The larger-than-life star of Toronto’s real-life reality show is everywhere these days. We told you earlier about his turn on Fox News on Sunday during which he said that one day he hopes to run for prime minister. (A transcript of that interview is here.)
“You know we all make mistakes and we move on,” Ford told Fox. “All I can do is apologize, which I have done profusely. It’s absolutely degrading and humiliating and belittling.”
That was Sunday.
On Monday, Toronto’s city council voted to strip Rob Ford of power — though not before extended debate. To sum up in the words of Maclean’s writer Charlie Gillis: “Councillors spent much of the day shouting at each other.” More on that here.
The debate included a few choice moments. In Exhibit A (below), for example, Ford pretends to drink and drive erratically:
At one point during the meeting, Rob Ford bolted to his brother’s side. Here’s what happened:
And here’s one more exchange between Ford and the visitor’s gallery:
Later on Monday, the Fords dominated screens as they sat with TV interviewers to discuss the past few weeks. Here are a few TV highlights, or whatever:
Ford Nation on Sun TV
Ford Nation made its debut on the Sun network — something Ford had noted earlier in his address to Toronto council. You can view the entire show here.
In the excerpt below, Sun TV’s Ezra Levant speaks up for Toronto’s mayor in a segment that references Justin Trudeau, Ted Kennedy, Jack Layton and René Lévesque.
“What is it?” Levant asks of the swirl of headlines. “It’s obvious. It’s Ford’s politics. He’s a Conservative. He’s a tax cutter.”
Anderson Cooper 360
Bill Weir, a reporter on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, recently accompanied Coun. Doug Ford to one of the high-rise buildings in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke that was raided in a recent Toronto drug bust—the same investigation that mentioned the “crack house” in the now-notorious picture of Rob Ford posing with three young men.
Eventually, Mayor Rob Ford appeared at the high rise to pose for pictures with residents in the social-housing complex. The mayor also took some questions from Weir, and grew increasingly agitated as the questions got tougher, saying “I’m not an addict.” When questioned about his two children, Ford said: “I’m the best father around.”
The mayor also said he stuck up for the poor and lashed out at: “All these rich elitist people, I’m sick of them. They don’t do nothing. They’re the biggest crooks around.”
The mayor swore during the interview, saying allegations made against him were bullshit. There were children present when he used his foul language.
The conversation between Cooper and Weir after the interview aired went something like this:
Cooper: “Does he have no self-control? Yelling and swearing around kids?”
Weir: “He has the impulse control of a young boy. He is real, that’s the one thing you can say about this guy.”
The National with Peter Mansbridge
Doug and Rob also sat down with CBC The National host Peter Mansbridge in the hour after Toronto City Council voted to remove much of Ford’s power, including shrinking his office budget to 40 per cent of what it was previously. Mansbridge asked tough questions about Mayor Ford’s use of drugs and alcohol while in office.
Rob Ford (again) said he does not have a drinking problem: “Peter, I’m getting punished for my Friday or Saturday nights when I had too many drinks.”
The mayor insisted he’s no longer drinking. “Are you off alcohol now?,” asked Mansbridge.
“Finished,” replied Rob Ford. “I’ve had a come-to-Jesus moment, if you want to call it that.” The mayor also denied using cocaine during his time in office, though admitted to using crack-cocaine one time and marijuana an unspecified number of times. He said he never used drugs at City Hall.
When asked about his relationship with Alexander Lisi, Rob Ford’s friend and occasional driver who has now been charged with extortion in connection to the crack video, Rob Ford wouldn’t answer, saying the matter was before the courts. Nor would he answer questions about why he wouldn’t speak to Toronto police as part of their investigation.
Rob Ford tells CBC’s Peter Mansbridge that he’s being punished for admitting drug use. ‘I am a human being, Peter.’ http://t.co/RkeGnPlXPw
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) November 19, 2013
Mayor Ford also turned up a punchline on late-night TV. Jay Leno called him “God’s gift to comedy.” More on what was said here.
A sitdown with Matt Lauer on the Today show:
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 19, 2013
(As a programming note, it was just a couple of weeks ago that Lauer and his cohost Al Roker underwent prostate exams on morning TV.)
UPDATE: Despite the above “programming note” Ford’s interview with Lauer was probably his toughest one yet. Lauer pressed Ford when he tried to shift the blame for his actions onto someone else, or argue that everyone drinks to excess from time to time. Example:
Lauer: “Let’s say you go on one of those binges and the phone rings in your office at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night and something terrible has happened in your city. There’s a terrorist attack or some other kind of disaster. Are you equipped? Will you be cable and stable enough to handle it?”
Ford: “I’m very equipped. I’m very fortunate that hasn’t happened. There have been a few isolated incidents that it’s happened. And you’re absolutely right. I’m very fortunate that that hasn’t happened, but that could happen with anybody at any time. Say you had gone out drinking or you were drunk, and say something happened to your family.”
Ford, again, tried to turn the conversation back to Laurer, saying “Say your son or daughter just got killed in a car accident and you’re plastered out of your mind at three in the morning,” Ford said. “Are you going to be able to handle that?”
However, the city no longer has to wonder what would happen if Ford were on a binge during an emergency. Last week, city councillors voted to transfer most powers, in the event of a city emergeny, to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.
Watch the full interview here: