Memo to Rob Ford’s staff: Time to quit

Paul Wells urges those around Toronto’s mayor to get out now

by Paul Wells

Ten years ago this month I quit my job. There was a small element of principle about it, although there’s no point exaggerating that. I had gone to work for a newspaper owned by Conrad Black and edited by Ken Whyte. Then Black sold the paper and the new owners fired Whyte. The editor they put in Ken’s place seemed, to me, incapable of running a newspaper properly. So I left the newspaper. It’s how I wound up here. I was unemployed for all of two weeks; it wasn’t a martyrdom.

I’m wondering what’s going through the minds of the people who work for Rob Ford today. The Toronto mayor stands accused by two news organizations of appearing in a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine. He has denied the allegation, or rather, called it “ridiculous,” which I am not sure is the same. The story comes weeks after another asserting that he appeared intoxicated at a military ball. There are previous stories about reckless behaviour on the Toronto mayor’s part.

Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America, with fine schools, good sports teams, vigorous business and thriving arts. But today it’s a global laughing stock because three reporters from two organizations say they’ve seen video of the mayor with a pipe. The longer this situation continues, the worse the damage to Toronto. If the mayor is in serious personal trouble, he is hurt by each day the people around him enable his refusal to admit it.

There is, finally, a moral question. I know it makes people squeamish to use that sort of language, but I’m writing from Ottawa, where we’ve seen altogether too much lately of a refusal to think in terms of morality instead of expediency. Each of us has to ask what we’re comfortable endorsing with our continued presence and industry. It’s scary to leave a job. It can be scary to stay, too. One might almost say it can put your soul at peril, if you believe that sort of thing.

So, Toronto City Hall staff: If you believe the Star is conspiring with a U.S. gossip website to ruin Rob Ford, stay and fight with him. If you believe he has brought shame on the city and that more shame is on the way, trust yourself; strike a blow for something more important than the fight reflex; and get out now.




Browse

Memo to Rob Ford’s staff: Time to quit

  1. Good sports teams?!

    • LOL, I almost stopped there too. Financially lucrative yes, good ……

    • You’ve really got to wonder who let’s these things get published. I’m really looking forward to reading Macleans’ analysis of the incredibly successful season the Maple Leafs just finished.

      • By any measure, the Leafs had the most successful season any Toronto sports has had in years.

        • Yes. And it was still incredibly mediocre — NOT “good”.

  2. Ever notice how white Rob Ford’s haters are? And how popular he is with minorities? And how this ostensibly “racist” fellow was elected mayor of a 52% non-white city largely due to his popularity among ethnic groups? And how white the mainstream media is?

    Yeah, I’m calling this straight up white supremacy – a non-stop extra-democratic attempt by whitey to dislodge a duly elected mayor who is very popular with visible minorities. How is that *not* white supremacy?

    • Apparently Rob Ford isn’t the only one who smokes crack.

      • well played!

      • Rob Ford is the mayor of Canada’s largest city are you suggesting it is good for the city of Toronto’s image to have a mayor that’s a crack head? Get some class.

    • I think you are mistaking suburban versus urban here with race. His popularity is centred in the suburbs (which used to be other cities until amalgamation), but distribution of race in this city is not so simple. I was born and raised as a minority in Toronto and I can tell you that there are a significant amount of people of minority races living downtown that are not affluent and certainly do not support him! He has voted to take away public and social services like access to rec centres, pools and libraries that the urban poor depend on to keep their children out of trouble (that I myself used because my single mother couldn’t afford to pay for after-school sports), and they were none-to-happy about it. Just look at the debates and public hearings from 2011. Many people who voted for him turned their back on him after his attack on public and social services. Luckily the rest of council had the sense to block him on some key votes to stop his madness.

      So stop playing the race card, especially if you are not from Toronto and have no idea of the composition of my wonderful city. He is a shame and an embarrassment to us all, and we have lost international respect because of his antics. This is no longer funny. This is destroying our city!

      • I’m no supporter of Rob Ford, and I think the “MacKKKleans” is absolutely ridiculous, but it is interesting that the only two polls in Central Toronto won by Ford were Moss Park and Alexandra Park

        • Funny – Moss Park is a big crack centre.

      • Rob Ford’s supporters are Mike Harris and Stephen Harper and the corporate owned media because…. advertising works. That’s it.

    • Ever notice how often the word “haters” is used by defenders of privilege in an attempt to shut down legitimate public criticism of officials who are supposed to be democratically accountable?

      • If the criticism is based on nothing but hatred then it is accurate.
        So far, there are no facts on this story- just hatred.

        So haters it is!

    • I’m confused. I thought it was Ford had a problem with minorities. Guess that was just Chinese folks then?

  3. My fav was where he was caught reading his brief while behind the wheel [ on the 401 was t?] Don’t know if that’s the same one where he gave the finger to the tram guy though? All this stuff blurs after a while. I find it hilarious…but i don’t live in Toronto.

    Some goodly number of years ago a small mining town near my town had a mayor that went to jail for dealing drugs. Pretty well soon as he got out he went back to being mayor again. That’s the north for you – or it was 20 odd years ago. Always been tough to get someone to do a good responsible job in small communities up here…or get people to care about it… it least it was. I wonder what Toronto’s excuse is?

    • That is a great tale. It would make a great show. Not kidding. Can you drop a clue so research might, maybe, kinda sorta be done into this character? It’s like ‘Deadwood’ in northern CDN.

      Money quote:

      “Always been tough to get someone to do a good responsible job in small communities up here…”

      • I’ll ask around and see if anyone remembers him. Before my time up here, so I might not have got all the details spot on.

        • Sure. if you can, kcm2. And, Rick Omen, that is also a great tale. Have a brother who lived in lower-central BC and his take was that grow WAS the quiet industry that kept many smaller communities afloat.

          Urbanites often drop jaws at the general liberty and let-it-pass attitude that much of non-urban NA generally takes for granted.
          But there’s always a dark side, which is why shows like Deadwood and Sons of Anarchy have the audience they do.

          Anyway, the general idea of a total miscreant becoming mayor, reeve, whatever because he/she is the only one ‘responsible’ enough to take the civic reins is story gold. Thanks again.

      • There was a small town near Trail BC, which unfortunately I can not recall the name of, where the mayor’s husband got convicted of running a large grow-op in their home. She increased her share of the vote in the next election. The reason being that there were a whole lot of other people in the community who were also running grow-ops in their homes.

        Regardless of what happens in the future, Rob Ford has probably locked up the crack-vote in Toronto. Olivia Chow would have to release a tape of her shooting Black Tar Heroin to even have a shot with that demographic.

        • Fortunately, at least to my knowledge, the crack vote is small and motivated by nothing but crack.

          Sadly, it appears Mr. Ford needs help. Which those closest to him seem to be negligent in both proffer and real action. Sadder still, is the way a dude like him has been used and (will be) subsequently abandoned by the money people behind him. He will be surplused.

          Whether or not the video emerges, he can no longer credibly represent the city – either at home, in the province, nation or, more importantly, abroad. Sad, sad, sad. For both Mr. Ford and the city.

          • “it appears” nothing. Ford hasn’t been caught smoking crack. 3 people, who all have a long history of an anti-Ford bias, have claimed to have seen a video of him smoking crack.

            Maybe, in fact more likely, those around Ford know he doesn’t have a problem, which is why they don’t take action.

            “Whether or not the video emerges, he can no longer credibly represent the city – either at home, in the province, nation or, more importantly, abroad” — Well, if accusations are all it takes to completely destroy someone’s credibility then: I once saw a video of Justin Trudeau beating young asian girls in an Ottawa massage parlor.

        • lol

  4. You had me until the “Toronto has good sports teams” bit.

    • Another one getting off the bandwagon now that the Leafs are toast!

  5. People should report Mayor Ford to police and addiction counselors if they know mayor is smoking crack or they should carry on as they were if they know allegations are twaddle. There is a duty to protect the office of mayor, surely?

    Public servants don’t have a soul to save – I worked for Ont and BC bureaucracies for summer jobs during uni and I promised myself never again. You have to be a certain type of person to enjoy working for government and I am not it.

    • Even the governments of the day didn’t need an irrelevant quotes generator?

  6. “Global laughing stock”… umm, hello! McFly… Did Quebec leave? Because they seem to be grabbing the ‘laughing stock’ headlines, daily. You must have missed that.

    • Actually, Toronto is a bigger laughing stock right now. Quebec? They’re French. We expect them to be eccentric.

      • Quebec’s crooks are small-town cheap kind of crooks. The Anglo ones look at us from further up.

  7. The Canadian mainstream media, especially when bored, decides they don’t like someone, then as a pack they will harass them relentlessly. Overweight right wing male politicians are particularly good targets for this because there are no interest groups who will stand up and defend them against a media machine that lusts after the salacious celebrity gossip and the news flashes on polls that pass for “news” these days. I don’t know how Rob Ford can stand it, but he obviously knows the media will harass and bully him until he leaves office, and even then they’ll still be at it. It is just part of the territory.
    My favourite quote attributed to Rob Ford “But I love the Toronto Star. They have the best sports pages.”

    • “Overweight right wing male politicians are particularly good targets for this because there are no interest groups who will stand up and defend them against a media machine” other than that very media machine itself, of course.

    • I think it’s hard to play the “axe to grind” card when you’ve managed to rack up the number of irrefutable events (from DUI’s, to publically suggesting we *lynch* the homeless, to giving the fingers to mothers, to getting thrown out of sporting events for intoxication) that this one, particular, public official has. I absolutely beleive the MSM is hard against public figures – but if your in public service you don’t do any of this litany of things… let alone ALL of them.

      For the record:

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0AhpNgYjOr8FzdGhZNVFocUhERUxzRGJBMFBtVDZHaUE&toomany=true#gid=0

      • Except if you are Justin Trudeau of course. Then its 24/7 media love. If Conservatives criticize Justin for his faults then its all “Stephen Harper is picking on Justin. The meanie. Waaaaaa!” in the media. The BC election shows that we don’t have to listen to the self-appointed and self-important media experts and their stupid opinions ever again.

        • If you’re looking for someone to take the back of the liberal party of Canada, or their leader you really came to the wrong guy.

          That being said I have no idea what the two have to do with each other.

          • Then I misunderstood what you meant by “I absolutely believe the MSM is hard against public figures.” My point is the MSM is hard on only the public figures they (the media) don’t like. This doesn’t include Justin, at least not now anyway.
            Rob Ford could propose to change the name of Toronto to Laytonville and the media would still dislike him.

          • Yeah, unfortunately to even continue that line of debate one has to buy into the presumption that “the MSM” is a singular thing, and I reject that viewpoint entirely (and think it’s lazy rhetoric that’s hamstrung political discourse in the US). I’m sure it’s true for individual writers and outlets – but if you see “the media” as homogenous, you’re not making an effort to read enough outside of your comfort zone.

            Your singular point was that the Rob Ford case is a witch hunt which I argue it can’t be given 14 years of history of bad behaviour. Federal politics has nothing to do with it.

          • I read the editorial from the Globe and Mail:

            “Torontonians need to keep an open mind about this latest twist in the convoluted saga of Rob Ford’s mayorship. This includes considering the possibility that the video is a fake or flawed to a degree that it is rendered meaningless.

            But the sad fact is a video exists, reporters have seen it, its alleged content has become public, and now Torontonians need and deserve an honest response from Mr. Ford.”
            The Globe and Mail concedes the video may be a fake, and of course “Torontonians” must keep an open mind, but somehow it is up to Ford to give an “honest response”? Why isn’t it up to the media and the blackmailers to prove it’s true?
            The guy just can’t win. This is bullying, pure and simple.

          • Yes, the video must be fake. Why, you ask? Because crack dealers plow all their ill-gained money into elaborate CGI/post-production gear and green screens on the off chance they’ll get to rotoscope the mayor of North America’s 4th largest city into a compromising video which they can then sell to a gullible ‘MSM’ who so has it in for overweight white guys. Who happen to be serial confabulators.

            That’s totally gotta be it! Sorta like when Stanley Kubrick shot that fake moon landing thing. Such a scam.

            *adjusts tinfoil*

          • I am pretty sure the Torstar lawyers are hoping you are right, because so far there is only an alleged unathenticated video seen by 2 reporters taking notes in the back seat of somebody’s car and showing someone they believe is Rob Ford and which allegedly was filmed by someone trying to extort $1 million. Sounds perfectly legit.

          • Read the Gawker thing. it’s a bit more, um, descriptive than the Star piece. The latter being incredibly cautious, really. The offspring of a dozen lawyers.

            A defamation suit against the press, in this country at any rate, is a tough hill to die on. Especially since Grant v Torstar Corp. (Look it up). Having set precedent in matters such as this, one expects the Star’s lawyers are probably not ‘hoping’ anything. They have likely assured their client that the material, such as published, was well within boundaries established thereby.

          • Saw the quote from Rob Ford’s lawyer in the Globe and Mail today.

            “And Mr Ford’s lawyer said Sunday it (Ford addressing the allegations) wasn’t going to happen unless the alleged video is made public. ‘I don’t think this case is going to go forward any further until that video is brought forth, if there is such a video,’ said Dennis Morris. ‘Without the video, there is a huge question mark, but with the video, people can make their own judgements.’ Until then, Mr Ford’s brief statement Friday – in which he called the allegations ‘ridiculous’- and his brother’s comment to Newstalk 1010 Saturday that he had never seen the mayor ‘involved with anything like coke’ will have to stand.”

            If Toronto Star releases an unauthenticated video (no proven date, time, and place, no independent and credible witnesses, no proof of non-tampering, etc) then I predict the mother of all defamation suits. And whenits before the courts nobody other than the lawyers will be commenting publically, if even them. Eventually maybe the Toronto Star will be taken down like the News of the World was in Britain?

          • Best reply anywhere.

          • “Rob Ford could propose to change the name of Toronto to Laytonville and the media would still dislike him.”
            ….***Absolutely Brilliant*** summary comment…creative, thoughtful…so true of The Star…my orange-sign neighbors….Awesome!!

        • What Justin Trudeau’s faults? Does he smoke crack cocaine? Has he broken a code of ethics? Has he accepted money that he shouldn’t have? Has he beaten his wife? Has he been involved in election fraud?

          • Clearly, someone who hasn’t done anything outlandish, immoral and possibly criminal is in over his head. I mean, you have to be downright disrespectful of a city or a nation and its laws if you want to run it…

          • Hi LL. I imagine that if the 2 Toronto Star reporters were in the back seat of the car and were told “I have a video here of Justin Trudeau smoking crack cocaine six months ago. A drug dealer friend of mine wants to sell it to you for $200,000.” I am pretty sure the reporters would think “this sounds like a Conservative dirty trick” and would say no way unless you can prove 100% that it’s real and verified. We have journalistic ethics you know!

            But because Rob Ford is a non-Toronto Star approved mayor, the Toronto Star will print such scurrlious claptrap and then expect that it is up to Rob Ford to disprove it.

            If it was Justin Trudeau in an alleged but unseen video, the media would claim it is a fake designed by the Nasty Party to defame Justin. And I am sure that there would not be a Paul Wells column entitled: Memo to Justin Trudeau Staff: Time to Quit.

          • You can hallucinate all you want, orval, but the fact is that no such video of J Trudeau exists.
            But I prefer to deal with reality and facts and as far as I know, the Toronto Star reporters saw this video weeks ago and did not report on it it until Gawker did. They went public with the news only after it was in the public domain in the US.

    • Flicking through the pages of the Edmonton Sun [ after skimming Ezra's rant about how dem eco furrainers was all fur the ndp in BC] i was forced to stop and reflect on their balanced and fair coverage of anything that moved with the name Trudeau attached to it.

    • Nice spin there, orv. It was actually a New York City-based blog that broke the story. The Star had apparently been sitting on it for several weeks and some other Toronto media are still being circumspect about it, nearly a day after the story broke.

      • Hi dog. Yeah I was just reading about on the CTV Website. Sounds more like a crude blackmail attempt to me, but what do I know? I wasn’t there.

        “In the report published in the Toronto Star Friday, two reporters from the newspaper said they watched an approximately 90-second video three times earlier this month while sitting in the back of a car with someone who described himself as an organizer with the Somali community. The reporters met with the man, said to be acting as a broker for the person who took the video, in northwest Toronto.

        After watching the video, the two reporters took notes about what they saw, and both independently said they believed the person in the video was Ford. However, the newspaper said it had no way of verifying the authenticity of the footage they say appears to show Ford sitting in a room, his eyes half-closed, “inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe.”

        The Toronto Star published its story about the video hours after another report about it was posted on a U.S. website

        The person selling the video reportedly wanted “six figures” for the footage, after lowering the original price of $1 million.

        The Star says it did not pay money and did not obtain a copy of the video”.

        • Reading the account on the CTV website for some reason made me think of Dan Rather during the 2004 presidential election and the fake 1973 Bush Air National Guard “Killian memos”.

  8. Just watching CBC and people’s reaction and he does surprisingly most people on his side.

    The man obviously needs help, people around needs to snap out of it and be more human and compassionate than running city hall.

    • You’re jumping a little far ahead here. We’re still in the denial stage. Once the denials and acusations of malicious lies are abandoned, then we move on to blaming the vicious media and lefties for making Ford smoke crack.

      • The final stage seems to be the Leafs choke. The Leafs did it.

    • In other words, the man should resign as mayor of Toronto. Well said.

    • You can tell by watching CBC and reading a handful of comments how many people support crackheads?

      Maybe you could contact Decima and tell them they are doing it wrong?

  9. Aren’t Mexico City, Chicago, LA and NYC bigger than Toronto?

  10. PHuleeezze Komarade Wells that’s all you have Al-STARzeera SAYS, you better stick with building your BFF the petite Dauphin into PM material.

    • Funny, i didn’t realize Ford had any supporters in Edmonton. Edmonton is way too classy a town to pick a clown like him to do any thing except hand out parking tickets.

    • PHuleeezze!

      Gesundheit!

  11. Good sports teams, really ? We don’t even have that in Montréal, you know. Only a lot of La Crosse players in front of the Collusion and Corruption Inquiry Hearings…

  12. This must surely be testing the confidence of even the most staunch Ford supporter. If not, you might ask yourself what the guy needs to do to lose your faith in him.

  13. Politically, I’m not sure if this kills Ford (and if you’re a Ford staffer, you’re thinking about your future gravy train). DC mayor Marion Berry was nicked for smoking crack in 1990. After serving time, he retook the mayor’s office in 1994, and still serves in DC’s city council to this day.

    Unlike the Berry case, where the mayor was clearly smoking crack, it’s not clear in the picture whether Ford was smoking crack or weed (is there some difference in pipe designs?), and clearly the guy lacks the carriage of a crackhead. If Ford’s line is “I was smoking weed, I regret it. Most of you have done it before.” that could be enough. I mean people knew about his pot arrest in Florida when they elected him (his alleged comments in the video/the fact that he was hanging around with drug dealers are more problematic).

    What you have to remember is that Toronto mayoral elections are effectively open primaries. As long as Rob Ford maintains a small modicum of credibility his candidacy precludes other right wingers from running. If you have a more crowded field on the left and center, Rob Ford could still survive. Indeed, polls had him doing so, right after the conflict of interest scandal. He also tends to fall on the popular (if not optimal) side of many policy issues.

    • The greatest threat to a return of Rob Ford isn’t this – unless of course someone fronts the money and gets the tape (gawker’s already up to ~30K on their indigogo quest) – it’s the recommendation that the city moves to preferential balloting for the next election to be debated in the coming weeks.

      I can see Rob still being people’s first choice, he has his supporters after all, but I can’t see him being many people’s second or third. It’ll be interesting to see where he stands during that debate.

      • My understanding is that if Toronto adopts preferential balloting, it would not take effect until the next election cycle.

    • And calling Justin Trudeau “a f-g”, and the high school football team he’s supposed to care about so much “just f—ing minorities”?

      What’s the explanation for that going to be?

      If the video does get out, he’s toast. Even if it doesn’t, he’s still got major problems.

  14. Rob Ford is a disgrace to the city of Toronto and Canada, and I am a person of colour who is disgusted by Ford. Even the right wing Toronto Sun can’t defend Ford anymore the man is a jackass, an idiot, he has no sense of self control and he has entitlement issues. I think Gawker and The Star need to just release the damn video and hopefully Ford will resign in disgrace.

  15. Hey Wells, do you or any other members of the media party have a link to the purported video or are you just blowing more crack smoke yourself?

    • Clever, Ezra.

  16. Well if one of Canada’s most insightful journalists thinks that *this* should finally be what does him in, maybe I (gulp!) owe a certain “john g” an apology in another related thread…

    i also note on Mr. Wells twitter he makes it clear he knows finding a new job is easier said than done, blunting the first criticism that comes to mind.

    • Accepted. ;)

  17. Well if the media and the pundits tell you to quit and that he’s guilty, without proof of course, the pollsters will no doubt be next confirming that. So you should listen. After all only 75% of people questioned in a recent Gallup, did not trust the media’s ethics or honesty – so of course they are right, have no axe to grind and have your best interests at heart. As for the pollsters they alway have a reason for their failures.

    • Well he fished with Stephen Harper. Harper seems to have a natural affinity to the few who need a vengeful God to be good. You know psychopaths, sociopaths and other conservatives.

  18. Ford isn’t skinny enough to be a crackhead. I think he was set-up.

    • Totally. So were Belushi and Chris Farley. There are dark forces in the land!

  19. Harper and Mike Harris were behind Ford’s appointment, (Rob
    Ford’s dad used to work for Mike Harris).
    Ford also had help from Guy Giorno, who happens to be ex-Chief of Staffs
    for Harper AND Harris. Guy Giorno was
    also the campaign manager in May 2011 during Harper’s infamous Robocall scandal.

    http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/428557

  20. Until the actual video showing he is actually smoking crack or whatever they call it then it is the Toronto Star once again mounting a vicious attack on the duly elected mayor of Toronto. It has nothing to do with Toronto. It has to do with sleazy reporting by the Canadian media. Life is so boring in Canada that the media is desperate for something, anything to shake up their boring lives.
    Well’s even writing about this without you having actual proof versus heresay is disgusting.

    • are you out of your mind?…even without the crack video hes a disgrace….what im realizing is toronto is full of white trash that supports this greasy stumbling bumbling buffoon…..its sad….he needs to go.

      • You can’t rationalize with the irrational. If the mayor was a leftie hollinm would be crying that the paper sat on the story for so long to protect him and would have kept it covered up if not for the US media.

    • Thomas Mulcair admits that he lied being brought an envelope full of cash from a known criminal. The Ontario Liberals admit that they pi$$ed a half a billion dollars down the drain to retain two seats in the last election.

      That pales in comparison to unsubstantiated allegations being leveled against a mayor by a group of drug dealers.

      There are reason’s why Ontario is the laughing stock of Canada, but it has less to do with Rob Ford than anybodies willing to acknowledge.

      Yes, Toronto has good sports teams. We’re all just too stupid to know which team’s those are, apparently.

  21. Blood, urine, hair, swab

    Four steps to vindication for the Mayor. Yes, it really is that simple.
    Rob, what are you waiting for?

    • And maybe a polygraph chaser…

  22. Wells is a hypocrite!!

    It used to be that we’d wait for facts to come out before we make judgements, but nowadays that privilege is reserved exclusively for left-wing politicians/supports.

    To condemn a conservative in Canada these days, all one needs is a fairy tale and a bog and off we go….

    Get the video, confirm its ford, confirm its drugs then you’ve got something.

    Til then, you are just a shill showing nothing but bad judgement, hypocrisy, and hatred

    • I hear you F77. Up until today, the only journalists I trusted to be fair and balanced were Paul Wells and Christine Blatchford.

      Blatchford was called courageous a while back when she wrote about the Rehtaeh Parsons case and how it is important to not jump to conclusions especially when the facts are not known. Yet she jumps to a conclusion about Rob Ford’s crack cocaine use when there are no facts beyond an unathenticated video somebody has cooked up to get money and that only some reporters have briefly seen in the back of somebody’s car. I think it is the media’s responsibility to present facts and not to jump to conclusions. It is the media here that owes us an honest explanation, not Rob Ford.

      Paul Wells at least concedes there are 2 possibilities:

      1. The Star is conspiring with a U.S. gossip website to ruin Rob Ford
      2. Ford has brought shame on the city and that more shame is on the way.
      Absent any facts or evidence, both possibilities are equally plausible. I await the media’s presentation of the facts before I will pass judgement. It is what I would hope would happen to me or Paul Wells or anybody who finds themself in similar circumstances.

    • Yup. I’m sure you waited long and patiently when the RCMP was called on Goodale to decry him to anybody who cared to listen.

    • I hear you, F77

      Paul Wells concedes there are 2 possibilities:

      1. the Star is conspiring with a U.S. gossip website to ruin Rob Ford

      2. Ford has brought shame on the city and that more shame is on the way.

      The print Globe and Mail today said (on page A14) “News of the video, said to have been surreptitiously taken by smartphone within the past six months, has gone viral even though its contents have never been released. And the individual who took the footage, reported drug dealers who are attempting to sell it to the media for up to $200,000, have never been identified by name.”

      Absent any evidence or facts, possibilities 1 and 2 are equally plausible. I will await the facts before making any judgement or jumping to conclusion, as I am sure Toronto City Hall staff will do before taking Paul Wells’ career advice and quitting their jobs.

      • “…possibilities 1 and 2 are equally plausible.”

        Being completely unable to distinguish the relative credibility of different scenarios must be crippling.

        • Hi Lenny. Yes. I am unable to assess the credibility of the (in Globe’s words)

          “individuals who took the footage, reportedly drug dealers who are attempting to sell it to the media for up to $200,000 who have never been identified.”

          Until there is real and credible evidence to the contrary, Mayor Ford’s denial is the most credible statement I have heard so far. I will have to wait for what facts and evidence the Toronto Star reporters come up with before I can believe their claims.

          • I see what’s got you confused. You think that the credibility of the drug dealers is at issue. They may, in fact be drug dealers with previous careers at Industrial Light & Magic.
            Hoo boy.

          • Hi Lenny. So far all we have is hearsay. Even the Toronto Star is saying the smartphone images its reporters briefly saw in the back of a car are “unauthenticated” which is an adjective meaning “not proven or validated.”

            It would be very wise for people to refrain from making potentially defamatory and libellous statements until such time as the “alleged” video is authenticated (ie with “the proof of the proof” to quote a former PM, dates, times, who made it, no evidence of tampering, witness corrorboration, etc).
            It is for the media to prove it, not for Ford to disprove it.

          • And just to correct you, there was no Ford “denial”. He called simply called the allegations “ridiculous”, which could also be an apt description of the mayor of Canada’s largest city smoking crack.

      • 1) Look at the snit-fit between a Gawker person and a TorStar person on Twitter. That will put paid to that little tinfoil tent you’ve tried to erect. Gawker’s basically going na-na-nanana and directing their central digit skywards.

        2) This is inevitable.

        The Star wouldn’t pay. Or at least wouldn’t pay the going rate. Gawker seems determined to do so.

        Mr. Wells is correct in the suggestion that those close to the mayor actively engage other options.

  23. He should submit to a hair follicle test. That’ll settle it.

  24. LOL “Good sports teams”. Who is that exactly?

    Is it the Blue Jays, who despite throwing all the money they have into talent still manage to be in last place in their division?

    Is it the Raptor’s, who haven’t made the playoffs in 5 years and can’t keep a talented player to save their lives?

    Or are we talking about the fabled Maple Leafs, who made the playoffs for the first time in 10 years this season just to find the most incredible way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

    Macleans really needs to hire someone with a bit of sports knowledge.

  25. You sure are pointedly ignoring the Senate Con meltdown in favour of this little Ford blip. You must have a doozy on the way!! You’re the Harper expert guy. We’re all waiting. Just another Keen, Guergis, Casey level dust up, or more of a challenge for the big guy?

    • By the way, Rob Ford’s contribution to and influence on Canadian history will be ZERO.

  26. Is this not black mail? Shouldn’t the RCMP be getting involved and confiscate this so called video? Why? If this video is fake, why wouldn’t these people be charged with extortion?

    • Extortion doesn’t mean what you think it means.

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