Rob Ford roundup: Details on David Price and why ‘business as usual’ won’t work


Frank Gunn/CP

Another morning brings more stories about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the Ford family and the Ford family’s friends. Here’s a rundown of some of the top stories about the embattled mayor.

A report in The Globe and Mail has more information about David Price, the “director of logistics and operations” who showed up in the mayor’s office in April. When Price was first hired he told a reporter that he had coached Rob Ford in football, but a report from The Globe and Mail over the weekend said that Price was an associate of now Coun. Doug Ford when the two allegedly dealt hash together in the ’80s. In Wednesday’s Globe story, Coun. Doug Holyday comments on Price, saying he has heard that Price is being paid more than experienced staff members, even though he has never worked in politics and no one is quite certain of what his job description may be. The story also quotes divorce papers filed by Price’s wife shortly after her husband went to work for Ford. The papers allege that Price left his wife with debt from gambling and a line of credit, even as he made $125,000 per year as a financial adviser.

Here at Macleans.ca, Ivor Tossell takes a look at the past day at Toronto City Hall, where Ford tried to chair an executive committee meeting and go about business as usual, insisting that everything is going great as he looked at de-funding the Pride parade and introducing laws about passing cyclists. “Everything is not fine. The scope and implications of this scandal grows every day,” writes Tossell. Read his recap of how things are going so wrong.

The Toronto Star editorial took aim at Ford Wednesday, also debunking his claim that it’s “business as usual” at city hall. The departure of three top staff members within a week and homicide detectives questioning staff is hardly usual, says the editorial, before going on to call for Ford’s resignation: “It’s a sorry record showing chronic abuse of the public’s trust. The only standard for accountability set by this administration is a new low. That failure is underscored every time Ford opens his mouth and tries to foist a fresh untruth upon the public. Business will only return to normal at Toronto city hall when this mayor has left office. And that can’t happen soon enough.”

In case you need to catch up on just which staff members, besides David Price, are left in the mayor’s office, the Toronto Star has a photo gallery for that. It also reports on Holyday’s comments, in which he says he believes the Star reporter who says she saw a video of the mayor in which he appears to be smoking crack cocaine.

Speaking to The National Post, a source in the mayor’s office is trying to downplay the departure of former press secretary George Christopoulos and deputy press secretary Isaac Ransom as “no big loss,” saying they weren’t that great anyway.

Ford is also a popular topic of conversation in international media:

  • Esquire blogger Stephen Marche (who is based in Toronto) writes on the fact that Google searches for Rob Ford have topped those for Barack Obama and argues that Toronto is getting along okay in spite of its mayor.
  • Slate has a post about Ford’s popularity numbers (which seems to underestimate Ford’s remaining support) and a headline roundup.
  • The Independent has an article, which references the mayor’s now infamous “Oriental” comments and goes on to recap pretty much everything so far.
  • And The Daily Beast really clears things up, with Mansfield Frazier writing he knows that Ford can’t be smoking crack because he is too fat and “overweight crackheads simply don’t exist.” Thanks Daily Beast.

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Rob Ford roundup: Details on David Price and why ‘business as usual’ won’t work

  1. Gawker blew it.

    I know $200,000 is a lot of money, especially for a small news outlet like Gawker. But they were dealing with crackheads, Drug dealers from of all places,Somalia, a country that isn’t known for it’s dependability. The opportunity to buy that video of Rob Ford smoking crack came exactly once.

    Then, they made the insipid decision to inform the world-including Rob Ford -that the video exists, but Gawker doesn’t have it, and here’s a picture of who does. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Rob Ford or someone close to him made an effort to ensure that that video will no longer be available for sale, the very second they found out it exists.

    If the video only exists on a cell phone, as Gawker suggested it did, then it’s a simple matter of obtaining and/or breaking that cell phone. Provided no copies were transmitted electronically, that would be the end of the video. This should not be difficult for somebody with the police force of North America’s 4th largest city at his command.

    The smarter move would have been to borrow the money and just hope that the ad revenue coming from breaking the biggest political story in Canada’s recent history would repay the costs of the video, Buy the file immediately, no questions asked, and shut up about what you have until you’re ready to publish the video online.

    Now, Gawker informs us that they cannot find the vendor of that video file. And they suggest that they could not have foreseen this problem.

    That’s the difference between journalism and blogging. A real journalist knows that opportunities like that don’t come along twice.

    • Gawker printed their story because CNN tipped the mayor’s office off about the alleged video’s existence. The “real journalists” let the mayor’s office know that this alleged video allegedly existed, prior to even having seen it. If they had a shred of sense, they would have arranged to watch the alleged video to verify it’s contents before calling the alleged mayor’s office for comment.

      • “alleged video” Good.

        Also, alleged crack-dealers.

      • I didn’t know that, actually.

        However, I don’t really think of CNN as journalism. They bear the stamp of their lowly origin; founded by the same guy that ran TNT, a cable channel dedicated to old TV reruns and B-movies. Driven by sound and visual effects yet low on content. Quick to kiss up to whatever administration is in power at the moment. Look at their coverage of both wars in Iraq for example. They sycophantically played up support for both Bushes without questioning their motivations for war in either case.

        That’s not really journalism. Peter C Newman criticizing both Trudeau and Mulroney with equal tenacity, even though he expressed a personal liking for the latter, is journalism. Woodward and Bernstein exposing Nixon is journalism. Wolf Blitzer in Moore, Oklahoma asking an atheist who survived the tornado if she thanked the lord is not journalism.

        So I hold that my thesis stands.CNN is alot of things- entertainment, a showcase for visual effects that could send an epileptic into a fit, a 24-hour space for commercial advertising, something to pass the long hours between flights by staring at it, but it’s not journalism.

    • “But they were dealing with crackheads…” [emph. added]

      Oh, of course, because the real video showed Rob Ford really smoking crack.

      I know that.

      • Touche

        • I forgot to add “…real (not digitally composited) Rob Ford…”


  2. The barely wavering needle of Ford support indicates how well the three ‘jounalists’ showed their investigative chops:

    They did not use best practices to establish the identity of the ‘crack dealers’ as such.

    They did not take away a scintilla of evidence for the proverbial ‘extraordinary claim’.

    They have conflated the evidence of the still with the evidence of the video.

    They have not offered a joint public forensic reconstruction of the video scene with basic props, chairs, table, stand ins.

    They have not established the video as described as beyond current digital compositing techniques.

    They have not published interviews with digital experts critically analyzing the above reconstruction.

    • Oh, I have no doubt that the video is legitimate. Rob Ford is a crackhead, and his brother sold hashish, that’s been established by this point.

      • Most Ford critics use this journalistically compromised ‘reporting’ as a centerpiece for their table, rather than anything that adds meat to the plates. Hopefully you’re among them, and not speaking ironically.

  3. Buried in the article is: “he looked at de-funding the Pride parade”

    So our Mayor, who wants only the best for Toronto and its people, wants to defund the single most lucrative event on our summer calendar. One that brings thousands of people and their money into our city. One that brings hotels, restaurants and everything in the tourism industry a lot of business.

    Why, he might as well try to close down our film industry as well. Oh, wait, I forgot. He already tried that.

    For a guy who talks about how far in debt we are, shutting down sources of income makes no sense at all. Sort of like “wow, the credit card bill is climbing, so I’ll ask my boss to cut my salary”.

    • For right winged people such as Ford, ideology trumps financials every time.

  4. – A video is made of Ford allegedly smoking crack, apparently made by Fords own dealer.
    – This video is seen by other drug dealers, and the ‘owner’ of the video is KILLED so it can be stolen and sold for profit to the media.
    – The video is shown to 2 Toronto journalists as well as the publisher of Gawker.
    – Instead of silently buying the video, Gawker turns it into a public spectacle, raising the agreed amount, but inviting way too much publicity, and probably scaring away the sellers.
    – After all, they murdered a guy to obtain it.
    – We are now waiting to see whether the killers, can collect the money, through an intermediary, or by selling it to another media outlet so we can all see the truth or non truth apparently in it
    – The Mayor denies having ever smoked crack, and says no such video exists, yet his own new special assistant, David Price, tells the Mayors’ Chief of Staff that he knows where the video can likely be found.
    – the Globe and Mail identifies David Price as former partner to Doug Fords hash selling business in the 80’s.
    – the Toronto Star says Price was also Rob Fords football coach many years ago.
    – The Mayors Chief of Staff goes to Police
    – Surprise. He is fired.
    – The Mayors Communication Director and assistant Communication Director resign. No reason given.
    – But seriously, it can’t be a fun job.
    – The Mayor hires a 21 year old former assistant football coach to be executive assistant to him. The kid helped coach the same team Ford was fired from.

    – As one man was murdered over this video, and the sellers of the video are apparently his killers, it is probably unlikely they will surface to sell it, knowing the entire world knows they killed for it.
    It is also unlikely but not impossible that any other media outlet will purchase it – knowing it was obtained by murder.
    – This dilemma actually helps Ford. The video may never see the light of day for fear it may be traced back to the killers who murdered to obtain it.
    – Or, as the Mayors office apparently knows where it can likely be found, it may already have been purchased.
    – And that is why Ford is saying it doesn’t exist. (Anymore).

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