Rob Ford. Unstoppable?

Rob Ford’s public soap opera is as convoluted as it is fascinating, but is there a finale in sight?

Too big to fail

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Two weeks of madness at Toronto city hall and Rob Ford, his world crashing down all around him, shows no sign of stopping. He has too much to prove to do so now, and the momentum is such that Toronto’s most notorious mayor could not do so were he even to try. The momentum driving him—that he’s now driven by—became established years ago, during those heady days in the fall of 2010, when his campaign team briefly worried that Ford was doing too well in the polls, that they had peaked too soon. Now the mayoralty is like the red shoes from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, which dance the girl beyond her control through fields and meadows, and Ford cannot get them off.

One old friend worries they may yet dance him to death. Looking back at the span from Ford’s early electoral success to his present meltdown, the one-time key figure from his team, speaking to Maclean’s on a not-for-attribution basis, is aghast: “He’s done. He’s done. It’s over. It’s over. More staffers are going to quit”—and indeed, within days of this conversation more staffers had—”more people from the past that they’ve bullied over the years are going to come forward. It’s going to be unbearable.”

Ford strove to become Toronto’s mayor “to prove something—to his dad, his people, his brothers, everybody. Just to stick it to everybody in his life who never thought he amounted to much,” says the former high-ranking aide. Now all Ford’s people are fleeing the precinct, departures that come either out of concern over Ford’s health and alleged substance-abuse issues, or out of fear his staffers will one day be labelled enablers. “We don’t want to wake up in a week and find him dead in a ditch knowing we could have done something to stop this,” the one-time aide tells Maclean’s. “He resigns as mayor or he’s dead in a ditch—I don’t know what comes first. Honestly.”

Do you really think he’ll resign, Maclean’s asks? “I don’t,” the source says, without hesitation.

During his successful mayoralty bid in 2010 Ford remained disciplined and focused, outstripping expectations in debates against rival candidates and, when required—which was often—delivering pitch-perfect mea culpas on the campaign trail. But aides began to suspect Ford was drifting into substance abuse within his first few months in office, according to the former aide. He “stopped listening” to his chief of staff and former campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, came into work late or not at all, ceased alerting his office to his whereabouts, and refused to be accompanied by handlers from his office. (Famously, Ford would not accept a driver even after getting spotted using a cellphone, flipping the bird and reading from behind the wheel).

Soon top aides began hearing that Ford was buying mickeys of alcohol, purchases he asked his lower-rung staffers to keep secret.

Those around him tried to contain the mayor, but that has always proven difficult. Ford has fired at least two chiefs of staff in the past two years—Kouvalis and Mark Towhey—after both confronted him about his behaviour, a source says.

Now events as they’ve unfolded over the latter weeks of May have pushed Ford’s biography into the realm of the nightmarish and surreal—a soap opera interlaced with the dark night of a Toronto mayor’s soul, told with the unrelenting momentum of tragedy, with a plot centred around a video file that may or may not exist. According to news reports published by Gawker and the Toronto Star, this iPhone video shows Ford smoking crack from a glass pipe and uttering homophobic and bigoted comments, and has been the object of negotiations between the drug dealers who control it and the news organizations that seek to publish it. The video is so explosive, we are led to believe, that people may have killed in order to possess it.

Anthony Smith, a 21-year-old Seneca College student who died in March with two bullets to the back of his head, is said to be one of the men posing arm in arm with the mayor in a photo provided to Gawker and the Star by the men in possession of the video. According to the Star, one of the two other men is 19-year-old Muhammad Khattak, injured in the same shooting that left Smith dead.

The logic of all this is as convoluted as it is fascinating, and none of it has been enough to persuade Ford to step down. Therefore the story lumbered on for many days so that, on the eve of his 44th birthday—the mayor marked it on Tuesday—Ford suffered the ignominy of knowing that a crowd-funding website dedicated to amassing the $200,000 required to purchase the video had met its goal. The video’s location remains unknown, the drug dealers said to possess it unreachable. Gawker editor John Cook said on Tuesday he would give those in control of the video at least a month to contact him and make the sale.

Anxiety over how Ford’s mayoralty could end comes amid unprecedented, fast-paced developments at city hall. Indeed, it has been a relentless chronology. The Gawker and Star reports about the existence of the video at first prompted Ford to make only a half-hearted denial, then remain silent for seven days. Last week, amid mounting pressure and the jabs of American television satirists, the mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, attempted to defuse the situation, holding a press conference on Wednesday that awkwardly mixed combativeness with hurt. “Never has a Canadian politician or his family . . . been targeted by the media this way,” Doug, who is named after his father, the former Ontario Progressive Conservative who Rob worships, and who has indicated a desire to run for the Tories himself, told reporters. “They zealously, and I say zealously, stalk my mother, my children, the media hides in the bushes at our cottage.”

So unforgiving has the logic of the scandal been that even the most loyal players have been forced out. Ford fired Towhey, who had been with him since the election, last Thursday, a day following Doug’s address and a week after the Gawker and Star stories first appeared. A crisis-management consultant who had trained border police in Afghanistan prior to joining Ford’s team, Towhey told Ford to seek treatment for his substance-abuse issues when the scandal first broke, according to a source.

But his departure did not come until the following week, after the mayor became distraught over the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s decision, announced on Wednesday, to fire the mayor from his position as coach of the Eagles, Don Bosco Secondary School’s football team—a job Ford adored. That night, the mayor asked Towhey to help organize a party for his former players and to retrieve thousands of dollars of football equipment Ford had donated to the high school. “It was late at night, and Mark told the mayor straight up: ‘It’s a bad idea, a mistake, I’m not going there to do that, you need to sober up,’ and he fired him that night,” a source tells Maclean’s. “Mark went to work the next day and they had another scrap and that was it.” Security guards escorted Towhey from the building through a maelstrom of reporters and cameras. “I am no longer the chief of staff,” he told them. “I did not resign.”

A press conference followed on Friday. At that time Ford, using carefully worded language and with a new, close-cropped haircut that made his face appear even rounder than before, denied being addicted to crack cocaine: “I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” he said, adding: “As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist.” Ford spoke in a clear and combative voice and, in contrast to his appearance in the days immediately after publication of the Gawker and Star accounts, looked emboldened. Yet the presser unleashed even more furious developments.

On Saturday the Globe and Mail published a long-awaited and lengthy exposé alleging that Doug Ford dealt hashish in the west Toronto district of Etobicoke for several years during the 1980s. Doug, unlike his brother, appeared to relish the opportunity to go on camera and rebut the story, giving multiple interviews. “Have I smoked marijuana in high school? Absolutely I did, like everyone else,” Doug, wearing an open-necked shirt and a gold chain, told Global news reporter Jackson Proskow. Yet he made his position clear: “I have never been involved in the drug trade,” he said. On Sunday, the two Ford brothers, in better days dubbed the “twin Ford mayors” by the writer Margaret Atwood, appeared on their weekly Newstalk 1010 radio show, during which they refuted the Globe account and reiterated the mayor’s denials that he smokes crack—indeed, the mayor now maintained categorically that no video exists. “Bunch of maggots,” Ford said of journalists. “Sorry, maybe I shouldn’t have said that.”

The following afternoon—the Monday—Ford apologized to reporters for that remark, part of the same hastily called press conference in which he also acknowledged the abrupt departures of his two spokesmen, George Christopoulos and Isaac Ransom. “It’s business as usual,” Ford told reporters. “We’re just soldiering on.” Earlier in the day Ford, accompanied by security, had been seen at city hall marching from office to office, opening one door, then another, apparently seeking out Christopoulos and Ransom, who had left their resignation letters on Ford’s desk and then left the building.

Monday carried even more disturbing news reports, however, initially from the Globe, centred around a tip from a senior Ford staffer to police indicating that someone in the mayor’s office knew the address and unit number of the drug dealers in possession of the iPhone video, and linking that video to a homicide. Ford, looking dazed during the press conference, the weight of the world in his bloodstream, glossed over reporters’ questions about the police investigation. “Everything’s fine,” he said. “I have no idea what the police are investigating.”

Even then the stories kept piling up. On Tuesday, the Star reported that it had been Towhey who called police with the tip, prior to his dismissal and after having had a conversation with David Price, a long-time associate of the Ford family. Price, who now works under Ford, asked Towhey “hypothetically” how the mayor’s office would react if it knew the whereabouts of the video, according to the Star. Price, the report says, also suggested that Smith, the young man in the photograph standing alongside Ford, might have been killed over the video. Towhey said in such a situation his advice would be to go to police, which is just what Towhey did, according to reports—not telling Ford, and giving an interview to two homicide detectives. (Toronto police sources told the Star that homicide detectives handled the interview not because they are probing a homicide, but rather because they are adept interviewers.) The Star says police also asked Price for a statement regarding the matter.

That Toronto police investigators have sought to talk with members of Ford’s staff in connection to a video that’s alleged to show the mayor consuming an illegal substance speaks volumes about the state of the mayor’s office. That is to say: This is like no mayoralty ever seen before in Canada. The suggestion is that members of Ford’s office were engaged in a scheme aimed at securing a video that Ford says does not exist.

It seems unlikely, however, that the mayor will do anything but hold fast to his office. And in fact, since Tuesday, Ford has dug in even further, holding a bellicose press conference after two more staff resignations in which he told reporters that all was well and that he had no intention of stepping down. This was despite yet more daily news reports, still based on unnamed sources, alleging that Ford may have known the whereabouts of the iPhone footage immediately following publication of the initial Gawker and Star reports. More recently, a Star account has cast further doubt on whether the homicide of Smith is connected to that footage.

Polling numbers published by the Star on Monday show he has maintained the support of his base—his numbers remain unchanged since prior to the scandal breaking—and that in a hypothetical race against Toronto New Democatic MP Olivia Chow, Ford would pull in a respectable 36 per cent of the vote to Chow’s 56.

Time and time again since first getting elected to council in 2000, Ford has demonstrated himself to be congenitally unable to give in unless absolutely forced to do so. In one celebrated case he twice lied to media outlets about a 2006 incident at a Toronto Maple Leafs game in which he was intoxicated and verbally abusive to a couple visiting Toronto from out of town. “This is unbelievable,” he told the Star. “I wasn’t even at the game, so someone’s trying to do a real hatchet job on me, let me tell you.” He later relented, telling reporters: “Being in politics, you’re in the spotlight all the time. I made a mistake. I made a major mistake. I really regret it.”

But perhaps the most instructive parallel to the present circumstances came during the 2010 election, when Ford’s campaign team was confronted with the existence of a recorded telephone conversation between Ford and Dieter Doneit-Henderson, an HIV-positive gay man Ford had met weeks earlier during a campaign stop designed to give Ford the chance to atone for a past anti-gay slur.

In that recorded phone conversation Ford offered to buy Doneit-Henderson the prescription painkiller OxyContin, also known as “hillbilly heroin.” Ford’s campaign had learned that the Star had obtained this recording and felt sure the paper was preparing to release its contents when they would be most damaging to Ford’s mayoral bid. Kouvalis, Ford’s campaign manager, directed a young member of the team, Fraser Macdonald, to secure a copy of the recording, which Macdonald did by creating a fake Twitter account, befriending Doneit-Henderson through that account, and persuading him to provide the recording. The contents of the conversation shocked Kouvalis. “Why don’t you go on the street and score it?” Ford could be heard asking Doneit-Henderson, who continued pressing Ford for help getting the drug. “I’ll try buddy, I’ll try,” Ford says. “I don’t know this s–t, but I’ll f–king try to find it.”

Ford’s campaign team knew the recording might well lose them the election. But faced with the alternative—the Star releasing it—Kouvalis supported a plan in which Ford’s campaign would leak the tape to a sympathetic reporter. Rob and Doug disagreed. “The Fords didn’t want to leak it. They wanted to see how it would play out,” Kouvalis told Maclean’s in 2010 shortly after the election. “I leaked it on them.” The gambit worked—in the end, Ford’s offer to help the ailing Doneit-Henderson appeared misguided but strangely appealing.

Kouvalis is no longer part of Ford’s team, and Rob and Doug are now victims of their own worst instincts. “He doesn’t listen to good advice and they don’t trust anybody, these guys,” says the anonymous former aide, adding of the mayor: “I think the stress is too much for him and I think that if it’s true that in the past Rob had drug or alcohol issues, I think it crawled back into his life. None of this is worth it. He’s got two kids. He’s 350 to 400 lb. He needs to f–king wake up and get healthy. Or he’s going to be dead.”




Browse

Rob Ford. Unstoppable?

  1. YES!!!!!!!!!! All the taxation lefties hate him!

    • And all the elitist-righties who hate the poor and down-trodden love him

    • This comment was deleted.

      • ??

      • Your comments have been flagged as illiterate and as such, your account will be banned. May we also respectfully suggest that you enrol in a good ESL class.

    • No, anyone who hates immature bullies dodging responsibility, hates him.

    • I love the way the liberal media is circling the wagons now to protect the ‘wounded’ TORONTO STAR after the ‘ordeal’ it’s been suffering in ‘covering’ this apparently now self-evident non-story (although ‘creating’ may be a more accurate word)! Lefties can NEVER EVER admit that they got it wrong! And ‘journalistic ethics’ in THIS ‘coverage’ – what a laugh! At least the TORONTO STAR has succeeded in handing Rob Ford almost certain victory in the 2014 election :) !

  2. lower-wrung staffers

    ?

    • We don’t need a Ford Nation, we need a FordResgnation

    • Wrung how? And by whom? Do you mean a Homer Simpson-like choke-out of Bart? Or those charged with wringing out the facecloths after patting down hizzoner? Or … and this is just a guess … did you mean ‘rung’?

  3. Deamalgamate.

  4. during which they refuted the Globe account and reiterated the mayor’s denials that he smokes crack
    When you say ‘refuted’ I think you mean ‘disputed’.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • It’s rude to proofread?

        • This comment was deleted.

          • Which band? I hope it’s not Nickleback.

          • And the past tense is ” Your account will be bant.” ?

          • Isn’t that the past participle?

          • Or is that “bunt?”

          • ‘your’ ‘banned’

          • This comment was deleted.

          • whatnow ?

          • Obvious troll, people. Don’t feed the troll.

  5. Where is don cherry these days? Haven’t heard a peep out of him. Thought he’d be shilling for his good buddy.

  6. Rob Ford smoking crack has been met with boredom rather than outrage. Is crack that common in Toronto? Perhaps the mayor just sort of blends in with all the other crackheads

    • No we aren’t bored by it, but it does tend to blend into the constant background noise of the Ford Follies. Its like living next to a very busy street, you learn to sleep through the noise eventually.

    • Where has it been met with boredom? Not in Toronto ….

    • It’s more like passive humiliation, from what I’ve seen.

      • Why so passive? Why not arrest him?

        • Waldorf! At last, a real man with real convictions is speaking out on this! Why don’t you go and perform a ‘citizen’s arrest’ yourself? I promise to capture every detail on a definitely non-fake and real video so that Ron Ford can sue you and own your earnings for the rest of his life! Gallop forth, Sir Galahad :) !

          • Isn’t that what the government is for? Unless the Harper government has some special interest in not investigating a member of his own party.

          • Now, Waldorf, don’t back down and turn into a spineless shirker just when I thought you were metamorphosing into a REAL man! The Toronto Police Service have already professionally looked at whatever they need to look at and have merely said that they are continuing to ‘monitor’ the situation. Instead of just meaninglessly commenting upon the story, Waldorf, you could BECOME the story AND help Mayor Ford pay for his next election campaign with the huge damages he’d be legally awarded as a result!

    • perhaps you should think twice before convicting someone of smoking crack purely on allegations started by DRUG DEALERS. people aren’t downplaying the act of smoking crack, people are fed up with rag journalism and taking allegations from drug dealers to mean conviction.

    • Yep! Rob Ford, who is on the public record as strongly SUPPORTING the police in their fight AGAINST drug trafficking, should be convicted in the court of public opinion by an alleged video originating, it is claimed, from DRUG DEALERS? Well, that would make sense to a warped leftist mind, and perhaps to a journalist or two, if not to me. For myself, I’m waiting for that highly anticipated “WE PUNKED THE STAR!” story to break :) !

  7. I predict that Mr Harper will quietly deep six Rob Ford’s political life. Rob and his brother Doug are way too different for Mr Harper. They’re unmanageable. Ford is like the Sarah Palin of Conservative politicians. Imagine the loose cannons that that Rob and Doug are being active politically at a Provincial or Federal level? Harper must be having nightmares. Even if Ford scrapes through the alleged “drug abuse” scandal the stigma will poison any Tory he goes near. Harper knows Ford needs to be ‘eliminated from the Conservative political scene’.

    Should Clayton Ruby be successful in obtaining an appeal of the original “conflict of interest” ruling against Ford in the Supreme Court. Ford will be removed from office immediately.

    Wait and see…

    • wow, you know, I never thought of it in quite this way. I mean yes, it is obvious that Ford is a massive liability to Harper and the Conservative brand, but would he really put the kibosh on Ford? On the one hand it would be a really smart move if he did it quietly behind the scenes and just told Ford to step down. On the other hand, I think Harper hates Toronto so much he enjoys the punishment Ford inflicts on us. I’m not so sure how Harper would react, but overall, if he were a smart man, he would tell Ford to step down. We are already seeing what Ford is doing to Tea Party Dim

      • Just to be perfectly clear, Mr. Harper has absolutely zero power in “telling Ford to step down”.

    • Rob Ford is an advocate of low taxes and increased government accountability, a view shared by the federal Conservatives, but those views alone do not make him a “Conservative”. There is no affiliation at all between the Prime Minister and Mayor Ford, except in the minds of those who dislike them both for being in favour of smaller, more accountable government.

      • “in the minds of those who dislike them both for being in favour of smaller, more accountable government.”

        Since when is Harper a beacon of smaller, more accountable government? His government is bigger than any other, his spending has far surpassed even the Liberals (are you enjoying those deficits?), iour payroll and a few other taxes went up this year, and he’s obviously not accountable to anyone, having the most secretive Canadian government anyone alive has ever seen.

      • Anyone who thinks our current Federal Conservative government is more accountable than previous ones apparently hasn’t turned on the tv or opened a newspaper recently.

      • Ford’s not a Conservative, he’s a populist.
        His political philosophy, if he can be said to have one, bears little relation to the federal conservatives.

  8. Until such time a video is found and authenticated, or a “source” has a name to have any sort of credibility , the media should be sticking to the facts. Leave rumours to social media. I have never seen so much garbage reporting in my life. The stories should be on the star and the lowering of professional standards when it comes to reporting news. Instead, the other outlets have joined the rumours about the mayor. The truth will always come out, sooner or later. Until that time comes, judge Ford on his policies and actions at City Hall rather than on innuendos and rumours.

    • It’s garbage to point out that an autheticated photograph has been taken from this video, clearly showing an impaired Rob Ford socializing with two know crack dealers?

      It’s garbage to point out that even before this, Ford was well known for his addiction problems?

      It’s garbage to point out that several staffers have resigned, directly because of Ford’s antics?

      It’s garbage to point out that until he has the balls to resolve this like an adult, there will always be suspicion that is so thick it is paralyzing the city?

      • So are you saying that photo was lifted from the video? If so then why do the three “reporters” who have viewed the video describe him as wearing a partially unbuttoned shirt when that photo shows him in a sweatshirt. I know just silly details that distract from the anti-Ford narrative.

        Another question, if those who have viewed the video are so sure why do they hide behind legal terms like “alleged”?

      • Photograph taken from video? Really? This is not true. Where did you get this from? This is what I mean about the media making you believe a fact when in reality is nothing more than a opinion.

    • His actions at city hall? As in being so ineffective a leader that he has essentially neutered himself?

    • The exact same story is authenticated by three different reporters.
      It involves the mayor of the fourth largest city in North America.
      Despite the fact that the reporters have been unable to purchase the video, it is still certainly in the best interests of the people of this city that the story be published.

      The media *have* stuck to the facts as they know it. The video continues to be referred to as ‘alleged’. Sources who will not give their names are protected. But the only alternative, that three reporters are independently outright lying and putting their careers and credibility on the line out of a desire to smear Rob Ford (as well as the editorial team of Canada’s largest newspaper) is simply not credible.

      Ford’s behaviour, both before and after ‘the video’ have served to provide an intelligible context to his being an addict in denial: previous DUI, 911 calls to his home, disappearing from work and not showing up, liquor purchases on the job, serious intoxication at public events, his chief of staff quitting after requesting that Ford seek help, 4 other members of his staff quitting in the next two days. This is not the behaviour of a healthy man in any job, let alone a mayor of Canada’s largest city.

      Reporters *have* to report on this: it’s their job and it’s what we need from them as citizens of a democracy with a free press.

      • And might they perhaps soon also be reporting on the front page that they were the unfortunate victims of a successful video ‘punk’ by some hilariously uncivic-minded students enrolled in a college film program and that they’d like as a result to introduce the newspaper’s new owner, Rob Ford, to their readers :) ?

        • Get a grip. Don’t you think that with all the attention this has been getting, the “punk” would have slipped out by now? And that if the video truly didn’t exist, Ford’s staff wouldn’t be dropping off left, right, and center? I really can’t grasp why some people are so desperately reaching for some other answer. If it looks like a duck…

          • All in good time, m’dear, all in good time :) . The TORONTO STAR has had two weeks to rampage with this ‘story’ across the national and world stage and you want the possible denouement to occur overnight? They should perhaps be seriously sweating down at One Yonge Street right now….:) And ‘if it looks like a duck’ but its ‘stories’ can’t fly, perhaps it’s because it’s a dodo?

    • the FACT is: reliable, responsible journalists have witnessed footage of FORD or a drop-dead look-alike smoking from a glass pipe. i personally don’t need to see the video, nor do i need to meet the people who worked under doug ford’s little drug kingdom from the 80′s to believe it true. that’s the great thing about having reliable journalism in canada: we can trust these news sources.

      • Hmmm…the primary originating ‘news source’ on it, the TORONTO STAR, seems to have gone strangely quieter on this ‘crisis’ today. Ever think that you might be able to REALLY rejoice in being able to ‘trust’ this ‘news source’ if Rob Ford becomes its new owner:)?

  9. The difficulty is with so many smarmy, amateurish, hamfisted assertions in the past (mostly media driven) if an actual scandal does surface it’s significantly diluted.

  10. Where’s the video?

    • Rob seems to know. Ask him.

  11. so many people saying “leave him alone, leave him alone!” what will you say to his kids if he dies? I don’t like the man at all but I don’t wish harm on anyone. so many people in his office — who were on his side — saying “get help” and some of you still need the video to come out to believe?? He is so unhealthy, I didn’t think he would live to see 55 BEFORE any drug use allegations came out. Now…, even worse.

    People just care about their left vs right tit-for-tat. His whole family is so sick. No one is looking out for anyone. I hope some insiders put ethics ahead of career advancement and step up. so what if his political career is ruined? some things are more important. they are rich anyways, don’t need the money.

  12. There are as many unanswered questions for the media attacking Rob Ford as there questions that the media can draw up to pose to Rob Ford. The key questions are these.

    Where is the proof (i.e. the video)? Why would anyone place confidence in the word of Somali drug dealers about anything? What does the fact that Rob Ford drinks alcohol have to do with claims that he uses crack cocaine? If there were evidence of criminal wrongdoing, why wouldn’t the police bring charges, so the issue could be dealt with in a court of law, according to longstanding Canadian tradition? What public interest is served by beating to death a story about unproved allegations?

    • You’re posing those entirely reasonable questions to the ‘Leftists’ here? They don’t believe in the rule of the LAW; they only believe in the rule of the LEFT :)

  13. Rob Ford stumble-runs with a small football cinched desperately to his side — long past bounds, long past the game end, and running in the wrong direction. Someone step up and blow the whistle to stop his obsessive self-destruction. SARS has returned to Toronto and its name is Rob Ford. End this now.

  14. I’ve noticed he has not once offered to take a drug test. Interesting….

    • I noticed that he cut his hair just before finally making his first statement about this mess. So, a drug test might not pick up whatever he was up to in the past. Interesting…

  15. I’ve noticed that the TORONTO STAR seems to have picked up on the fact that this frenzied and lurid ‘scandal’ it appears to have industriously manufactured only resulted in one or two hundred presumably STAR-addicted members of ‘STAR NATION’ turning up at the much pre-touted ‘Rob Ford Protest’ at City Hall yesterday, and that out of a city of over 2 million people! Perhaps it’s slowly sinking in at ‘STAR NATION’ headquarters that the apparent journalistic ‘putsch’ they’ve perhaps been attempting against Toronto’s democratically-elected Mayor, and for which it seems they desperately brought all of their journalistic ‘big guns’ into play, hasn’t actually managed to garner even a noticeable iota of public support? Watch for them to start quickly playing respectful ‘kissy-kissy make-up’ with the Mayor as they perhaps begin to catch the whiff of a big possible lawsuit in the air! In the meantime, I wonder how many TORONTO STAR subscribers may be cancelling their subscriptions in disgust and business advertisers pulling their advertising support from this alleged ‘newspaper’? Just asking – I don’t yet have any video back up for these ‘serious questions’, fake or otherwise!

    • The media *have* stuck to the facts as they know it. The video
      continues to be referred to as ‘alleged’. Sources who will not give
      their names are protected. But the only alternative, that three
      reporters are independently outright lying and putting their careers and
      credibility on the line out of a desire to smear Rob Ford (as well as
      the editorial team of Canada’s largest newspaper) is simply not
      credible.

      Ford’s behaviour, both before and after ‘the video’
      have served to provide an intelligible context to his being an addict in
      denial: previous DUI, 911 calls to his home, disappearing from work and
      not showing up, liquor purchases on the job, serious intoxication at
      public events, his chief of staff quitting after requesting that Ford
      seek help, 4 other members of his staff quitting in the next two days.
      This is not the behaviour of a healthy man in any job, let alone a mayor
      of Canada’s largest city.

      Reporters *have* to report on this:
      it’s their job and it’s what we need from them as citizens of a
      democracy with a free press.

      • Okay. we’ve had the ‘facts’ according to the media. Now could we please have the EVIDENCE? The missing alleged ‘incriminating video’ would make a good start…:)

    • Mary, shut up and stop posting. You’re ruining that comment forum.

      • Why? Am I squeezing out your opinionated leftist piffle? Go ahead, post as much as you want :)

        • No, was just hoping I could read a comment/conversation that didn’t have any blatant shilling for “Ford Nation”

          • Then you’re on a hopeless quest :) ! As it has ‘progresssively’ emerged that there is no actual evidence to support this inflated, dramatic, and apparently TORONTO STAR-created ‘crisis’, the ‘STAR NATION’ gossip gabblers have now found themselves outnumbered by logical, fair-minded Ford supporters on just about every ‘comments’ board. The thing is, innuedo and insults don’t cut it when you don’t have any actual EVIDENCE. Soon even you might realize that :)

          • Since you were so sure I’d hate it, I didn’t bother to look at it. Thanks for the advance warning, Jesse – just goes to show there’s some good in everybody :)

  16. Looks like what might be best described as the “lynching party” is over and the intended victim is now safe. Maybe the blackhats will just be forced to gallop off and rustle another horse that won’t run from an internet media ranch and ride THAT one to death, too? I’d like to say “Better luck next time!”, but my sense of decency overrides my sense of sportsmanship!

    • Well…Let’s just wait until the next shoe drops and Ford dances a little bit more, okay. By the way, that’s quite the dark pseudonym you chose, Bloody Mary.

      • …But my ‘pseudonym’ is perhaps not as ‘dark’ as what might be found in the depths of the anonymous source quoting, unavailable video citing, unnamed ‘insider’ proclaiming, TORONTO STAR’s heart :) ! Ford may be ‘dancing’ on this but the STAR may yet ‘swing’ over it! Let’s wait and see, indeed…

    • There was a cat that really was gone, ra ra Ford Machine. But when his drinking and lusting for power became known to more and more people the demands to do something about the outrageous man grew louder and louder,,,, hey hey hey …..

      • Whenever I hear or see renditions of that kind of so-called performance ‘art’, I immediately begin to wonder whether those reponsible for it may be drunk or on crack – or both together….’ra ra STAR Machine,,,,hey hey hey…’

  17. He’s victim of his own success. He pushed so hard to get to where he’s at then he’s screwed it all up along the way. I’m not sure if he’s a good guy at heart or not. it’s still possible he’s just cracked from the self inflicted stress but his days are numbered obviously one way or another. so if i were him i’d just quit and live.

    • I think that’s a compassionate observation, Jason. Good on you! But the real question here is probably not whether Rob Ford can survive this apparently TORONTO STAR-manufactured ‘scandal’ fiasco but rather whether the TORONTO STAR itself can? My bet’s on Rob Ford!

      • The Globe, Macleans, and National post don’t jump on to scandals that are “manufactured” by any paper. There is enough scandalous material out there all ready.

        • Actually, I have a soft spot for the Globe And Mail, which seems to try to wend its gentlemanly way through the modern world untarnished. To be honest, I think in this case that they teetered but then recovered their balance quickly. Now, the TORONTO STAR….?

        • I should also add, in defence of the NATIONAL POST that, (a) it has courageously left its ‘Comments’ sections open for free public discussion throughout this alleged ‘crisis’ apparently ignited by the TORONTO STAR, and that (b) it employs balanced and mature journalists like the superb Terence Corcoran, who wrote a little while back: “Rob Ford may be doomed as a result of the video, perhaps deservedly. But at the hands of the Toronto Star and others, he is also the victim of one of the most vicious and aggressive media and political attacks ever seen in Canada, attacks carried out with the participation of drug dealers, organized crime and others as yet unidentified. This side of the story deserves much more attention.”

  18. Is MacLeans somehow glorifying the fact that Rob Ford the politician considers himself un-fireable, untouchable, and thoroughly unaccountable to the people of Toronto? At worst he has been involved in multiple scandals, lied about them, reduced The City of Toronto’s brand to that of a bad joke, and has been utterly ineffective and accomplished very little as mayor. He has fostered an environment of distrust and confrontation.

    If that’s not grounds for immediate dismissal, I don’t know what is.

    • Let’s say for a moment that some skilled kids from a college film training program decided to ‘punk’ the TORONTO STAR with a fake video. (This is all hypothetical, right? – no actual video ‘support’ for this ‘scenario’ here either!). Now, in the con-artist business you need a ‘mark’ who you perhaps could be sure might possibly be both ‘needy’ and ‘greedy’ for what you’re going to have on offer. So you don’t go, for example, to the SUN or the NATIONAL POST, or even the GLOBE AND MAIL. No, your target is the TORONTO STAR. You mix in a little intrigue to get the ‘fizz’ going – an unexpected contact, the drama associated with a meeting in the back of a car, the ‘Oops! The phone battery’s gone dead’-make-’em-wait-for-it-a-little-longer-and get-hungrier-still gambit. Then you reappear, show them a short video clip on a small screen that YOU keep hold of, tell them that’s all they are going to see unless they pony up $200,000, and you disappear fast. Why $200,000? Well, you figure, NO ONE is going to be stupid enough to pay THAT amount for THIS, so you’ll have safely got your ‘punk’ out there without actually having to undergo the embarrassment of having your fake video technically examined. But, wait…the $200,000 IS raised (or so we’re told – I haven’t seen any bank statements confirming that either!). Panic sets in – until you realize that you can now ‘disappear’ and be presumed to have been fed to the fishes or become part of a new bridge because of your indiscretion. More ‘reality’ evidence for the video!!! Then you sit back and watch the ‘scandal’ get eagerly manufactured in the media and grow. Your video victim is publicly flailed as a result of what you and your unfortunate and unsuspecting ‘mark’ have managed to accomplish. It’s repeatedly demanded that he RESIGN – failure to do so is PROOF of his ‘guilt’! You hug yourself – this is going to look great on your future job resume! Then the balloon can’t be inflated any more by the ‘mark’ and it pops! DISASTER! But not for YOU – for the ‘MARK’! People, being basically fair-minded, begin to realize that the ‘mark’ may actually be responsible for this fiasco, NOT the Mayor! This is getting serious – the Mayor is basically a nice guy but you think that you may have already seen that the ‘mark’ can get really vicious if it wants to. You don’t take calls from Gawker, the ‘mark’, or anybody else. You get out of town, fast. ‘Slurpy’, who has absolutely no desire to be associated with all of this either, drops out of sight, too. WHADDLTHE’MARK’DONEXT? To be continued…
      Now that’s just a hypothetical scenario, of course. But what if…..?

  19. Crackhead.

    • Waldorf ! Why are you now apparently confessing that you are a ‘crackhead’ online? Does someone have a video on you that they are about to sell :) ?

  20. As I predicted a day or two ago, the presumably extremely-vunerable TORONTO STAR is now apparently desperately trying to begin the ‘kissy, kissy make up’ process with Mayor Ford :) !

    This is from today’s ‘Huntington Post’:

    “The Toronto Star: Mayor Rob Ford Will Be a Very Strong Candidate in 2014 Mayoral Election

    by Mitch Wolfe

    Posted: 06/03/2013 11:24 am

    As reported on Sunday, in the Toronto Star, Mayor Rob Ford will be a formidable candidate for re-election in the 2014 Toronto Mayoral election.

    It is interesting to note that the original headline of this online article which appeared on Saturday was, “Rob Ford video scandal: Don’t count the Mayor out yet. Political Strategists say”

    The Star headline that appeared in print in the Sunday print edition of this very same article, was amended to read “Mayor expected to be “very strong” in election.”

    How very curious.

    Clearly, even the Toronto Star is having second thoughts on the imminent demise of the mayoralty of Mayor Rob Ford.

    To the extent, the Toronto Star completely amended the focus of the headline….”

    You can read the full and more-than-fascinating detailed story at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mitch-wolfe/the-toronto-star-mayor-ro_b_3375709.html

  21. pretty good summary. ford is a deeply flawed and not very bright man. still i do not think anyone would wish him to die. but if that does soon happen – and no one would be surprised – at least we know it is unlikely to happen while on official City business.

    • Sickeningly typical of the ugly Left – having lost the attempt to overthrow Toronto’s democraticall-elected Mayor via what appears to be a journalistic ‘putsch’. they then fall back on “i do not think anyone would wish him to die. but if that does soon happen…”! No wonder that the Left is is in full retreat world-wide. Its sad and delusionary program is built on no more than envy and hate!

      • are you on crack?

        • No – I’m not a Leftist so I don’t need it :) . I prefer the pure air of Truth. Speaking of ‘Truth’, I’m now wondering how many key people over at the TORONTO STAR perhaps may be or may have been on crack? Think that they would be willing to answer THAT question on camera?

          • “the pure air of Truth?” Crank then, huh? Oh dear. To each their own.

          • Now that was a COMPLETELY uninterpretable response, even for a Leftist :)

          • You realize the construction of your sentence would lead one to conclude that you are a “Leftist” cavorting on these boards as a a fake dimbulb conbot. Nice try. Very transparent.

          • You really MUST be smoking crack :) !

  22. Do people realise “Unstoppable” was the theme of Pride Toronto last year?

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