put your effort into slamming the Ontario Liberals for destroying the Province of Ontario.

  2. I wonder what The Star would do if the video is bought and it’s clearly not him? They’ve put a lot of their credibility on the line in pursuit of this story. If it is Ford smoking crack with drug dealers, then they’re OK, but if it isn’t him would backlash destroy the paper?

    • They would do what the NY Times did to George W. when allegations they made were proven false ( I can’t remember which accusation it was offhand, there were so many) – the headline screamed something like “Allegations false, but they could be true.” Seriously.

  3. If Rob Ford wants everyone to stop asking him questions he should just answer some, not send out his brother to campaign for him. Voted in by the public but only accountable to himself….. Shame on him

  4. Why don’t Toronto Star out the whistle blowers? Just let the media talk to them instead. So there will be no money involved.

  5. The media is out of control. No matter what Ford says it will be twisted. It has been said before, if Ford walked to the Toronto islands the media would report he had to walk because he couldn’t swim. He id best to keep quiet due to the media manipulating all events.

  6. Folks:

    Firestorm! Yes, my spellchecker knows it! Appropriate, couldn’t think of a better word to describe the ‘Rob Ford Affair’… and, it is a real word to boot! (Ya learn something new every day…)

    tinker

  7. I thought Lefties loved druggies? So why so harsh? Or could it be that they only love Leftie druggies …?

  8. And another thing – how can anybody doing crack weigh 300+ pounds? When was the last time you saw a crack head weighing more than 125 pounds?

  9. Something is seriously rotten here and I suspect that it is the toronto star and pals.Somali drug dealers,100 g $ demands for a video only viewed in the backseat of a car by toronto star reporters,2nd hand accounts of what Ford did and said.Show us the proof otherwise it is just shoddy inuendo and gossip.

  10. Somewhere down the road, Rob Ford has decided to commit political suicide.He is hoping, brother Doug will carry on the flag.Toronto voters will kick them out both at the next election.

  11. Rob Ford: ‘The Blobfather.’

  12. I could hardly care less whether or not Rob Ford smokes crack cocaine, as long as it doesn’t affect his work performance. Other than that, knock yourself out.
    But unfortunately for Ford, using drugs has been made a crime, so if it’s true he will have to live with the legal consequences.

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