Join 3,559 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack Cocaine
May 16, 2013 5:39 PM   Subscribe

"Rob Ford, Toronto's conservative mayor, is a wild lunatic given to making bizarre racist pronouncements and randomly slapping refrigerator magnets on cars. One reason for this is that he smokes crack cocaine. I know this because I watched him do it, on a videotape. He was fucking hiiiiigh. It's for sale if you've got six figures." [single link Gawker]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates (1069 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
How was this not written by William Gibson? The future, man, I'm telling you.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:43 PM on May 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


I know a single Torontoan. She hates Rob Ford the way Taco Bell hates Mexican food.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:44 PM on May 16, 2013 [18 favorites]


JUST KEEP IT COMING 21 st CENTURY I CAN TAKE IT
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on May 16, 2013 [82 favorites]


Why is it that 90% of all posts about Canada are from the Twilight Zone?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:48 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: I can put you in touch with a guy.
posted by bondcliff at 5:48 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


If confirmed, this may not be the end of his political career (eg: Marion Barry).
posted by el io at 5:53 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Foci for Analysis: "Why is it that 90% of all posts about Canada are from the Twilight Zone?"

It's like the Florida of North America...

Wait.
posted by brundlefly at 5:56 PM on May 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


I don't know anything about local Canadian politics and maybe this guy sucks a lot (a quick google confirms that he probably does), but I don't love the tongue in cheek tone of the piece in which the author clearly thinks it's sort of hilarious that someone in a position of power smokes crack and "needs to be held to account" for it. Maybe he just needs help, instead? A life filled with smoking crack is not all shits and giggles. Presumably.
posted by something something at 5:56 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, considering all the insane stories I've heard about Ford, I suspect even if this is true and becomes public, somehow he'll stay in office and continue being crazy.
posted by mathowie at 5:58 PM on May 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


Rob Ford is living proof you can sell your soul to the devil.
posted by Kitteh at 5:59 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


lookatthisfuckingconservative.tumblr.com
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ford must have met ole nick at the crossroads given that he is still around despite everything
posted by edgeways at 6:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


So Rob Ford smokes crack and Kai the hatchet guy (maybe) beat some old guy to death with a hatchet. Strange days indeed.
posted by Flashman at 6:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Snap kitteh, owe you a coke... Or something
posted by edgeways at 6:01 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought posts about active kickstarters weren't allowed?

(kidding)
posted by juv3nal at 6:04 PM on May 16, 2013 [22 favorites]


Oh, you Americans would love this guy. He's an endless source of entertainment, if you want to call it that. He's like a less lovable Archie Bunker who actually exists and actually is the actual mayor of Canada's biggest city. Spend a few minutes googling around and get a taste of the shenanigans he's been up to, and remind yourself that you're not reading a synopsis on IMDb or something.
posted by blue t-shirt at 6:05 PM on May 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm not always a fan of breaking news stories on Metafilter, but when I am, I really am. What I'm saying is if this blows up into anything at all, expect this thread will suck a bunch of my Friday away.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:06 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Six figures. I don't believe this poster is very up-to-date with media budgets in Toronto.
posted by randomination at 6:07 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I do not think less of him for this. Admittedly, I could not think less of him.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:09 PM on May 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


I look forward to the gif
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 6:09 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let's see, we can believe the highly ethical people at Gawker because they took a long look at Rob Ford posing in a hoodie with a black guy. That's all we need to know to determine that Rob Ford smokes crack. Because that guy in the photo was black, right?

Mind you, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that Rob Ford smokes crack, but this is just sleaze sleaze sleaze.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:10 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


If my personal Wikipedia page had an "Other Controversies" subheading as a catch all (and it was the largest section of said page), I'd probably smoke a lot of crack too.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:10 PM on May 16, 2013 [28 favorites]


Let's see, so far from what I've read, Rob Ford drinks and drives, accepts donations from lobbyists for his football foundation, is an alcoholic, votes at his own disciplinary hearings, gropes women at parties, violates campaign spending laws, reads while driving, calls the police when reporters come near his home, assigns his paid mayoral staff to coach football, smokes dope, makes racist and homophobic remarks in public, passes stopped streetcars, and requests special favors from city officials. He may also beat his wife, though I've never been fully clear whether that last one is actually true.

Despite all of those things -- some of which happened *before* he was mayor and were well known when he was running for office -- he is still our mayor.

What makes anyone think "Rob Ford is a crack addict" will make one damn bit of a difference?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:11 PM on May 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


Rob Ford drinks and harasses people at hockey games.
Rob Ford doesn't like cyclists.
Rob Ford has a DUI conviction and has been charged with marijuana possession.
Rob Ford reads while driving on the highway.
Rob Ford thinks "Those Oriental people work like dogs."
Rob Ford confronts journalists in his back yard.
Rob Ford charged with violating the Ontario Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
Rob Ford appealed decision and retained his mayoral candidacy.
Rob Ford maybe inappropriately touched a former mayoral candidate while posing for a photo at a political function.
Rob Ford walked into a camera-man.
Rob Ford is still a mayor despite being Rob Ford.

wiki: Rob Ford controversies
posted by Fizz at 6:13 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Facts: Ford does have a long history of substance abuse.

* DUI conviction
* Weed possession
* Multiple drunken angry tirades
* Totally wasted at fundraisers (Sarah Thompson ass grab)

Doing coke is not at all out of the question. Video of him doing coke is also totally believable in the 21st century.

Any chopshop wizards want to have a go at that video still?
posted by anthill at 6:13 PM on May 16, 2013


Happy May 24, everybody!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:13 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let's see, we can believe the highly ethical people at Gawker because they took a long look at Rob Ford posing in a hoodie with a black guy. That's all we need to know to determine that Rob Ford smokes crack. Because that guy in the photo was black, right?


Well, also, the guy from Gawker flew to Toronto and then watched a video where Rob Ford was on the video and Rob Ford was smoking something out of a glass pipe that from all accounts was crack cocaine.

So, you know, also that.
posted by kbanas at 6:14 PM on May 16, 2013 [47 favorites]


Let's see, we can believe the highly ethical people at Gawker because they took a long look at Rob Ford posing in a hoodie with a black guy. That's all we need to know to determine that Rob Ford smokes crack. Because that guy in the photo was black, right?

posted by KokuRyu at 6:10 PM on May 16 [+] [!]


The author of the article says he watched a few seconds (minutes?) of a video of Rob Ford hitting a pipe of some sort. It's not a toxicology test, but he's going off much more than a photo of Rob Ford with a dead black guy.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 6:15 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


If the world (or GTA) that we live in was a different place, where people voted on policy rather than entertainment, then Rob Ford as a political entity would not exist. Regrettably, we exist in a real world (or real GTA).
posted by ovvl at 6:16 PM on May 16, 2013


From everything I've read about him, Rob Ford is basically every character ever played by Chris Farley, only meaner. My occasional fantasies of moving to Toronto are much diminished by the fact that Torontonians have yet to put Ford out on an ice floe on Lake Ontario and leave him there.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:17 PM on May 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Also, when his brother Doug said "No one helps Black youth more than Rob Ford," this is not what I imagined him referring to.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:19 PM on May 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


something something: I don't know anything about local Canadian politics and maybe this guy sucks a lot (a quick google confirms that he probably does), but I don't love the tongue in cheek tone of the piece in which the author clearly thinks it's sort of hilarious that someone in a position of power smokes crack and "needs to be held to account" for it. Maybe he just needs help, instead? A life filled with smoking crack is not all shits and giggles. Presumably.

Is it hilarious if it turns out to be true that Rob Ford smokes crack? No. It is not hilarious that anyone smokes crack. It's not really funny that a volatile, ignorant blowhard like RF is mayor of one of Canada's biggest cities anyway.

But I think if this story were true, it would be hard to write about him without adopting a certain schadenfreudelicious tone, because the man has worked so hard against any sort of progress in that city and seems hell bent on destroying its social, environmental, and economic fabric.

It seemed to be the author was expressing glee that RF had been caught doing something bad (and maybe be forced to step down?) than hilarity that RF might be a crack addict.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:19 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Six figures is a lot. I mean, it only cost Gawker Media $5000 for a stolen iPhone prototype.
posted by Nelson at 6:21 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford's sister has had a troubled past involving drug addiction, being shot in the face, and having a boyfriend murdered in front of her children. There are rumours floating around that Rob and Doug Ford were high school dealers. The Globe has been researching some story that involved seeking out buddies from 30 years ago for comment. And Rob Ford coaches black kids at football and claims he's keeping them away from crime.
posted by TimTypeZed at 6:23 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


With most politicians you'd regard something like this as incredible, but with Rob Ford the problem is that (even thought it may or may not be true) it is ENTIRELY credible. Risky behaviour is pretty much his modus operandi.
posted by unSane at 6:24 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


How this guy has avoided becoming president of the US I just don't know. Souls must be in a down market currently.
posted by edgeways at 6:24 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Rob Ford drinks and harasses people at hockey games.
Rob Ford doesn't like cyclists.
Rob Ford has a DUI conviction and has been charged with marijuana possession.
Rob Ford reads while driving on the highway.
Rob Ford thinks "Those Oriental people work like dogs."
Rob Ford confronts journalists in his back yard.
Rob Ford charged with violating the Ontario Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
Rob Ford appealed decision and retained his mayoral candidacy.
Rob Ford maybe inappropriately touched a former mayoral candidate while posing for a photo at a political function.
Rob Ford walked into a camera-man.
Rob Ford is still a mayor despite being Rob Ford.


Ok that's valid. But I guarantee you that if you get Stephen Root to play him, we will find all that stuff funny and almost charming.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Ahem: kickstarter.
posted by ocschwar at 6:32 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bad Mayor: Port of Call Toronto
posted by Flashman at 6:33 PM on May 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Newspaper editors have a tough choice to make tonight. I hope the Toronto Star resists the urge to run the story tomorrow. Chances are good nothing comes of it and Ford gets to play the persecuted victim again.
posted by anthill at 6:34 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This puts a whole other spin on his offer to help a constituent buy OxyContin on the street from a few years ago.
posted by ZaphodB at 6:35 PM on May 16, 2013


I know squat about Toronto politics. If Ford is such a well known quantity then how does he get elected. I ask seriously because this is just plain weird.
posted by jadepearl at 6:36 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


jadepearl, I live here and everyone I know asks the same question. We all watched in horror and disbelief as the election returns came in.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:39 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


The basic answer to that question is vote splitting on the Left, but as with most things political, it's more complicated than that.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:40 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


If the world (or GTA) that we live in was a different place, where people voted on policy rather than entertainment, then Rob Ford as a political entity would not exist. Regrettably, we exist in a real world (or real GTA).

It seems clear that the next video game in the Grand Theft Auto series should be GTA: GTA.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:41 PM on May 16, 2013 [22 favorites]


He came to office promising to put a stop to the gravy train, but turns out he just replaced it with crazy train.
posted by Flashman at 6:42 PM on May 16, 2013 [18 favorites]


I'm still having a hard time believing that he won the election, let alone anything that has happened since then.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:42 PM on May 16, 2013


I think I speak on behalf of the entire West Coast when I say: <nelson>HA HA</nelson>, Toronto.
posted by doublesix at 6:42 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I moved away from Toronto last year but can't stop myself from obsessively following municipal politics, and man, what I wouldn't give to be in Toronto right now. This is insane.

If Ford is such a well known quantity then how does he get elected.

He got elected once, and at the time I think people were saying he was an okay councillor of his ward. He was kind of a out-of-left-field candidate that almost everyone thought was little more than a parody, precisely because of how ludicrous he was. Gawker has a good overview of the insanity.

But the liberal vote ended up getting split (as it is wont to do in Canada these days, it seems) and Ford smartly played into a lot of suburbia vs. downtown angst in Toronto, and now we're stuck with him.

The degree to which he does not give a shit about laws and regulations is really astounding for someone whose job is to govern. (Well, maybe not so much, given the calibre of most legislators these days.) The fact that he got removed from office for misuse of campaign funds, and is still around, is...well, it's Rob Ford.
posted by Phire at 6:44 PM on May 16, 2013


Oversimplification: the GTA is a donut with a liberal inner city core and a reactionary outer ring, and Rob Ford appealed to the larger outer ring.
posted by unSane at 6:45 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


If Ford is such a well known quantity then how does he get elected.

1. He successfully exploited suburban resentment of downtown Toronto. The suburbs feel that downtown "gets all the money" (which is not really that true) and that downtown gets subways and they only get buses (which is true, but population density is a thing) and Ford worked that to the bone as he has for his entire career.

2. He made a bunch of promises that sounded really great if you only pay a little attention to politics about getting the city's spending back on track of the "I will cut eleventy billion dollars from the budget by getting rid of the non-dairy creamer for people's coffee" variety. The problem with the "finding efficiencies" argument is that generally the city works pretty efficiently already. (There are some mid-level management glut issues, of course, but those are a pretty minor portion of the budget.)

3. For all his faults, Rob Ford actually is really good at representative service. If you phoned Rob Ford and said "I'm in your ward and I have this problem" he would literally come to your front door and try to help you out with whatever city services were available. One of the major problems with his mayoralty is that he thinks that is still basically his job.

4. The 2010 municipal election in Toronto featured, by the end, Rob Ford as the sole active conservative candidate and two sorta-liberal candidates: George Smitherman and Joe Pantalone. Smitherman, the former provincial Minister for Health, was tarred by the eHealth scandal. Pantalone became the de facto "socialist" candidate despite not really being one and was basically shrill as hell throughout the campaign. Neither was a particularly good candidate and Ford beat them as they split the liberal vote in Toronto (although Ford had almost as many votes as the two of them together and polls showed that if one or the other had dropped out he probably still would have won).

5. So, to sum up: Rob Ford exploited anti-downtown sentiment, made a bunch of obviously false promises to an electorate who didn't know well enough to know he was full of crap, and ran on his reputation as a generally good representative against two opponents who split the vote and were lousy opponents anyway.

Basically, we're talking perfect storm.
posted by mightygodking at 6:46 PM on May 16, 2013 [53 favorites]


jadepearl, he got elected in 2010 in a three person race. The other two candidates (leftish and centrist) did split the vote to some degree. But in addition, Ford did well among:

- Many in the inner suburbs (Scarborough, Etobicoke, York and North York) who felt left out by downtown politicians.
- Enough of the old city of Toronto who felt that it was time for a fresh face after leftish-centrist David Miller finished his multiple terms.
- Anyone who felt some sympathy for the "honest outsider" who was mocked in the press.
- Anyone who really believed there was gravy.

In addition, Ford did seem to be one of those councillors who went the extra mile for his constituents. You really could call the guy on his cell and have him act as your own personal intervenor if you had problems with taxes, garbage, building issues, whatever.

By the way, guys, he isn't mayor of the GTA. GTA = Greater Toronto Area and includes Toronto (a big city including those inner suburbs I listed above) as well as several adjacent municipalities with their own governments, such as Mississauga. There is no GTA regional authority, which is one reason why improving transit around here is such a royal pain.
posted by maudlin at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


6. Free, glowing wall-to-wall coverage from the Toronto Sun (the local tabloid) and talk-radio for months.
posted by docgonzo at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


As a close watcher of local (ie Toronto) politics, I am increasingly convinced that I am witnessing exceptional performance art.

Also, this all broke after a very bad day for him. After loudly championing a casino in downtown Toronto, he held a press conference today to admit that it was basically dead. This was one of his signature initiatives.
posted by dry white toast at 6:49 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The author of the article says he watched a few seconds (minutes?) of a video of Rob Ford hitting a pipe of some sort. It's not a toxicology test, but he's going off much more than a photo of Rob Ford with a dead black guy.

Yeah, okay. Rob Ford smokes crack because Gawker sez so. Look, I don't doubt that he does, but, come on.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:51 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


7. He had an extremely simple message when campaigning: Respect for Taxpayers. And his track record backed that up. He has always voted against pretty much any government spending, and of the approximately $50k office budget City Councillors get, Ford routinely spent, like, $12 (not exaggerating) because his family is independently wealthy and he didn't need to.
posted by dry white toast at 6:51 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


There was also his immigrant-baiting for the benefit of his more affluent white suburban supporters, and his homo-baiting for the benefit of new Canadians from more conservative backgrounds.

Yes, simultaneously.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:51 PM on May 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


Pope Guilty: "I know a single Torontoan. She hates Rob Ford the way Taco Bell hates Mexican food."

Ford Watch! ;)
posted by symbioid at 6:53 PM on May 16, 2013


Oh my God, the Gawker update:
Update: We've received an email from Dennis Morris, a gentleman with a hotmail.com email address purporting to be Ford's attorney. Here is the message. We haven't corrected it's formatting.

Greetings;I am a lawyer,and have been contacted by Mayor Ford's office in reference to your indicating you will post a photo of Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine. Mayor Ford denies such took place,and if such posting occurs,it is false and defamatory,and you will be held legally accountable.In reference to the photo,you wish to publish, Mayor Ford has his photo taken daily,sometimes with others.

If the person you mention is now deceased,it is sad,regardless of his alleged background.

Please govern yourself accordingly.

Dennis Morris.
That is obviously not Ford's lawyer, but that is the voice of Ford Nation, well known to those of us masochistic enough to still read the comments on Toronto news sites.
posted by maudlin at 6:54 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, to clarify, Rob Ford is the mayor of the City of Toronto. Most of the GTA, which the comments here keep referring to, is outside of Toronto proper and has nothing to do with voting for the mayor. Yes, there's still a downtown-older suburb divide, but it's all within the city limits.
posted by dry white toast at 6:55 PM on May 16, 2013


Frankly I don't particularly care if he smoked crack. I do care that he's an awful mayor.
posted by Justinian at 6:55 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


... and then there's the people in the Gawker comments speculating what the non-English language might be.

*mother-of-all-facepalms*
posted by maudlin at 6:56 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most of the GTA, which the comments here keep referring to, is outside of Toronto proper and has nothing to do with voting for the mayor.

There are a significant number of Toronto rental landowners who don't live in the city and parachuted in to vote for Ford.
posted by mightygodking at 6:57 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a really elaborate way to promote the new Arrested Developoment season.
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 PM on May 16, 2013 [22 favorites]


The same people who voted Rob Ford into office voted for Mike Harris, and whose retreads now run Canada.

Ford Nation has also metastasized to British Columbia, where Vancouver suburbaninites rocketed Christy Clark back into office, against all odds.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:02 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sounds like the Toronto Star got their hands on the video.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:03 PM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Significant?

He won because he ran a good campaign and was always on point. Could any of the other candidates say as much? Smitherman's campaign was a train wreck.

Also, Rob Ford is the worst. Holy fucking shit how is he our mayor my god.
posted by chunking express at 7:03 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, okay. Rob Ford smokes crack because Gawker sez so. Look, I don't doubt that he does, but, come on.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:51 PM on May 16 [+] [!]


Hey, I'm with you on this being nothing more than conjecture until I see more teeth. I learned early not to trust many of these first-issue stories, especially when it's about politicians. I just wanted to emphasize that the author didn't *just* see a picture of Ford with a black dude and think "Oh sure, crackheads."

Sounds like the Toronto Star got their hands on the video.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:03 PM on May 16 [+] [!]


Why am I not surprised?
posted by The Notorious SRD at 7:04 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, there's still a downtown-older suburb divide, but it's all within the city limits.

Didn't used to be.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:04 PM on May 16, 2013


The magnets story
posted by Bwithh at 7:04 PM on May 16, 2013


The same people who voted Rob Ford into office voted for Mike Harris, and whose retreads now run Canada.

That's not true. Mike Harris' most significant legacy in Toronto was amalgamating all the old suburban municipalities into Toronto, which they all hated. Again, Mike Harris's base of support (and Harper's) is the "905" area code that surrounds the amalgamated City.
posted by dry white toast at 7:05 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Myself and Kevin Donovan have viewed the video of Mayor Rob Ford that is the subject of the Gawker piece. Read the Toronto Star tomorrow

See, now that's how the real journalists roll.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:07 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think he ran a good campaign so much as he spun a story that sounded good as long as you didn't question it at all. I mean, who *wouldn't* like lower taxes and no service cuts?
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:07 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eh, I quite like the Toronto Star, and whatever else you might think of their politics they're certainly no tabloid rag.
posted by Phire at 7:07 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Smitherman's campaign was a train wreck.

I still want an hour alone in a room with the people who ran Smitherman's campaign.
posted by dry white toast at 7:08 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


they're certainly no tabloid rag.

I agree, but the bait-and-switch technique is highly irritating (and I would say their approach is the dictionary definition of "journalistic muckraking").
posted by KokuRyu at 7:09 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Read the Toronto Star tomorrow

Man, that's the problem with newspapers. No video. How's Rob Ford supposed to learn to read before tomorrow?
posted by jacquilynne at 7:11 PM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


The cover of tomorrow's Toronto Sun:

"Nothing Of Any Interest Has Happened At All. ENJOY YOUR LONG WEEKEND!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:11 PM on May 16, 2013 [24 favorites]


Those pipes are CLEARLY labeled "For Tobacco Use Only."
posted by drezdn at 7:12 PM on May 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Hey, now that Mike Duffy has resigned from the Senate and Paul Godfrey has stepped down from OLG, is anyone really going to pay attention to the nth Ford scandal?

Re The Star: I think they just need to watch The Wire a few times. You come at the Ford, you best not miss.
posted by maudlin at 7:12 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know why I give a shit. Wait, I know why - the nation of Lester B. Pearson and Lloyd Axeworthy has transmorgified into a fucking Tim Horton's coffee shop, and the politicians even freebase in the toilet stalls. Canuck Nation, indeed.

At least we'll always have Samantha Bee.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:13 PM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Hey, now that Mike Duffy has resigned from the Senate and Paul Godfrey has stepped down from OLG, is anyone really going to pay attention to the nth Ford scandal?

I think you'll find you've got that backwards.
posted by dry white toast at 7:14 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know squat about Toronto politics. If Ford is such a well known quantity then how does he get elected. I ask seriously because this is just plain weird.

To Toronto's credit, he's only been elected mayor once.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:14 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


(To clarify for those not familiar with the Toronto Star: they have flailed about about various Ford scandals but have never really connected. A fair chunk of the city feels some sympathy for Ford and automatic distrust for the paper.)
posted by maudlin at 7:16 PM on May 16, 2013


> To Toronto's credit, he's only been elected (as mayor) once.

FORD: NOT EVEN ONCE
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:16 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think you'll find you've got that backwards.

Don't jinx this! It's like lighting the cigarette to make the bus show -- aw crap, we're screwed now.
posted by maudlin at 7:17 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Duffy has only resigned from the Tory caucus. He will remain as an independant senator. Because you know, $.
posted by Kabanos at 7:17 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


jadepearl, this is actually a pretty common thing in Canadian politics. The population tends to be very liberal here, but not uniformly so, so in politics you tend to see a bunch of left-wing parties/candidates but only one major right-wing party/candidates in an election. The same thing just happened in the BC Provincial Election - the BC Liberals ended up winning (the BC Liberals are as conservative as you get in BC, the Conservatives in BC get fewer votes than the Green Party even) partially because the vote got split between the lefter-wing party (the NDP) and the Green Party (I know, only in British Columbia.) On a Canada-wide level, this is also partially the reason why the Conservatives are in power. And on a city wide level... Well, Rob Ford.

It's more complicated than that, but yeah. Our literal problem is that we're too liberal.
posted by Conspire at 7:17 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did Harper's chief of staff pay off Duffy with his own cash, or just general PMO funds?
posted by KokuRyu at 7:18 PM on May 16, 2013


(To clarify for those not familiar with the Toronto Star: they have flailed about about various Ford scandals but have never really connected. A fair chunk of the city feels some sympathy for Ford and automatic distrust for the paper.)

They've never really hit the home run, no, but it's been a game of inches. Ford's approval rating has trended steadily downwards ever since he took office, mostly because he does dumbshit thing after dumbshit thing and it all takes a toll.
posted by mightygodking at 7:19 PM on May 16, 2013


The Toronto Star has not been distinguishing itself lately. First, it ran some supposed expose about an MP who was vacationing in the Caribbean while on medical leave for a cancer diagnosis, complete with photo. Except the photo was from her Facebook page and the trip had taken place in 2008. Then, they ran a story about a woman who allegedly was renting a condo unit and got screwed by the owner, supposedly demonstrated the perils of renting. Except that the woman in the story was a rep for a mortgage brokerage trade association.

So yes, The Star's lawyers are going to be busy tonight.
posted by dry white toast at 7:19 PM on May 16, 2013


Did Harper's chief of staff pay off Duffy with his own cash, or just general PMO funds?

His own cash, allegedly. Respect for taxpayers!
posted by maudlin at 7:20 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


the BC Liberals ended up winning (the BC Liberals are as conservative as you get in BC, the Conservatives in BC get fewer votes than the Green Party even) partially because the vote got split between the lefter-wing party (the NDP) and the Green Party (I know, only in British Columbia.)

This is a separate thread, but I totally disagree. The NDP ran a terrible campaign. Period. They didn't motivate their base, and CC and the Lib's won an overwhelming majority. Vote-splitting had nothing to do with it, and as a volunteer on two NDP election campaigns, every time I hear an NDPer complain about "vote splitting" or similar bullshit, it makes me want to scream.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:20 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Star already has a teaser up on their site, so apparently they're going all in (well, with qualifiers in the hed).
posted by Flashman at 7:23 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also the Toronto Star has the most unreadable, unusable, and broken mobile site I've ever seen.
posted by Rumple at 7:24 PM on May 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


Smitherman was also the subject of anti-gay advertising that was targeted at immigrant communities, exhorting them that a vote for Ford (married to a woman) was a moral imperative compared to voting for Smitherman (married to a man). It's the same tactic the federal Conservatives have adopted, dropping the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Reform/Alliance days and instead emphasizing the common ground of social conservatism.

Another explanation for Ford's appeal also lies in the way he politics. Regardless of his opinions or grasp on the issues, he's mastered the tactics of an old-timey, flesh-pressing, common-touch guy. Even as mayor, he's always been quick to revert back to comfortable and familiar local territory (his football team, dropping in on houses to respond to constituent complaints, whatever).

And his 24-hour accessibility is no political angle. A friend of mine is a NDP staffer at Queen's Park, and for a lark one day he called Ford's cell and left a message. At 10 PM, his phone rang, it was the mayor on the other end. "Hey there, it's Rob Ford. You called?" My friend was nonplussed. I don't think it's appropriate for the mayor to spend his time responding to every little this-and-that; he's got bigger things to work on. But at the same time, it's an amazing way to build loyalty among an electorate.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 7:24 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


So what happens if this turns out to be real, and they actually have the video? Can rob ford be arrested? (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:25 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the LCBO strike has been resolved, so Torontonians can go ahead and stock up.
posted by Phire at 7:26 PM on May 16, 2013


This actually very bad for Rob Ford, and more than just because "Ha, ha, the Mayor smokes crack."

Last summer saw an alarming (by Canadian standards) amount of gun violence in Toronto, much of which was assumed to be connected to gangs and the drug trade. Ford was very vocal about this, including making statements of varying degrees of coherence about harsher penalties for offenders, "deporting" gang members, etc.

Now, as it seems, he has been supporting the drug trade all along.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:27 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't assume the Star HAS the tape. Maybe they're the organization who saw the tape and offered $40,000. Maybe tomorrow's story is "we saw it and passed on it".

Or maybe this guy in upper Etobicoke just got a solid payday.

Rumple: OMFG, yes! It's an abomination. Whoever signed off on the mobile site should have IE6 kept on their desktop forever. Plus, a boot stamping on their face forever. Not that I'm vengeful.
posted by maudlin at 7:28 PM on May 16, 2013


Oh good. Hadnt heard that. You mean we can procrastinate until Sunday and then shitshitshit we dont have enough for tomorrow go go go ....
posted by Kabanos at 7:28 PM on May 16, 2013


The saddest thing is you know some agency was paid a metric ton of money to make it all shiny and javascript-y and typographic and ughhhhhh.
posted by Phire at 7:30 PM on May 16, 2013


Now, as it seems, he has been supporting the drug trade all along.

Little known fact: the Harvey Keitel movie "Bad Lieutenant" was based on a Canadian TV movie (go Nelvana!) that starred a young Rob Ford.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Doug set me up!"
posted by The Notorious SRD at 7:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know what, if this is true I bet Ford gets dragged through the mud and yet ends up as a second term mayor in Toronto with more votes than the first time.
posted by dobie at 7:32 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, I cannot wait to hear Sue-Ann Levy*'s take on all this.

* Hilarously pro-Ford opinion typist for local tab.
posted by docgonzo at 7:39 PM on May 16, 2013


From a comment on Torontomike.com
Rinse
March 26, 2013 / 21:09

Here's the thing: Rob Ford DOES use crack cocaine. A friend of mine,
her mother is a serious drug addict. Rob Ford regularly goes over to
her house to smoke crack.
The problem is this: The daughter wants to expose Rob Ford's drug
abuse, but her oldschool Italian grandmother won't allow her to "bring
shame" upon the family, long story short. So basically the daughter has
become complicit with the entire thing instead of doing the right
thing. Shame on you Jasmin.
posted by Kabanos at 7:42 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looks like the Star hasn't bought the video.
posted by Dismantled King at 7:43 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


You had ONE JOB, Toronto Star.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:48 PM on May 16, 2013 [16 favorites]


JUST KEEP IT COMING 21 st CENTURY I CAN TAKE IT

DO NOT TAUNT THE 21st CENTURY
posted by vibrotronica at 7:50 PM on May 16, 2013 [16 favorites]


What the fuck, somebody's gotta give this guy a few bucks for the video. It's like everybody's just getting high from his supply and not chipping in any of their own. Uncool.
posted by Flashman at 7:50 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


at least this video showcases the heartwarming multicultural relations in Toronto
posted by Bwithh at 7:52 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Buy the Rob Ford Drug Tape
posted by Kabanos at 7:54 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I keep screaming "enhance" at my phone but I still can't make out Harper in the background. Stupid cheap phone.
posted by Keith Talent at 7:58 PM on May 16, 2013 [15 favorites]


If Rob Ford is a crack-smoking fiend, send him to South Carolina. We'll make that fucker a Representative. Or a Senator. Or Governor. Whatever he wants and all the crack he and that Ravenel boy can smoke.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:58 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Obligatory Rob Ford gif.
posted by Kabanos at 8:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


Another one.
posted by Kabanos at 8:02 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can't tell if the "You took this?" in the Gawker article meant "You filmed this?" or "You acquired this?". If the former, high on crack or not, it can't be that hard for Rob Ford to remember a time he was getting high with some guy filming him and "A slurred voice off-camera [..] ranting about Canadian politics in what sounds like an attempt to goad [him]." Even if it was the latter, how hard would it be to track the tape? Either way I'd be getting the hell out of town after this article, if I was the guy in possession of it.

Also, way to go again, CNN, letting this get back to Ford's office so quickly.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:02 PM on May 16, 2013


Y'know in context, I know what GTA stands for when people have mentioned it upthread, but it's still tough to shake the image of Ford as a character from a Grand Theft Auto game. Just sayin'
posted by juv3nal at 8:02 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm curious: my two top google hits for "GTA" are the Wikipedia pages for Grand Theft Auto and Greater Toronto Area, respectively. But I'm in the GTA (the latter), and maybe google is serving me area specific results. What do people nowhere near the GTA get?
posted by jb at 8:12 PM on May 16, 2013


I'm in the midwestern US, and I don't get Greater Toronto Area until page 8 (though I get Wikipedia's "GTA may stand for..." catchall page on page 6).
posted by jason_steakums at 8:15 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Someone petition the CBC to do a Canadian remake of The Wire loosely based on Toronto & Rob Ford. I tried watching Intelligence, which was touted as the Canadian Wire (set in Vancouver) but the opening bit of the first episode had a melodramatic shock scene WHERE SOMEONE BREAKS INTO A CAR and I went immediately zzzzzzzzzzz and switched off.
posted by Bwithh at 8:16 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


In Vancouver the Toronto GTA comes at the bottom of the first page under GTA Teleguam.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:17 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought I'd get Toronto related stuff just because I'm in Canada, but the top 7 were Grand Theft Auto and then something called Gulliver's Travels Associates. Then more about Grand Theft Auto. At the very bottom of the first page there's a link to a news story about the Toronto area.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:35 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


In North Carolina from a Google account previously located in Canada it's on page 5.
posted by Phire at 8:35 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Globe & Mail: Gawker alleges to have seen video of Rob Ford smoking crack.
The video in question is up for sale, Gawker editor John Cook told The Globe. While other media outlets are reporting on the video, its authenticity has not been tested.

Calls and messages to the mayor’s spokesman and his brother were not returned. ...

[Comments closed]
posted by maudlin at 8:36 PM on May 16, 2013


The English media's infamous skill with phone-hacking would come in very handy in scooping this video out of the smartphone cloud. If that weren't, you know, a terrible idea.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:42 PM on May 16, 2013


I got, like, at least $2.45 in Canadian Tire money in a drawer somewhere. C'mon, Canada, dig deep in those junk drawers and tool boxes and we can do this thing!
posted by marylynn at 8:42 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Star has Friday's front page up here.
posted by maudlin at 8:50 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I tried watching Intelligence, which was touted as the Canadian Wire (set in Vancouver) but the opening bit of the first episode had a melodramatic shock scene WHERE SOMEONE BREAKS INTO A CAR and I went immediately zzzzzzzzzzz and switched off.

That's a shame, really, because Intelligience was *excellent*.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:50 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


The bright side for Ford is, now nobody's going to be talking about him sticking Rob Ford magnets on cars in violation of municipal anti-littering bylaws.
posted by Flashman at 8:52 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Star now has their story up here.
A cellphone video that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine is being shopped around Toronto by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade.

Two Toronto Star reporters have viewed the video three times. It appears to show Ford in a room, sitting in a chair, wearing a white shirt, top buttons open, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe. Ford is incoherent, trading jibes with an off-camera speaker who goads the clearly impaired Mayor by raising topics including Liberal l-leader Justin Trudeau and the Don Bosco high school football team Ford coaches.

“I’m f-----g right wing,” Ford mutters at one point. “Everyone expects me to be right-wing, I’m…” and his voice trails off.

At another point he is heard calling Trudeau a “fag.” Later in the 90 second video he is asked about the football team and he appears to say (though he is mumbling, “they are just f-----g minorities.”

The Star had no way to verify the video, which appears to clearly show Ford in a well lit room. What follows is an account based on what both reporters viewed on the video screen. Attempts to reach the Mayor, members of his staff to get comment on this story were unsuccessful. ...
There's more on the site ...
posted by maudlin at 8:53 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


As far as I can tell it seems like Toronto managed to elect Evil Fred Colon to be mayor?
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


That's a shame, really, because Intelligience was *excellent*.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:50 PM on May 16 [+] [!]


OK, I will give it another try.
It has a hard act to follow with Due South though
posted by Bwithh at 8:55 PM on May 16, 2013


Oh, shiiiiiiiit ...
A lawyer retained by Ford, Dennis Morris, said that Thursday’s publication by the Gawker website of some details related to the video was “false and defamatory.” Morris told the Star that by viewing a video it is impossible to tell what a person is doing. “How can you indicate what the person is actually doing or smoking,”Morris said.

Ford’s chief of staff, Mark Twohey, would not listen to questions by the Star on Thursday night and abruptly hung up when the Star called.
posted by maudlin at 8:55 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Asked why they were selling the video, the Somali man said he wanted to make a change in his life and use the money to move out west to Calgary."

Rob Ford's Toronto: even his Somali drug suppliers want to leave.
posted by strangeloops at 8:58 PM on May 16, 2013 [29 favorites]


The article isn't super coherent from a narrative standpoint, but there is a lot of detail about the video and the informant. Shit's getting real.
posted by Phire at 9:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know this isn't the most important issue, but being called a "fag" in this video isn't exactly a bad thing for Justin Trudeau, is it?
posted by Dismantled King at 9:03 PM on May 16, 2013


I just can't fathom that the world really works like this. I mean.. The Duffy thing is patently ridiculous. The massive piles of stupid that go into creating the Duffy situation is just mind boggling. But Rob Ford smoking crack? “that phone better not be on.”?

WTF
posted by Chuckles at 9:04 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


So... is the lawyer going to try to say that sure, okay, Rob Ford was hanging out with drug dealers, holding an object commonly identified as a crack-delivery device and appears to be smoking but it was... what? clove tobacco or something. C'MON.
posted by marylynn at 9:06 PM on May 16, 2013


what appears to be afternoon sunlight is streaming through partially closed window blinds, lighting Ford’s face.

I'm pretty sure this is how On the Road starts...
posted by Fizz at 9:08 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rob Ford's Toronto: even his Somali drug suppliers want to leave.

Well, sure. I mean, we have Rob Ford and Calgary has Naheed Nenshi. They'd be trading way, way up.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:13 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't think this is a big deal. Who among us hasn't occasionally felt the urge to put their lips on a little (or big, no judgment here) crack and breathe it in?
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:13 PM on May 16, 2013


Ohhhhh, crack as in cocaine. Not as in butt. Yeah ok this is big.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:14 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Globe appears to have 404ed the link I provided earlier.

This is going to be one hell of a weird weekend -- and pretty awful for Ford's family.
posted by maudlin at 9:15 PM on May 16, 2013


If this doesn't force Rob Ford out of office, what the hell will? Possession of crack is a criminal offence, to say nothing of his racist and homophobic comments in the video. It was confirmed by two Star reporters, and I suspect at this point it's only a matter of time until the video makes it onto YouTube. It's well past time for Rob Ford to go rehab and get out of elected office that he is manifestly unfit to hold.
posted by Dasein at 9:16 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man, news is going to be awesome if Google Glass takes off and stuff like Bitcoin and Strongbox really get on the layman's radar.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:17 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeesh, Alberta isn't exactly kind to Somali drug traffickers who come from out east. This whole thing is like a drain clog of bad choices.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:22 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Alvy: What do you mean exactly?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:24 PM on May 16, 2013


Let's watch as the world learns that "Etobicoke" is a real place that the Mayor is from.

Protip: I know the jokes right themselves, but the "K" is silent.
posted by dry white toast at 9:26 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Globe appears to have 404ed the link I provided earlier.

?! Down for everybody or just maudlin?
(loads fine for me..)
posted by Chuckles at 9:30 PM on May 16, 2013


Pruitt-Igoe: I'm on an iPod, so I don't really have the means to find & vet something more substantial, but here's a Globe piece on the subject.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kabanos: Those GIFs are in no way obligatory. Frankly they are mean.

Ford is an incompetent leader, a destructive mayor and a bully. There are many legitimate criticisms of his tenure, but many people also rally by his side precisely because he too is bullied. Even my beloved 'The Star' can too giddily shit on his from time to time.

Maybe I am just uptight but I really hate these jokes at the expense of his personal life and of our city. Both are just so sad to think about.

I hope we get a new mayor and I hope that Rob finds some peace.
posted by beau jackson at 9:32 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This just gets weirder and weirder.

A video that appears to show Toronto’s mayor smoking crack is being shopped around by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:34 PM on May 16, 2013


For those of you new to the glory of Rob Ford — begin your journey here and then here.
posted by Fizz at 9:35 PM on May 16, 2013


Ford is very very well practiced at playing the victim of never-ending smear campaigns. Whether this is legitimate or not, make no mistake, it will fit very nicely into that narrative.
posted by dry white toast at 9:35 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


begin your journey here

Barber is an asshole.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 PM on May 16, 2013


?! Down for everybody or just maudlin?

I checked a few minutes ago and found that it was up again with more detail (I quoted all there was last time). The new stuff is just some quotes from The Star and some background about Gawker's ability to break real news/scandal.

So I guess they didn't pull it because they got cold feet, but because they were editing it. (And I know I didn't screw up the link: "rob ford" searches in their search engine failed to find it when it was 404ing, but the search pulls it up now.)
posted by maudlin at 9:40 PM on May 16, 2013


Kabanos: Those GIFs are in no way obligatory. Frankly they are mean.

The second one, maybe. The first one though? COME ON! It's a staged photo op of him trying to act like an awesome football dude and failing miserably. That is pure, delicious comedy smothered in schadenfreude sauce.
posted by Hoopo at 9:42 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


KokoRyu, he may be, but damn do I miss Barber's coverage of City Hall. Best bullshit detector in the business. I would pay actual money to get him back on that beat.
posted by dry white toast at 9:45 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


All sorts of sporty and non-sporty people can fuck up physically. Those GIFs are mean and totally unnecessary.
posted by maudlin at 9:45 PM on May 16, 2013


And Barber can write, too.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:53 PM on May 16, 2013


Let's see, we can believe the highly ethical people at Gawker because they took a long look at Rob Ford posing in a hoodie with a black guy. That's all we need to know to determine that Rob Ford smokes crack. Because that guy in the photo was black, right?

What a weird comment.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:57 PM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Sorry. It seems I was wrong.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:02 PM on May 16, 2013


Rob Ford has said that “Oriental” people “work like dogs” and are “slowly taking over”6, he fought against AIDS-funding because, in his words, “if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS”7, and he has called for Toronto to be a “refugee free zone”8

THAT is mean and unnecessary. Laughing at the guy screwing up a self-promo in a Chris Farley-esque slapstick gif is comparatively harmless.
posted by Hoopo at 10:13 PM on May 16, 2013 [25 favorites]


We've received an email from Dennis Morris, a gentleman with a hotmail.com email address purporting to be Ford's attorney.

There is, in fact, a lawyer called Dennis Morris in Toronto. Seems to be a sole practioner.

Having said that, beginning your correspondence with 'I am a lawyer' makes it sound like the next line is going to be 'Really. I swear. I am a lawyer. I have a certificate and everything'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:18 PM on May 16, 2013


So, Toronto elected a Rush Limbaugh impersonator as their mayor and mayhem ensued. Never saw that one coming.
posted by SakuraK at 10:25 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


It seems unlikely the tape will ever see the light of day. Nobody will be willing to pay as much as the mayor.
posted by Greener Backyards at 10:25 PM on May 16, 2013


Videographer best release it to the cops and plead to get the protection & anonymous relication out of town/the province, the country. Or just get the hell out now. He's dead man walking.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's dead man walking.

Maybe you're being sarcastic but in case you're not, who is the videographer facing impending death from? Ford? Ford's office? Police officers on Ford's payroll? Drug dealers? Honest question, I'm not sure what the threat vector truly is.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:53 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can Rob Ford Sue for Libel Over Being Accused of Smoking Crack? (Torontoist, by and via mightygodking).
posted by maudlin at 10:54 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


One place this will never end up is a courtroom.
posted by docgonzo at 11:09 PM on May 16, 2013


If confirmed, this may not be the end of his political career (eg: Marion Barry).

Yeah. Bitch set him up.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:14 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah. Bitch set him up.

I can only hope you are referring to Chris Rock's excellent commentary on an another mayor and his cracktacular ways.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:19 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


On a related note, is CNN staffed entirely by adorable six-year olds in fedoras with "Press" cards tucked in the ribbons, like Bugsy Malone or something? I can't believe they're allowed to continue operating.
posted by steganographia at 11:29 PM on May 16, 2013 [16 favorites]


The cops are going to turn Dixon Road upside down shaking down Somalis and you won't see shit.
posted by mobunited at 11:38 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Drug lords. If the old stories about dealing in school are true, and if the Toronto government as corrupt as I think it is (it is.), it's not a stretch to see that the Lord Mayor of the City might partake while in the company of his peers, the Drug Lords. The video is a threat to them personally. If the videographer doesn't skedaddle, the cartel will take it from him, and the punishment for compromising the cartel is fatal.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:56 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looks like the spreadsheet is already updated.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:59 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can only hope you are referring to Chris Rock's excellent commentary on an another mayor and his cracktacular ways.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:19 AM on May 17 [+] [!]

Well, Barry also used those words himself.
posted by ZaphodB at 12:32 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoa. I just read a claim that the lawyer is Ford's. It was so poorly written that I thought it came from the drug lords.

Also saw a photo of Ford with alleged cartel bosses. I think the google doc mentioned it, too.

Canada is ruled by drug, corporate, and political cartels. Often one and the same.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:42 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is really unclear to me why Ford even wants to continue to be mayor at this point. My best guess is that his sins are so many and varied that having a pulpit to cry persecution from keeps him insulated from consequences much more effectively than he would be as a private citizen.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:18 AM on May 17, 2013


(Take, for example, the Mike Duffy scandal. There's an FPP amount of information about the shady things he's been up to. With the support of the PMO and Party. It's simply vulgar.)
posted by five fresh fish at 1:27 AM on May 17, 2013


This story is amazing.
posted by empath at 3:07 AM on May 17, 2013


Wth is wrong with your press Canada, US rags pay more than 40k for a picture of Jlo with her clothes ON. Stop being so damn frugal and buy this shit already.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:15 AM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


All my Facebook friends are predicting Ford will walk away from this. Somehow I doubt it.
posted by unSane at 4:16 AM on May 17, 2013


Ford exists in his own bubble. Where you solve everyone's problem by calling them back personally, and you don't need social programs because you should volunteer your time (coaching football), and everyone drives so light rail gets in their way, and everyone has their own business and doesn't need to spend tax dollars, and you can build billions of dollars' worth of subways without any actual money. And most importantly, he's always right and everyone who disagrees with him is a leftie muckraker, and there's an ongoing smear campaign by his "enemies". None of these are exagerations. If you thought all these things, you could easily convince yourself that staying in office was the logical thing to do.
posted by dry white toast at 4:38 AM on May 17, 2013


This Toronto Star story has lots of interesting details about the dance between the (alleged?) Somali crack dealers and Star reporters, starting in March. The paper didn't pay their price and Gawker got the scoop, but the Star's story has lots of valuable context, especially for non-Torontonian readers who don't know Ford's recent history.
posted by Andrew Galarneau at 4:39 AM on May 17, 2013


Oh, if only it were Boris. Or if only the mayoral drug of choice, worldwide, was primo quality 250 mikes and you're melting LSD. I mean, I am fascinated and dismayed and delighted and repulsed by the narrative, but it could be so much better...
posted by Devonian at 5:01 AM on May 17, 2013


Wow, imagine the panicked efforts Ford must be making right now to stop the video from coming out. Even if he buys a recording, however, how can he be sure a copy isn't stored somewhere?
posted by Area Man at 5:25 AM on May 17, 2013


"That cellphone better not be on, and it better not be recording me, Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, smoking crack cocaine and calling people fags."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:35 AM on May 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


The front page of the Toronto Sun.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:46 AM on May 17, 2013 [18 favorites]


Charlie Sheen and Rob Ford are proving to me I'm just not having enough fun.
posted by surplus at 5:49 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for the fat suit to unzip and Andy Kaufman to step out.
posted by unSane at 6:11 AM on May 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I woke up and checked again, and it really happened! And it's the most glorious Spring morning here in Toronto!

This is like Christmas, VE Day, and How They Brought the Good News From Ghent to Aix all rolled up into one!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:18 AM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


He had thick scabs on his arm.

Damn, Toronto Star. Way to clearly identify your source who's already told you he wants to get out of town. Anyway, here's some of that "valuable context" Andrew Galarneau mentioned above:

The Star was approached with an offer to purchase the video shortly after the Star’s story on Ford’s removal from the Garrison Ball due to apparent intoxication of some sort. The story, published March 26 of this year, described a concern by unnamed associates and staffers at city hall that Ford had a substance abuse problem. Ford dismissed the Star story, called the Star “pathological liars” and invited the newspaper to sue him. Garrison Ball attendees interviewed by the Star did not say they smelled alcohol. One said, “He seemed either drunk, high or had a medical condition.”

After the story was published the Star was contacted by two separate people who purported to have information on Ford abusing crack cocaine.


Extra bonus hilarity in the responses to the "Read the Toronto Star tomorrow" tweet:

This is Twitter there is no tomorrow, jackass.
posted by mediareport at 6:31 AM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Game 7 sent him over the edge.
posted by Damienmce at 6:32 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]



He had thick scabs on his arm.

Damn, Toronto Star. Way to clearly identify your source who's already told you he wants to get out of town.


If only he had some kind of sleeve-like device to disguise himself.
posted by Damienmce at 6:34 AM on May 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is like Christmas, VE Day, and How They Brought the Good News From Ghent to Aix all rolled up into one!

So, umm, I hate Rob Ford with the white heat of a thousand suns and everything, but this isn't a good news story. There's been indications for some time that he has a real problem. He needs to get help.

He's a buffoon for any number of reasons, and I don't think he's fit to lead (and I have thought so for a long time before today), but calling someone's very real addiction problem a gift is disgusting.
posted by dry white toast at 6:40 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I live in Toronto, and I woke up to this news. Whoa.

My first thought is that the Toronto Star has gone all-in with this story. If it turns out that the video doesn't have Ford in it, he'll sue them for every penny they have, and their credibility will be damaged irreparably. Accusing a sitting mayor of smoking crack is serious stuff.

Also, his second career as a high school football coach is effectively over. He'll be more likely to keep his mayoralty than to keep that job. (And I wonder whether he'll keep his other side gig as a CFRB talk show host on Sunday afternoons?)

It'll be interesting to see whether Ford goes on the offensive. (The Toronto Sun, Ford's leading cheerleader, has just posted a headline reading "Ford denies crack video: lawyer". I wonder what their lead would have been had it been Justin Trudeau in an alleged crack smoking video?)

A really devious political operative would be scouring North America for a Ford lookalike that could be bribed into saying that it was him, not Ford, in the video.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 6:41 AM on May 17, 2013


And I agree with dry white toast: Ford clearly needs help. A morbidly obese man in his 40s smoking crack cocaine is someone with desperate health problems.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 6:42 AM on May 17, 2013


And apparently Toronto just felt an earthquake. The Ford is angry.
posted by dry white toast at 6:52 AM on May 17, 2013


calling someone's very real addiction problem a gift is disgusting.

I'm sorry, but the dynamic is changed when it involves a public political figure. You may not like that, but it remains true.

the Toronto Star has gone all-in with this story

Nah, going all-in would be dropping $100K on the video.
posted by mediareport at 6:53 AM on May 17, 2013


A really devious political operative would be scouring North America for a Ford lookalike that could be bribed into saying that it was him, not Ford, in the video.

Rob Ford's former chief of staff, Nick Kouvalis, performed expert disaster management during Ford's campaign for mayor, when a recording emerged of Ford offering to buy oxycontin for a guy on the street:

The intelligence concerned a recording of a telephone conversation obtained by the Star that was said to feature Ford offering to buy Dieter Doneit-Henderson, an HIV-positive gay man he’d met weeks earlier in a bid to atone for a past anti-gay slur, the prescription painkiller OxyContin—commonly known as “hillbilly heroin.” ... What to do? Kouvalis, Batra and Macdonald favoured leaking the recording to a journalist selected according to the likelihood of a sympathetic hearing—a way of putting the campaign ahead of the story.
posted by Dasein at 6:54 AM on May 17, 2013


I'm sorry, but the dynamic is changed when it involves a public political figure. You may not like that, but it remains true.

You're saying it's okay to make fun of someone with a substance abuse problem? Ok then.
posted by dry white toast at 6:56 AM on May 17, 2013


For the record, substance "use" and substance "abuse" are two very different things to a lot of people. Neither has to make you instantly more sympathetic, but there is (and should be) a big difference.

(That said, crack is whack.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:58 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're saying it's okay to make fun of someone with a substance abuse problem?

Rob Ford could and should have made a choice a long time ago to get help. He doesn't simply need to be helped; he needs to help himself, and his repeated refusal to do so is a choice just like any other choice - he's responsible for it.
posted by Dasein at 6:59 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, umm, I hate Rob Ford with the white heat of a thousand suns and everything, but this isn't a good news story. There's been indications for some time that he has a real problem. He needs to get help.

He's a buffoon for any number of reasons, and I don't think he's fit to lead (and I have thought so for a long time before today), but calling someone's very real addiction problem a gift is disgusting.


Your point is well-taken, dry white toast. However on the other hand, Ford has consistently been on record as saying he's opposed to safe injection sites.

If Ford had a somewhat-consistent history of supporting decriminalization, supporting safe injection sites (or even being hesitant and unsure on them), or supporting any other policies that would help addicts, then I wouldn't be so so overjoyed about this. Not just "if he was leftie like me", but simply on the drug question if he worked to reduce harm. Then sure, I can agree that we should offer him support.

Instead, I will be gleeful for a few days, and then in my own advocacy side I am going to point to him as a strong damn example* of the leeway that's given to powerful people who run afoul of the law, rather than my poor clients who get investigated, shamed, and threatened with the loss of their benefits for living with their exes.

Sorry, I'm in a bad mood today.

*Don't even get me started on Mike Fucking Duffy.

posted by Lemurrhea at 6:59 AM on May 17, 2013 [17 favorites]


My first thought is that the Toronto Star has gone all-in with this story. If it turns out that the video doesn't have Ford in it, he'll sue them for every penny they have, and their credibility will be damaged irreparably. Accusing a sitting mayor of smoking crack is serious stuff.

The Toronto Star is so far from all in. They limped in with the story weeks after they had the information and only because they could report it as 'other sources are saying this, and yes, we also saw the video that appeared to show this but we can't confirm that'. At this point, they've called the blinds, but they're pretty much just staying in the game.

I'd actually be fascinated to know what kind of ongoing discussions the Star has been having with their legal counsel about how or whether they should publish on this.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:01 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rob Ford could and should have made a choice a long time ago to get help. He doesn't simply need to be helped; he needs to help himself, and his repeated refusal to do is a choice just like any other choice - he's responsible for it.

I don't disagree. I hope he finally owns up to it and gets help. I'm just saying calling it Christmas is in really bad taste.
posted by dry white toast at 7:01 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's okay to mock a powerful public figure who systematically campaigns against and blocks wherever possible

* 'soft on crime' discretionary sentencing for drug offences
* 'taxpayer-funded' public health nurses for harm reduction
* safe injection sites... don't even go there

... yet turns out to be a hypocrite on drugs, and is left as nothing more than another embodiment of "fuck you got mine".
posted by anthill at 7:01 AM on May 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


Rob Ford has abused a lot more than drugs.
posted by unSane at 7:03 AM on May 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Rob Ford needs to get help, and his problems are not in and of themselves cause for joy. But for many, Rob Ford has been actively doing damage to the city, to its reputation, and to its future. Anything that finally gets him out of office and lets the city and council just do its job would be a good thing in that sense.

I mean, the guy single-handedly set back transit in Toronto by probably 5 years through cancelling real plans and replacing them with promises of SubwaysSubwaySubways financed by wishful thinking. Cities everywhere are adding bike lanes, whereas Rob Ford and his cronies spent money to rip one out.
posted by parudox at 7:05 AM on May 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Looks like Ford's strategy is going to be deny, blame the Star and hope the video never comes out. And why not? It's worked so far.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:07 AM on May 17, 2013


All these points are just a few of the many reasons I detest the man. He's an ignorant, hypocritical, self-absorbed, enemy-baiting, deluded buffoon. Hell there are times when I feel like he says things just to troll me.

I hope he resigns today. I would have celebrated his resignation over his conflict of interest case, over taking inappropriate donations from lobbyists for his football foundation, over caring more about coaching football then he does for his actual job, for being a homophone and a racist, for pressuring city Works staff to fix a pothole outside his family business before a big event, for telling someone else he would try to buy OxyContin on the street for him. Hell, even if the video is true and he called Justin Trudeau a 'fag'. The man is a disgrace to this city and municipal politics. There are any number of reasons he shooted be booted from office, and I will be glad when he's gone.

But I will not revel in someone's obvious illness (which is what addiction is, not just for the people you like, but for the people you detest as well). Again, this has been apparent for some time if you follow his actions.
posted by dry white toast at 7:13 AM on May 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


Only poor people can be called crackheads. Mayor Ford will be known as a processed cocaine enthusiast.
posted by dr_dank at 7:15 AM on May 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


I mean when Rob Ford was busted for DUI, with marijuana possession on top, and had the charges dropped through some un-reported lawyering, his response was
"I think the laws are absolutely right," he said.
"I think the laws are appropriate and I'm not one to say we should legalize marijuana. I've never said that and I wouldn't want to see that happen."
So basically: rich folks go to their lawyer's and then home from vacation, poor folks go to jail. That's what Rob Ford supports.
posted by anthill at 7:17 AM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Toronto has really made some out-there choices for mayor in recent memory, but outdoing Mel Lastman is really an accomplishment.
posted by Hoopo at 7:20 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


If this is true then we can celebrate until he is safely removed from office. After that we can feel sorry for him and hope he gets the help he needs.
posted by rocket88 at 7:21 AM on May 17, 2013


It doesn't seem like people are celebrating his addiction, they're celebrating a man in power getting caught out as a hypocrite and a, err, hubrist* in an almost unbelievably ridiculous spectacle.

*Why is there no English word for "one who is hubristic"? Get your head in the game, English.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:28 AM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mel Lastman looks like Abraham Lincoln compared to Rob Ford.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:44 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favourite Mel Lastman quote is "Rob Ford makes me look like a genius."
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:58 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is there no English word for "one who is hubristic"?

Hubro, or, if female, Hubrosephine
posted by Greg Nog at 7:58 AM on May 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


In case you were wondering what it would be like if a news station from Saint's Row covered the story.

No seriously watch this video. It's amazing.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:00 AM on May 17, 2013 [14 favorites]


I'm not exactly gleeful that Rob Ford probably has a drug addiction. That sucks for him personally. But his hypocrisy has made having a drug addiction suck a lot worse for a lot of other people.

In an ideal world, Rob Ford would not have a drug addiction, and he would have taken a sane, compassionate approach to issues like safe injection sites, and thus he would have been not only not a hypocrite but a kind person, at least on that one issue.

In a less ideal world, Rob Ford could avoid being a hypocrite by either not having a drug problem or not being an asshole about drug related policies. Given my druthers, I'd take 'Rob Ford has a drug problem and is thus compassionate toward other drug users' over 'Rob Ford is totally straight edge and has no sympathy for people who aren't.' Sucks for him personally, but he does way less harm to the rest of the world that way.

Instead, though, we have the world in which Rob Ford probably does have a drug problem and is either completely unable to empathize with others in that same situation or has chose to pursue damaging political actions in order to deflect any suspicion that he himself might suffer from the problems he demonizes.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:05 AM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rob Ford crack scandal: Toronto Mayor calls it ‘ridiculous’.
“It's ridiculous. Just another Toronto Star . . .,” Ford began, and then trailed off. He mumbled something else, then climbed into his Cadillac SUV.
posted by Nelson at 8:09 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of people are conflating drug use with abuse/misuse and addiction. These are not one and the same and this could prove an important distinction depending on how Ford responds to these allegations.

Also, given this asshole's track record and the way people in Toronto feel about him, I think a little bit of schadenfreude is inevitable. Maybe not the classiest response, but I'll admit to it myself.
posted by thelaze at 8:15 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nelson: "Rob Ford crack scandal: Toronto Mayor calls it ‘ridiculous’."

Well, to be honest, he's not actually wrong on that account. The mayor of Canada's largest city going to a 3rd party location to smoke crack is pretty fucking ridiculous.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:16 AM on May 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


So, Toronto's mayor is basically Super Hans, as far as I can tell.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:35 AM on May 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Toronto Star's live blog of this story.

As expected, Ford is using his usual first line of defense: deny the allegation, and attack the person/organization who made it. I assume that he is hoping that nobody buys the video or that it disappears completely.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 8:38 AM on May 17, 2013


Jon Mitchell, Toronto could only wish Rob Ford were Super Hans, because then things would be a lot more chill. Poorly named in some parts, but chill.
posted by Kitteh at 8:44 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder what time he's going to weigh himself today, on that oversized novelty scale.
Cut the Waist!
posted by chococat at 8:47 AM on May 17, 2013


for being a homophone and a racist

I have started pronouncing "bloviating incompetent has-been" as "Rob Ford", but I thought it was just me.
posted by Shepherd at 8:59 AM on May 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


Holy crap. From the Star's live blog:

Via @jtes , Rob Ford rejected "harm reduction" for drug users in 2005. Then-National Post man @jamescowan reported: "You're not helping them, you're enabling them," Mr. Ford said. "They're going to smoke that crack whether you give them those crackpipes or not. They're going to shoot that heroin whether you give them clean needles or not. If people want a change, it has to come from within." More recently, he said, on addiction in general, that people simply have to exercise "self-control."

posted by Hoopo at 9:00 AM on May 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I saw that and whatever ounce of empathy or sympathy I may have had left just flew out the fucking window.

Related: if you're a public figure and the most sympathetic thing I can find about you online is that you (appear to) smoke crack, perhaps it's time to examine your life choices.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:09 AM on May 17, 2013


Looks like Rob (and Torontonians) have gotten the animation treatment from NWA.
posted by Kabanos at 9:11 AM on May 17, 2013


This is quite the timeline.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:12 AM on May 17, 2013


oops missed Jon Mitchell's link above.
posted by Kabanos at 9:12 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a parallel between this and when strongly homophobic politicians are outed as being gay themselves.
posted by parudox at 9:24 AM on May 17, 2013


Can I just be the first to say that, this is a guy who is rich and powerful. Why is he smoking crack in an uncontrolled environment with Somali drug dealers brandishing iPhones? There would be no shortage of professional drug dealers who could discreetly deliver high-quality cocaine to him in a hotel suite or a party apartment that he could deniably rent somewhere. Or hell, in a limo, I don't know. This is amateur hour shit.

And also, crack? Come on. Crack is wack. Never saw the appeal. From my...extensive reading on the subject...good quality booger sugar is greatly preferable to crack. Again, he can have any drug he wants. Why crack?

Amateur hour.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:26 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's a parallel between this and when strongly homophobic politicians are outed as being gay themselves.

Oh shit, Rob Ford is gay as well?



Also, "Amateur Hour" is Rob Ford's middle name.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:28 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why is he smoking crack in an uncontrolled environment with Somali drug dealers brandishing iPhones? There would be no shortage of professional drug dealers who could discreetly deliver high-quality cocaine to him in a hotel suite or a party apartment that he could deniably rent somewhere

Pretty sure the article explains the drug dealers he buys from are the professional-type guys that service "A-list Torontonians". Drug dealers have cool gadgets like iPhones too. I imagine it's not their primary "business" phone, but presumably you don't use the 7-11 burner phone for calling Mom.
posted by Hoopo at 9:43 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


If this story sticks (and it probably won't) I wonder what this means for brother Doug Ford's attempts to enter provincial politics (and presumably wrest control of the Ontario PC party).
posted by KokuRyu at 9:44 AM on May 17, 2013


I don't know about wresting control of the entire party, but I wouldn't bet against Doug winning a seat in the next provincial election. The Ford name is apparently gold-plated in Etobicoke.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:49 AM on May 17, 2013


“It's ridiculous. Just another Toronto Star . . .,” Ford began, and then trailed off. He mumbled something else, then climbed into his Cadillac SUV.

For the record, Mayor Ford's statement lasted exactly 13.6 seconds.
posted by Fizz at 9:53 AM on May 17, 2013


"This is amateur hour shit."

It psychoactive drug use/addiction made sense and was rational and predictable it wouldn't be psychoactive drug use/addiction.
posted by docgonzo at 10:11 AM on May 17, 2013


Vice: Rob Ford Has A Terrible Photographer (funny)
posted by jcruelty at 10:24 AM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


In Greater Victoria, there is a vocal (but doomed) movement to promote amalgamation for the region's patchwork of 13 municipalities and burgs. Toronto is an argument against amalgamation.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:25 AM on May 17, 2013


So there's been a rash of jokey crowdfunding attempts to buy the video, but this one from Gawker looks serious.

They need $200,000
(slightly less, given that the CDN dollar is at about 97 cents right now).
posted by maudlin at 10:26 AM on May 17, 2013


Vice: Rob Ford Might Be a Crack Smoker

haha I love that Vice has someone covering the "Rob Ford" beat...
posted by jcruelty at 10:28 AM on May 17, 2013


Okay, I love that that Vice link has a pic of a possum looking at Ford like, "Who the fuck are you???"
posted by Kitteh at 10:29 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vice: Toronto Fired the Greatest Mayor of All Time

holy shit he got fired and then came back... this is the craziest mayor i ever heard of. perfect storm indeed
posted by jcruelty at 10:33 AM on May 17, 2013


I know it's been mentioned already, but I can't help but also bring it up. From a purely literary, outsider perspective, I think my favorite thing about this story is seeing the word Etobicoke (especially fond of the Wikipedia pronunciation).

If someone wrote this story as fiction and included the phrase

"Ford is from Etobicoke -- don't worry, the 'ke' is silent"

I'd get out my big red pen and say "cute, but aren't you afraid it's too on the nose?"

But when it comes to non-fiction, shit like that is a natural high for me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:39 AM on May 17, 2013


So there's been a rash of jokey crowdfunding attempts to buy the video, but this one from Gawker looks serious.

Attention, Torontonians: do you want to get rid of Rob Ford as mayor? Put your money where your mouth is.
posted by Dasein at 10:42 AM on May 17, 2013


Giving a couple hundred thousand dollars to drug dealers who are likely violent is troublesome for me.
posted by Bovine Love at 10:42 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's a good point; I guess we have to hope that they really do want to start fresh somewhere else.
posted by Dasein at 10:44 AM on May 17, 2013


Giving a couple hundred thousand dollars to drug dealers who are likely violent is troublesome for me.

Yeah, that's where the idea falls down.
posted by dry white toast at 10:45 AM on May 17, 2013


Vice: Your photographer is a saboteur who is dry snitching on you.. Deliciously ironic from the news magazine whose photographer leaked their fugitive source's location via EXIF tags.
posted by Nelson at 10:48 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


What bothers me is this story broke at the end of the week before a long weekend. It's as though Gawker doesn't know about the news cycle (or is blissfully unaware of the importance of the Queen's official birthday).
posted by KokuRyu at 10:49 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Giving a couple hundred thousand dollars to drug dealers who are likely violent is troublesome for me.

I guess, but I and many others have definitely sent enough money up that chain over the years that another $20 now is a drop in the ocean. If you've bought pot in the last 20-or-so years in Canada, you've probably indirectly sent cash to the Hell's Angels. Just sayin.

or is blissfully unaware of the importance of the Queen's official birthday

Good point. Ontario just avoided the LCBO strike just in time for "May Two-Four Weekend", also known as the cottage-opening weekend, which in my youth was famously the long weekend where you try to go through the whole box of 24 beers.
posted by Hoopo at 10:53 AM on May 17, 2013


Toronto is an argument against amalgamation.

The election of Rob Ford is the realization of the whole concept amalgamation. The old, almost entirely urban, City of Toronto was very left wing and progressive. Amalgamating them with the suburbs of what was Metro Toronto turned the voters and the people they elected into a minority voice in local affairs.
posted by dry white toast at 10:54 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


What bothers me is this story broke at the end of the week before a long weekend.

Note the below part of the Gawker piece (emphasis mine). They didn't want to break it now, but CNN made it impossible to prepare/delay the story.

Gawker: "Well, no. But when I emailed an acquaintance at CNN this afternoon, laying out much the same information I've offered above and asking for discretion and confidentiality lest we screw up a pretty fucking great story about the mayor of the fifth-largest city in North America smoking crack cocaine on camera, he forwarded the email to his producer. The producer, in turn, asked CNN's Canada reporter about it. The Canada reporter—and this was a pretty fucking big mistake—called a source who used to work in Ford's office. Within 40 minutes, word had gotten back to me that 'CNN called Ford's office asking about a crack tape.'"
posted by parudox at 10:57 AM on May 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


A lot of those jokey crowdfunding efforts have been yanked: see what happens when you follow the links in this story.

I suspect Indiegogo will face some pressure from sources arguing that the Gawker effort (currently at $2286) violates their terms of service.
posted by maudlin at 10:59 AM on May 17, 2013


Giving a couple hundred thousand dollars to drug dealers who are likely violent is troublesome for me.

Hmm. So you've never bought drugs? Or gas? Or paid taxes?
posted by docgonzo at 11:08 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Today's denial is very much in keeping with Ford's pattern. Deny as long as possible until you're backed into a corner, then grudgingly acknowledge it. And face no consequences.

When he drunkenly (hey look, there's the substance abuse again) berated people at a Maple Leafs game and they went public, he claimed he wasn't even at the game. Except that he gave the people in question his business card.

He's really a piece of work.
posted by dry white toast at 11:11 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


You forgot blaming The Star for everything. I was wondering last night whether that would happen, despite the absurdity, and yep, it sure did.
posted by parudox at 11:14 AM on May 17, 2013


Until the actual video surfaces and is played on Breakfast Television he can hold out. He's gotten away with so much already and he knows that nothing like this has legs unless that video gets into the wild. He certainly has enough money (and obviously knows exactly who has it) to go after it himself through channels anyway.
posted by marylynn at 11:14 AM on May 17, 2013


If you've bought pot in the last 20-or-so years in Canada, you've probably indirectly sent cash to the Hell's Angels. Just sayin.

And the economy of Durham Region thanks you for it.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:17 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Plus, if the Star does buy it ("So now the Toronto Star has enough money that its giving it to drug dealers?!" is going to be a nice line) all Ford has to do is the classic "I have a problem and I hope that my family and my constituents will support me while I go into treatment." Boom, goes into a cushy rehab, get a lap band, emerges in 12 months skinny as a rail and god and country once again as a "clean and sober individual who made bad decisions in my life, like so many others have" and he's back stronger than ever. Like a cockroach.
posted by marylynn at 11:18 AM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's true, but there's no way he can stay in office and do that.

And if The Star was going to buy it, they would have already.
posted by dry white toast at 11:22 AM on May 17, 2013


Whether the video surfaces or not, it's already done a ton of damage. Rob Ford is going to spend the rest of his career denying allegations that he's a crack addict; that can't be good for the ol' PR budget.
posted by MrVisible at 11:26 AM on May 17, 2013


Whether the video surfaces or not, it's already done a ton of damage. Rob Ford is going to spend the rest of his career denying allegations that he's a crack addict; that can't be good for the ol' PR budget.

Perhaps you're not familiar with the litany of unseemly things he's been accused of and moved past. It's muscle memory at this point (for him and the voters).
posted by dry white toast at 11:30 AM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hope he survives this one and becomes even more brazen. That way the thing that brings him down will be so earth-shakingly, unprecedentedly epic we won't even be able to conceive of it before it happens. Crack smoking mayor? Been done. Let's hold out for something truly unique to bring down his Fordship.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:50 AM on May 17, 2013


Canadian voters are appalling stupid, eh?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:51 AM on May 17, 2013


Canadian voters are appalling stupid, eh?
posted by RakDaddy at 11:54 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Who Said it? Rob Ford or Joe Quimby? (Slate)
posted by dry white toast at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Canadian Suburban Toronto voters are appalling stupid, eh?
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 12:03 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whether the video surfaces or not, it's already done a ton of damage. Rob Ford is going to spend the rest of his career denying allegations that he's a crack addict; that can't be good for the ol' PR budget.

I think we can just say Rob Ford himself is not good for his PR budget.

He topped Keith Olbermann's Worst Persons list in 2011 for calling 911 and swearing at them after being ambushed by Mary Walsh for This Hour has 22 Minutes.

For that 911 call, Olbermann declared Ford the worst person in the entire world. Those were such innocent times!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:18 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


$200,000 that seems like a very high price.
posted by humanfont at 12:36 PM on May 17, 2013


For the record, substance "use" and substance "abuse" are two very different things to a lot of people.

Sure, there's certainly a difference between addiction and use, but are you implying that there is such a thing as "responsible" crack smoking?

Remember kids, know when to say when!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:37 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


such a thing as "responsible" crack smoking?


Well, not to derail, but I think there certainly could be. But that's not what I was trying to say in this instance.

The point I meant to make that by arguing that we should be sympathetic to Ford for his "substance abuse" problems, we're putting him into a category that, even if we accept the video as reported, he may not fit into.

Substance abuse -- overindulgance/dependence on a drug in a way that negatively affects your life -- not the same as smoking crack once or even occasionally if you're not stupid about it (though in this case it may very well end up that way and think that probably only happens about 5% of the time, at best)

But this is sort of semantics and until more facts about the story come out, not an argument I'd say is worth having until that point (if at all).
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:15 PM on May 17, 2013


Canadian Suburban Toronto voters are appalling stupid, eh?

BC voters were daft this week, re-electing a criminal organization back into power. Alberta voters have frequently elected idiots. Ontario is reknown for its daft governance. Quebec elects outright gangsters. I think it's safe to say most of Canada shoots its feet when voting in nomination and election races.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:15 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


are you implying that there is such a thing as "responsible" crack smoking?

Depends on what is meant by "responsible," I guess. I mean, there are people who pretty much focus their lives exclusively on obtaining and using crack due to addiction, and then there are people who just enjoy the effects from time to time and still have their shit together enough to be a mayor of a large North American city. I've known a couple of people that got really addicted to blow to the point it messed up their lives, and yet a lot more people that just enjoyed it when they went clubbing and didn't have it become a preoccupation. So to an extent, I think there is such a thing as reasonably responsible use simply for recreation. I'm not experienced with crack, but the impression I get is that addiction is not an insignificant risk when trying it. So to me, no I do not think it is particularly responsible.

BC voters were daft this week, re-electing a criminal organization back into power.


I am in BC, but I'm not familiar with the Liberals' "criminal organization" allegations. I do know NDP leader Adrian Dix forged documents, though. Still, I trusted the Liberals so much I cast my vote for the NDP regardless. BTW, am I nuts or is the BC Liberal party basically occupying the space on the political spectrum reserved for the Conservative party in most provinces? Their platform points really came off as right-wing to me for some reason.
posted by Hoopo at 1:24 PM on May 17, 2013


Quebec elects outright gangsters

Hey hey hey! I take offense to that.

We elect inefficient and narrow-minded sovereigntists too, you know.
posted by Kitteh at 1:35 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most people who try crack don't develop problematic use, no. Some do, yes. The proportion of people who try a drug and develop problematic use is under 10% for most stimulants. Also, most of the people who have smoked crack in the US are white, not black. Totally unrelated, most of the people arrested, convicted, and incarcerated for crack in the US are black.

More on-topic: twitter pic of sign left in Star elevator.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:38 PM on May 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


Remember kids, know when to say when!

When they start taking video of you smoking something and you use homophobic slurs instead of covering your face with your hands, it's time to stop.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:49 PM on May 17, 2013


...and then there are people who just enjoy the effects from time to time and still have their shit together enough to be a mayor of a large North American city.

Rob Ford does not have his shit together enough to be a mayor of a large North American city. This statement was true before the video surfaced.
posted by parudox at 1:52 PM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


BC voters were daft this week, re-electing a criminal organization back into power.

Well, yes, but that was certain when the writ was dropped.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:01 PM on May 17, 2013


and then there are people who just enjoy the effects from time to time and still have their shit together enough to be a mayor of a large North American city.

Yeah, it's pretty common for mayors and politicians and kids football coaches to smoke crack. Move along, nothing to see here.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:02 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


BC voters were daft this week, re-electing a criminal organization back into power.

Basi and Virk may have trafficked in marijuana, but outside of Williams Lake (or perhaps Highlands District outside of Victoria) I can't think of a mayor or politician in BC who takes drugs.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:04 PM on May 17, 2013


Yeah, it's pretty common for mayors and politicians and kids football coaches to smoke crack

WOOSH!

didn't say it was common, just making a joke about Rob Ford and Marion Barry. but I think you would probably be surprised at the types of people who occasionally partake in the use of hard drugs.
posted by Hoopo at 2:07 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


and yet a lot more people that just enjoyed it when they went clubbing and didn't have it become a preoccupation.

Use the Girls defense, Rob. Say that, like Shosh, you just smoked crack accidentally. Trust me, it'll make you sound like you're down with the youth.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:24 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing that suburbanites don't really care who is in office, as long as they don't raise taxes. Suburbanites are kind of divorced from what used to be called "the polity" or "civil society." Like Tony Soprano, they have large SUV's, the nice houses that are equipped with home theaters, and the ability to pay for private schools. All the stuff that Rob Ford opposes - transit, social programs, the arts - they can pay for already, and would never miss it if government got out of the way.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:31 PM on May 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Use the Girls defense, Rob. Say that, like Shosh, you just smoked crack accidentally.

All adventurous mayors do.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:36 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


All the stuff that Rob Ford opposes - transit, social programs, the arts - they can pay for already, and would never miss it if government got out of the way.

You're talking about some different suburbs than the ones that elected Rob Ford. The suburbs within the current City of Toronto are in some ways closer to the banlieues of Paris - more immigrant-heavy, lower-income, and with worse transit access than the downtown. They voted for Rob Ford because he promised them subways and better driving (whereas they are stuck with overcrowded buses and roads) and ending the downtown gravy train; it was mighty appealing, even though it was just talk without substance.
posted by parudox at 2:55 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The inner suburbs of Toronto are full of poor people, many living in 40-50 year old towers in the park. If those people still support Rob Ford despite not being so flush with money that they can insulate themselves from the larger society, it is because the urban planning out here might cause an alienation from that society.
posted by TimTypeZed at 2:58 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's puzzling, because BC also re-elected a populist, substance-free government, and the key to the re-election was the Vancouver suburbs - these same suburbs generally have gone Tory for the past decade or so.

I don't think there are as many immigrants - Toronto accepts something like 50% of Canada's immigrant population each year - but there must be something similar going on.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:00 PM on May 17, 2013


Substance free? Does *no one* remember the premier's DUI?

Oh you meant substance as in policy content. heh heh.

Anyway, I don't think any of the BC Liberal's problems are related to drugs... unless you want to talk undermining independent [pharmaceutical] drug review.
posted by chapps at 3:05 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I work with immigrants - young immigrants - who have been here a year and have never been downtown. And other immigrants who have been here longer and have only been downtown once or twice. They have no interest in Toronto as a place. They're here to make money, and if someone promises they can keep more of it, that's their man. And then there are lots of Canadian born who grew up in the inner burbs before they were part of Toronto, who only see downtown as a place where it's difficult to park. The 'downtown elite' message resonates with them.
posted by TimTypeZed at 3:10 PM on May 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


What bothers me is this story broke at the end of the week before a long weekend. It's as though Gawker doesn't know about the news cycle (or is blissfully unaware of the importance of the Queen's official birthday)

It is indeed the Queen's official birthday (although never in my life have I met someone who referred to it that way) and is tagged to Queen Victoria's actual birthday. Yes, Victoria. Even the Brits have stopped observing that one.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:23 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is indeed the Queen's official birthday

Also known as the day our dog cowers and whimpers all night long, scared shitless of the fireworks.
posted by chococat at 3:27 PM on May 17, 2013


It is indeed the Queen's official birthday (although never in my life have I met someone who referred to it that way) and is tagged to Queen Victoria's actual birthday. Yes, Victoria. Even the Brits have stopped observing that one.

Well, it's the official birthday of the sovereign (not David Bowie, btw). I think the Brits have May Bank Holiday.

I'm hammering on the keyboard in Victoria, about a block from the Empress Hotel and a statue of Queen Victoria.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:30 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


And then there are lots of Canadian born who grew up in the inner burbs before they were part of Toronto, who only see downtown as a place where it's difficult to park.
posted by TimTypeZed at 6:10 PM on May 17 [+] [!]

Absolutely. I've only been in Toronto for a few years, but I remember when I first moved here being struck by how often people would self-identify as being from one of the pre-amalgamation cities - they're not from "Toronto", but Scarborough or Etobicoke instead. I always thought it was bizarre until I had the whole megacity thing explained to me.
posted by ZaphodB at 3:30 PM on May 17, 2013


I was going write something about how while this is fodder for easy jokes and plays into the worst beliefs about a politician whom a lot of people (me included) find an embarrassment, we are still going on second-hand reports of what some reporters may have had a drug dealer/extortionist flash at them, which is not a very solid basis for a news story.

I was having trouble phrasing it. Then I found Hamutal Dotan at Torontoist said it better than I could, so let me just direct people there.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:31 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, Victoria. Even the Brits have stopped observing that one.

Most people in Alberta call it "May long" as in "May long weekend" or "May 2-4".

Being from Ontario I still call it Victoria day. Usually.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:44 PM on May 17, 2013


We called it Victoria Day pretty much exclusively when I was growing up in BC, but everyone here in Ontario seems to call it 2-4 or "the May Long Weekend". I suspect our provincial capital being Victoria had something to do with its prevalence there.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:00 PM on May 17, 2013


I'm here to defend Etobicoke. Not that it isn't a pretty messed up place, split between some of the richest suburbs and some of the poorest areas of the city, and roads that look like highways (including the Dixon Rd mentioned above as the heart of the Somali neighbourhood in Toronto), and box stores taking over, and if I am lucky I'll never live there again,

but only people from Etobicoke get to rag on Etobicoke. Even people from shitholes have home town pride.

/grew up in Rob Ford's old ward, just off Dixon Rd

btw - Rob Ford once campaigned against a women's shelter in the neighbourhood on the grounds that it would bring drugs in (which is itself crazy-talk). But now my SO figures he was just protecting his friend's turf.
posted by jb at 4:01 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


"It's puzzling, because BC also re-elected a populist, substance-free government, and the key to the re-election was the Vancouver suburbs - these same suburbs generally have gone Tory for the past decade or so."

Uh, not puzzling at all, to me. Christy Clark's BC Liberals are far closer to Harper's conservatives than Trudeau's federal Liberals -- she did have Stockwell Day as a campaign advisor, after all.
posted by docgonzo at 4:02 PM on May 17, 2013


also, the exterior house scenes in Strange Brew were filmed in Etobicoke. Which means that those great Canadian heroes, Bob and Doug Mackenzie, live in Etobicoke (Royal York and the Queensway, to be specific).
posted by jb at 4:07 PM on May 17, 2013


I'm guessing that suburbanites don't really care who is in office, as long as they don't raise taxes. Suburbanites are kind of divorced from what used to be called "the polity" or "civil society." Like Tony Soprano, they have large SUV's, the nice houses that are equipped with home theaters, and the ability to pay for private schools. All the stuff that Rob Ford opposes - transit, social programs, the arts - they can pay for already, and would never miss it if government got out of the way.

As others have said, these "suburbs" are actually more like "outer boroughs" and are full of bungalows and apartment towers (with parking). SUVs, maybe or maybe not, but the development is definitely auto-centric.

This also seems like an American city perspective, which is bizarre given you're Canadian. Living in the suburbs is cheaper than living in the city just about anywhere in Canada. Private school use is a fraction of what it is in the US. Also, using transit or not in Toronto is probably just as much of a function of where you live as how much money you have.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:09 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's puzzling, because BC also re-elected a populist, substance-free government,

"Substance-free"? Their platform seemed pretty clear to me: sell off public assets to themselves and their donors at pennies on the dollar.
posted by junco at 4:09 PM on May 17, 2013


Take off eh!
posted by chapps at 4:10 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really, really feel like there's a Les Miserables parody in here somewhere that keys off Val Jean's delivery of "I run a business of repute, I am the mayor of this town" but I can't quite get there.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:18 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


This also seems like an American city perspective, which is bizarre given you're Canadian.

Well, excuse me
posted by KokuRyu at 4:22 PM on May 17, 2013


I'm guessing that suburbanites don't really care who is in office, as long as they don't raise taxes. Suburbanites are kind of divorced from what used to be called "the polity" or "civil society." Like Tony Soprano, they have large SUV's, the nice houses that are equipped with home theaters, and the ability to pay for private schools. All the stuff that Rob Ford opposes - transit, social programs, the arts - they can pay for already, and would never miss it if government got out of the way.

In the 2001 census, the average income of people working full time in Etobicoke is less than $50,000. A quarter of the working population uses public transportation to get to work. Nearly half of the population is foreign-born.

And I mean, I live in a fairly nice suburb, in the actual suburbs, and your above description could be applied to maybe 10% of the population here at best. In my whole life, I have met three people who went to private school, and even that was just for elementary.

I don't know what you're talking about, and I don't think you do either. The rich people live in the city.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:34 PM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've been thinking about Rob and Doug desperately trying to get 200K in cash together before the Star does. It has all the makings of a hilarious caper movie.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 4:46 PM on May 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've been thinking about Rob and Doug desperately trying to get 200K in cash together before the Star does. It has all the makings of a hilarious caper movie.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 4:46 PM on May 17 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


that actually sounds awesome
posted by Bwithh at 5:29 PM on May 17, 2013


she did have Stockwell Day as a campaign advisor, after all.

"My advice? dont take a jet ski to your press conferences and everything will work out fine"
posted by Hoopo at 5:44 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Stock" is actually a very charismatic and witty speaker in person.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:18 PM on May 17, 2013


Yeah, I always liked Stock a lot - I wrote a thesis about him once. In a lot of ways he's the classic Canadian political combination of raw talent and lousy advisors, a la Joe Clark and Lester B. Pearson.
posted by ZaphodB at 6:24 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll add that his politics as leader never really seemed to be his own. It's telling, frankly, that he turned into one of the most moderate members the Conservative Party had once the pressures of leadership were gone.
posted by ZaphodB at 6:37 PM on May 17, 2013


You can't teach wit and charisma, though. Christy Clark has her own.
posted by Hoopo at 6:37 PM on May 17, 2013


"Stock" is actually a very charismatic and witty speaker in person.


I believe you mean "Doris".
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:12 PM on May 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure if CC has any particular wit (although she does look fetching in jogging gear, adding +5 for charisma). She's sort of a less-threatening Sarah Palin. Man, I was looking forward to housecleaning in government and a change in unelected apparatchiks.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:12 PM on May 17, 2013


man, why is the Torontoist being so sober and responsible in their coverage?
posted by Bwithh at 7:23 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because they don't have employees who have seen the video. Their lawyers won't let them expose themselves to risk without having someone on staff who can vouch for the substance of what everyone else is printing. <-- informed guess
posted by unSane at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


The torontoist has lawyers? plural?
posted by 256 at 7:39 PM on May 17, 2013


Pretty sure Clark is at least a change in the unelected apparatchiks department. I gather she didn't exactly have the support of the old-school Liberal establishment and more or less had to make her own.
posted by Hoopo at 8:07 PM on May 17, 2013


Someone on my Facebook page made a very strong point. If Gawker raises the money to buy the video (which they probably will), Ford will have allowed a large amount of money to get into the hands of violent, dangerous people in a vein effort to avoid responsibility for his own actions. That's pretty ugly game of chicken to be playing.
posted by dry white toast at 8:12 PM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


"It's a vein effort," needled Tom as he prepared to shoot up.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:15 PM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rob Ford's old ward - now his brother Doug's ward - is not the Kingsway (mansions, private schools), but mostly consists of Rexdale, which is a mixture of older working class people in houses (including older post-war immigrants), and very poor people, primarily recent immigrants, in rental accomodation - including a lot of public housing.

Sys Rec has provided actual data; I just give the sketch of someone who lived there for 25 years - but in this case my anecdata agrees.

Most of the northern outer suburbs of Toronto are poorer than the downtown core. Rexdale, Jane & Finch, those places out east where all the shootings were - the areas that voted for Ford are poor and lower-middle class, with cheap cars or no cars, reliant on public schooling -

and they feel alienated by the elites o downtown Toronto who dominate the media. When I lived in Etobicoke, I felt alienated by the way that media like Now Magazine wrote about Metro Toronto, like the world ended at St Clair. It's like we didn't matter and no one cared what happened out there.
posted by jb at 8:22 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


ZAphodB, I'm curious to know what parts of Stockwell Day's career are attributable to bad advice. His ideological stances have been pretty repugnant over the years, and include young earth creationism.
posted by Hoopo at 8:25 PM on May 17, 2013


I'm curious to know what parts of Stockwell Day's career are attributable to bad advice

Stockwell Day, man of action? Or maybe Stockwell Day, man of the people?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:58 PM on May 17, 2013


If Gawker raises the money to buy the video (which they probably will)

I don't know if they'll raise the full amount. They're only a hair above $40k right now, and at least $15k of that is their own money. Most of their readership probably didn't know who Rob Ford was before reading that post.

On the bright side, as time goes on, the guy holding the video might see the Indegogo campaign as his best shot at getting anything, and settle for however much they raise.

(And on the other bright side, someone going by Grand Right Admiral L. Beard donated $20.)
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:09 PM on May 17, 2013


Apologies if this has already been linked, but this pullquote was too delicious not to share:

Not many advertisers want to be associated with crack smoking – or Rob Ford, for that matter
posted by juv3nal at 10:17 PM on May 17, 2013


Hoopo, sure! I don't want to take the thread on too much of a derail, but drop me a PM if you'd like more details. I can go on about this stuff for ages. I'm far from a Day apologist, but the gist of it is that he fell in with guys like Ted Morton and Ezra Levant in Alberta in the late 90s. His Christian beliefs are devout, but he generally - by the standards of 1990s Alberta - underplayed them during his early years in provincial politics. It was the second wave of Reform Party apparatchiks, like Morton, Levant, and Rod Love, that urged him to run with the Christian label in front of him. Part of the perceived weakness of Preston Manning, whom Day replaced, was his reluctance to go down that ideological path, and so Day did the opposite.

Meanwhile, there was an kind of an unspoken issue about Day not having competent staff on the campaign trail. In particular, I heard a lot of mutterings about him often using his family as de facto advisors - infamously, the wetsuit thing was perceived as his wife's idea.

Again, I don't defend the man, I just find his political story fascinating. During that 2000 run for the Alliance leadership and the following federal election, he was kind of dealing with a perfect storm of unfortunate platform advice and inexperienced campaign advice. That's why stunts like Warren Kinsella's were so brutally effective: they hit at an underlying suspicion about his campaign, and he didn't have the staff on hand to respond effectively.
posted by ZaphodB at 10:41 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stockwell Day was the Marcel Dion of the right?

Nah, I don't think so actually.. Dion's party hung him out to dry intentionally, not due to bad advice. Still, I think it is an interesting comparison.
posted by Chuckles at 11:49 PM on May 17, 2013


Not many advertisers want to be associated with crack smoking

Crack requires no advertising.
posted by telstar at 1:22 AM on May 18, 2013


Six figures is a lot. I mean, it only cost Gawker Media $5000 for a stolen iPhone prototype.

Yeah, on the one hand, trying to crowdsource $200,000 might have been a misstep; they might have gotten off with paying far less (see Powers, Kenny [Totally NSFW]). OTOH, if the video's owner held out, some other entity might have outbid them, perhaps started a bidding war that effectively put a price tag on the news, thus calling into question the very integrity of rumor-driven internet content.
posted by Rykey at 7:33 AM on May 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The torontoist has lawyers? plural?

Torontoist is owned by St. Joseph's Media, which also owns Toronto Life and multiple other publishing concerns. So, yes, we have lawyers.

With respect to our Rob Ford coverage in this instance, I can confirm that the op/ed piece by Hamutal Dotan wasn't driven by lawyers at all, but instead written because Hamutal is an extremely principled person who holds Torontoist to the standards of any top-flight news organization. I wrote the libel analysis piece because she thought (correctly) it was something a lot of people would be asking about and most newspapers wouldn't be covering, and the piece is sober because when I put on my lawyer hat (since I am one) I try to be much more serious than I typically am for Torontoist and not drop f-bombs as I am normally prone to do.
posted by mightygodking at 7:45 AM on May 18, 2013 [17 favorites]


I think people are thinking of Stéphan Dion upthread. Marcel Dionne was a hockey player.
posted by dry white toast at 7:55 AM on May 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Stockwell Day was the Marcel Dion of the right?

Marcel Dionne was the greatest centre in LA Kings history and sits at fifth on the all-time NHL scoring list. Stephane Dion was the awkward policy wonk who got mismanaged and hung out to dry along with his Green Shift platform in the 2008 federal election.

For some reason, I find this attribution error wildly entertaining. I like to think if the Libs had thought to send the "Little Beaver" out to sell their Green Shift, we might actually have a trailblazing climate and energy policy by now.
posted by gompa at 7:59 AM on May 18, 2013 [6 favorites]



With respect to our Rob Ford coverage in this instance, I can confirm that the op/ed piece by Hamutal Dotan wasn't driven by lawyers at all, but instead written because Hamutal is an extremely principled person who holds Torontoist to the standards of any top-flight news organization. I wrote the libel analysis piece because she thought (correctly) it was something a lot of people would be asking about and most newspapers wouldn't be covering, and the piece is sober because when I put on my lawyer hat (since I am one) I try to be much more serious than I typically am for Torontoist and not drop f-bombs as I am normally prone to do.
posted by mightygodking at 7:45 AM on May 18 [5 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


That's awesome, though next time, you should embed nuggets of cute kitten type videos and hot celebrities at the beach (or whatever the rough equivalent of this is in Canada?!? ) pics throughout the main sober and response text
posted by Bwithh at 8:46 AM on May 18, 2013


If Ford is such a well known quantity then how does he get elected?

Which politician would you rather share a crack pipe with?
posted by mazola at 9:01 AM on May 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Someone petition the CBC to do a Canadian remake of The Wire

It's been done. It was called Trailer Park Boys. Even had a Bubbles before the Wire. The show focuses on the endless cycle of unemployment, drug abuse, and petty crime that a set of marginalized people are trapped in.
posted by juiceCake at 9:13 AM on May 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


TPB is pretty much Canada's finest cultural achievement of the 21st Century.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 AM on May 18, 2013


TPB is pretty much Canada's finest cultural achievement of the 21st Century.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 AM on May 18 [+] [!]


Even better than Being Erica??!!??!?? (I'm just kidding)

Well, I guess I'll just have to watch TPB now
posted by Bwithh at 9:50 AM on May 18, 2013


mightygodking, I just read yours and Hamutal's pieces. Very well done, and added some great analysis to the discussion. Kudos.
posted by dry white toast at 10:46 AM on May 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cheeky bit of reportage from the Globe & Mail:

According to the Toronto Star, the crack-cocaine video was allegedly filmed at an apartment complex at Kipling Avenue and Dixon Road, an area a few kilometres from Mr. Ford’s current and familial home.
A convenience store owner at the intersection said Friday that Mr. Ford has been to her shop “many, many times” in the past to buy cans of Coke, and that she last saw him about 10 days ago. “He’s a nice guy. I don’t want to make trouble,” she said, requesting she not be identified.

posted by Flashman at 10:50 AM on May 18, 2013


Here's a great post on the always-great Ethnic Aisle questioning why the Star thought it useful to mention over and over and over again that the tipsters/dealers were Somali. In the comments, someone notes that in the original story, they mentioned this twelve times, more than the number of references made to the crack that Ford was allegedly smoking. (disclaimer: acquaintance-link)
posted by avocet at 11:03 AM on May 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Macleans : The Ford Zone
posted by Bwithh at 11:39 AM on May 18, 2013


I've been thinking about Rob and Doug desperately trying to get 200K in cash together before the Star does. It has all the makings of a hilarious caper movie.

it's funny, I read that at first as Bob and Doug, and envisioned an entirely different hilarious movie.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:20 PM on May 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why Rob Ford Got Elected: Rob Ford got elected like many Tea Party candidates: a few groups decided that they were being victimized and they would show everyone else that they couldn't be messed with. Those who lost the election were not as diplomatic as they could have been, so both sides dug in their heels.

Under pressure from the Ontario Government, the city of Toronto amalgamated with the suburbs cum municipalities that surrounded it. These municipalities want lower property taxes and less spending on infrastructure. Toronto, being too densely populated for each of us to even own a car, is more collectivist and favours public transit. We tend to me more liberal is well.

People, being who they are, think in the old city of Toronto and all of the former municipalities, that everyone else is getting a better deal. That's human nature. As a resident of Toronto, I think we were screwed.

Ford got elected entirely by the suburbs, much to the surprise of Old Toronto, which voted for an openly gay candidate allied with the centre left party, the Liberals. In the interest of honesty, we're so angry, we refer to the suburbs as barbarian and ignorant. That just fuels the fires.

Meanwhile: Rob Ford is a confirmed liar and a blow hard, but Canadians also resent that his alcoholism, possible wife abuse, and crack habit are being brought into to the spotlight. Traditionally we like to know less about our leaders.

Hope this is fair.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:20 PM on May 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


From Twitter: Famously, George W. Bush was "born on third base and thought he hit a triple." Rob Ford was born on third, spent life stealing second.
posted by Phire at 3:51 PM on May 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Stockwell Day was the Marcel Dion of the right?

Holy shit, did I really do that? That's soooo bad :) I'm really really not that stupid, mostly.
posted by Chuckles at 4:46 PM on May 18, 2013


If both George Bush and Rob Ford were born on third, it was in entirely different ballparks. Bush was the grandson of a Senator and the son of a President, the third generation to attend Yale. His mother also hails from the East Coast gentry. Ford is the son of a man born poor in East York who in an industrial park stuck between a couple highways built himself a successful company printing labels for Javex bottles.

Toronto is coming off a multi-year euphoria where property values climbed and cultural institutions were renewed. Building cranes are everywhere, but some of that seems like it might have been built fast and cheap, built for speculative investors rather than citizens. Infrastructure hasn't kept up with the development, and those cultural institutions haven't met their predictions. For Toronto this sordid episode may be our Boogie Nights' William H. Macy moment.
posted by TimTypeZed at 7:14 PM on May 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is a whiff of James Traficant about him. Unfortunately, he lacks the self-awareness and way with words that made Traficant so entertaining. I mean, if you're going to be a full out shameless corrupt bastard politician, you might as well put a bit of Vaudeville into the act, but this guy is just sad and full of denial and rage. It's always a trainwreck either way, might as well put on your best leisure suit and toupee and go down in a blaze of glory.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:09 PM on May 18, 2013


but Canadians also resent that his alcoholism, possible wife abuse, and crack habit are being brought into to the spotlight. Traditionally we like to know less about our leaders.

Case in point: my folks, senior citizens and about as liberal as you can get (my dad's been to Africa with the World Food Grains bank; they both went to the mat and burned a lot of bridges in their town fighting to allocate some public space for public housing instead of selling it to a condo developer, strongly pro-gay and pro-civil-rights, generally disgusted by Mike Harris and his legacy) are visiting me right now.

I made an offhand crack about Rob Ford, and my dad's immediate response was "well, whether or not it's true, I think he's a larger man and people make fun of him for that; he seems to be trying his best but I think he's getting bullied by the media."

Anecdotal, yeah, but my dad is pretty sharp and not at all anyone in the traditional Ford Supporter mold. I can only conclude that Ford's "I'm just a hard-workin' mayor getting persecuted by the media!" meme is more pervasive and powerful than most of us think.
posted by Shepherd at 11:56 AM on May 19, 2013


It probably doesn't hurt Ford's case that the Star really does have it in for him.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:23 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Meanwhile: Rob Ford is a confirmed liar and a blow hard, but Canadians also resent that his alcoholism, possible wife abuse, and crack habit are being brought into to the spotlight. Traditionally we like to know less about our leaders. "

Honestly, I wish we knew more about them. If the press had been this vigilant in the past we might have had fewer Ralph Kleins and Bill Vander Zalms. Mulroney would probably be in jail right now.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:08 PM on May 19, 2013


Traditionally we like to know less about our leaders.

Many years ago I used to work as a fundraiser for a women's shelter. Of course, the names of the women staying are kept confidential to protect them and to make sure angry boyfriends don't come around in the middle of the night. One frequent quest was the wife of a politician whom almost everyone in this country would recognize, and who was widely touted as a possible future PM. I suppose none of his supporters -- and they were legion -- knew that he was not averse to belting back a fifth of whiskey and beating his wife on the weekends. (He is now retired from public life and, Gott sei dank, divorced.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:57 PM on May 20, 2013


It probably doesn't hurt Ford's case that the Star really does have it in for him.

The Star also had a notable hate-on for Ford's predecessor, David Miller, that arguably played a significant role in Ford's victory.

Tradutionally we like to know less about our leaders

So true. Our media has historically been very readily complicit in concealing 'private' matters, recent examples being our gay defense minister & acting opposition leader and our current PM's marital issues.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:16 PM on May 20, 2013


recent examples being our gay defense minister & acting opposition leader and our current PM's marital issues.

There is a lot of WTF in that line, so maybe some elaboration?
posted by Chuckles at 11:04 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Star says that Ford will make a public statement about the video at 11 this morning (about 15 minutes from now). There are a LOT of reporters there (NOTE: Vine video with audio, will autoplay).
posted by maudlin at 7:47 AM on May 21, 2013


Strike that: "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has no plans of addressing allegations that he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine Tuesday, the mayor's spokesperson said."
The mayor attended a city council meeting Tuesday morning to formally kill the proposal for a downtown casino, which ends for good what was once a pet project for Mr. Ford.

The meeting was the first time the beleaguered mayor faced his council colleagues since accusations he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine surfaced last week. During his statement in council, the mayor made no mention of the ongoing drug allegations. After the special meeting on a casino, Mr Ford's next official duty at city hall will be in a week's time when his executive committee is scheduled to meet.
Laying low seems to be his only real plan. And it might work.
posted by maudlin at 8:51 AM on May 21, 2013


It's his only option. "I'm guilty as shit but you can't prove it".

Obviously any innocent person would just have said "It's not me, you idiots" and that would have been that.
posted by unSane at 8:54 AM on May 21, 2013


Thematically related.
posted by unSane at 9:04 AM on May 21, 2013


Christie Blatchford: Rob Ford owes his supporters the cold, hard truth over crack allegations.

.Jonathan Kay: A crackhead, if that’s what he is, cannot be allowed to lead Toronto

However, Sue-Ann Levy at the Sun is still Rob's pitbull, or maybe just a dolphin with fangs: "Piranhas" descend on Mayor Rob Ford
Never mind that our colleagues at the Toronto Star went with a damning story about Ford’s alleged crack cocaine use based on a video they did not have in their possession and the word, er, reputation of Somali drug dealers — in other words with very flimsy evidence.

No one bothered either to check into the background of John Cook, the Gawker editor who first posted the video on his gossip website — which prompted the Star to run with the story. He’s described as “left-leaning” and was recently singled out by the Honest Reporting organization in the U.S. for claiming Israelis deliberately kill human shields in Gaza.

Forget about the fact that Star has been out for Ford’s blood from the day he was elected in October of 2010 because, my goodness, his agenda is not theirs and horror of horrors, he’s also fat and sweaty. That didn’t matter, either. The court of public opinion had already sat and Ford was tried and convicted.

I will not comment on the video or whether the allegations are true or not because I have not seen it. I’m not in the habit of relying on the say-so of my competition or Somali drug dealers.
But will she finally leave him, too, if he keeps up the silent strategy?
That said, the mayor should respond to the allegations in more detail sooner, rather than later, and either put them to rest or if they are true, take a leave to seek professional help. He wouldn’t be the first politician in Toronto with a drug issue (can we say George Smitherman?)
posted by maudlin at 9:13 AM on May 21, 2013


No one bothered either to check into the background of John Cook, the Gawker editor who first posted the video on his gossip website — which prompted the Star to run with the story. He’s described as “left-leaning” and was recently singled out by the Honest Reporting organization in the U.S. for claiming Israelis deliberately kill human shields in Gaza.


As fine an example as I've ever seen of the Chewbacca defense.
posted by unSane at 9:19 AM on May 21, 2013


Please, Metafilter was the one place I was pretty certain was a Levy-free zone. Gross.
posted by chococat at 9:24 AM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]



recent examples being our gay defense minister & acting opposition leader and our current PM's marital issues.

There is a lot of WTF in that line, so maybe some elaboration?


Bill Graham's private life was one of those 'open secrets' that was well-known but never discussed in the media. I have less knowledge of the Harper thing, but there are well-travelled rumors that he & Laureen have been effectively separated for quite some time.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:42 PM on May 21, 2013


Christie Blatchford: Rob Ford owes his supporters the cold, hard truth over crack allegations.

Gah, Christie Blatchford lives for this kind of shit.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:25 PM on May 21, 2013


I am by no means a Ford fan, but I dread the input of DiBlatchford on any issue.
posted by ZaphodB at 8:52 PM on May 21, 2013


BLATCHFORD WARNING! AVERT YOUR EYES!

Christie Blatchford: If the Rob Ford video is a fake, why hasn’t he said so?
The mayor’s supporters appear to accept the notion that somehow, the Star either would be involved in such a smear as a faked video or at least a willing dupe in seeing that said smear was spread wide and far.

I can absolutely assure them that this is not what’s happened here. No newspaper on Earth is sufficiently organized to pull off such a scam. Newspapermen like to uncover conspiracies and write righteously about them; we are far too inept to carry one off.

Secondly, though editorially the Star may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and though collectively its coverage of the mayor has been obsessive and occasionally puerile, it has mostly been, well, good.

Donovan and Doolittle are serious, proper journalists. The paper is a serious, proper paper. It has serious, proper editors. The very idea that at the Star, all these good people would be so blinded by their zeal to get Mr. Ford that they would invent or knowingly perpetrate a fraud is frankly not on the table.

(And again, if the video is a fake, why hasn’t Mr. Ford said so? He has missed the several opportunities to do this believably, by the way; were he to later this week or next month denounce the video as a fraud, I’m afraid I will think it’s only because he has managed to buy the damn thing himself.)
Anyone want to make book on when Sue-Ann Levy deserts him?
posted by maudlin at 9:08 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Daily Show catches up. (Video is from Mediaite, so it should play in Canada and the States, at least.)
posted by maudlin at 10:05 PM on May 21, 2013


Comedy Central link
posted by XMLicious at 1:58 AM on May 22, 2013


I had to double check, but Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut.
posted by jb at 5:26 AM on May 22, 2013


(I've always been fooled by that Toronto-Ottawa thing, where we're bigger but they're the capital.)
posted by jb at 5:27 AM on May 22, 2013


This piece in the Sun is breathtaking.
He has not been charged with a crime.

He is not under police investigation.

He is not under oath.

He is not obligated to discuss his personal life.

His own time is his own business.

Who he hangs out with or assists is up to him.

How he parties on private property is private.

On not discussing the contents of a video that has not been made public but allegedly contains 90 seconds of “crack smoking,” Mayor Rob Ford got it right Tuesday by choosing to remain silent.

There is no legal requirement for him to address it. And no upside for him to do so.

It doesn’t matter what the experts are advising.

...

There was a statement written and a plan for him to deliver it at city hall Tuesday.

But in the end, the man himself realized he does not owe anybody an explanation for unsubstantiated allegations from anonymous people who’s own credibility can’t be tested.
And on and on and on, finally concluding:
If it’s proven beyond a reasonable doubt he was involved in the deadly world of crack cocaine, it will not be deplorable but there may be legitimate questions from justice people he won’t be able to avoid.

However, for now, with there being nothing but hearsay and untested interpretations of a mystery video, Rob Ford is an elected individual in good standing who has a job to do.
posted by unSane at 8:13 AM on May 22, 2013


This piece in the Sun is breathtaking.

It's downright adorable.
posted by chococat at 8:36 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would wager that "the media", including Samantha Bee and Blatchford have all spoken with the Star and with Gawker, and probably know what happened. There's probably a lot more out there they can't report on.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:05 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn’t matter what the experts are advising.

Ford's M.O. in a nutshell.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:07 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


who has a job to do.

I like that they put the punchline at the end.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:20 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy shit that sad Doug Ford campaign speech just single-handedly guaranteed that the video will be out sooner than later.
posted by chococat at 10:37 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


What'd he say, chococat?
posted by saturday_morning at 10:38 AM on May 22, 2013


He didn't say anything, really. God, I wish the video had leaked just as Doug started to speak.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2013


I'm trying to fathom that anyone, anywhere, thought that that whatever-it-was by Doug Ford thought it was a good idea. Nevermind someone the Ford's pay to give them advice. Just...wow.
posted by dry white toast at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2013


Feed of the press conference from The Star's website.
posted by dry white toast at 10:42 AM on May 22, 2013


Also, at Peter Worthington's funeral this morning, Ford staffers were handing out campaign magnets. When reporters shouted questions at Ford as he left, he said "have some respect."

A Turing Machine saying these things would have been shut down as a failure long ago.
posted by dry white toast at 10:44 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Essentially what he said.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2013


Doug: "He is the people’s mayor. Never has the mayor been so accessible or cared so much for the issues facing residents."

The People's Mayor.
Paging Elton John you need to re-write that song again.
posted by chococat at 10:48 AM on May 22, 2013


chococat: "Paging Elton John you need to re-write that song again."

Goodbye, England's Rose --> Good High, Etobicoke's Love Rose?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2013


Could they look any guiltier?

Even if you're guilty, the correct response is "These are serious allegations which are completely untrue. We want to see the video as much as anyone."
posted by unSane at 10:58 AM on May 22, 2013


How do they think this is going to end, exactly?
posted by dry white toast at 11:04 AM on May 22, 2013


Hot jazz high-speed cemetery chase scene?
posted by The Whelk at 11:04 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


This ship has long-sailed, but he should have admitted it right at the start. "Yes, I did this and I have a problem" or whatever. And resign. Then maybe he'd diffuse the power of the video and possibly it wouldn't be released, possibly no money going to "drug dealers." And then he could get help and maybe he could come back with some sympathy to add to his "just a regular guy" bullshit.
I'm probably wrong though.
posted by chococat at 11:07 AM on May 22, 2013


This is the chase scene I'm imagining.
posted by unSane at 11:15 AM on May 22, 2013


I know we're joking, but seriously, after today, Ford trying to escape the city in a getaway car feels like a genuinely plausible outcome.
posted by dry white toast at 11:19 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


A Rob Ford Bronco?
posted by Crane Shot at 11:22 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Possibly a clown car or one of those Shriner jobs...
posted by unSane at 11:23 AM on May 22, 2013


The crackstarter is now at $113,000!
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:32 AM on May 22, 2013


NB: There is nothing to say that raising the $200k will result in the video getting out. The sellers could easily decide to see if they could get more. When you lie down with dogs...
posted by dry white toast at 11:35 AM on May 22, 2013


Doug made the statement 'Rob says it's not true' so that it can't be used against his brother in court (it's hearsay). Rob is schtumm on the advice of his lawyers. If Rob said it publicly, it could be used against him on the stand. Notice that nobody in the Ford camp has called the video fake. Nor has anyone denied that RF has ever used crack. It's all being very carefully worded.

I would imagine the dealers would be pretty happy to testify against RF if it got them a deal. And RF would be a nice feather in the cap for a cop or prosecutor. I think there is a lot at stake here.
posted by unSane at 11:39 AM on May 22, 2013


(and the fact that RF's supporters are being forced into the 'well, so what if he used crack?' position is... wow).
posted by unSane at 11:40 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


A Rob Ford Bronco?

"The Bronco’s been discontinued. We’re trying to shed that whole fugitive-on-the-run thing. This is the Escape."
posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


That increasingly sounds like the case, unSane. But serious question: does his mayorlty just grind to a halt while we wait for him to be arrested and charged once the police obtain the tape?
posted by dry white toast at 11:45 AM on May 22, 2013


He speeds away from the screaming glare of the Toronto Star helicopter fleet, careening down the crumbling Gardiner in his Cadillac Escalade with ROBFORD license plate, eyes on the important city documents he continues to read. Off he rides into the sunset of Etobicoke, at least until he hits the lane reductions at Islington. He is never seen again. Whispers tell of a round, pink ghost that roams the waterfront on chill February nights and haunts fixed-gear bicycles.
posted by saturday_morning at 11:45 AM on May 22, 2013


(I'm absolutely certain the cops know exactly who the dealers in question are)
posted by unSane at 11:48 AM on May 22, 2013


You can tell that's fiction, because even Rob Ford's ghost wouldn't go near a bicycle.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:48 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Don Bosco High School just fired Rob Ford as the coach of its football team.

Seriously. Wow.
posted by mightygodking at 11:50 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Transcript of Doug Ford's speech, which seems to address everything but the matter at hand.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:50 AM on May 22, 2013


Mediaite just embeds clips from comedy central, and comedy central doesn't work in Canada.

Here's a link from the second-rate thecomedynetwork.ca.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:51 AM on May 22, 2013


"Paging Elton John you need to re-write that song again."

As Keith Richards said, "Candle In the Wind" is a song only for dead blondes, so hopefully that crack does not catch up with Ford's heart soon.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:52 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Pruitt-Igoe, Mediaite worked perfectly for me last night, and I'm in Toronto. Mediaite and some other sites usually embed their own versions of CC with or without permission, and there's no geo-blocking on them. They must have switched to CC some time after I posted.)
posted by maudlin at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2013


I use unblock-us.com which for $5 a month provides proxies to almost everything you need. Full list here.
posted by unSane at 12:24 PM on May 22, 2013


Don Bosco High School just fired Rob Ford as the coach of its football team.

Holy shit. That is going to hurt. I think Ford loves football more than being a mayor. (And if he did really say something disparaging about the students -- the "fucking minorities" comment -- then the kids and their families must also be really hurt and angry, for good reason. He was already on thin ice with them after claiming that he was doing his bit to keep the kids alive and off the streets a few months ago.)

As horrifically fascinated as I am with this entire spectacle, I wish that things didn't have to end up like this. I think this writer does a fair job of describing the conflicted feelings I share about Ford. Why, oh why, couldn't the opposing candidates have gotten their shit together in 2010 and forestalled this entire personal and political mess?
posted by maudlin at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why, oh why, couldn't the opposing candidates have gotten their shit together in 2010 and forestalled this entire personal and political mess?

Yup. The idea that the same people who orchestrated today's statement by Ford could win a mayorlty campaign tells you how badly the other campaigns fucked up. If by some miracle Ford is still mayor when the next election rolls around, the campaign is going to be surreal.
posted by dry white toast at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2013


It speaks to how fucked up this situation has gotten that the idea of Ford being around to run for re-election seems simultaneously ridiculous beyond cogitation, and entirely consistent and plausible.
posted by dry white toast at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2013


Ford won because his campaign resembled Homer Simpson's successful bid for sanitation commissioner. Telling people what they want to hear is always going to be a successful strategy...at least once, anyway.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Once someone pointed out that David Miller is essentially sardonic former garbage commissioner Ray Patterson, the world started to make a lot more sense.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:49 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ford won because his campaign resembled Homer Simpson's successful bid for sanitation commissioner. Telling people what they want to hear is always going to be a successful strategy...at least once, anyway.

I disagree. Lots of politicians make that pitch. The skill in a campaign is to be able to make it clear why it's bullshit.
posted by dry white toast at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2013


The Ford brothers remind me of the early Norman kings of England for some reason, in terms of the violence and chaos, maybe Doug Ford is William Rufus, while Rob is Henry I. Not an exact match. If we're talking Plantagenets, maybe Edward II?
posted by KokuRyu at 1:14 PM on May 22, 2013


Don Bosco High School just fired Rob Ford as the coach of its football team.

It is rare indeed that you see a ship leave a sinking rat.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:35 PM on May 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


Why, oh why, couldn't the opposing candidates have gotten their shit together in 2010 and forestalled this entire personal and political mess?

Ford won with 47% of the vote. There was no one else who was going to defeat him; even if everyone except Smitherman had dropped out, some of their supporters would have stayed home or gone to Ford.
posted by Dasein at 1:57 PM on May 22, 2013


He speeds away from the screaming glare of the Toronto Star helicopter fleet, careening down the crumbling Gardiner in his Cadillac Escalade with ROBFORD license plate

After he flipped off that woman and her child (or blew by the open streetcar doors, I can't remember which incident) he changed his license plate from ROBFORD to DONBOSCO after his beloved football team.

ahahahaha
posted by avocet at 4:51 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


And now the worm Sun turns. Ford needs to directly address these allegations, or get help and step aside.
posted by unSane at 4:42 AM on May 23, 2013


Lest we forget, the legendary Mel Lastman apology press conference after he offended all of Africa while Toronto was bidding for the Olympics. A simpler time.
posted by dry white toast at 6:46 AM on May 23, 2013


Was that the thing where he was scared to go to Africa because they might boil him in a pot or something like that?
Oh for simpler times. Although Toronto is STILL catching flack for the time he called the Army in because of a snow storm.
They never did get to our street, either.
posted by chococat at 7:48 AM on May 23, 2013


I remember photographing an event (one of Ed Mirvish's many birthday parties) where Mayor Mel turned up to give a speech. As far as I could tell he was drunk as a skunk, but in an endearing sort of way, and the crowd loved him.
posted by unSane at 8:02 AM on May 23, 2013


One thing I like about Canada is that is has a fondness for colourful politicians, and elects them with almost monotonous regularity.
posted by unSane at 8:04 AM on May 23, 2013


Mel Lastman's (alleged) blog is a thing of beauty.

In North York, there is only one entrance way to the powerful network of tunnels that eventually leads to the honeycombed tunnel network in downtown Toronto. I have entered these tunnels several times to find myself searching, often times late at night, with a soft glowing lantern. In these tunnels it is so quiet. Very rarely I actually find the hardened white rock substance that can be converted to the powerful gaseous energy that fills my entire body with power and confidence.

I find I get extremely chatty when inhaling this gaseous power. I find that the need to express my opinions, feelings and emotions is so great that I had to come and update my blog.

posted by unSane at 8:24 AM on May 23, 2013


One thing I like about Canada is that is has a fondness for colourful politicians, and elects them with almost monotonous regularity.

By and large yes, which is what makes the current occupant of 24 Sussex such an enduring mystery. There is a photo I am sure I have seen -- this is not the one, but it has five of the six subjects I thought were in the photo -- taken in the late nineties and showing all of Canada's living PMs.

Trudeau spent a total of almost fifteen and a half years in office, Mulroney somewhat under nine years and Chretien ultimately just over ten years. Clark was in office eleven months, Turner 79 days and Campbell for 132 days. This seems to me an almost exact mirror of the ratios of their relative charisma and personality. For better or worse, we tend to react to personalities in our leaders, which I suspect is why the dynamic and magnetic Jack Layton did so well against a pair of colourless technocrats in 2011. I suspect that the CPC are looking at Justin Trudeau with a sinking feeling in their stomachs, and are hoping for either some massive gaffed on Trudeau's part or a miraculous policy utterance from the Hon. Mr. Harper. To capture Gen-X voters, perhaps he can make Friday part of the weekend and give every new baby a chocolate eclair.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:29 AM on May 23, 2013


I think Harper's main quality is that he's the least interesting candidate apart from all the others.

I also suspect that Harper, like John Major, is a much more interesting man than anyone gives him credit for. But he hides it damn well.
posted by unSane at 8:44 AM on May 23, 2013


Although Toronto is STILL catching flack for the time he called the Army in because of a snow storm.

I'm from Northern BC, and grew up in a town where we got snow by the shitload every winter. My mom was visiting me in Toronto during that particular storm and she though it pretty much seemed like, you know, regular weather. The taxi driver who brought her home from the airport was complaining mightily because there was visible snow on the highway and wet pavement in all the driving lanes, and that would be considered excellent driving conditions back home.

They still rag on me about that when I talk to them. If the weather reports show Toronto getting a lot of snow, my Dad will call me up specifically to ask if they've called in the army yet.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:47 AM on May 23, 2013


For better or worse, we tend to react to personalities in our leaders,

Chretien has personality?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2013


If the weather reports show Toronto getting a lot of snow, my Dad will call me up specifically to ask if they've called in the army yet

Such a dad thing. My dad still says, everytime he sees me, "Did your razor break?" (I hate shaving and usually have a few days growth on my face.) It's HI-Larious, let me tell you.

I also suspect that Harper, like John Major, is a much more interesting man than anyone gives him credit for. But he hides it damn well.

It's those grey, unfeeling robot eyes, nothing gets past them.
But hey, he has that Beatles coffee cup! So he's relateable and not distant at all.
posted by chococat at 9:01 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chretien has personality?

Yeah. I have met him -- you would be astonished.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:01 AM on May 23, 2013


Chretien is fabulous. Agree or disagree with his policies, but he does have a sharp mind and a sharp wit.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:09 AM on May 23, 2013


He brought not giving a fuck to a new level.
posted by unSane at 9:16 AM on May 23, 2013


He'll always have a place in my heart for calling George W. Bush a "moron."
posted by chococat at 9:23 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Apparently Ford just fired his Chief of Staff.
posted by chococat at 11:04 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because in a crisis, the first thing you want to do is make an enemy out of the guy who knows where the bodies are buried.

I mean, wait, what?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:15 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pure speculation, but the only reason I can come up with is that the chief of staff gave Ford advice that Ford really, really didn't like. Which in itself says a lot about the merits of these allegations.

But -- guesswork at this point. But what else could it be?
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:26 AM on May 23, 2013


This is starting to take on a distinct Der Untergang feel.
posted by dry white toast at 11:27 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I imagine the conversation was pretty simple.

"Either you fess up or I quit"

"Too late. You're fired."
posted by unSane at 11:28 AM on May 23, 2013


Chretien has personality?

His ability to hold decades-long vindictive grudges against Turner, Martin, [someone-else-you-care-to-name], is proof in itself that yes, Chretien indeed has plenty of personality.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:29 AM on May 23, 2013


Chretien was a damn fine politician. Dude knew how to swing. I'm glad he was (mostly) aligned with my politics. Even conservative friends of mine during that time loved watching him do his thing.
posted by dry white toast at 11:32 AM on May 23, 2013


I imagine the conversation was pretty simple.

"Hey Mark, I want you to run this two hundred thousand to some guys I know..."
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:34 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Towhey was escorted out by security, no less.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:39 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Towhey is finally realizing that all of his professional efforts were in service of a complete idiot, or if it was just a gig and he knew it all along?

Various people on Twitter are saying the firing has something to do with football. Oh, lord.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:42 AM on May 23, 2013


I want Ford gone, desperately, but I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this.
Years ago I made the huge mistake of clicking on a link and watching a video of some scandal-plagued American Mayor calling a press conference and proceeding to stick a gun in his mouth and off himself on TV. I wish I could unsee that because it really disturbed me for quite a while.
I'm really hoping this never goes anywhere near that.
But man he's really backed himself into a fucking corner by digging in his heels like this, to mix metaphors.
posted by chococat at 11:42 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Towhey was escorted out by security, no less.

That's fucked up. I remember getting laid off by the new CEO and his new "VP Finance". I was working in a regional office in a building where I had worked, in different roles, for different organizations, for many years. Everyone in the building knew me, and had good relations with me, including the security staff. And the new CEO and his new "VP Finance" asked security to escort me off property. They then flew back to head office, never to return. I have never forgiven them for that and I never will.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:51 AM on May 23, 2013


Beyond the need for someone to collect buddy's work Blackberry, and to make sure he doesn't access his computer anymore, there's no need for the security escort. I'm sure that after being fired, Towhey would want nothing more than to leave.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:55 AM on May 23, 2013


From The Star's twitter:

Ford's office releases statement: Effective immediately, Mark Towhey is no longer working in the Office of the Mayor... Mr. Towhey has been a intricate part of the Mayor's Office and has made many valuable contributions... The Mayor thanks Mr. Towhey for his valuable service and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours... Earl Provost, Deputy Chief of Staff, will assume the role of Acting Chief of Staff until further notice... So there you have it: if you need a job - Mayor Rob Ford needs a chief of staff.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:04 PM on May 23, 2013


Councillor Jaye Robinson (on the Executive Committee) is the one saying that the firing had to do with football.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:08 PM on May 23, 2013


the firing had to do with football.

Sure, that pesky rule where you can't coach while being a crackhead gets them every time. If only his vice had been little boys he'd still be in the locker rooms snapping towels!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:19 PM on May 23, 2013


That video of the COS walking to his car with security after getting fired -- just me, or did he seem a bit giddy? Not the typical reaction you'd expect of a guy who was just axed, unless of course his boss was a crack-smoking a-hole.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:23 PM on May 23, 2013


> So there you have it: if you need a job - Mayor Rob Ford needs a chief of staff.

The Titanic hits the iceberg. Minutes later, a desperate telegraph message: CAPT. EDWARD SMITH FIRED -STOP- POSITION OPEN TO ALL APPLICANTS
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:27 PM on May 23, 2013


Another good joke floating about twitter: "Nigel Wright's available."
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


My guess would be that the security escort was policy, more than personal animosity. Most organizations that have any type of security -- badge access, etc -- have HR policies about how fired employees are to be escorted out of the building.

When I quit my last job I continued to work out my 2 weeks notice and still had to be escorted out by a manager on my last day. And that was a job I resigned from, not that I got fired from. I never really saw all that much value in it, because, really, if I was going to steal something or do damage, I had the notice period to do it in. But HR/security policies are what they are and so even though they had to run through four or five managers to find one who wasn't going to be taking a vacation day or a business trip that Friday, they found a manager to walk me out the door and watch me put my badge in the little drop box.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:31 PM on May 23, 2013


...did he seem a bit giddy?

He's already revised his twitter bio to read: "No longer on the wrong side of the planet. And yes, sadly, my Tweets are entirely my own"

Mind you, before this, he's joked about being 'evil', so maybe it's just his sense of humour.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:36 PM on May 23, 2013


Spoke too soon -- apparently his bio didn't change. Stoopid twitter.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:47 PM on May 23, 2013


Torontoist has added a 'Days since Rob Ford said anything about the crack smoking issue' counter to its sidebar, which I think is an interesting approach to killing any hope Rob Ford might have that if he just hunkers down and says nothing and the real video never goes public this will blow over when the media runs out of new things to report about it.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:16 PM on May 23, 2013


I find it curious that the current scandals in Toronto and at the federal level seem to be running in parallel: in both cases, the big cheese (with whom the buck ought to stop) has dismissed the scandal and characterized it as a distraction from the real work of creating jobs and saving the taxpayers money, and in each case has had his right-hand man fall on a sword and is now apparently hoping that silence will end any further interest. I wonder if Rob Ford has checked whether or not he can prorogue council.

Kathleen Wynne must be taking some comfort that no matter what goes on with the power plants cancellation at the provincial level, it will never get closer to the front page that page A8.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:52 PM on May 23, 2013


Councillor Jaye Robinson (on the Executive Committee) is the one saying that the firing had to do with football.

Well, of course. Hizzoner has lost his primary job of coaching football, a job to which he redirected the work of many city hall staff, so naturally there were bound to be some layoffs from the coaching staff.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:17 PM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Someone just ponied up for the $10,000 crackphone on crackstarter. They're at $155,000 and change now out of $200k.
posted by unSane at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2013


The campaign has hit a bump; Gawker hasn't been able to get in touch with the owner(s) of the video since Sunday.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:30 PM on May 23, 2013


That Gawker update is not good news. Lots of speculation that Ford managed to buy the thing or otherwise silence the seller. That would explain his run-out-the-clock strategy.
posted by saturday_morning at 4:13 PM on May 23, 2013


That's certainly possible. Or maybe they just decided not to sell the video. Lots of people - their peers - must know who the guys with the video are. He/they might figure at this point that this might turn out badly for them , and not worth any amount of money. I mean, if this was a movie, would we expect anything less, with this cast of characters? If nothing else, even if it is fucking Rob Ford it violates the confidentiality and trust that needs to exist between dealer and client. It's not a great precedent to set.
posted by Flashman at 5:48 PM on May 23, 2013


Ford fired Towhey because Towhey told him to go to rehab.
posted by mightygodking at 8:59 PM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


And I guarantee that Towhey didn't resign because he intends to file a lawsuit over the dismissal.
posted by unSane at 9:13 PM on May 23, 2013


Well, that makes sense. I mean, nobody else is suing Rob Ford this week, right? Somebody has to step up and fill that gap.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:22 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Toronto's Executive Committee is preparing to run Toronto in Ford's absence.
posted by mightygodking at 9:24 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


CBC radio and City News both quote Towhey saynig "I am no longer the chief of staff. ... I did not resign".

Too bad, beause it was good advice, cocaine or not, I think. Ford, for all his many faults, needs to get himself some help.

What is going on where there is an issue where i agree with Margaret Wente? (yike!)
posted by chapps at 10:31 PM on May 23, 2013


The National Post: The Post has since learned that Mr. Ford and Mr. Towhey had a disagreement on the phone Wednesday over the mayor’s desire to host a pizza party for the football team he coached up until Wednesday. The mayor wanted his office staff to help coordinate it and Mr. Towhey refused.

That may be the saddest paragraph I've read all year.
posted by Crane Shot at 11:19 PM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Twenty-seven months ago today Rob Ford won the mayoral election. Looking back to that thread, I notice that I compared his fiscal responsibility/law-and-order campaign platform with that of Larry O'Brien in Ottawa who had become mayor in Ottawa four years earlier. O'Brien had a single term that fell somewhere between "mediocre" and "disastrous" depending on your criteria. However, O'Brien never reached these depths. Every morning I look at the news and every morning it is a new bouquet of WTF.

I haven't lived in Toronto in nearly a decade, but it is still one of my favourite cities. A friend who lives there is generally much more optimistic and cheerful than I am; however, while I predicted four years of an increasingly paralyzed and ineffectual municipal government, he figured four years later Rofo would be either dead or in prison. Jason, I owe you a pint.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:24 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine how sad and awkward that pizza party would have been? And then there's the issue of his attempting to use city staff for his fucking football shit yet again...the mind reels.

> he figured four years later Rofo would be either dead or in prison.

Before he even took office, a friend of mine predicted Ford would die of a heart attack before the end of his term.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:08 AM on May 24, 2013


The conspiracy theory du jour is that one of the other celebs hinted at in the Gawker piece (including a 'prominent hockey analyst' nudge nudge wink wink) may have ponied up to save the mayor the trouble and avoid the inevitable splashback if the video emerged publicly.
posted by unSane at 7:25 AM on May 24, 2013


"Put that in your pipe, you left-wing kooks!" - Don Cherry at Rob Ford's swearing in ceremony.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:33 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


he figured four years later Rofo would be either dead or in prison

I said a very similar thing at a really heated Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws house in North York right before the election, where I was astounded and dumbfounded to learn that most of my wife's family would be voting for such a complete buffoon. I said something about the inevitability of seeing him being led into the back of a police car.
posted by chococat at 8:04 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


..mayor’s desire to host a pizza party for the football team he coached up until Wednesday. The mayor wanted his office staff to help coordinate it.

If you can't handle the logistical challenge of getting a bunch of teenage boys and a bunch of pizzas into the same room, then you really do need to get yourself to re-hab
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:09 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think we can safely say Rob Ford has lost the Toronto Sun.
posted by unSane at 8:17 AM on May 24, 2013


"...avoid the inevitable splashback if the video emerged publicly."

While the video itself would have sealed Ford's fate, the accusation itself and how poorly Ford responded to them, may be enough to sink him. (Not to mention that this new football thing shows that Ford just doesn't get the limits of his position, even after all that has happened.) With the Executive Committee drafting a letter to Ford today, I think we're seeing his last friends move on, and jockey themselves for the Ford-free future they know is coming.

Which is not to say that Ford will go easily, or even go at all. The video would have sealed that. At this point, though, he's been made irrelevant to city business, and there will only be more pressure from the inside to cut out the gangrene before it poisons them all.

Even if this video was bought by friends of Ford's -- there will be more videos. They can't buy all of them.

As I see it, anyway.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:19 AM on May 24, 2013


I wasn't really clear, sorry. What I meant was that one of the other figures implicated in the scandal paid for the video in order to save themselves from the splashback. The Gawker piece implied this was a much bigger story than just Ford.
posted by unSane at 8:23 AM on May 24, 2013


The Star is implying his interim Chief of Staff is eager to bail too.
posted by unSane at 8:24 AM on May 24, 2013


Aah, thanks unSane. I can see that angle now.

I wonder how Ford Nation would react to Ford going into rehab. Going to rehab would be an admission of the allegations. Would Ford Nation support him, and excuse his lies on the basis of his being sick, or would these lies and the illegal acts behind them finally prove too much?
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:28 AM on May 24, 2013


Wow unSane, the idea that there could be a Don Cherry crack-smoking video floating around,...makes me all warm inside.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:41 AM on May 24, 2013


Judging from what I've seen they'll be in the bunker to the end.
posted by unSane at 8:42 AM on May 24, 2013


I think this is one end of a very long piece of string.
posted by unSane at 8:43 AM on May 24, 2013


The pro-Ford tack in comments sections has largely switched to "IF he has a problem, it's because the Toronto Star hounded him so much."
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:46 AM on May 24, 2013


Yeah, the video doesn't even matter anymore. You've basically got everyone saying he has a drug problem now. It's just him left, with Doug beside him to deny and enable, and while they can stick it out as long as they want, they are useless at City Hall and can only serve as an annoying sideshow and embarrassment.
While I'd like the video out as irrefuteable proof of the crack and also the "fag" and "minorities" comments, I'm kind of glad it's off the table for now because I was wary of the whole Crackstarter sliminess.

I wonder how Ford Nation would react to Ford going into rehab

Are you kidding? "You see! He's getting help! Leave him alone you vultures, you drove him to this. He's just an ordinary guy with a problem."
They are already saying, literally, that they would prefer a crack-smoking Rob to David Miller. I won't link to the tweet because, yeah, gross people.
posted by chococat at 8:46 AM on May 24, 2013


I for one wouldn't mind seeing the Crackstarter reach its goal anyway, if it means CAMH ends up $200k richer.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:56 AM on May 24, 2013


Judging from what I've seen they'll be in the bunker to the end.

I suspect that given the amount of time that Ford has devoted to trumpeting his plans for his next term, his eventual departure from the office will involve either handcuffs or a gurney.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:13 AM on May 24, 2013


Possibly handcuffed TO a gurney.
posted by unSane at 9:14 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another possibility.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:21 AM on May 24, 2013


Remember upthread when we joked that this would end with a car chase. Turns out we weren't far off. Can't find a link just now, but apparently staff had a plan to put the mayor on a plane to a rehab centre and make an announcement after he was gone.

The problem of course is that Ford refuses to acknowledge he has a problem.

Anyone who has ever dealt with a family member with an addiction who refuses to acknowledge it knows how ugly the next phase of this is going to be. I've been with everyone saying we need to hear from Rob, not Doug. But at this point, I think someone has to reach Doug, since he's the only one that can reach Rob.

But then again, not only is Doug probably in as severe denial as Rob, Doug might be an addict himself.
posted by dry white toast at 9:52 AM on May 24, 2013


Also, I'd take odds on there being an actual car chase before this thing is over.
posted by dry white toast at 9:53 AM on May 24, 2013


This might be what you were looking for, from the Globe:
Mr. Towhey made the demand as pressure mounted on Mr. Ford to respond to reports of a video showing him smoking crack cocaine, a source said. The plan was to quietly put the mayor on a plane to a rehab centre and issue a statement after he was gone.
posted by frimble at 10:01 AM on May 24, 2013


Thanks frimble. Actually just found the updated version of that article, but don't think it has that quote in it anymore.
posted by dry white toast at 10:05 AM on May 24, 2013


I think someone has to reach Doug, since he's the only one that can reach Rob.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't Rob & Doug not on speaking terms for years and years, before Rob made his mayoral run?
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:58 AM on May 24, 2013


Hizzoner will apparently speak at City Hall within the hour.
posted by unSane at 11:58 AM on May 24, 2013


CP24 live feed (seems to work in Chrome, not Safari).
posted by unSane at 12:16 PM on May 24, 2013


Denies everything. Combative and smug.
posted by unSane at 12:41 PM on May 24, 2013


Looks like somebody bought themselves a video of some kind
posted by mightygodking at 12:44 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


A non-denial denial. Any burgeoning sympathy I had for him is gone now. Please, please, please let this cockamaimie Crackstarter crowdfunding thing succeed.
posted by Crane Shot at 12:46 PM on May 24, 2013


Rofo: "I do not use crack cocaine and I am not an addict," and, "I can't comment on a video that I have not seen or that does not exist," and we will continue to fight for the taxpayers. Note: this is not actually a denial.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:47 PM on May 24, 2013


The AP's most recent tweet: BREAKING: Toronto mayor Rob Ford says he does not smoke crack cocaine

That's gold, folks.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:48 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Notice that he did NOT say that he's never used crack cocaine.
posted by Crane Shot at 12:49 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brother Doug took a couple of questions and observed that only a single media source is maintaining this. Reporters shouted, "What about Gawker?" and Dofo said it was disgusting that they were extorting* money and were slandering the fine Somali** people.

*Not actually extorting -- they appealed for funds and people are freely giving them.
**I don't think Gawker ever mentioned their ethnicity.

posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:54 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm going with the handcuffs exit at this point.
posted by unSane at 12:56 PM on May 24, 2013


Yeah, that sure is a lot of present-tense. He might as well have said, "I am not currently smoking crack."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:58 PM on May 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


If he or his cronies didn't buy the video, he just gave the green light to the Star to do so.

I think it's open warfare from here on.
posted by unSane at 1:02 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe he didn't inhale?
posted by Rumple at 1:03 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I do not use crack cocaine," Ford told a jam-packed news conference at Toronto City Hall. "Nor am I an addict of crack cocaine."

Well, there we go. It's not like Robbie's ever lied to us before.

OK, boys, we're done here. Story's over, everybody can go home.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:15 PM on May 24, 2013


It will be interesting to see if people who were keeping quiet in the hope that the video or Ford himself would do the job for them, will now come out of the woodwork. If I were the Star I'd have every reporter on the ground on this story.
posted by unSane at 1:25 PM on May 24, 2013


Ford said he could not comment on a video "that I have never seen or does not exist."

That's one hell of a line once you unpack it a bit. If you've never smoked crack, there can be no video of you smoking crack. So why add that you haven't seen that video, which according to you can't exist?

It's like his brain is a bit fuzzy or something.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:27 PM on May 24, 2013


If he or his cronies didn't buy the video, he just gave the green light to the Star to do so.

The Star might just have to. Its integrity and reputation was always on the line, of course, but never more so than now. If not buying the video outright themselves, they can certainly make a case to their shareholders for chipping in the last $35K to the Crackstarter.

If that video doesn't surface, there's always going to be an open question as to the Star's credibility. And the Star simply can't let that remain.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:38 PM on May 24, 2013


It's like his brain is a bit fuzzy or something.

If he were speaking off the cuff, sure. But he has had a week to prepare his statement, which by and large was about his work saving the taxpayers money and the huge outpouring of support from the city [citation needed].

Let us imagine Joe were to be charged with robbing a gas station on the basis that a security video apparently shows him robbing a gas station, I like to think Joe's denials would be stronger than "I do not rob gas stations" and "I have not seen this video." These are two statements of fact about Joe's pastimes and what Joe has watched lately, but nothing to do with whether or not he robbed a gas station.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:39 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gawker's response: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Says He No Longer Smokes Crack Cocaine.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:45 PM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man I wish they'd run with "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Says He Is Not Presently Smoking Crack Cocaine".
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:50 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


And then Milo could run through the halls of the Beacon shouting PROOF WE HAVE PROOF
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:50 PM on May 24, 2013


Come on. No man could look that much like Rush Limbaugh and not be an addict.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:53 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't buy that he was hiding for a week on the advice of his lawyer.
I think he was out searching for THE REAL MURDERERS.
posted by chococat at 1:59 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not to get all woo-woo, but a friend of mine (himself a former crack addict) suggested that maybe the reason that Ford was holding off on saying anything was because the only way to settle it for real would be to take a drug test, and that the effects of crack take two to four weeks to drop below detectable levels. I said, "But surely even if they tested his urine, it could still be detected in his hair."

Here is a picture of Rob Ford in the Sun last month. Here he is today.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:17 PM on May 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


The important thing is that he clearly has substance abuse issues and is in deep denial about it. Whether that substance is crack or alcohol seems less important in the grand scheme of things. Even if the crack video never sees the light of day, that doesn't change the credible reports that he fired his chief of staff for urging him to get help.
posted by Crane Shot at 2:42 PM on May 24, 2013


That is a very good point ricochet.

OTOH, we could probably get a sample of hair from a ...different location.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:42 PM on May 24, 2013


Councillor Josh Matlow is dubious about the stilted present-tense phrasing of the denial. He tweeted this afternoon: “Once I’ve completed writing this I will honestly be able to say that I am not writing this.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:45 PM on May 24, 2013


The present tense certainly makes it weird. Other famous denials, in present tense:

I do not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. -- Bill Clinton

I am not betting on baseball. -- Pete Rose

I do not kill my wife!! -- Richard Kimble, the fugitive

It isn't me. -- Shaggy
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:56 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, Anonymous has it? (or so they say)
posted by avocet at 2:57 PM on May 24, 2013


OTOH, we could probably get a sample of hair from a ...different location.

And now you have me thinking about whether or not Rob Ford waxes, and I might have to kill myself.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:05 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


An acquaintance of mine, who is an occasional pot smoker, went through a particularly nasty custody battle recently and his lawyer advised him to shave all of his body hair; so yeah it's a thing.
posted by chococat at 3:09 PM on May 24, 2013


Also that 'Anonymous' indiegogo is the scummiest-looking thing ever.
posted by chococat at 3:12 PM on May 24, 2013


SCAMMIEST. Damn autocorrect. Scummy too, though.
All you need to do to prove you have it is post a different frame of the video.
posted by chococat at 3:20 PM on May 24, 2013


From the look of that buzz cut, one week ago he was completely bald.
posted by unSane at 3:26 PM on May 24, 2013


The mayor's full statement.
posted by Crane Shot at 3:29 PM on May 24, 2013


aaaand that indiegogo is gone now
posted by avocet at 3:38 PM on May 24, 2013


...whether or not Rob Ford waxes...

There's no right answer to this, is there?
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:59 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is a picture of Rob Ford in the Sun last month. Here he is today.

My apologies: the second link goes to a video with annoying intro. Here are still photos of April and May.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:17 PM on May 24, 2013


There are rumours of a 'doozy' of a Ford story in the Globe tomorrow. #TOpoli is the Twitter tag to follow.
posted by unSane at 7:54 PM on May 24, 2013


Really don't know if I can handle another doozy at this point.
posted by chococat at 8:06 PM on May 24, 2013


However hard it is for you, it's probably harder for Hizzoner.
posted by unSane at 8:14 PM on May 24, 2013


I wish we still called mayors "your worship" :)
posted by Chuckles at 8:21 PM on May 24, 2013


I have to admit, this is a pretty awesome tweet from Mark Towhey, the COS Ford just fired yesterday.
(For those not following along at home, a few days before the crack thing came out, Ford had rather bizarrely bolted from a community meeting in Etobicoke and started slapping ROB FORD - MAYOR magnets on cars in the parking lot...kind of cute how that was a big scandal a week ago.)
posted by chococat at 8:24 PM on May 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Hah, yes, that was the funniest thing all week.
posted by unSane at 8:28 PM on May 24, 2013


Someone tweeted back to him, "which magnet story, town hall or funeral?"

To which he replied, "Exactly"

Can somebody book him on 22 minutes or RMR? Clearly he grasps the humourous absurdity of the whole thing.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:52 PM on May 24, 2013


Pretty toxic situation, and does not bode well for the future of politics in Toronto. One can only guess how things will go if Doug Ford ever becomes premier of Ontario (stranger things have happened).
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 PM on May 24, 2013


Twitter is absolutely exploding with hints that the globe will release the bombshell by Kari and MacArthur about the Ford Family drug connection. This better be good...
posted by saucysault at 10:08 PM on May 24, 2013


I'm guessing it's got something to do with this mess, in which Ford's sister's common-law husband, (an individual with prior drug and gun offences, who had "accidentally" shot her in the face previously), forced his way into the Ford's house.
This was all swept under the rug as "Mayor Needs More Security" at the time.
posted by chococat at 10:26 PM on May 24, 2013


Looks like the Globe and Mail story is up.
Highlights are:
a) Doug Ford sold hash in the 80's,
b) Their sister has a long history of being romantically involved with homicidal drug addicts and white supremecists, and
c) David Price also maybe kinda shady, maybe.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:42 AM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


What a let-down after all the hype. I thought everyone knew Doug was a drug dealer 25 years ago? So what,he can spin it as he is "reformed" and learned from his mistakes (and that since he was never charged, that the globe is exaggerating). Digging up such weak sauce just further builds up the idea in many conservative minds that the liberal media is on a witch hunt against the fords. After all, the liberal/NDP bias is towards decriminalising soft drugs - going after Doug for selling them (especially since not one source talked about violence or other crimes) seems hypocritical.
posted by saucysault at 4:17 AM on May 25, 2013


The only other notable thing is that the word "Klansmen" appears in the article.

But yeah, except for now being able to say its more than one source, that was a ridiculous amount of hype for a 25 year old story. Nice try, Globe.
posted by dry white toast at 4:22 AM on May 25, 2013


I thought everyone knew Doug was a drug dealer 25 years ago?

Saucysault, my boss is a Ford supporter, and he was surprised when I told him that Rob Ford had a DUI in Florida. One of the reasons that we're talking about this is that voters in 2010 did not know about Ford's history of racist statements and brushes with the law, and knew nothing about his track record in Toronto city council. Do you seriously think people in Toronto know anything about his brother's history, good or bad?
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 4:58 AM on May 25, 2013


Idunno, all this week Rob's defenders were saying that we couldn't trust the words of drug dealers. Well, fine then.

Also, I'm glad that this is coming from the Globe, as it takes away from that silly 'The-Star-Has-A-Vendetta-Against-Us' defence they keep parroting.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:18 AM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


So what,he can spin it as he is "reformed" and learned from his mistakes (and that since he was never charged, that the globe is exaggerating).

CBC sez they contacted him today for comment and they quote his reply in full:"You are little sleaze bags going after family. Is that the standards now of journalists? You're nothing but a bunch of scums." He is suave, you must admit.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:23 AM on May 25, 2013


ConsumerSOS: Doug #Ford on the new @globeandmail allegations. #Ford tells me journalists are "lower than a bunch of f...ing politicians." Hangs up.
posted by unSane at 7:39 AM on May 25, 2013


It's The Globe and Mail, people, not The Globe; the latter is a shitty American gossip rag fit only for lining birdcages, whereas The Globe and Mail is from Toronto.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:40 AM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Globe, Shmobe. For me, the best Ford-related story I read this morning was in the Star, which has more details about Towhey's firing:

The sources told the Star that Ford was so emotional after losing his beloved post at Don Bosco that he ordered Towhey to go to the school and retrieve thousands of dollars worth of football equipment he had donated. When Towhey told Ford that this was a bad idea, the sources said, Ford fired him.

The sources said Towhey implored other aides not to answer any phone calls from Ford that night because the mayor was so upset. Accustomed to Ford’s mercurial behaviour, Towhey, who thought he had experienced a “phantom” firing, then returned to city hall the next day — at which point Ford asked him to help arrange a party next week with Don Bosco players and other friends.

Towhey, incredulous, calmly explained that the mayor’s office had more urgent business. This so infuriated Ford, the sources said, that he reminded Towhey that he had been fired the night before and had him escorted from the building by security.

posted by The Card Cheat at 8:04 AM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rob Ford needs a new COS; Sarah Palin needs a new job. It's obvious!
posted by octobersurprise at 8:24 AM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the most serious crimes revealed in that G&M piece are against hair. Check the pictures, especially the Price one towards the end.
posted by unSane at 8:36 AM on May 25, 2013


In those pics they look like any one of the stoner dudes who came into our house through the ravine for the parties my older brother would have every time my parents went away. Max Webster blaring in the basement. Later, Mom wondering how all her knives got wrecked.

I think I have to actively not follow this whole deal for the rest of the weekend. Everything about it is grossing me out.
posted by chococat at 9:00 AM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Coming from the West Coast and its pot economy, encountering hash for the first time was really puzzling. It was really rare - how do you smoke hard bits of stuff? A wise old stoner (attending university as a mature student - man, he got a lot of girls) showed us how to heat it up in order to pinch of little bits to smoke. Hot knifing was ridiculous, so hash never became too popular.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:58 AM on May 25, 2013


Hot knifing was ridiculous ... Yes, so I've heard. *cough*

But not as ridiculous as the G&M deciding this was the time to put out this story. I don't give a flying fuck about Doug Ford selling hash 30 years ago, even if he had to use a triple-beam balance scale at least once. I care about what Rob Ford has been doing while he's in office. All this story did was give me a little more respect for Rob via the story of him persisting long after every other high school football teammate until he finally ran a sub 6-minute mile.

The CBC will now have an interview with Doug some time this afternoon. What a cluster.
posted by maudlin at 11:21 AM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Coming from the West Coast and its pot economy, encountering hash for the first time was really puzzling. It was really rare - how do you smoke hard bits of stuff? A wise old stoner (attending university as a mature student - man, he got a lot of girls) showed us how to heat it up in order to pinch of little bits to smoke. Hot knifing was ridiculous, so hash never became too popular.

Huh, really? I went to high school on the North Shore (Vancouver) and we used to buy a gram of hash at lunch and just stick it in a pipe and pass it around (and then make asses of ourselves in Psychology class). Of course this was during the 70s, and the hash supply later seemed to disappear concurrent with the war in Afghanistan...

At any rate, has the damn video surfaced yet? Please?
posted by jokeefe at 12:35 PM on May 25, 2013


The ceeb suggested this morning that the video has probably been bought already.

It certainly would explain Ford's smirk at the news conference yesterday, and his overall actions so far -- get a hold of the video, and wait out the storm.

But that's guesswork on my part.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:41 PM on May 25, 2013


It certainly would explain Ford's smirk at the news conference yesterday, and his overall actions so far -- get a hold of the video, and wait out the storm.

That would be funny. Because it's not like there's any way the video might have been duplicated before the hand-off, right?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:48 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


It certainly would explain Ford's smirk at the news conference yesterday, and his overall actions so far

Or he could just be high.
posted by mazola at 1:05 PM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Adding in the details from the G&M story, this would make a great Martin Scorsese movie, or just an awesome novel.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:53 PM on May 25, 2013


This doesn't seem like a story that's likely to just fizzle away, does it?
posted by unSane at 2:07 PM on May 25, 2013


"I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free." -- William Henry Harrison

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson

“I learned that a great leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do and like it” -- Harry S Truman

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." -- James Madison

"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind." -- John Diefenbaker

“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine" -- Rob Ford
posted by mazola at 3:00 PM on May 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ok, the headline made me laugh: Mayor Ford: I Did Not Have Smoking Relations with That Crack Pipe
posted by mazola at 4:14 PM on May 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


At first I was worried to read from the Globe piece that there was once a Canadian chapter of the KKK but then it explained how the drug dealers in Toronto were mostly Canada-nice to each other, which gave me warm fuzzy feelings.
posted by Bwithh at 6:51 PM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The triple beam thing seems confused. A fishermans scale would be used for rough measurements (for example, this one on eBay) large measurements, a triple beam (lab gear) for fine ones. This reversal makes me wonder at how reliable the witness was.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:04 PM on May 25, 2013


“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine" -- Rob Ford

For all the parsing, I think we have overlooked one obvious possibility: that he is absolutely telling the truth about his being a stranger to crack. I mentioned earlier a friend who spent some time as a crack user and now is clean, and he weighed in with me today on the non-denial denial. He said the description of Hizzoner looking sleepy and trailing off halfway through sentences are not really the effects of cocaine. They are consonant with crystal meth, though.

Either Ford was caught on video with a narcotic or not. Either way, I think the remaining seventeen months of his term will be a slog. We are all the result of what we used to want. Either Ford figured he would hit the pipe for some relaxation and has tried to cover it up, or else he knew he was innocent and rather than prove it with a testing, he chose to play the pissy martyr, hounded by a media conspiracy. Either way, it is hard to take him seriously as a leader at this point.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:01 PM on May 25, 2013


Kids, I hope you're not getting your drug info from MeFi.
posted by telstar at 8:10 PM on May 25, 2013


You know what I just realized?

1. Rob Ford is just a couple years older than the kids from Degrassi Junior High.
2. Degrassi Junior High was filmed in Etobicoke (albeit the opposite end of town)

Now, obviously, that doesn't really mean anything, but now I have it in my head that Doug Ford was the guy who sold Shane that acid outside the Gourmet Scum concert.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:16 PM on May 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


The worst thing about the G&M story is its construction: the meat of the thing is buried 5 pages in. The fact that Dougie was selling hash in high school is bad, but the family connections to the KKK and biker gangs are far more damning. Doug Ford and his 'loyal friend' (the recent addition to the Mayor's office) seem creepy, if not dangerous.

And yeah, I sympathized with the teenaged Ford, thumpin around the track every day for a month. And 'never having a passion for labels'. The guy should have become a high school gym teacher and been a happy man.
posted by jrochest at 12:05 AM on May 26, 2013


Yeah, but like who DOESN'T have a sister who regularly sleeps with white supremacists, who occasionally shoot guns at her face? It's just not news, really.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:27 AM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doug Ford's interviews yesterday were BIZARRE. He would emphatically say "I have NEVER done drugs" and literally minutes later say "I smoked pot in high school like every other teenager", then "I have NEVER sold drugs" followed by "I sold a few joints at small parties". And the lack of blinking was really creeping me out...
posted by saucysault at 3:42 AM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone know anything about Turd zine? The librarian in me is all twitchy about the lack of dates/authourity although the tone/voice appears to really be Rob Ford.
posted by saucysault at 4:15 AM on May 26, 2013


Even the Sun is turning against Ford. Since Towhey was fired they've been sticking to the story that he asked Ford to go to rehab. His former press spokesperson has an article stating that staff had long given him that advice. These guys are done. Just a matter of time and untangling lies. Reporters need to stop asking brother Doug if he'd seen Rob smoke crack and start asking instead if he'd heard his office ask Rob to go to rehab. Maybe reporters need to ask Doug Holyday that one too.

I thought the Globe article was great. The Fords can no longer say it's only the Star attacking them. Now it's the "social elites". The Globe isn't just dragging up stories of misspent youth. It's outlining the family's deep familiarity with drugs and violence. I'd heard the rumours that their druggy past was well known in Etobicoke, but I was imagining them as pot sellers around their lockers, not mid-tier dealers. And they tie that recent addition to the mayor's office (no one knows what he does but he appears acting thuggish in the magnets video) to that past. If anyone in the Ford family still has ties to those white supremacist types it's no surprise that the video and its creator has now gone missing. Just a question of what motivated it to go missing.
posted by TimTypeZed at 5:16 AM on May 26, 2013


The Crackstarter is losing steam.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:20 AM on May 26, 2013


Doug Ford's interviews yesterday were BIZARRE. He would emphatically say "I have NEVER done drugs" and literally minutes later say "I smoked pot in high school like every other teenager", then "I have NEVER sold drugs" followed by "I sold a few joints at small parties".

Any sentence is true if you are allowed to define the terms.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:35 AM on May 26, 2013


1. Rob Ford is just a couple years older than the kids from Degrassi Junior High.

Sys Rq, gotta link this tweet of mine from yesterday...
posted by avocet at 7:54 AM on May 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's outlining the family's deep familiarity with drugs and violence.

Not the kind of family you want running your town. Reminds me (kinda sorta) of the Bacon Brothers.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:32 AM on May 26, 2013


Rob and Doug are currently 45 minutes into their weekly radio show; after beginning by talking about how they have come to address these "accusations or allegations," they have talked about everything but. Doug liked the Stones show last night, the media are "maggots*," the casino vote did not pass, and all of the councillors who voted against it (from their personal agendas because they hate jobs) are named. If the Leafs were in the playoffs, the media would not pay attention to the Ford brothers do much, and they still cannot do math (Rob Ford trumpets that he saved $64 million by scrapping the vehicle transfer tax, which would of course mean less revenue, not savings). Also people obviously want subways.

Anyway, Rob had to run before the phone lines open up, so ta-ta!

*This was Doug, who immediately followed this by saying that when he says something absolute, he means it only 80%. Ah. That explains a lot.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:53 AM on May 26, 2013


If the Leafs were in the playoffs, the media would not pay attention to the Ford brothers do much

Had to throw in one piece of truth to keep us all on our toes.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:55 AM on May 26, 2013


Oh, he had his pizza party with the Don Bosco players, so there you are.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:56 AM on May 26, 2013


Torontoist's recap of the Rob and Doug Radio Show
posted by frimble at 11:21 AM on May 26, 2013


Re: the McNulty comment in frimble's link: if David Simon had tried to include a storyline in The Wire based on the Ford brothers, HBO would have made him cut it for being too over-the-top and ridiculous.

I wonder how many people across Canada are now looking at their own incompetent mayors and thinking, "Well, at least s/he's not Rob Ford." I know I am. When I first moved here our mayor was widely regarded as a buffoon, but in comparison with Rob Ford he now looks like a dignified, highly intelligent state leader.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:47 PM on May 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


This was Doug, who immediately followed this by saying that when he says something absolute, he means it only 80%.

So, what they're saying is that they only smoke and/or sell crack 20% of the time?
posted by jacquilynne at 2:03 PM on May 26, 2013


So, what they're saying is that they only smoke and/or sell crack 20% of the time?

Pretty much. Everything he says, he contradicts it in the same breath.

Doug Ford this weekend:

(a) Doug 'No Drugs' Ford: I don't do drugs, I despise drugs! I have only drank once in my life when I was 17 or 18. I don't even take aspirin!
(b) Doug 'Of Course, Drugs' Ford: Hell yeah, ABSOLUTELY, I smoked pot and hash in high school. Maybe I sold a few joints at small house parties, sure.

(a) Doug 'Yuck, Politics' Ford: I won't even be in politics in 5 years / I am clearly not cut out for this job / There is nothing in it for me / I don't need this.
(b) Doug 'Committed to Politics' Ford: I am not a quitter / I will be here for my full term / I am not ruling out a run for provincial office.

(a) Doug 'Escaped My Redneck Past' Ford: The Globe called people from way back in my past, people who now live as far away as BC, people who I don't even remember! (They don't know me.)
(b) Doug 'Tied To My Roots' Ford: Everyone in my neighbourhood is very tight knit and have known me since I was 4 or 5, their kids are moving back into the neighbourhood. (They know me well.)

The crazy thing is that no one even cornered him into this type of dodging and weaving. These were his prepared lines, repeated in every 'interview'. He could consider a second career in improv, because he's certainly got this "yes and" thing down pat.
posted by heatherann at 3:48 PM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rob and Doug are currently 45 minutes into their weekly radio show

As an American of a certain age I really want to read this as "Bob and Doug ..."
posted by octobersurprise at 4:00 PM on May 26, 2013


"At Sunday’s Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles baseball game at the Roger’s Sports Centre, AIDS ACTION NOW! (AAN!) led people living with HIV, and their allies in a banner drop action. The AAN! banners were dropped during the 7th inning and drew attention the needs of drug users in Toronto to provide a counter discussion due to the recent media firestorm around Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s alleged crack-cocaine use."
posted by gingerbeer at 7:32 PM on May 26, 2013


"At Sunday’s Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles baseball game at the Roger’s Sports Centre, AIDS ACTION NOW! (AAN!) led people living with HIV, and their allies in a banner drop action. The AAN! banners were dropped during the 7th inning and drew attention the needs of drug users in Toronto to provide a counter discussion due to the recent media firestorm around Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s alleged crack-cocaine use."

FWIW, I was there, and their tiny 3'x6' banner apparently hung from the nosebleeds behind left field failed to draw my attention. To be honest, if it had, I'd be more confused than anything. What do safe injection sites have to do with baseball?

I'm all for the message, but, like, huh?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:23 PM on May 26, 2013


The guy should have become a high school gym teacher and been a happy man.

You know, it occurred to me in the midst of a bout of insomnia this morning that while he likely would have been happier, he dropped out of university after a year, so he is not qualified to be a gym teacher. He had to settle for being mayor of the largest city in the country.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:33 AM on May 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


It gets stranger.

Globe and Mail: Toronto police spoke to Mayor Ford’s senior staffer after tip linked killing to alleged drug video
posted by molecicco at 4:43 AM on May 27, 2013


Oh shit, this isn't remotely funny anymore.
posted by avocet at 5:23 AM on May 27, 2013


The 'handcuffs' option suddenly got a whole lot likelier.

Also, note that the call to the mayor's office specified the location where the video was supposed to be being held. If after this call they did in fact get hold of the video and suppress it, it's pretty clearly interfering in a homicide investigation.
posted by unSane at 5:28 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a sort of implication that it was Anthony Smith who was killed, isn't there?
posted by unSane at 5:29 AM on May 27, 2013


Toronto doesn't have enough murders to make it very difficult to narrow it down.

It couldn't be this one could it? Former Don Bosco football player gunned down a month ago.
posted by unSane at 6:02 AM on May 27, 2013


Anthony Smith is definitely dead as of March. The question is if he's the guy in the video with Ford, and how that might connect.

In retrospect, if the video is legit, $200K wouldn't really be enough to even hint at one's personal safety considering it would take down a mayor and city councillor and start a flurry of criminal investigations.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:02 AM on May 27, 2013


Related?. I get the feeling that when the truth eventually comes out the story will be both smaller (like it wasn't crack) and bigger than expected.
posted by saucysault at 6:03 AM on May 27, 2013


Or there's this one, which feels like it to me. Right timeline, right area, too. And enough people involved that it was about something major.

Man shot, killed in Etobicoke home invasion.
posted by unSane at 6:06 AM on May 27, 2013


Unsane, isn't the byline 2009?
posted by saucysault at 6:08 AM on May 27, 2013


Ha, oops, yeah. Was reading the month, not the year.
posted by unSane at 6:09 AM on May 27, 2013


Ford was pre-emptively killing people that would double-cross him in the future! Seriously though, I doubt Ford, or any people connected to him, had anything to do with murder. If a murder is related at all it is probably part of a larger beef among drug dealers and the video was bringing unwanted attention on too many people.
posted by saucysault at 6:28 AM on May 27, 2013


I don't think anyone thinks Ford had anything to do with the supposed murder.

BUT if he was there when the video was made, and the video was a factor in the murder, and he didn't tell the cops when they asked... there's that.
posted by unSane at 6:34 AM on May 27, 2013


Just speculation obviously, but this sounds to me like the insinuation is that Anthony Smith was involved in making the video. And disagreed his killers about whether to use it to blackmail Ford with it.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:48 AM on May 27, 2013


Mayor Rob Ford’s popularity unaffected by drug allegations and denials, poll finds.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:50 AM on May 27, 2013


All this shit, and he's only dropped 25% of his support since the last election. Well, at least it's hard to see how he could gain many more supporters...
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:00 AM on May 27, 2013


There are going to be a percentage of voters who won't shift their support from their ideological candidate (left/right/white/black/whatever). I'm trying to remember the details but there was discussion on metafilter previously about a floor of support demonstrated by people voting either for a guy who was dead or was in jail for some serious crime like murder. Something like 20% of voters voting for an axe murder or something because he was the republican candidate.
posted by Mitheral at 7:24 AM on May 27, 2013


The Crazification Factor.
John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is --

Tyrone:
27%.

John: ... you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone:
Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
We need to draft John Tory:
In a three-way contest between the mayor, Chow, and radio host John Tory, Chow wins with 42 per cent of the vote to about 27 per cent for Ford and 24 per cent for Tory.
posted by maudlin at 7:33 AM on May 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's true, though.

There's a sizable chunk of the population who think that "irrational bully" is not only a desirable skill for their candidate to have, it's really the only skill necessary -- as long as the candidate is on their side.

Some people don't care about right or wrong, they just want to get their way.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:40 AM on May 27, 2013


Should We Add A Murder To Toronto's Crack Smoking Mayor Scandal?

"When Gawker and the Toronto Star reported the video showing Ford smoking crack, they included a picture of the mayor standing with Anthony Smith, a 21-year-old killed in front a Toronto night club in March. The implication here is the guys who have the video now, who are allegedly Somali drug dealers, may have killed Anthony Smith, or paid someone to do it for them, so they could sell the crack video to the highest bidder. "
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2013


As I mentioned earlier, I listened to the Rob and Doug show yesterday. After trumpeting their intentions to address this stuff head on, they avoided it for roughly 1:58 of the two-hour show, and took a single call at roughly the halfway point. The caller asked point blank if that was Rob Ford in the video and could he explain why he had his arm around a now-deceased drug dealer in the photograph. Rob chuckled and said that the video does not exist, and that he has his photo taken with everyone. Then Doug took up the banner and said that they can scarcely do a background check on everyone who stands next to the mayor, and how dare the caller question Rob having his photo taken with young black men (n.b. the caller did not mention race at all) and vigorously defended his brother: “Rob has taken thousands of pictures with young black men, with their hats on, with their little funny signs and everything else.” They then tut-tutted about how sad it was that the caller was a racist.

They went on to outline the real enemy here: as TimTypeZed alluded to above, we were told the trouble is with the "social elites" who hate everything good like jobs and lower taxes for honest hardworking folks.

This message to fight the power brought to you by the multimillionaire mayor of the largest city in the country.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:55 AM on May 27, 2013


Robyn Doolittle from The Star: "I can confirm that I have been told by more than one individual involved that there is more than one copy [of the video]."

She was on the (horrible, horrible, brotastic) morning show at what used to be a great radio station this morning.

The entire show is here; Doollittle's interview starts at about 55 minutes in. My summary below is from the section starting around 58 minutes in. They wrap up at about 1:09.

There are a lot of people out there who have seen it. It's circulating.

Asked by DJ: "Is there more than one copy?". Her info is that there is at least one other copy. One in city and one somewhere else.

The Star is still in contact with their "broker": other guy with actual video is laying low. She heard from other contacts that they're laying low and monitoring the situation. Her understanding is that the video is not deleted.

She doesn't think Fords would buy it because they would know there could be more copies.

Her focus: mayor with substance abuse problem who needs to get help. Primary objective: to get this video out. Working hard not to do anything to compromise getting it out.


Giorgio Mammolitti, a councillor who has often supported Ford, is on right after Doolittle. I'll summarize if there's anything worth reporting.
posted by maudlin at 8:58 AM on May 27, 2013


You know your municipal scandal has hit the big time when someone makes a Downfall video.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:08 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


In the Crackstarter comments, a few pages in... suggests Charlie Sheen will top up crackstarter at Midnight if necessary (!). Could this get any stranger?
oakstreet said 1 hour ago
just got this via email:

Somalis already in NY – arrived before story broke to not raise ire of border agents at the advice of gawker

Celebrity bankroller angel sweeps in to top up the crackstarter before midnight. (hint: #winning!)

Video is released thurs. Doug Ford is svengali behind everything.

Smith murdered to cover up truth as he was Rob’s crack dealer.

Please tell people on crackstarter to stop obfuscating about donations to addiction centers & video not existing.
posted by unSane at 9:29 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Over on the crackstarter, someone actually paid the $10 000 for the 'maybe get the phone that the video was recorded on' perk. I didn't, at all, expect it to get this close to paid.
posted by frimble at 9:50 AM on May 27, 2013


Once this sideshow is over, even if the Fords are hounded from office, is something actually going to be done to improve transit in this city? Please?

Perhaps subway platform doors to stop the biweekly morning rush-hour suicides, like the one today? Save lives and ease gridlock in one fell swoop! Seems like a no-brainer. Alas, that would mean we would have to raise taxes on people who might not use transit in order to fund a system that already has an extremely high share of revenue from fares. That's unacceptable, as we know that only highways and roads deserve public funding, all other public expenditures on transportation are WAR ON CARS! RESPECT 4 TAXPAYERS! I ALREADY AM STUCK IN TRAFFIC ON THE GARDINER 6 HOURS A DAY, WHY SHOULD I PAY TO SUBISDIZE THE UNEMPLOYED FATCAT TRANSIT COMMUTERS! STREETCARS AND CYCLISTS CAUSE GRIDLOCK! ARGLE!

And don't get me started on how all the taxes proposed to deal with the GTA transit clusterfuck seem to be expressly designed to be as unpopular and regressive as popular. Sales tax and gas tax? Awesome idea. Pit drivers against transit funding even more, and better yet, provide a revenue source for transit that is negatively correlated with ridership! HURRAH!
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:14 AM on May 27, 2013


Ford's PR and assistant PR just quit.
posted by unSane at 10:47 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the other hand he just hired the Don Bosco assistant coach. What?
posted by unSane at 10:51 AM on May 27, 2013


Rob Ford hires Don Bosco assistant football coach for mayor’s office
posted by mazola at 10:52 AM on May 27, 2013


slowly getting hilariousier
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:52 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe he can have some football tryouts for the new flack?
posted by unSane at 10:52 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of the old joke about how the rich go bankrupt: at first very slowly, at the end very quickly.
posted by unSane at 10:53 AM on May 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's only monday lunchtime and we've already had two resignations, one crony hire and a police investigation.
posted by unSane at 10:54 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Business as usual!
posted by unSane at 10:54 AM on May 27, 2013


Two more staffers gone, says Doolittle. "Two more senior members of Mayor Rob Ford's office have quit. Acting chief of staff Earl Provost stands alone. Junior staff remains."
posted by maudlin at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2013


Am I the only one surprised to learn that until quite recently, Ford actually had PR people?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:04 AM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


CBC: "Toronto mayor's press secretary, deputy have quit: CBC. CBC told they left 'on principle'"
posted by maudlin at 11:05 AM on May 27, 2013


Live updates from The Star here.
posted by maudlin at 11:07 AM on May 27, 2013


It's not like Ford has any problems that can't be solved by a 21 year-old assistant football coach with no political experience.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:08 AM on May 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm betting he'll announce Don Cherry as his new PR later this afternoon.
posted by unSane at 11:09 AM on May 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Any bets on mild-mannered, semi-supportive Doug Holyday being acting mayor by the end of this week?
posted by maudlin at 11:11 AM on May 27, 2013


Clearly his previous staff has holding him back. I'm looking forward to seeing Rob Ford soar.
posted by mazola at 11:16 AM on May 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


BREAKING: Rob Ford has already hired a new press secretary
posted by mightygodking at 11:18 AM on May 27, 2013


slowly getting hilariousier

As this story develops, I'm starting to think that I'm the one on crack. The real world can't be like this. I must be fucking hiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:23 AM on May 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ok I take back what I said earlier about the Crackstarter losing steam. At this point, I don't see how it doesn't hit its goal.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:25 AM on May 27, 2013


I have to say, I think the new secretary is a good choice: solid and firm. Hells, it might even stand a chance of filling Doug Ford's seat when he runs for MPP, unless it prefers to stay in the background.
posted by frimble at 11:27 AM on May 27, 2013


This might be the first time staff has quit in order to spend less time with family.
posted by mazola at 11:30 AM on May 27, 2013


The Ford family was dealing wholesale quantities. There is not a doubt that their lives were deeply entwined with the Hells Angels criminal cartel. The HA is absolutely HUGE in Canada; they have members and supporters in the highest positions of power in Canada.

Interestingly, Dad Ford expanded his label-printing business into Chicago. Tell me that he wasn't a key player in cross-border mafia activity.

Canada is a gangster's paradise. It only takes a little digging to start seeing it. HA informants in the RCMP sharing access to investigations; HA lawyers promoted to judgeships; engineering companies offering jobs to the children of murderous third-world dictators; there is just no end to the filth.

Ford's biggest problem is that he's a dumbfuck. Most of our corrupt and criminal politicians are smart enough to land ambassadorships or senate seats. Ford is gonna land himself in jail instead.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:33 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I keep thinking that there's a good joke to be made right now that involves Rob Ford, his stance on public transit, and the words "train wreck."

I can't seem to pull it together though, so have at it if you are so inclined.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:35 AM on May 27, 2013


Remember when Montreal's mayor resigned at the simple allegations of corruption?

"I cannot help in these circumstances," said Tremblay. "The city's functioning is much more important than my own personal interest."

Good times, good times...

Plus -- corruption, while totally illegal, makes some degree of rational sense and is sorta understandable. Rob Ford? Not even dangerous, stupefying drugs explains Rob Ford...
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:43 AM on May 27, 2013


$5,200 remaining, with twelve hours to go.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:54 AM on May 27, 2013


I have not been this excited* since I was 6 and watching the final tally on Jerry Lewis' Labor Day Telethon.

TIMP!

*** $196,030 ***

----
*may not be entirely accurate but what's a little lie in a Rob Ford thread?
posted by mazola at 11:59 AM on May 27, 2013


Buzz now is that Ford is going to call for an early election this afternoon.
posted by mightygodking at 12:01 PM on May 27, 2013


Montreal and corruption go together like peanut butter and jelly, but maybe it happens on a low level and doesn't involve the mayor.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:01 PM on May 27, 2013


Buzz now is that Ford is going to call for an early election this afternoon.

Neither my face nor my palm work any more.
posted by maudlin at 12:02 PM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Buzz now is that Ford is going to call for an early election this afternoon.

Really? The Peter Penashue Plan? Really. Really?
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:03 PM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Buzz now is that Ford is going to call for an early election this afternoon.

Is that even possible given our municipal election laws?
posted by jacquilynne at 12:11 PM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Star has kinda sorta published the address of the apartment building, along with the floor where the person who had the video was living. With the $200,000 up for grabs tonight and several copies of the video reportedly flying around, things could get much nastier.
posted by unSane at 12:11 PM on May 27, 2013


Is that even possible given our municipal election laws?

He can call for an election but he can't call one.

He could force one by resigning I guess.
posted by unSane at 12:12 PM on May 27, 2013


How does Ontario's municipal charter work? In British Columbia, generally speaking, municipal elections occur every three years, and the "mayor" as chief executive cannot "dissolve" council and call election.

Presumably the buzz is that Rob Ford will step down, which might trigger an mayoral election, which he would enter, if the Toronto executive decided to hold an election (which they probably would not).

So there likely will be no election, right?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:13 PM on May 27, 2013


CBC says that Ford has just wrapped up his presser.

Starts with apology for "maggots" comment. Voice is shaky. Seems scared? Contrite?

Says that George C. has decided to go to a different avenue, l;earned at noon. Wishes him luck and thanks him.

Business as usual. Executive cttee to meet tomorrow. Moving on. Doug's exec asst will be comm director moving on from today.
posted by maudlin at 12:13 PM on May 27, 2013


He could force one by resigning I guess.

Pretty much, but given what's happening at his presser right now it seems unlikely that he's going to do so.

(so far: Ford is claiming that his communications staff resigned because they all got better job offers. No, really!)
posted by mightygodking at 12:14 PM on May 27, 2013


A bit over $3,200 remaining. Sprinting to the finish.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:14 PM on May 27, 2013


"I have no idea what the police are investigating". Which is strange, because everyone on Twitter knows.
posted by unSane at 12:15 PM on May 27, 2013


Questions:

No, he doesn't want to get into personnel issues. Wants to thank them. /clears throat. Wants to tell anyone in city or at Deco Labels they should go for better choices at any time. Still shaky, but sounds a little testy when he's asked again why they left, why so many have left since last week.

"Everything is fine. I have no idea what the police are investigating. I have to leave. Thank you."

Answering questions, very shaky. Fuck. He is scared.
posted by maudlin at 12:16 PM on May 27, 2013


And that was a really prolonged, rambling apology for the "maggots" comment, not a one-liner.
posted by maudlin at 12:16 PM on May 27, 2013


...they all got better job offers.

Working at McDonalds is a better job offer than PR guy for Rob Ford. The pay isn't as good, but at some point you get to punch out and go home.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:16 PM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I have no idea what the police are investigating". Which is strange, because everyone on Twitter knows.

In fairness, he probably only woke up about an hour ago so he could get into the office in time to work a solid three and a half hours.
posted by mightygodking at 12:17 PM on May 27, 2013


Working at McDonalds is a better job offer than PR guy for Rob Ford. The pay isn't as good, but at some point you get to punch out and go home.

And unlike working at Taco Bell or City Hall, there's a chance your co-workers aren't high right now.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:18 PM on May 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


What would the police be investigating? In other words, why would Rob Ford seem scared?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:24 PM on May 27, 2013


$2,500.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2013


So both the G&M and Postmedia are reporting that someone was murdered over the video.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:28 PM on May 27, 2013


No, that Ottawa Citizen story is not an accurate summary of the G&M and NatPost stories.

National Post:
"Staff Inspector Greg McLane, the head of the Toronto police homicide division, told CP24 that the investigation was not related to a homicide but his officers conducted the interview because they have expertise other police officers may not."

Globe & Mail: "Staff Insp. Greg McLane, head of Toronto Police's homicide squad, confirmed to CP24 that an interview had taken place, but said that it didn't lead to a homicide investigation. Staff Insp. McLean said the interview was related to an "on-going investigation that is currently in the media," and said that homicide officers conducted the interview only because they have expertise that other officers don't." [The original story didn't include this update.]
posted by maudlin at 12:33 PM on May 27, 2013


Crackstarter is now 99 percent funded.
posted by mightygodking at 12:34 PM on May 27, 2013


What would the police be investigating? In other words, why would Rob Ford seem scared?


Obstruction of justice doesn't seem like much of a reach at this point.
posted by unSane at 12:35 PM on May 27, 2013


Less than two grand to go, eleven hours.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:36 PM on May 27, 2013


Less than fifteen hundred. Lots of five dollar donations.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:43 PM on May 27, 2013


Mayor Rob Ford insisted it was "business as usual" as the crisis at city hall deepened...

Well that's kind of the problem here.
posted by mazola at 12:50 PM on May 27, 2013


WE'RE OVER!
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:54 PM on May 27, 2013


Crackstarter is over $200k. Fully funded.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:54 PM on May 27, 2013


And...funded.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:54 PM on May 27, 2013


TIMP!
★   $200,000   ★

Where the hell is the blink tag ?!?
posted by mazola at 12:54 PM on May 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. Thanks, everybody!
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:55 PM on May 27, 2013


Hmmm. Does one — can one? — walk away from the kind of high-volume dealing the family was doing?

Were the Somalis were providing product... or receiving?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:00 PM on May 27, 2013


I notice that one of the links on the Globe and Mail site is :

Watch Video: Doug Ford angry at latest media allegations

Kind of an evergreen headline, no?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:10 PM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nah, they were dealing. But there's no doubt they weren't just random dudes Ford ran into on the street. The connection could turn out to be a Ford family member or friend, one his local A list pals, or just some kid who graduated from Don Bosco. But obviously RF felt comfortable with them.
posted by unSane at 1:11 PM on May 27, 2013


maudlin: "The Crazification Factor."

That's the one.
posted by Mitheral at 1:17 PM on May 27, 2013


The photo on the Star's website right now is a classic. Ford is trying to open his office door, marked 'PUSH', with a slackjawed expression on his face.

Mind you, he could be trying to pull open the push door from the inside, but that's not as much fun as him struggling with a door marked 'PUSH'.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:20 PM on May 27, 2013


Oh, come on Star...

U.S.-based website Gawker hit their goal Monday of $200,000 needed to purchase a video, which allegedly features Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.

'Allegedly'? You're the ones alleging! He is, according to you!
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:26 PM on May 27, 2013


Hmmm. Does one — can one? — walk away from the kind of high-volume dealing the family was doing?

Depends on the drug and the market. I was really good friends with a white middle-class couple who were mid-level dealers for ecstasy, LSD and ketamine, and moved thousands of dollars worth of product weekly and directly dealt with people shipping the drug in from another city (organized crime). They walked away cleanly after their supplier got arrested. The dealt in cash, never borrowed money, never sold retail, only sold to middle-upper-class market and never had to deal with any violence or bullshit. It's easy when you are selling to a market that isn't a target of the police and doesn't have to live with gang warfare every day.
posted by empath at 1:29 PM on May 27, 2013


'Allegedly'? You're the ones alleging! He is, according to you!

The Star can't confirm for themselves that Gawker saw the same video they did. They're covering their ass with the most precise language possible.
posted by mightygodking at 1:42 PM on May 27, 2013


Hmmm. And would a "tough on gangs" police policy benfit the bros.?

Doug was moving a serious shitload of drugs if he was dealing pounds nightly on the strip.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:44 PM on May 27, 2013


The Star was pretty careful with their language, actually. They stuck to the facts which were

- our reporters watched a video
- the people who had the video claimed it was Rob Ford smoking crack
- our reporters verified that the man in the video looked like Rob Ford
- the man in the video appeared to light a glass pipe from below and inhaled
- the rest is left as an exercise for the reader

They're no fools. They realize their entire existence as a newspaper rides on this if it turns out to be faked.
posted by rocket88 at 1:56 PM on May 27, 2013


Yeah, you guys are right. That 'allegedly' just jumped out at me, considering that the Star was one of the main authors of this story.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:59 PM on May 27, 2013


CBC says cops have asked a staffer if the video exists. That's gonna be a hard one to answer and stay fashionable.
posted by unSane at 2:05 PM on May 27, 2013


The photo on the Star's website right now is a classic. Ford is trying to open his office door, marked 'PUSH', with a slackjawed expression on his face.

Made me think of this.
posted by Dasein at 2:12 PM on May 27, 2013


> ... mild-mannered, semi-supportive Doug Holyday

Doug, when he gets worked up about something, always reminds me of a Martian Popping Thing.
posted by scruss at 2:35 PM on May 27, 2013


Things that make you go hmmm:

Windsor, ON, was massively involved in Prohibition smuggling. Nearby were the towns of Walkerville—home of Hiram Walker's distillery—and Ford City. Some 25% of their population was involved in smuggling.

I'd like to find a Ford family tree. It would be interesting to see Granddad's name and where he lived, what he did.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:51 PM on May 27, 2013


Windsor, ON, was massively involved in Prohibition smuggling. Nearby were the towns of Walkerville—home of Hiram Walker's distillery—and Ford City

Ford City is named after Henry Ford. They made Model T's there.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:40 PM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Starting to look like Ford Nation's definition of "the left" will soon have to include "the police".
posted by Crane Shot at 6:01 PM on May 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess they can say there was a "coup".
posted by KokuRyu at 6:14 PM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where the hell is the blink tag ?!?

Poom!
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on May 27, 2013


Coincidentally, I was watching A Very British Coup, and Rob Ford resembles the prime minister, Harry Perkins, through a dark mirror.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:41 PM on May 27, 2013


Star: It was Twohey who went to the cops after Price told him he might know where the video was, and what should they do? Also, that Anthony Smith may have been killed for it.

'At one point, according to an account of the conversation, the straitlaced Towhey was heard to remark, “We’re not getting the f---ing thing!”'

This is from Donovan. The other Star reporter, Robyn Doolittle, has been silent since crackstarter funded, as has Gawker's John Cook. I imagine they are all huddled in NYC trying to figure out who they should give the money to and how to paper it all legally.
posted by unSane at 4:00 AM on May 28, 2013


From the star article above: Towhey called police, and shortly before he went in to give a sworn statement on May 18, Price contacted him and passed on the apartment numbers and floor (17th) of a building in Rexdale where Price said his “sources” had told him the video might be found. Price did not identify his sources.

i.e. where a guy was shot in the leg shortly thereafter. mr price seemed like a pretty sketchy dude in the globe and mail profile of the ford family:

Since he arrived at City Hall, the mayor’s office has said almost nothing about what Mr. Price, called director of logistics and operations, is there to do. Concerning the hiring of Mr. Price, Doug Ford told Globe and Mail city hall reporter Elizabeth Church that “you can’t teach loyalty.”
posted by molecicco at 4:42 AM on May 28, 2013


Now the Star has ID'd one of the other men in the photo with murder victim Anthony Smith and says he was also wounded in the shooting.
Two sources, one with the Toronto police and another involved in politics, tell the Star homicide detectives are now investigating whether that phone originally belonged to 21-year-old Smith. (There is no indication Khattak or the third young man is involved in either the video or the drug trade.)
The Star says it was first contacted about the video four days after Smith was killed.
posted by unSane at 5:05 AM on May 28, 2013


It's really convenient this is happening in Toronto because no one will be upset that the TV movie looks like it was shot in Toronto.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:53 AM on May 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


I think whatever humor there was in the situation is gone for me now that I know someone died for that video. I wonder how indie go-go feels about essentially hosting a fundraiser for a murderer.
posted by empath at 6:00 AM on May 28, 2013


My guess is the money won't get claimed now. It's too hot. Someone will convince someone to give up the video for free just to make it all go away. There would certainly be some legal jeopardy (to say the least) in paying $200k for property stolen in a murder.

The guy the cops have arrested for the Anthony Smith murder swears up and down he wasn't involved, incidentally.
posted by unSane at 6:11 AM on May 28, 2013


I wonder how indie go-go feels about essentially hosting a fundraiser for a murderer

It could very well expose a murderer instead of benefitting one.
Also, this situation was never humourous. Particularly if you live here, the vibe is more like a not-really-surprised "Are you fucking kidding me? Can we finally get rid of this idiot now?"
posted by chococat at 6:17 AM on May 28, 2013


I've been wondering why the cops haven't had Rob in yet. After all, if the phone/video was the motive for the Anthony Smith murder, which is certainly a possibiity, then they have every reason to ask him if it exists, what's on it, who took it etc.

The fact that they haven't suggests to me that they're getting their ducks in a row. There is quite well sourced gossip (from Metroman on that Urban Toronto forum, who seemed to have a good contact in the Mayor's office, probably one of the press guys) that the cops have been on Ford's case for a while, so they may have bigger fish to fry and not want to blow their one chance at getting him on the record. All guesswork at this point.

At some point there has to be a strong argument for handing it over to the OPP or RCMP though.
posted by unSane at 6:35 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously. Two people in that photo, posing with Mayor McSweatpants, were shot. One fatally. You think they'd be on this one pretty hard.
posted by chococat at 6:41 AM on May 28, 2013


But the mayor poses for pictures with lots of people everyday, and sure, some of those people might later get shot. Can we really blame the mayor for everybody getting shot?
posted by Flashman at 7:30 AM on May 28, 2013


Just a regular guy.
posted by chococat at 7:31 AM on May 28, 2013


Things that make you go 'hmmmm'

March 28 - Smith shot

April 2 (approx - 'four days later') - Toronto Star is approached about video

April 5 - David Price hired. Ford's office won't reveal what his duties are.

May 16 - Gawker article published (after CNN call Mayor's office to ask them about tape)

May 17 - Price tells Towhey he may know where tape is, and that it may have belonged to Smith. Wants to know what they should do.

May 18 - Towhey calls cops and gives statement. Price interviewed.

May 21 - Shooting on same floor of same building where tape was supposed to be.

May 23 - Towhey fired, supposedly telling Ford to go to rehab

May 24 - Ford denies all knowledge of tape
posted by unSane at 7:34 AM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Ford still has lots of supporters. Somehow.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:42 AM on May 28, 2013


The conversation between Price and Towhey was in the presence of two senior staffers. Presumably, it is one of those four*, or one of the cops later involved who has leaked that conversation to the press.

Ford Nation may still be behind him, but someone very high up and in the know certainly isn't comfortable with Ford remaining.

*Or three, since Towhey denies it, or simply two, because it's not likely to be Price, given the contents.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:48 AM on May 28, 2013


But the mayor poses for pictures with lots of people everyday, and sure, some of those people might later get shot. Can we really blame the mayor for everybody getting shot?

When they have video of him smoking crack, yeah, probably.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:49 AM on May 28, 2013


Metroman's source dried up when the two PR guys resigned so I'm guessing it was one of them.
posted by unSane at 7:54 AM on May 28, 2013


That chronology by unSane has me thinking about just why the Globe and Mail published their big drug history story on Saturday (May 25). The Price-Towhey conversation, Towhey firing, and Rexdale shooting all happened by the 23rd.

Did anyone from the Star approach the Globe and suggest that their long-delayed piece run because Price had a big role in current events? If the story hadn't run this weekend, how many people would be willing to believe that J. Random Staffer would be capable of tracking down the right dealers/associates or that he could even be remotely involved in a shooting? But if the revelations of this week followed the revelations of Price's history and connection with the Fords, it becomes more plausible.
posted by maudlin at 8:08 AM on May 28, 2013


maudlin, that's an excellent point. I was really puzzling over why they would publish it on Saturday instead of waiting for Monday morning, but there's obviously lots in motion and Saturday's piece gives context to Monday's news.
posted by heatherann at 8:20 AM on May 28, 2013


From an article just posted to the Globe and Mail's website this morning:

The tipster who prompted Rob Ford’s chief of staff to go to police about a video allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine was Dave Price, a staffer in the mayor’s office and longtime friend of the Ford family.

Late on May 17, the day after Gawker broke the story about the alleged video, Mr. Price told chief of staff Mark Towhey that he had received reliable information about the location of the video, according to a source in the mayor’s office. He gave Mr. Towhey an address and a unit number …

Mr. Price insisted to Mr. Towhey that the intelligence was dependable.

The revelation put Mr. Towhey in a bind. A former military man, he realized that regardless of the veracity of Mr. Price’s tip, they were sitting on potential evidence in a homicide investigation. He decided to pass the information on to police …

Toronto Police confirmed that members of its homicide squad interviewed Mr. Towhey. The force also took a statement from Mr. Price.
posted by New Frontier at 8:46 AM on May 28, 2013


The timeline also suggests a reason why Gawker lost contact with the video guys on Sunday the 19th, being the day after Towhey called the cops, and Price was interviewed.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:53 AM on May 28, 2013


CBC just reported that Doug Holyday (deputy mayor) now says that he believes that the video exists and that Ford should step forward (rephrased): anyone else just hear this?
posted by maudlin at 9:02 AM on May 28, 2013


OK, this seems to be a more fleshed-out quote (via the Twitter feed of a NewsTalk 1010 reporter): "Holyday: 'I think if we can just get the video, then we can analyze the video and see if it's doctored or if it's real.'"
posted by maudlin at 9:06 AM on May 28, 2013


Also from the Twitter feed of Justine Lewkowicz: "Deputy mayor Holyday says he believes Robyn Doolittle that she watched a video, he wants to see it himself to see If It was doctored".
posted by maudlin at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2013


That seems prudent of Holyday. I think there's a really good chance that what's happening here is that someone went to the trouble of spending possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a simulated video of Rob Ford smoking crack, then gave it to Somali drug dealers who in turn have decided to hide the video. Pretty sure that's usually how these things work.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:09 AM on May 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Holyday is a political animal; he isn't going to definitively comment on something he has not seen but he is laying the groundwork for future statements.

Meanwhile, it seems Towhey is enjoying his time off.
posted by saucysault at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Christ, wouldn't it be nice if one of these shits had the balls to stand up and tell the truth?
posted by unSane at 9:22 AM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holyday is a political animal...

Where's Adam Vaughan in all of this? I haven't heard anything from him in ages, not since the conflict of interest trial, when he seemed exasperated even to have to talk about Ford again.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:28 AM on May 28, 2013


Vaughn always struck me as pretty canny. He might be waiting for firmer confirmation that there is a video.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:42 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Happy birthday Mayor Ford! I love your photographer!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:43 AM on May 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I recall seeing Vaughan on CP24 talking about something else when the video talk first started. He didn't really comment on it in detail, but he said he didn't think we'd ever see the video.
What's he going to say, really. I think they all just want it to be over so they can do their jobs.
posted by chococat at 9:45 AM on May 28, 2013


The left on council are staying pretty quiet on this, letting it play out. Vaughan was very involved in the anti-casino vote last week, and the Porter jet question. His office says they're not commenting on the allegations (cite). When CP24's live feed is left running in front of the Mayor's office, you do see him hanging out with the reporters.

If he is smart, he will let them implode on their own and then re-emerge as a voice for those who want to get on with the city business at hand (e.g. transit revenues).
posted by heatherann at 9:46 AM on May 28, 2013


Apparently Police profilers have gotten involved and have narrowed it down to somali drug dealers who have interned at Pixar.
posted by unSane at 10:00 AM on May 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


[everybody just sort of sitting around patiently waiting for a video of toronto's mayor smoking crack]

So how about the weather, huh? Real nice out, real nice.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:37 PM on May 28, 2013


Here's Dave Price not looking at all guilty, no sirree bob. Trying to shut out the camera crew and then running away up the stairs, nice touch.
posted by unSane at 12:45 PM on May 28, 2013


Perhaps subway platform doors to stop the biweekly morning rush-hour suicides, like the one today? Save lives and ease gridlock in one fell swoop!

Yeah, this expensive luxury isn't going to, and shouldn't, happen in a system that's barely funded and half as big as it needs to be. And not just because you'd have to retire all the trains that aren't the Toronto Rocket.

The transit funding proposals are actually pretty sound. I can't believe that there's free parking at GO stations. That makes no sense at all.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:32 PM on May 28, 2013


I don't know about the funding proposals... I didn't really agree with Harper lowering the GST in the first place, for example.

What I do know is we're just exiting an era of astonishingly low cost for money, we haven't used that opportunity to invest much in infrastructure, and that's stupid.

I don't really care about platform doors, but I wonder.. What is the cost estimate of platform doors on the Yonge line? Surely those new trains are compatible...
posted by Chuckles at 1:51 PM on May 28, 2013


Platform Edge Doors (PEDs), $550m for YUS, $614m for BD
posted by jacquilynne at 2:15 PM on May 28, 2013


The New York system, which is huge, would require about $1 billion to install, so the estimates from Munro's blog that jacquilynne quotes look plausible.

I think that narrow platforms are more of a risk than open platforms in general. I know that I really don't like waiting by any narrow walled area at stops like Eglinton or Union during rush hour. This shows how the TTC is renovating the Union platforms right now so that we have one standard-sized platform for each line.
posted by maudlin at 2:23 PM on May 28, 2013


Dwight Duncan, the Finance Minister of Ontario, is calling for Ford's resignation or failing that, to step aside while the allegations are being investigated. In his words, the "ongoing insanity" at Toronto City Hall "is going to do irreparable harm to this community. … Until people of good will start saying that [Ford should resign] this gong show is going to continue on."
posted by New Frontier at 2:24 PM on May 28, 2013


Duncan is the former Finance Minister. Wynne and her cabinet are trying to keep out of this mess as much as possible.
posted by maudlin at 2:28 PM on May 28, 2013


OK, today Wynne said that she's "worried" that Ford is facing personal problems that have to be resolved. Still, no explicit request for a resignation.
posted by maudlin at 2:33 PM on May 28, 2013


Wynne and her cabinet are trying to keep out of this mess as much as possible.

This is actually a brilliant tactic. The Liberals at Queen's Park are currently facing heat over a half-billion dollar matter concerning power plants, but every day that Rob Ford talks about high school football and sneaks out the fire stairs to avoid press (and Mr. Harper proclaims that he had no idea what people in his office are doing) is another day that story stays on page A11.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:37 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Duncan is the former Finance Minister.

That's correct. He left office in February. I inadvertently left the word "former" out of my comment.
posted by New Frontier at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2013


Rob Ford: The Buffoonery of Evil.
posted by tavella at 4:19 PM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is totally off-topic, but $1 billion to install platform doors at every station in New York? That seems ridiculously low. There are 468 stations (some stations counted more than once because they have multiple levels).

$1.1 billion for Toronto's two largest lines (63 stations) seems about right, so figure $8.8 billion for NY.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:58 PM on May 28, 2013


An unnamed source in Ford's office is trying to sell another version of the Towhey-called-the-cops story and is claiming that losing the two PR guys was no big loss:
The source in the mayor’s office said police interviewed Mr. Price about drug dealing in a Dixon Road building.

According to the source, an anonymous caller to the mayor’s office complained about drug dealing at 320 Dixon Rd. The source said that, in accordance with protocol, the tip was passed up to Mark Towhey, then the mayor’s chief of staff. ...

“[The story that Price and Towhey were discussing getting the video from that address] has a little teeny grain of truth,” the source in the mayor’s office said. “The only truth is that the mayor’s office does get information from time to time. We have a moral and a legal obligation to pass this information on. We have passed on no information about a video. That is an out and out lie.”

On the resignations of Mr. Ransom and Mr. Christopoulos, “the writing was on the wall,” the source within Mayor Ford’s office said.

“Earl [Provost, the mayor's acting chief of staff] tried to talk them off the ledge all weekend. Isaac had his shredder going in overdrive, so it was pretty obvious what was going on. The consensus is it’s no big loss, both of them were hiding under their desks most of the time.”
posted by maudlin at 9:13 PM on May 28, 2013


Toronto Sun editor was given pitch for Ford video, but declined
“The question that was put, was – would we be willing to pay for a Rob Ford story, there was some video that they had,” James Wallace said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. “My understanding is there was no mention of crack, no mention of the mayor smoking. It was a generic inquiry whether we paid for stories, and that there was a video that would be embarrassing to the mayor.”

Noting that would not be unusual – he cited the video showing the mayor emerging from a KFC outlet during a public weight-loss campaign – Mr. Wallace said the editor likely dismissed the potential news value of the offer. ...

Mr. Wallace said no one on his staff has seen the video, but they are actively working to track it down. “The allegations will at some point be either proven wholly or in part,” he said. “There’s a lot of media working on the story now, it’s gone too far down the road now. At some point the facts of the matter will come out.” He added: “If we had the video, if we determined the video was legitimate, we would post it in a New York minute.”
posted by maudlin at 9:40 PM on May 28, 2013


Rexdale Neighbours of Ford Video Holder Nervous
posted by unSane at 5:15 AM on May 29, 2013


It seems that by now the identity of the guy who has the video is an open secret. It's only a matter of time before someone names him.
posted by unSane at 5:16 AM on May 29, 2013


okay, maybe this feels like local nitpicking...

but I grew up at Islington & Dixon (next street over from Kipling & Dixon, referenced in that last Sun link), and we never thought of any of the area south of Highway 401 as being in Rexdale. We were the outskirts of Weston, by our postal address. Rexdale was originally just the area around Rexdale Blvd and Islington (where Rexdale Mall used to be), and then the name seemed to be extended to other neighbourhoods, like Thistletown and even as far as Jamestown (Martin Grove and Albion?). But never south of the 401, where Dixon Rd is.

nitpicking on NW Toronto geography over
posted by jb at 8:02 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ivor Tossell at Macleans: Rob Ford update: Everything is not fine at Toronto City Hall.
It’s murder and revenue tools this week; death and taxes. With every subsequent revelation, you can hear the gasps of “surely this will shake Ford Nation’s support.” Yet a tracking poll over the weekend showed Ford’s lousy numbers are at least holding steady. Rob Ford was sent to City Hall to hold the line on taxes and disrupt the scene, and that’s what he did. The collateral damage, which mounts day by day, is incidental. The fact that business as usual looks like it might never return doesn’t faze the faithful. The entire premise of Rob Ford was to rail against the inevitable.
posted by maudlin at 9:03 AM on May 29, 2013


"My name is Matt and today I’ll be going after the Fords on their fiscal record."
posted by frimble at 10:15 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Guys, frimble's link is a fabulous article. Matt's been doing good work on the Ford beat for a while, but this is an excellent analysis of the Fords' grandiose claims.
posted by maudlin at 10:18 AM on May 29, 2013


"My name is Matt and today I’ll be going after the Fords on their fiscal record."

The problem is, as we learned a couple of weeks ago in British Columbia, that if politicians "lie" about their track record, the lie will stick as long as the lie is kept simple and repeated over and over again.

And "I saved Toronto taxpayers a billion dollars" is a lot simpler to understand than the competing narrative which is "the Ford team has quietly changed the city’s ten-year capital plan. Instead of relying on good old-fashioned debt financing to pay for the city’s capital needs, this new budget offers a mysterious $1.2-billion “financing strategy.”
posted by KokuRyu at 10:32 AM on May 29, 2013


"The Mayor smokes crack" is satisfyingly simple, fortunately.
posted by unSane at 10:58 AM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


More laid back Canadian Mayors get a joke twitter feed about what they are "caught" doing.
posted by chapps at 12:21 PM on May 29, 2013


Rob Ford’s former staffers’ emails, telephone records ordered destroyed: sources

It's the cover-up that'll get ya, every time.
posted by unSane at 12:24 PM on May 29, 2013


I'll believe that something is going to "get" Ford when he's no longer the Mayor of Toronto.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2013


Whoever writes the Mayor's tweets has taken a decidedly assertive direction today. Gone are the fluffy "enjoy a Taste of the Danforth this weekend!"-style tweets and now it's all about his accomplishments and how great the city is working.
Obviously, every tweet from his account is met with a wall of scorn and comments about crack.
posted by chococat at 1:52 PM on May 29, 2013


Rob Ford's IT Geeks Refuse to Cover Up the Crack Video Email Records
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:53 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


If/when word finally breaks that this video has been posted somewhere, I'm going to be running around, "Tramampoline! Trabopoline!" for several minutes.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:20 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sure it's my Calgary schadenfreude talking, but Canada.com has a hilarious day-by-day summary of what Ford and Nenshi have been up to over the last two weeks. Instead of dodging crack allegations and firing staffers, Nenshi has been eating perogis, helping to find a one-eyed pug, reading stories to children and high-fiving marathon runners.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:13 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I actually teared up at May 27th.

Calgary gets a Poverty Reduction Strategy and we get a senior staff reduction strategy and an evidence reduction strategy and ...

Christ on a fucking cracker, can this shit just be over so our city council can go back to actually doing things? I hear we have some issues related to funding transit expansion that might possibly require a teensy bit of attention or something.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:39 PM on May 29, 2013


Tweeted by the Star's editor: Ford knows where the video is! In tomorrow's paper!
posted by avocet at 8:31 PM on May 29, 2013


If/when word finally breaks that this video has been posted somewhere, I'm going to be running around, "Tramampoline! Trabopoline!" for several minutes

I'll be madly celebrating but awaiting the desperate venom of the Ford Nation, who will denounce me as a beer-sipping elitist because I'm not smoking crack behind the Timmy's.

Seriously though, I know there's the charmingly militant "Crackhead Ford is still better than Miller" front, but from that article in which the journalist went to Etobicoke to solicit opinions from Ford's 'hood, it seemed as if most Ford supporters deny even the possibility of a video; it's all made up lies. If the video comes out, do they finally see the light or do they automatically shift to Cruel Downtown LEFTY Elites Mock and Ridicule Brave Helpless Sick Man with Addiction Problem.
posted by chococat at 8:31 PM on May 29, 2013


Goldsbie from the National Post tweets what appears to be a quote from The Star: "'Ford cited specific apartment unit numbers to staff after drug scandal broke, sources say'".

I'm feeling a little cautious about another "sources say" story from The Star. There's been pushback on the "staffers' emails and records to be deleted" story.
The email and phone records of former staffers of Mayor Rob Ford have not been ordered destroyed, a Toronto city hall official says.

“The city has not received a request from anyone in the mayor’s office to destroy records,” director of communications Jackie DeSouza said in an email.

The Star heard concerns at city hall Wednesday afternoon over the potential destruction or hiding of the records of three staffers who resigned or were fired during the ongoing crack cocaine scandal. Sources told the Star the records were in danger after city employees were directed to delete them.

The Star sent a request late Wednesday to the city asking for email and phone records of the three staffers in question for the time period during which the video at the heart of the scandal has been discussed.

Emails sent by city employees, including political staffers, are automatically preserved by the city, though emails related to “personal” business are exempt from freedom of information requests.

Two people familiar with the system said the emails of specific political staffers cannot be permanently erased from the system.
There is a bit of ambiguity there -- was a request made to delete staffers' personal communications? If so, those wouldn't be subject to an FOI request, and if the last bit I quoted is accurate, it couldn't be done anyway.

The Star is waiting for the video, which may or may not ever be made public. I think that they're trying keep up public interest in the story until that happens, and/or they need to unnerve Ford or an associate enough so that something else incriminating appears. They're walking a fine line here. There is a chance that someone is feeding them bad info to damage their overall credibility.
posted by maudlin at 8:53 PM on May 29, 2013


Goldsbie is from NOW Magazine, no?
But yeah, the "sources say" is getting old because there is still nothing concrete here. Only people who have seen things.
Nevertheless, another camera-dodging day ahead for Our Dear Leader.
posted by chococat at 9:14 PM on May 29, 2013


Right, sorry, he's from NOW. He is a regular contributor to the Post's political panel, so that was just poor reading on my part.

(You can quote me as a source who has claimed that Goldsbie's main affiliation is the Post. Or maybe not.)
posted by maudlin at 9:18 PM on May 29, 2013


Nice piece from The Grid (I know, I know) about the dynamic between Brother Doug and Rofo (a/k/a Fight and Flight). I have to say that I never much thought about Doug Ford's role in all of this save that he seems prone to bullying the mayor and making empty threats to those he dislikes, and they are legion. However, Edward Keenan points out that there seems to be a history of Rob looking up to his big brother, who has bullied and pushed him around for years. When Rob showed no particular passion for the family business and went into city politics he was out of Doug's shadow for the first time, but then Doug had to follow him in, mock him publicly about his weight, and appoint himself the City Hall Avenger. No one gets to beat up my little brother but me.

As I mentioned, I listened to their radio show last Sunday for the first and probably last time, and I noticed that early on Doug was boasting about how listeners were going to get the straight-up no-holds-barred FACTS from Los Bros Ford and no one could muzzle them here on their show -- they could say whatever they want to say. About twenty minutes later there was a meek little retraction to the effect that the management at the radio station still of course had final say on what got aired on their airwaves. A few minutes after that, though, when Rob had to leave halfway through, Brother Doug was again crooning that he was "off the leash."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:35 AM on May 30, 2013


The Star's story doesn't say that the Mayor's Office asked the City to delete the emails. In fact they'd be stupid to have done so. Nor does it say that the emails were on the City's system. So it's quite possible they tried to do it through a back channel and someone objected.
posted by unSane at 3:36 AM on May 30, 2013


Ford said he knew where video was, sources say:
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told senior aides not to worry about a video appearing to show him smoking crack cocaine because he knew where it was, sources told the Star.
Ford then blurted out the address of two 17th-floor units — 1701 and 1703 — at a Dixon Rd. apartment complex, to the shock of staffers at a city hall meeting almost two weeks ago, the sources said.
So now we have the specific apartments. I suspect we will have the identity of the people shortly.
posted by unSane at 3:39 AM on May 30, 2013


And this could turn out to be be important: police have made a second arrest in the Anthony Smith case. They picked up someone in Fort McMurray on Friday and are still looking for another suspect. It's possible these are the dealers in question. They're holding a press conference later.
posted by unSane at 3:46 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


(this would certainly explain why neither Gawker nor the Star have been able to get in touch with anyone since last week)
posted by unSane at 5:01 AM on May 30, 2013


I swear to God I need to get some work done today, but I'll share this picture going around Twitter. This is either more evidence that Rob really likes having his picture taken with random people or new evidence that he's a Pokemon.
posted by maudlin at 5:10 AM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fort McMurray. If earth has an asshole, that's where it is.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:21 AM on May 30, 2013


Wasn't May 17 the day Ford said he knew where the video was? Because that was the day the warrant for arrest of the new suspect was issued...
posted by saucysault at 6:27 AM on May 30, 2013


And I just realised he was actually arrested on May 24, the day Ford finally made a declaritive statement that the tape did not exist. It will be interesting to see who his lawyer is.
posted by saucysault at 6:35 AM on May 30, 2013


PleaseLetItBeGreenspanPleaseLetItBeGreenspan...
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:37 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Ford's lawyer, I mean.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:38 AM on May 30, 2013


Police identify man arrested in shooting tied to alleged Rob Ford video.
Hanad Mohamed of Toronto, 23, has been arrested in Alberta and charged with first-degree murder in the March 28 fatal shooting of Anthony Smith in downtown Toronto. ...

Mr. Mohamed was arrested by the RCMP in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Friday, one week after a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest, the Toronto homicide squad said.

Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives have obtained search warrants for Mr. Mohamed’s cellphone and homes and are looking for at least one other suspect.

Mr. Mohamed is expected to be transported to Toronto on Thursday in the custody of the Toronto Police Service, with a court appearance set for Old City Hall on Friday.
posted by maudlin at 7:00 AM on May 30, 2013


If this guy's address turns out to be Apartment 1701, there are going to be fireworks.
posted by unSane at 7:02 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it odd that the police held him for 6 days before charging him and announcing it? Hanad Mohamed was picked up on a Canada wide warrant for 1st degree murder (and not just detained, under suspicion, in the course of an investigation) I'm not trying to cook up a conspiracy theory, I just don't know how these things work.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:04 AM on May 30, 2013


Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives have obtained search warrants for Mr. Mohamed’s cellphone and homes and are looking for at least one other suspect.

This phone and video had better not be locked up unseen in an evidence locker for the next two years...
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:16 AM on May 30, 2013


Gawker's John Cook, minutes ago, via Twitter:
I don't know with confidence where the Rob Ford video was or is being stored. It could have been moved repeatedly. But I do know that the entrance to a certain apt complex on Dixon Rd. in Toronto is monitored by security that logs each car entering and requires either an access pass or an invitation from a residence to get in. I presume the entrances are monitored by video as well.
posted by unSane at 7:19 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it odd that the police held him for 6 days before charging him and announcing it?

Not particularly. It'll often take several days for even a routine DUI to be officially charged.
posted by Mitheral at 8:17 AM on May 30, 2013


I wonder if Apple could get the video from iCloud or even from the device itself if compelled by a court order. If the original owner of the phone is known, then it should be possible to identify the device id and related icloud accounts for the owner.
posted by humanfont at 9:33 AM on May 30, 2013


There's something going down in the Mayor's Office right now. It's like watching DOWNFALL, if the bunker was a goldfish bowl with the media camped outside.
posted by unSane at 10:10 AM on May 30, 2013


Twitter chatter is to expect another resignation.
posted by maudlin at 10:12 AM on May 30, 2013


CTV is streaming the fishbowl live. Lots of press outside the door.

What the hell? There's a bike blocking the door of Ford's office? ALIENS! ALIENS HAVE SNATCHED ROB FORD!
posted by maudlin at 10:15 AM on May 30, 2013


Policy advisor Brian Johnston is out, resigned it appears.
posted by unSane at 10:17 AM on May 30, 2013


The mayor's policy advisory has quit.

Everything's fine, folks.
posted by dry white toast at 10:18 AM on May 30, 2013


Sadly, this is business as usual.
posted by mazola at 10:22 AM on May 30, 2013


My feed just came back. Can anyone see the bike? Is the bike gone, too?
posted by maudlin at 10:22 AM on May 30, 2013


For the love of all that is holy, would one of these former staffers finally speak on the record about this mess?!?! All these unnamed sources, while they are likely accurate, just allow the Fords to keep playing their denial game.
posted by dry white toast at 10:23 AM on May 30, 2013


The Star is running live updates of developments at City Hall. Includes text and some sideways screen caps from video.

CTV/CP24 says that up to three more staffers were expected to leave today: they heard this yesterday.
posted by maudlin at 10:33 AM on May 30, 2013


Ford's executive assistant Kia Nejatian has also quit apparently. That's #2.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:34 AM on May 30, 2013


The Star's David Rider: "City reporting that a second Ford staffer - mayor's exec. assistant Kia Nejatian - has also quit."

So that's five staffers in two weeks.
posted by maudlin at 10:34 AM on May 30, 2013


How much do you want to bet the next angle the Fords take is to blame the media for all the departures, saying that the unrelenting pressure is making it impossible for people in the office to do their jobs?
posted by dry white toast at 10:38 AM on May 30, 2013


CP24 has some recorded footage of Brian Johnston leaving City Hall by the parking garage. He says very little in response to a lot of questions. When asked why he left, he mumbled something about some other things he'd like to do better.

Also: "The timing is right."

Reporter: "Do you think [the mayor] can survive this?"

Johnston: "He's survived a lot so far."

[more questions, then, again]

Reporter: "Do you think [the mayor] can survive this?"

Johnston: "Anything's possible."
posted by maudlin at 10:41 AM on May 30, 2013


If you're starting to need a checklist of who hasn't left yet.
posted by frimble at 10:42 AM on May 30, 2013


Soon they will be turning over the desks and couches and pushing them against those glass doors.
posted by chococat at 10:42 AM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think that bike I saw has already been turned into stress-relief origami.
posted by maudlin at 10:43 AM on May 30, 2013


The inexorable march towards the point where it's Rob and Doug lobbing scrunched up balls of paper at the media standing outside continues.
posted by dry white toast at 10:45 AM on May 30, 2013


Nice pdf, but.. We need a copy from before the first departure, to properly track the progress here. Possibly from before they brought in David Price..

I saw a clip of Johnston responding to "Do you think the mayor can survive this", and the look on his face, the pause, the shake of the head...... Heh :)
posted by Chuckles at 10:46 AM on May 30, 2013


Ford's 3 PM press conference
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:48 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kathleen Wynne is now saying she will "take action when and if appropriate" to deal with the situation at Toronto City Hall. That is truly the nuclear option, as the only thing she can do is dissolve Council and order new elections...for the whole Council.

While it might be the only way this whole thing ends, it would be a disaster.
posted by dry white toast at 10:56 AM on May 30, 2013


If she's smart she'll just let it play out. NEVER interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
posted by unSane at 10:57 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


the only thing she can do is dissolve Council and order new elections

Is that the case? Couldn't she pass legislation that gives council expanded censure or recall powers?
posted by saturday_morning at 10:58 AM on May 30, 2013


Oh, fuck, NO. We do NOT need a new election right now and we do NOT need to feed the Ford persecution complex. Shutup shutup shutup.
posted by maudlin at 10:58 AM on May 30, 2013


Play out how exactly? At this point, it's obvious that nothing short of a confirmed version of the video being publicly released will prompt any action on Ford's part, and even then I'm skeptical he'd resign. I mean, what in the last two weeks gives you the idea he'd act voluntarily?
posted by dry white toast at 11:00 AM on May 30, 2013


Ford's executive assistant has also resigned. I wonder if it has anything to do with the murder investigation, and employees not knowing what scary shit their boss might have been up to, and maybe not wanting to be implicated?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:01 AM on May 30, 2013


Play out how exactly?

Who knows? But the shoes are dropping so fast now, it isn't going away.
posted by unSane at 11:01 AM on May 30, 2013


In a fit of over-obliging literalism, here's a copy-paste of the staff list from earlier in May, rescued from the Google cache. Price is on it, but so is Provost.

archive.org's most recent one is from 2011.
posted by frimble at 11:02 AM on May 30, 2013


Couldn't she pass legislation that gives council expanded censure or recall powers?

Perhaps, but that would mean getting an amendment to the City of Toronto Act through the a minority legislature when it's about to rise for the summer, and even then she'd be seen to be blatantly changing the rules in response to someone that is perceived as her opponent.

On the flip side, Ford, through his innumerable doings has exposed some huge flaws in the law governing the operation of municipal councils. So, revisiting the legislation certainly seems warranted in the abstract.
posted by dry white toast at 11:04 AM on May 30, 2013


the only thing she can do is dissolve Council and order new elections...for the whole Council.

AIH had some municipal lawyer on the other day explaining that Ford couldn't be removed short of an amendment to the City of Toronto Act, and God knows how long that would take, and if it would even be possible in a minority government situation. The only way he could be removed was if he were actually in jail, and unable to attend meetings for three consecutive months.

As I recall. I stand to be corrected.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:04 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kathleen Wynne is now saying she will "take action when and if appropriate" to deal with the situation at Toronto City Hall.

It is a perfectly reasonable thing to say. As long as she doesn't actually do anything. Like, let Tim Hudak suggest it first or something :)
posted by Chuckles at 11:05 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


My GUESS is that once you know Doug the slug is going on air and lying, it gets hard to stay unless you're family.
posted by unSane at 11:06 AM on May 30, 2013


Ah, and actually it looks like she couldn't even dissolve Council without the legislature signing off on it.
posted by dry white toast at 11:07 AM on May 30, 2013


THE BIKE IS SAFE. I REPEAT: THE BIKE IS SAFE.

That is not Rob Ford waving from the left side of the image. Sorry.

That is a real bike. In Rob Ford's office. Good God, it's like matter and anti-matter.

On the right, you can see the "Office of the Mayor - Reception" sign, but with "Mayor" cut off because I couldn't grab the cap fast enough.
posted by maudlin at 11:09 AM on May 30, 2013


BWAH! Ontario PCs: Doug Ford ‘not our candidate’
“I don’t even know the guy. Personally, I’ve never even met him,” said Tory House Leader Jim Wilson, when asked Thursday whether he thought Mr. Ford was a good candidate.

Asked if the party would stand behind Mr. Ford, Mr. Wilson said the decision would be up to the local riding association.

“He’s not our candidate. The process will have to be followed,” he said. “We’re the only political party, as you know, that doesn’t parachute candidates one way or the other or handpick them from the leader’s office. So regardless of who you are, you’ll have to go through the local democratic process.”
posted by maudlin at 11:15 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


A quote in the Maclean's cover story on Rob Ford from a former staffer:

“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…. He resigns as mayor or he’s dead in a ditch—I don’t know what’s first, honestly.”
posted by dry white toast at 11:15 AM on May 30, 2013


Interesting quote from Metroman at Urban Toronto:

"Cop source tells me to watch the news tomorrow. Police press conference? A bust? He won't say."
posted by reformedjerk at 11:29 AM on May 30, 2013


Josh Marshall of TPM seems to be seriously considering setting up TPM Canada in the wake of this.
posted by unSane at 11:32 AM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


MetroMan at Urban Toronto also says this:
Spoke with one councillor. They're remaining mostly quiet for a reason: Ford is stepping all over himself and they want him to have all the limelight. Says there's a nuclear option: call special meeting to adjust mayor's office budget to $0.00 to take control out of mayor's hands. No staff, no work gets done. Ford isn't allowed to use his own resources to pay staff. I think it won't need to get to that because by the end of the weekend, Ford won't have any staff anyway.
posted by maudlin at 11:35 AM on May 30, 2013


Man. I haven't felt this giddily speculative since the world was introduced to Sarah Palin.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:37 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


In a fit of over-obliging literalism,

Literalism has its place :)

So, a little analysis reveals that only 5 remain from the 2011 list:
Barnett Brooks Policy Advisor & Council Relations
Beyer Thomas Special Assistants
Johnston Brian Policy Advisor & Council Relations
Petrujkic Sanjin Senior Policy Advisor & Director of Council Affairs
Provost Earl Council Relations
With 5 documented departures between those two 2013 lists:
Towhey Mark Chief of Staff
Christopoulos George Press Secretary
Ransom Isaac Special Assistant - Communications
Fidani Nico Special Assistants
Nejatian Kia Executive Assistant to the Mayor
Only two of the recent departures were on the 2011 list though. I guess there is a lot of base rate turnover to begin with. Not surprising exactly :)
posted by Chuckles at 11:39 AM on May 30, 2013


At least 3 of the mayor's staff are from his football work. So, to summarize, this is where we are now.
posted by dry white toast at 11:40 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Josh Marshall of TPM seems to be seriously considering setting up TPM Canada in the wake of this.

Maybe he should team up with Frank Mag. Fuck, Frank is going to kick motherfucking ass with all these Tory retreads!
posted by KokuRyu at 11:41 AM on May 30, 2013


Here's those changes in a very crude excel file.
posted by Chuckles at 11:45 AM on May 30, 2013


I'm starting to wonder if the Rob Ford saga isn't just Twitter's response to House of Cards.
posted by dry white toast at 11:50 AM on May 30, 2013


Thanks! Brian Johnston should go in the turfed section.
posted by maudlin at 11:50 AM on May 30, 2013


Ahh.. I thought there was something wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it. So only 4 remaining from 2011, and in fact 6 losses in the last couple of weeks.
posted by Chuckles at 11:55 AM on May 30, 2013


I think this is my favourite response to this debacle so far, and one that is so Toronto: someone recorded a dancehall track about Ford.
posted by avocet at 12:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was a great quote on Twitter earlier about how Ford is giving a great demonstration of what happens when someone decides to tough out justified allegations instead of promptly resigning.

Also, that OPC quote: "I don't even know the guy". Cold.
posted by unSane at 12:05 PM on May 30, 2013


I'm just hoping Ford shows up at a Jays game, and gets the Sinclair Stevens treatment. Fifty thousand people, mockingly chanting "tuuuuuuuuuu-naaaaaaaaa". Only "craaaaaaaack cocaaaaaaaaaaine" doesn't work as well.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:12 PM on May 30, 2013


From the Mayor's statement regarding staff departures:

"The Mayor looks forward to welcoming new staff members, who will help contribute to his priorities and the ongoing work of the Mayor's offce."

So, no volunteers to replace the departed staff then? His recent statements are bringing the term "boilerplate" to a new level.
posted by dry white toast at 12:15 PM on May 30, 2013


(Oops -- my mistake. Tunagate was John Fraser, not Sinc Stevens. I get my Mulroney fartcatchers mixed up sometimes.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:17 PM on May 30, 2013


"The Mayor looks forward to welcoming new staff members, who will help contribute to his priorities and the ongoing work of the Mayor's offce."

Well, school will be out soon, so he can pick from high school football teams all over the city.
posted by maudlin at 12:20 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some interesting things on the Twitter feed of Fort McMurray Today (their daily).
posted by dry white toast at 12:23 PM on May 30, 2013


The strange grin on the face of departing staffer Johnston as he answers reporters' questions is saying SOMETHING but I can't work out what. Combat fatigue, maybe.
posted by unSane at 12:27 PM on May 30, 2013


Nice to see international coverage refer to Ford as a "crack-smoking human clusterfuck."
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:43 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aaaaaand it looks like another staffer may be going...
posted by unSane at 12:43 PM on May 30, 2013


Has there ever been play-by-play coverage of an elected officials daily office goings-on like this? It's absolutely extraordinary. "RT @reporterdonpeat: Provost, Ford's chief of staff, comes out of the office, goes to printer, picks up paper & goes back #TOpoli"
posted by unSane at 12:47 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would bet good money that DoFo still think this is how the story is going to play out.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:47 PM on May 30, 2013


Spent two hours knocking on doors in Fort Mac's Somali area. Very private people, didn't tell me a lot about Hanad Mohamed. #ymm #TOpoli

Uh, what?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:50 PM on May 30, 2013


Edward Keenan at The Grid: I do not expect a resignation.
As each new revelation comes forward and this story gets darker and darker, people hold their breath with each media scrum, waiting for a resignation, or something, from the mayor. These are people who do not know Rob Ford.
posted by maudlin at 12:57 PM on May 30, 2013


Ford will be making some kind of statement at 4:30. Not a formal press conference: just talking to reporters outside the fishbowl.
posted by maudlin at 1:04 PM on May 30, 2013


Bets on what statement will be about?

-Will he basically re-read his earlier statement?
-Blame media for staff departures
posted by dry white toast at 1:07 PM on May 30, 2013


BASIC ROFO

10 DENY
20 BLAME MEDIA
30 GOTO 10
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:11 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


LOL. This Post story quotes an unnamed source in the Mayor's office saying Towhey is responsible for the "fabrications" because he has an axe to grind. As for all the staff who have quit: "I guess they are all looking to get jobs at The Toronto Star."

You know, Doug, we can tell when it's you.
posted by dry white toast at 1:15 PM on May 30, 2013


Easy there, Douggie -- public omerta between staff and their political masters works both ways.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:19 PM on May 30, 2013


. "RT @reporterdonpeat: Provost, Ford's chief of staff, comes out of the office, goes to printer, picks up paper & goes back #TOpoli"


Pretty sure that's Homer Simpson in the oven, rotating slowly. Body temp has risen to over 400 - he's literally stewing in his own juices.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:19 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, Doug, we can tell when it's you.

So can Daniel Dale: "I have absolutely no idea who the Post's source is, but I'm a connoisseur of Doug Ford quotes, and those sound like Doug Ford quotes."
posted by maudlin at 1:21 PM on May 30, 2013


Adam Gopnik: Falstaff in Toronto, Antonio in New York
I write this on a train speeding—well, strolling at velocity, this being Canada—from my beautiful, troubled home town of Montreal to the super-successful city of Toronto, Canada’s true capital, where, to everyone’s shock, the first full-scale, messy, Louisiana-style, twenty-first-century political scandal in Canada is taking place, to the wonder of the burghers of a town once thought immune to all scandals save those of the meaner, pocket-filling kind.
posted by maudlin at 1:32 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also from Dale: During the scandal, Ford has continued to call back women who took him up on his offer to explain politics to them.

He is an...odd duck.
posted by dry white toast at 1:37 PM on May 30, 2013


Here we go. Ford walks out, makes a "you behave" gesture at the bike.

Smiling. Has met with everyone on staff today. Great deal of respect for them all. Talented and loyal group of people, working hard. But I have always said to my staff that if a new opportunity arises take it.

HEY IS THERE AN ECHO IN HERE?
posted by maudlin at 1:41 PM on May 30, 2013


Anything else?
posted by mazola at 1:41 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"There's nothing going on in my office..."
posted by dry white toast at 1:43 PM on May 30, 2013


Well that went well.
posted by mazola at 1:44 PM on May 30, 2013


"I'm not stepping aside, I'm running in the next election...I guarantee my name will be on the ballot."

That's the first thing he's said in I don't know how long I actually believe.
posted by dry white toast at 1:44 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Doug Ford missed his calling as a pro wrestler. He looks the part and would have been great at the pre-match interviews.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:48 PM on May 30, 2013


Ford continues: "I am interviewing prospects and will hire again."

Ignores all questions about video and Towhey.

"There's nothing going on in my office. I'm bringing new staff. New opportunities. Not getting into personnel issues. Maybe they can answer your questions better than me."

"I'm not stepping aside. Am running in the next election. I guarantee my name on the ballot. Great people in this city, appreciate the support."

Repeats what a great mayor he is, how much money he's saved us.

"I've watched every dime of taxpayers money. I have saved ONE BEEEEELION DOLLARS."

Reporter: "Do you think that ignoring our questions -- is that strategy working for you?"

Ford turns around and returns to his office.

Doug is out now to bitch about Wynn. (What did I say about fueling the victim complex? Shutup shutup shutup.) Brings up proroguing.

"Get your own house in order before saying anything about the mayor. City in great financial shape."

"Yeah, some people have left. Understand the reason why. Have hundreds of emails and resumes and will be back up to speed in a couple of days."
posted by maudlin at 1:48 PM on May 30, 2013


Apparently Ford's press secretary was physically pushing Doug away from the scrum. Like Ed Keenan said yesterday: Rob's response is flight, Doug's is fight.
posted by dry white toast at 1:54 PM on May 30, 2013


Kevin Donovan on CNN now.
posted by chococat at 1:55 PM on May 30, 2013


Saying things doesn't really work better for the Fords as a strategy then not saying things.
posted by dry white toast at 1:56 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dan Drezner is confused, yet beguiled: "Please, Toronto Mayor spokesman, say you have "binders" of resumes coming in. PLEEEAAAASE"

Upon being corrected: "!!! God, this story... RT @Ian_from_TO That's Rob Ford's brother, and he allegedly sold hash in the 80's."
posted by maudlin at 1:59 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Please, Toronto Mayor spokesman, say you have "binders" of resumes coming in. PLEEEAAAASE"

That line makes me realize something horrible: I'd take Rob Ford over Mitt Romney. I feel like I need a shower now.
posted by dry white toast at 2:04 PM on May 30, 2013


> Rob's response is flight, Doug's is fight.

Fight and Flight wouldn't really have worked as a name for an '80s tag team, but it still has a certain something.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:08 PM on May 30, 2013


Randy will join his brothers at the next press conference. That should dispel any lingering doubts.
posted by maudlin at 2:11 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doug is out now to bitch about Wynn. (What did I say about fueling the victim complex? Shutup shutup shutup.) Brings up proroguing.

I'm not sure, but... Seems to me the closer the Liberals can tie Hudak to the Fords, the better for their prospects. The Fords parroting Hudak talking points isn't bad for the Liberals at all. It all assumes Wynn doesn't actually believe her own press and do anything, but as long as Wynn can sound measured and reasonable, I say go ahead and bate away.
posted by Chuckles at 2:12 PM on May 30, 2013


Again, Daniel Dale noting this catch by a photographer, noting that he crossed out a line in his statement that appeas to say "Try to put yourself in their shoes. This has not been easy for any of us".

So, yes...he was going to blame the media for staff departures.
posted by dry white toast at 2:13 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ford to city: t(-_-t) t(-_-t) t(-_-t)
posted by avocet at 2:17 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seems to me the closer the Liberals can tie Hudak to the Fords, the better for their prospects.

But is that really going on here? Where is someone tying the Fords and Hudak together? Even if that is happening, would that really help anyone? While the Fords could hurt Hudak, he can't hurt them. There are people in the province who love/hate the Fords, people who hate Wynn as well as a bunch of people who like her, but no one really loves or hates Hudak. People find him useful or they laugh at him, for the most part.

What I hear today is the Fords appealing to their base, but also potentially snagging people in the mushy middle who aren't happy about the gas plant or the Metrolinx funding plans, and who just want the city to work.

I'm not worried about Wynn right now: I'm worried about the Fordlock. I don't think that the Liberals are at risk of an election being called at any point soon, but there is the risk that building on a base layer of dissatisfaction with the Liberals will help cement the Fords' position in public opinion. Even if that doesn't happen, it could add lot of heat, noise and disarray to what should be the core issue of Ford's failings.
posted by maudlin at 2:25 PM on May 30, 2013


On review: if your concern is with the provincial election, I agree that the Fords could hurt Hudak. Every bit helps. But I think they are potentially temporarily strengthened by getting into a tussle with Wynn, and that's lousy for us in the short term.
posted by maudlin at 2:28 PM on May 30, 2013


what a jerrrrrrrrrk
posted by avocet at 2:49 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


This continual doubling down on a hand that is obviously a bust is totally mesmerizing.
posted by unSane at 3:11 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is a really odd time to be on vacation. I'm hoping I have a new mayor when I'm back on Sunday. I don't think that'll happen unless Ford is taken out of city hall in handcuffs.
posted by chunking express at 3:16 PM on May 30, 2013


The Star has a transcript of the press conference. When you read all the questions he skipped and the boilerplate he spouted, it's just -- ridiculous.
posted by maudlin at 3:18 PM on May 30, 2013


The two of them would be great anchors on a FOX Canada network.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:20 PM on May 30, 2013


> This continual doubling down on a hand that is obviously a bust is totally mesmerizing.

"I'm all in."
"But Rob, we keep telling you, you don't have any chips left."
"ALL! INNNNNNN!!!!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:23 PM on May 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


The Fords are a gift that just keeps giving!

or a paper lunchbag of poop on the doorstep that just keeps burning
posted by five fresh fish at 3:32 PM on May 30, 2013


There is some interesting stuff coming out of Fort McMurray. The man who was arrested is not well known in the Somali community. One guy said he wouldn't be surprised to find out that he was a drug dealer. The warrant to search his cellphone is sealed, which is unusual, but apparently used to protect people in an ongoing investigation. The reporter Vince McDermott is posting updates on Twitter.
posted by unSane at 3:34 PM on May 30, 2013


Other things redacted from Ford's prepared remarks:

I’m just letting you know I’ve met with every one of my staff today. Fortunately, that didn't take long. I think you’ve seen me walking around from office to office. I was trying to figure out which offices still had people in them. And I have a great deal of respect for every single person that works with me here in my office. As opposed to the assholes who quit. And I have a talented and loyal group of people. You can tell they're loyal by the fact that they're still here, despite all evidence that this mayoralty is going down the tubes. They’re working their backside off. We're thinking of making that the next Cut the Waist, challenge, actually; seeing who can drop the most inches off their ass. They’re here morning, noon and night, and they’re giving it all they have. Because, really, they're each doing the work of at least 2 people.

But I also have always said to my staff, if a new opportunity arises, take it, and I want to thank Kia and Brian for their service. I don't normally call 'collecting EI' an opportunity, but under the circumstances, I can hardly blame them. They’ve been valuable members of my team. And I totally mean my office team rather than my football team. I wish them all the best in any future endeavours. Just as soon as they figure out what those endeavours are going to be.

I emphasize and I assure you that the work is being done. At least to the level it was being done before, if not better. Phone calls are being returned. Except if they're from maggots. Emails are being responded to. Except if they're from maggots. I was elected to keep taxes low and to reduce the size and cost of government and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing every single day. I mean, I've cut my office staff in half, what more do you want? I’ve been interviewing candidates all week and I look forward to hiring new staff as soon as possible. But it's the middle of the summer season for football, so a lot of the potential candidates are busy right now.

Thank you very much. Anything else?
posted by jacquilynne at 3:41 PM on May 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


I think this is my favourite response to this debacle so far, and one that is so Toronto: someone recorded a dancehall track about Ford.

Also there's a rap song from Ottawa's Charron (NSFW lyrics, obvs.)
My fave lyrics:
Rob, you need to stop hanging out with criminals.
You're supposed to rep the city, have you lost your brain?
You brought Toronto shame like the last Boston game.
So impaired, you're not even aware
Put the crack down and take a crack at being the mayor.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:07 PM on May 30, 2013


So the National Post actually sent someone to 320 Dixon Rd., apartment 1703.
The man on the other end of the phone sounds relaxed, friendly. He says his name is Jon, and he is a friend of this tenant. He believes the video may have been stashed inside unit 1703 at some point by a group of young Somali men who “have keys.”

“Characters have been around there,” Jon says. “If [the video] is hidden in the house, I wouldn’t be surprised.” ...

In quick succession, the man issues a number of claims: that, while he does not know its current whereabouts, he has viewed the alleged video and believes it to be authentic; that he has seen other more innocuous footage of Mayor Ford “hanging out” in the neighbourhood; that Somali gang members who support the mayor are angry at the video’s sellers; and that he and his friends briefly considered making a fraudulent crack video starring an acquaintance and Rob Ford lookalike nicknamed “Slurpy,” in an attempt to discredit the real thing. Slurpy, who was not available to be interviewed by the Post, apparently opted out of the phoney video plan, ultimately deciding he did not want to become embroiled in the simmering controversy.

“We don’t like Rob Ford getting screwed,” the man in unit 1703 says. “We wanted to help him… 85% of [young Somalis] are very upset about these guys with the video.” ...

As to what ultimately became of the alleged crack video, the man seems certain of one thing.

“That tape,” he said, “will never surface.”
posted by maudlin at 8:58 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


That is quite an interview. They'll definitely be able to make an interesting character out of that guy when the documdrama comes out.
posted by Chuckles at 10:43 PM on May 30, 2013


This whole saga will definitely become a law and order episode.
posted by molecicco at 2:57 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Star: Anthony Smith's killing was 'street level stuff'.
posted by unSane at 5:01 AM on May 31, 2013


85% of [young Somalis] are very upset about these guys with the video.

I need a confidence interval on that number.

Seriously though, that article is what happens when you leave a vacuum for the media to fill.
posted by dry white toast at 6:23 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, my theory is that Slurpy is City Hall Security's code name for the Mayor.
posted by dry white toast at 6:23 AM on May 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


It is now.
posted by mazola at 6:26 AM on May 31, 2013


Before today I thought it was Big Gulp.

I'm a terrible person.
posted by dry white toast at 6:27 AM on May 31, 2013


"That tape will never surface."

It's not a tape. It's a media file. Recorded on a smartphone. What is the likelihood that the owner of the phone never sent the file to an email address or another cell number? Gotta be close to nil, right?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:56 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


> It's not a tape. It's a media file.

Sometimes I wonder if there are kids out there who read these stories and wonder what a "tape" is.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:14 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well my kids (9 & 6) gave a reasonable explanation of tape. Quite frankly I was surprised.
posted by mazola at 7:25 AM on May 31, 2013


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: What is the likelihood that the owner of the phone never sent the file to an email address or another cell number? Gotta be close to nil, right?

I think in this case, though, where the owner of the video is attempting to sell it for a significant amount of money, they would certainly NOT want to share the video, for fear that whoever they share it with would undercut their asking price. Now whether or not they made a backup for themselves is another story.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:28 AM on May 31, 2013


Wouldn't you at least email it to yourself?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:30 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


And there's a chance they might know they made a backup via iCloud.
posted by mazola at 7:30 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: Wouldn't you at least email it to yourself?

I mean, I would, but my wife (who is reasonably technically savvy) recently asked me how to backup a video on her smartphone. She had no idea how to do it, and didn't realize that it was already backed up in iCloud. The idea of emailing it to herself never even occurred to her.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:34 AM on May 31, 2013


The latest song; at least the Toronto arts community is flourishing under Mayor Ford.
posted by saucysault at 7:50 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


It really seems as though the footage is never going to surface (which is pretty incredible, in this day and age). Toronto is doomed to another year and a half of stasis (Ford won't be able to get anything passed in council) before what promises to an epic shitshow of an election campaign. And who's to say he can't win again? Can you imagine the bullshit he and Doug will spew to get Ford Nation whipped up and out to the polls?
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:57 AM on May 31, 2013


I have to think the only way he runs again is if he finances the campaign with all his own money. The rank-and-file of Ford Nation may still be behind him, but the money men must surely have run for the hills by now?
posted by jacquilynne at 8:04 AM on May 31, 2013


Good point.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:15 AM on May 31, 2013


A koan:

A couple of days ago I was having lunch with a Montreal-based colleague. He often asks me questions about how the rest of the country views various activities, movements, and news stories in Quebec. Wednesday he asked me about whether other cities look down on Montreal because their last elected mayor, Gérald Tremblay, resigned six months ago due to accusations of corruption. I said, "You have heard of Rob Ford?"

And he became enlightened.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:30 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anon source via Twitter:

"All [Toronto Star] urban affairs and investigative reporters have been called to office... Editors are in a mtg and when thru [sic] come out, they're going into lock down"
posted by unSane at 10:49 AM on May 31, 2013


(Same guy also claims he knows someone who has the video)
posted by unSane at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2013


I would like to confirm that "mauditanglais" is not my Twitter handle, just in case anyone thinks I'm holding out on them.

I had settled down today to thinking that Ford would skate. Do not falsely raise my hopes, anon source.

Daniel Dale:, a few seconds ago: "@CorComm @ivortossell @larouxb I am wandering around Elizabeth St. considering whether to go back to Mac's to get a slurpee."

Not Slurpy. Slurpee. Damn.
posted by maudlin at 11:01 AM on May 31, 2013


Hmm. Skeptical.
posted by chococat at 11:06 AM on May 31, 2013


The guy spreading these rumours on Twitter is also behind this site, which is pretty...I dunno.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:11 AM on May 31, 2013


Keep reading Dale's tweets. He's really having fun with this now. No emergency meeting, sorry.
posted by maudlin at 11:12 AM on May 31, 2013


Not Slurpy. Slurpee. Damn.

Actually, at Mac's they're called Frosters.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:53 PM on May 31, 2013


Whenever I hear the word "slurpee" I am reminded Ted Conover's book "Newjack", about working as a prison guard in New York. One of the inmates he had to deal with was called "Mr. Slurpy" for his penchant of slurping and spraying fecal material all over the guards.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:57 PM on May 31, 2013


Slurpee would be a much more honest name for an alcoholic beverage. 'Cause it's two things it'd make you do.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:02 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


mauditanglais is now claiming to have the video and will show it for free. He doesn't want Gawker's money.

But first he has to taunt The Star, then taunt them some more, then fart in their general direction.
posted by maudlin at 1:13 PM on May 31, 2013


He seems a little strange but I wouldn't bet on him not having it.
posted by unSane at 1:16 PM on May 31, 2013


(He seems to have been involved in the robocalls investigation in some way)
posted by unSane at 1:16 PM on May 31, 2013


A sixth staffer is gone. But RoFo's hired a summer student, so everything's covered. We're cool.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:21 PM on May 31, 2013


Well, the way I see it, unSane, we're going to end up with some kind of Slurpee or Slurpy soon. We may or may not enjoy it.

Daniel Dale says that this latest resignation was in the works some time ago. There's a presser from Ford coming up: expect some smirking.
posted by maudlin at 1:25 PM on May 31, 2013


Can you imagine? Poor Katrina Xavier-Ponniah just got hired onto a sinking ship. Data entry and administrative skills won't help her much if that video comes out.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:29 PM on May 31, 2013


(Having dealt with sources in the past as an investigative journalist, it's weirdos like this Laroux/Larue character who tend to give you the scoops, and dealing with their shit is one of the hazards of the job... you rarely get a corking story from someone completely normal).
posted by unSane at 1:55 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amongst the many many many MANY bizarre things about this episode, is that Ford is now holding almost daily media sessions, which he rarely did when things were "business as usual". Of course all he does is talk about stale accomplishments. Today he rambled about cleaning up Toronto Community Housing two years ago. He's obviously trying to re-focus the story on his "accomplishments", which will play well to the 20% of people who both believe that the video exists and still support him, i.e. Ford Nation.

I can't believe I now actually think the likeliest scenario is that he will survive until the next election. On the bright side, where I once thought his re-election was likely, I have some faith that he'll get destroyed after a brutal election cycle. Man, just think about how those debates will go.

One other thing: if anyone who was involved George Smitherman's campaign in 2010 goes near the election, I will come at you.
posted by dry white toast at 2:31 PM on May 31, 2013


(He seems to have been involved in the robocalls investigation in some way)

M. Poutine, we meet at last.
posted by chapps at 4:08 PM on May 31, 2013


But RoFo's hired a summer student, so everything's covered

Meanwhile at U of T a co-op placement officer is getting a talking to.
posted by chapps at 4:10 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Heres an interesting take. Ford as Falstaff.
posted by smudgedlens at 4:57 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


The counterpoint to that take in the New Yorker would be this piece from NOW. tl;dr and choice pullquote: "Christ, what an asshole."
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:04 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm getting the feeling those new hires didn't go through regular HR channels.

Also, a funny feeling that the Star may drop a bombshell tomorrow. It's been oddly quiet but there are some vibrations.
posted by unSane at 8:27 PM on May 31, 2013


From your gut to God's -- gut-verifying-thing ...

Right. Bedtime soon. Will take a last look at the Twitter machine around midnight.
posted by maudlin at 8:40 PM on May 31, 2013


The Maclean's cover story is now up.
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.
National Post has a Slurpy round-up and Andrew Coyne's very good piece on journalistic ethics:
The stories, in short, raise two age-old questions: 1. What do we know? How much certainty does a paper need before going to press with a story, and how much weight should readers attach to it? And 2. What should we know? Where and when is it justified for the press to report on the private behaviour of public figures, now or in the past?
The Star and G&M have placeholder articles: nothing new.

You cannot pay me enough to look at the Sun right now. If they have the video, we'll find out soon enough.

Not-quite-Ford, but -- the G&M has lost a LOT of good reporters, including Ford's fave, John Barber. Here's an unofficial list of the ones who took the buyouts. (Kirk Makin, too? Whoa.)
posted by maudlin at 9:18 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Today's Toronto Star brings you the top city news headlines on another riveting news day for the great cosmopolitan metropolis that it serves
posted by Bwithh at 10:39 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


No mocking the mouse story. That story is about a friend of mine.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:14 AM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oddly, the same friend was also somewhat involved in the IKEA monkey situation back in the early days.

So far as I know, though, she is not now and never has been a member of the mayor's staff.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:15 AM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm from Northern BC, and grew up in a town where we got snow by the shitload every winter. My mom was visiting me in Toronto during that particular storm and she though it pretty much seemed like, you know, regular weather.

The point being it wasn't regular weather in Toronto, which gets plenty of snow but in that particular case it was beyond the regular amount so the city wasn't prepared for it. I imagine if that was the regular pattern, the city would be.

I may be uninformed but I thought it was a given that different places in the world have different patterns of regular weather and infrastructure, if it is funded at all, is built in anticipation of those patterns as best it can be. Perhaps Toronto's standard should be to build it's response to rain and snow based on some city somewhere else?
posted by juiceCake at 8:01 AM on June 2, 2013


Chillax, dude, I wasn't making some grand point about Toronto's weather preparedness, I was just sharing an anecdote about how my family gives me the gears about living in a town that's soft.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:59 PM on June 2, 2013


Some kind of Canadian political rap video about Rob Ford
posted by Bwithh at 8:11 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chillax, dude, I wasn't making some grand point about Toronto's weather preparedness, I was just sharing an anecdote about how my family gives me the gears about living in a town that's soft.

I like, know that dude. I have no need to "chillax". It was just a comment on this common anecdote man.
posted by juiceCake at 8:17 PM on June 2, 2013


C'mon bra, everyone needs to rock a chillax sesh now and then.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:54 PM on June 2, 2013


No mocking the mouse story. That story is about a friend of mine.

Can we just mock the fact that Ford's disentigration takes third billing after the mouse and hedgehogs, but before a tragic lost monkey? I mean Toronto does claim to be a major city after all.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:52 AM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bump (calling for apologies from The Star on the Ford brother's radio show)
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:06 AM on June 3, 2013


Rob Ford Thinks His Crack Scandal Might Be Good for Toronto.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:34 AM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, it might be, assuming it drives him out of office sooner rather than later. But that seems less and less likely all the time, doesn't it?
posted by jacquilynne at 12:35 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


"It's whatever people perceive it as. Any time you can get Toronto on the map. I think people have to come to the city and see what we have to offer." —Rob Ford

When life hands you shit, makes shit-onade.
posted by mazola at 4:16 PM on June 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Honey, let's visit Toronto this Summer. I hear they have a crack-smoking mayor.
posted by Area Man at 4:56 PM on June 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


When life hands you shit, make shit-onade.

Re-reading that and thinking about it, this all does seem like a Trailer Park Boys episode doesn't it.
posted by mazola at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


So Mike Smyth, Vancouver journo and talk show host, tweeted this today but it got ignored because no #TOpoli tag I guess:
Michael Cooke, editor-in-chief of Toronto Star, told me today Star is working to obtain the Rob Ford video, owners of the video are scared. "The people who have this video, they're running scared right now. They're worried about deportation. They're worried about being charged criminally. But the video is slowly making its way to daylight."
In other news, potential uber troll @larouxb still claims to have the video, and to have flown (armed, on a diploamtic passport) from N'awlins to Toronto today to negotiate with the Star and other media. Mediaman on UrbanToronto claimed his cop sources told him Laroux had been detained at YYZ but he has continued to tweet and says he's in a downtown hotel. He claims screencaps will be posted later, but has been claiming this for a while and nothing.

And that was a dull day in the Rob Ford saga.
posted by unSane at 7:38 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mike Smyth's super-simple IngSoc writing style makes my brain hurt.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:57 PM on June 3, 2013


"Up here in Canada, I flew through Toronto and had a party with their mayor, Rob Ford" -- Even pro wrestling has Ford jokes. Congratulations, Toronto. At least you aren't being ignored.
posted by frimble at 9:07 PM on June 3, 2013


"Ricky" Rob Ford.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


This story plays out like an ARG.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:48 PM on June 3, 2013


"It's whatever people perceive it as. Any time you can get Toronto on the map. I think people have to come to the city and see what we have to offer." —Rob Ford

“During my time on his campaign and in the mayor’s office, I probably knew where he was about 50% of the time,” says Adrienne Batra, his former communications director who left to become editorial page editor at the Toronto Sun at the end of 2011.


Mayor Flounder makes it to Time Magazine.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:54 AM on June 4, 2013


The Rob Ford Crack Video Might Be Gone
posted by avocet at 2:54 PM on June 4, 2013


@larouxb went private. Is anyone following him? Seemed to be a total hoaxer when I looked yesterday.
posted by Mid at 3:16 PM on June 4, 2013


Ugh, I don't think I can bear to watch that sweaty, red, barely-open-eyed face go from desperate and defensive back to cocky again.
Not surprised Gawker fucked it up though, with what amounts to a grand-scale version of FIRST!
posted by chococat at 3:47 PM on June 4, 2013


.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:45 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been keeping tabs on @larouxb. I think he's an ubertroll. The word from Metroman at urbantoronto (who has been very reliable) is he was detained at the airport and released this morning, and promptly deleted a bunch of threatening stuff off his blog and took his Twiiter account private. He was using an auto-tweet thing to tweet for him while he was in custody. The last thing I saw from him was him threatening to destroy the supposed iPhone he had with the supposed video on it. I was wondering what excuse he'd come up with to not post the screen caps he'd promised. He also referred to a conversation with the RCMP although he spun it a different way.
posted by unSane at 8:01 PM on June 4, 2013


I'm sure Rob Ford will take this lucky break as an opportunity to change course and stay on the straight-and-narrow from here on in.
posted by mazola at 8:47 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Re-reading that and thinking about it, this all does seem like a Trailer Park Boys episode doesn't it.

Indeed. Mr. Lahey was both sad and hilarious as fictional character, but as a real character, the hilarious part just isn't there. Perhaps a male prostitute who works for cheeseburgers will fill a vacancy on his staff.
posted by juiceCake at 9:51 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think Gawker fucked it up, I think CNN fucked it up by contacting the mayor's office in the first place. And then the Star explaining pretty much exactly who they had spoken to, and exactly where... I suppose they were trying to build credibility into their story by providing details, but they were essentially helping everyone to narrow down who the owner of the video is.
posted by molecicco at 12:57 AM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


It ain't over til it's over. From the generally reliable MetroMan at urbantoronto:
I've been holding back on posting what I'm hearing because my source is now twice removed from Ford's circle but I've heard this so many times in the past couple of days that it may just be worth talking about: Ford has been really upset since Sunday night. Like red faced furious upset, like shouting at his brother upset.

Then today, a separate source linked to The Star said that they believe that there are many more copies of the video than what the seller originally said there were (3).

I'm getting the feeling that the video is making the rounds and that people are copying it. Somebody is going to want those $200K and give John Cook a call or some kid is just going to leak it on YouTube for the thrill of watching the hits shoot into the millions.
posted by unSane at 5:36 AM on June 5, 2013


Yeah, I don't know.
I think I'm done getting my hopes up for "sources say."
posted by chococat at 5:59 AM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


This would probably work as a re-election strategy.
posted by mazola at 6:30 AM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, there's this:

CBC News has asked Toronto police if they have come into possession of a video as part of any ongoing investigations, but they have declined to say whether or not they have it.

The RCMP recently arrested a man in Fort McMurray, Alta., in connection with a March killing outside a downtown Toronto nightclub. Anthony Smith, the victim in that slaying, appears in a photograph beside Ford that appears on Gawker's website.

Six media organizations, including the CBC, are also asking the courts for a look inside sealed police documents to find out if the RCMP seized a cellphone or computer that may contain video evidence connected to the Ford affair.

posted by The Card Cheat at 10:44 AM on June 5, 2013


Gawker and The Star keep rubbing elbows. Apparently they are both doing stories on the house where the picture of the mayor was taken. Globe and Mail says there was an armed home invasion there five days after the Gawker story was published.
posted by molecicco at 12:27 AM on June 6, 2013


An interesting reddit comment tying a few things together with the house address. I don't remember hearing about the home invasion at the time. Are home invasions now so common in Toronto they don't make the news anymore?
posted by saucysault at 5:04 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The police blotter for May 21st does not mention a home invasion or the shooting on the 17th floor of 320 Dixon.
posted by saucysault at 5:10 AM on June 6, 2013


And now Sarah Thomson says Women's Post has the video. Or maybe "the video" -- in any event, it will be viewable at noon, she says.

Oddly, Thomson does not seem to be previously mentioned in MetaFilter. For those not immersed in GTA media, she is the former mayoral candidate who reported that an inebriated Ford grabbed her ass and made a pass at her at an International Women's Day event, for which Ford is still waiting for an apology, thank you very much.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:15 AM on June 6, 2013


If Thompson had THE video, she'd say so clearly, I think. I suspect she'll get a lot of traffic to her cheapjack web site, where she'll have uploaded this.
posted by maudlin at 6:42 AM on June 6, 2013


If Sarah Thompson has the video I'll eat my hat...but she does have possibly the worst photo of Ford I've ever seen, in a very crowded field.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:00 AM on June 6, 2013


I am also skeptical, but this story has seen twists and turns few could have sanely predicted. She could be coyly alluding up some other video, which would be an ill-advised marketing decision, but it is not as if there had been a shortage of poor decisions in Toronto lately surrounding this story.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:25 AM on June 6, 2013


I just went through her Facebook and didn't see that post but she was promoting Gawker's offer yesterday. Is that your screencap?
posted by saucysault at 7:29 AM on June 6, 2013


I can see the post at the top of her FB page here, saucysault. One of the comments asks about her "music video for transit".
posted by maudlin at 7:33 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's not the crack video she has on offer but some other thing she's been working on for awhile, which makes this a shitty, shitty ploy for attention and website hits. I'm not sure 'piss off the entire Twitterverse' counts as smart marketing, though I suppose she might agree with Rob Ford that any attention is good attention.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:40 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford scandal: Tweets from ‘Municipal Man of Mystery’ may offer glimpse into turmoil in mayor’s office

Nothing incriminating, of course, just suggestive in the context.

Still -- names are being named. The pressure on those in the know must be immense. Someone's gotta crack, right?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:41 AM on June 6, 2013


Shitty ploy confirmed via Twitter: "let me save you the time... the video @ThomsonTO posted to @womenspost is not even a little related to rob ford. file under 'click bait'."

Not linking to the site.
posted by maudlin at 9:07 AM on June 6, 2013


In a not at all shocking turn of events, the Sarah Thompson video is the not the Rob Ford video.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:07 AM on June 6, 2013


Meanwhile, Ford's Escalade (driven by Ford) has a close encounter with Metro Morning's Matt Galloway in a downtown bike lane. No, really.

Galloway isn't claiming it was an accidental or deliberate near-collision: it seems like just the very common tendency for cars to take over some of the bike lane. Maybe Rob was reading the house photo story in The Star while at the wheel.
posted by maudlin at 9:15 AM on June 6, 2013


Well done, Thomson. When your own incident with Rob Ford depends on whom the public finds more believable, you or him, you've now reduced your own credibility through this little misdirect. Good job.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:17 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Until the real video surfaces, I will make do.
posted by mazola at 9:23 AM on June 6, 2013


Maclean's has some sage advice for RoFo's new staffers.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:45 AM on June 6, 2013


Gawker has some explosive stuff on the Basso house.
posted by unSane at 10:47 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah things are getting intense again.
Aparently Doug was asked about the house today and said something to the effect of "what house? I don't know what you're talking about" like it's not on the cover of everything everywhere.

I don't get how we're not hearing anything from Police. This whole thing is so sleazy and huge that their silence seems really odd to me.
posted by chococat at 10:57 AM on June 6, 2013


Doug Ford is too busy lying about committee meetings being cancelled to read the papers.
posted by maudlin at 11:03 AM on June 6, 2013


It screams 'ongoing investigation' to me.
posted by unSane at 11:03 AM on June 6, 2013


I hope so.
Especially after that tasty raise Rob gave them last year.
Not that I'm implying anything whatsoever.
posted by chococat at 11:05 AM on June 6, 2013


Maclean's has some sage advice for RoFo's new staffers.

Scott Feschuk is hilarious
posted by KokuRyu at 11:44 AM on June 6, 2013


This whole thing is so sleazy and huge that their silence seems really odd to me.

From my experience working with criminal investigations and law enforcement - no news means lots of news. The whole "I cannot comment on an active investigation" thing gets stronger when something is big and meaty. Its when they don't know crap that they talk about it.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:29 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's clear that the cops are all over this, and know a hell of a lot more than everybody else. But given the people involved (namely their boss), they have to be super-super-super quiet and careful until absolutely everything has been figured out and all leads pursued, before they hand over the entire package to an outside force or agency for them to deal with.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:49 PM on June 6, 2013


After the Matt Galloway thing, Wife and I had a conversation today about all the stupid shit that's happened while Ford has been driving (just a subset of Stupid Things Involving Rob Ford to be sure), and it dawned on both of us that, despite many of his allies encouraging him to get a driver, maybe he doesn't want one because of all the shit he gets up to between work and the office.
posted by dry white toast at 12:58 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, all of this is just noise until the cops turn over what they have. That's when this will really blow sky high. You have to figure the OPP gets involved at some point.
posted by dry white toast at 1:03 PM on June 6, 2013


I feel really bad for Jasmin(e). It sucks to have a parent addicted to heavy drugs and now she has been named I am sure she is getting yelled at by her grandmother and other members of her family and if I were her I'd be worried about being a target outside of the house (although, with the recent home invasion, that house probably doesn't feel that safe). There can't be many Italian girls named Jasmine.

More importantly though, what the heck happened to Slurpy?
posted by saucysault at 1:04 PM on June 6, 2013


> maybe he doesn't want one because of all the shit he gets up to between work and the office.

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that one of the mysterious Dave Price's jobs is (allegedly!) to ferry Ford around.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:57 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good morning, everyone.

Rob Ford crack scandal: Resident of home in photo trafficked cocaine

So is this Jasmine's mom? Is everyone looking for a Jasmine Johnson today?
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:27 AM on June 7, 2013


Rob Ford crack scandal: Resident of home in photo trafficked cocaine

So Rob Ford's been hanging out with Henry Hill?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:15 AM on June 7, 2013


Or Benny Hill.
posted by mazola at 7:39 AM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Make Your Own Mayor Ford Smoking Crack Video (tutorial).
posted by mazola at 7:41 AM on June 7, 2013


Make Your Own Mayor Ford Smoking Crack Video yt (tutorial).

Yeah, other people have already pointed out that that video is stupid as all get out in numerous ways.
posted by mightygodking at 12:53 PM on June 7, 2013


But enjoyably stupid. I prefer to use simpler tools.
posted by mazola at 1:01 PM on June 7, 2013


Yeah, other people have already pointed out that that video is stupid as all get out in numerous ways.

Maybe it's because of the videographer smoked all that crack about halfway through?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford spammed me today. He is not going to quit unless it is in handcuffs.
posted by anthill at 7:51 PM on June 9, 2013


Jaye Robinson blasts Rob Ford for firing her from executive

Another day, another well-informed enemy made.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:17 AM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Massive police raid at ground zero of Rob Ford video scandal: 30 arrested so far

That sure sounds like another shoe dropping.
posted by unSane at 5:33 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Surveillance carried out by detectives has yielded information related to the alleged crack video, sources say."
posted by unSane at 5:35 AM on June 13, 2013


Rumour around the newsroom is that police found the crack video during early morning drug raids this morning. #robford
posted by unSane at 5:55 AM on June 13, 2013


And buried in the Star reporting is a line that another raid was executed in Windsor, which is supposedly where the guy touting the video had fled.
posted by unSane at 5:56 AM on June 13, 2013


That the OPP is also involved, along with T.O. and Peel cops is also suggestive of something pretty big.

And as an aside -- 1,000 comments! Mazel Tov, everybody! Good work!
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:19 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think I read that it began as an investigation into gun running from Detroit, so that might explain the OPP.
posted by unSane at 6:29 AM on June 13, 2013


True -- the OPP could already be involved on that angle. I was thinking that at some point, the Rob Ford angle can't be handled by T.O. cops anymore, and has to be handed off to an outside force or agency, and that the OPP would be the most likely candidate for that.

Regardless -- Ford tied to crack is bad enough, but Ford tied to crack tied to gun violence is really, really bad. The hypocrisy of a law-and-order type smoking crack becomes relatively trivial compared to This-Mayor's-Use-Supports-This-Lethal-Trade-And-People-Are-Getting-Killed-Because-of-Him.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:37 AM on June 13, 2013


Rob stumbled into work and told reporters he hadn't heard about the raids because his cable was out.
That's the mayor of my city.
posted by chococat at 6:46 AM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Little Brother Magazine is putting out a Rob Ford Inspired Fiction Special, entitled Everything Is Fine. Maybe Ford can read it while driving or while waiting for his cable to be fixed.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:11 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


By the way, if anyone can hook me up with one of those magnets, I'd really appreciate it. I want one so bad.
posted by chococat at 7:14 AM on June 13, 2013


Drop by city hall, I'm sure they'll give you one!
posted by unSane at 8:19 AM on June 13, 2013


Well Rob Ford should have nothing to worry about then because he does not use crack cocaine, he is not an addict, and the video does not exist.
posted by mazola at 8:54 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everyone sitting comfortably? Good.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:00 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. There are multiple Twitter reports that CTV news is claiming that the cops knew about the video weeks before it came out in the news. "CTV News is reporting that police had been aware of the Rob Ford crack scandal video weeks before The Star report, used wire taps."
posted by maudlin at 9:08 AM on June 13, 2013


CTV: "BREAKING: CTV News has learned Toronto Police were aware of alleged video linked to Rob Ford several weeks before the story first surfaced."
posted by maudlin at 9:11 AM on June 13, 2013


Chief Bill Blair: Police must act according to rule of law and won't disclose evidence seized. "All of the evidence will come out in court, where it belongs."

So... whenever that happens.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:14 AM on June 13, 2013


From the Sun's Don Peat: "Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair won't say if Mayor Rob Ford or any of his staff were under surveillance during Project Traveller."

So I'm presuming that if Ford et. al. had not been under surveillance, Blair would have said so, and this remark strongly implies that Ford and/or his staff were under surveillance. But could there any reason why Blair would fail to confirm or deny under these circumstances?
posted by maudlin at 9:17 AM on June 13, 2013


CTV says cops have wiretaps discussing video and RF's presence.
posted by unSane at 9:21 AM on June 13, 2013


Given Ford's shrieking performance in council this morning, and the way he ducked out of the vote on community housing to see the last 2 minutes of Blair's presser, I think the man is just freaking out.
posted by maudlin at 9:27 AM on June 13, 2013


If the cops *don't* have the video at this point, I would bet it no longer exists.
posted by unSane at 9:33 AM on June 13, 2013


I wonder if he is at risk of committing suicide if things start to seriously go south on him
posted by edgeways at 9:33 AM on June 13, 2013


“My cable is out,” Ford told reporters Thursday. “I know as much as you guys know. I got into the car this morning. Reporters were at my house. I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about until I got into the car.

Generally this is what having a staff is for - issues management.

I worked for a time doing media monitoring in government, for a ministry with a budget significantly smaller than the $14B Rob Ford is in charge of.

The media monitoring report had to be out by email to the executive (including the minister) by 7am every day.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:53 AM on June 13, 2013


Staff? You had staff?

♬ ♪ sounds like somebody's on the graaaaaavy train... ♩♫
posted by mazola at 9:59 AM on June 13, 2013


Overheard on twitter a while back:

What's the difference between Rob Ford and a wizard? A wizard has a staff.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:01 AM on June 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


No, silly, I was the staff. God, what a shitty job it was to do media monitoring for the Public Affairs Bureau.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:01 AM on June 13, 2013


Well, the office had staff. My point stands.
posted by mazola at 10:10 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Full disclosure: I don't actually think staffed offices constitute a 'gravy train'.
posted by mazola at 10:12 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


“The truth of the matter is Rob has the 800 calls he gets every day and
he wants to make sure they are being returned immediately,” Ford said.
“We’re trying to return the calls but nothing is more important to Rob
than customer service.


Some of the comments are pretty insightful.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:16 AM on June 13, 2013


What is interesting to me is not the lack of staff to alert him, it's the fact that he doesn't even apparently have any friends left with the police or other departments involved with this to tip him off.
posted by nubs at 10:22 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A food columnist with The Star was having road repair problems, so he called Ford and got a visit and a promise that things would speed up.
Nancy Bonham, head of a major city division, explains that aging water main infrastructure is being replaced, that it is usually a three-month job and should be finished by Friday, June 14.

That could have been communicated to everyone, with a sign on the corner.

The mayor moves closer to the construction area to stare into the empty hole, where he remains until I ask to take a photo with him. Next to him stands another city worker and a police officer.

That’s a total of eight people, one of them the Mayor of North America’s fourth largest city, coming to my house to tell me that the job will be finished next week.

Someone told me that I’d feel differently about the mayor after I met him. But I don’t feel like we’re actually meeting. Ford, gazing into the empty hole, seems as involved as most pedestrians who, stuck at this red light, gaze into the empty hole.

I say that I appreciate all this attention, but ask if there is anything accomplished by so many busy people coming here, that couldn’t have been achieved by a simple phone call.
I don't think he's making 800 visits like this a day. Ten, maybe? But that still takes time away from the 790 remaining calls that have to be dealt with.
posted by maudlin at 10:26 AM on June 13, 2013


This is like a season of The Wire now.
posted by empath at 10:53 AM on June 13, 2013


I would gladly take Littlefinger as mayor right now.
posted by maudlin at 10:55 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's disappointing that there are so many constituents who confuse customer service for leadership. This is a major city, not the checkout line at a Walmart.

It's also disappointing that it took Gawker to bring this whole thing out. Not that I'm sad they ultimately did, but man, there was really NO ONE ELSE?!
posted by marylynn at 10:56 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Very different libel laws in US and Canada.
posted by unSane at 10:59 AM on June 13, 2013


I can see Rob not listening to the news in the morning, but I can't imagine Doug not listening to the news and phoning Rob to let him know.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:04 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


CTV News is reporting that police had been aware of the Rob Ford crack scandal video weeks before The Star report, used wire taps

This shouldn't be surprising. The Toronto Star story came out May 17, but indicated that their reporters viewed the video two weeks earlier, on May 3. Other GTA media outlets said they had also been contacted about purchasing the video, presumably around the same time. One of them probably tipped off the cops.
I imagine the cops were none too pleased to see the story break on Gawker and The Star.
posted by rocket88 at 11:05 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


So this probably means cops knew right from the get-go exactly who had copies of the video and where they were located. And were privy to discussions about what to do re Gawker.
posted by unSane at 11:29 AM on June 13, 2013


Which makes Towhey's unheeded advice even more correct.

That impeding a police investigation is going to be a nasty bit of business. Assuming this is all true, of course.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:44 AM on June 13, 2013


Rob stumbled into work and told reporters he hadn't heard about the raids because his cable was out.

You can imagine where it goes from here.
posted by Crane Shot at 12:40 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


He smoked the crack?
posted by brundlefly at 12:44 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Global: sources say multiple copies of video exist (down towards bottom of piece)
posted by unSane at 1:40 PM on June 13, 2013


CBC (via Matt Galloway): "Police sources tell CBC they do not have alleged video of Rob Ford. Also say they knew of relationship between Mayor and ppl in that photo."

Evan Solomon: "Toronto police sources tell me they knew of a relationship between Mayor Rob Ford and the people in a widely distributed photograph."

"Relationship" is an ambiguous word, but Blair will be on Metro Morning with Galloway tomorrow morning and may or may not elaborate in a helpful way: "Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair joins me in studio tomorrow AM, at 7:10 to talk about today's raids, 320 Dixon Rd and more."
posted by maudlin at 1:51 PM on June 13, 2013


I assume that means they didn't have the vid before the raids -- doubt there's been any time for IT to check the phones and laptops they hoovered up today.
posted by unSane at 1:54 PM on June 13, 2013


Andrew Coyne in the Post wrote today about the scandals unfolding in parallel at Toronto City Hall, Queen's Park, and on Parliament Hill, and the three leaders' parallel responses which in each case only made things the worse. Turns out that dismissal and denial are not optimum strategies for dealing with crises.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:49 PM on June 13, 2013


Blatchford: "Police had to tread fine line when Mayor Rob Ford’s name popped up in wiretaps".
When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s name first surfaced on wiretaps in a lengthy guns-and-drugs investigation, the senior command at police headquarters had to figure out how on Earth they would handle it. Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair’s line in the sand was a simple, “I won’t lie.” ...

Project Traveller had genuinely bigger fish to fry when the mayor’s name popped up, like a bad smell, smack in the middle of it. But its mention was nonetheless immediately recognized at police headquarters as potentially explosive. Therein lies the bottom line of the delicate dance in which the chief and the force have been engaged ever since.
CBC: "Toronto investigators knew about an ongoing [my emphasis] relationship between Mayor Rob Ford and the men he's seen posing with in a widely publicized photograph that has ties to his alleged drug use, police sources tell CBC News."
posted by maudlin at 6:31 PM on June 13, 2013


(Oh man, we're coming up on the archive date for this thread............ Someone should throw together things for a new post. It's been great watching the developments with ya'll.)
posted by kaibutsu at 11:59 PM on June 13, 2013


The Bill Blair interview from Metro Morning is here (audio link, will autoplay). You can also get a print summary (not a transcript) here.

Blair had to know that Galloway would ask some pointed questions about Ford that he would not be able to gracefully answer.

Galloway: You could have very easily exonerated Rob Ford. Why didn't you do that?
Blair: I'm unable to answer your question without violating the law.
(Quotes from Robyn Doolittle.)

But after yesterday's 40 minute press conference, Blair did several additional interviews, including one with John Tory at Newstalk 1010. He didn't have to do any interviews, so why did he?

Also: Blair says the photo of Ford in the driveway is real. Sorry, pixel theorists, my-twelve-year-old-could-shop-that guys, et. al.
posted by maudlin at 7:11 AM on June 14, 2013


Yeah, that's what my wife and I wondered as we listened to that interview; his careful non-answers (as Galloway pointed out) are only going to fan the flames of speculation, so why would he go out of his way to give them?
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:15 AM on June 14, 2013


Well, I think Traveller was a big operation for them, and the Mayor is mostly a distraction. They took out basically that whole gang, and hoovered up a lot of drugs, guns and money. Quite an impressive performance. It must be very frustrating to have everyone worked up about Sideshow Bob, however understandable it is.
posted by unSane at 7:20 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, so glad that Galloway is growing into that chair. His first few months it seemed like he was just a softball pitcher; so disappointing after Andy's amazing ability to fire off hardball after hardball (albeit very politely).
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:25 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Live stream of TPS press conference on Project Traveller (YouTube).
posted by maudlin at 7:50 AM on June 14, 2013


More complete quotes from the Metro Morning interview at the Torontoist. (I left out some ellipses from Doolittle: my bad, not hers.)
posted by maudlin at 8:09 AM on June 14, 2013


Those are very interesting (non)answers to those questions.
posted by nubs at 8:46 AM on June 14, 2013


(Oh man, we're coming up on the archive date for this thread............ Someone should throw together things for a new post. It's been great watching the developments with ya'll.)

Yep, that's right folks. Rob Ford outlasted this thread. Raise your hand if you're surprised.

The news of the raids should provide plenty of fodder for a new FPP.
posted by dry white toast at 9:07 AM on June 14, 2013


Well, I think Traveller was a big operation for them, and the Mayor is mostly a distraction. They took out basically that whole gang, and hoovered up a lot of drugs, guns and money. Quite an impressive performance.

Crack video or no crack video, the mere fact that a sitting mayor is associated with all of this is disgusting.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:41 AM on June 14, 2013


Crack video or no crack video, the mere fact that a sitting mayor is associated with all of this is disgusting.

Yyyyup.

I think most agree that the video doesn't even matter anymore. He is so in this, just wrapped up in this so tight and linked in so many ways that any video of him smoking crack with his buds will just be, pardon the expression, gravy. With Chief Blair verifying the authenticity of the photo today (the photo of smiley, sweaty Ford with a murdered guy, an arrested guy from the raids, with their "hats and little signs" and taken in the driveway of a known drug-house) he can't just slime his way out with "oh I take pictures with everybody." Although he will sure try.
My wife was saying last night that she wants to see the video, just for her own entertainment. For validation.
The best father's day gift I could get would be to see him getting herded into a paddy wagon by Sunday. But yeah, courts, evidence, due process. So frustrating.
posted by chococat at 10:54 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is like a season of The Wire now.

Actually more like all five seasons of The Wire at the same time.
posted by avocet at 11:10 AM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Actually more like all five seasons of The Wire at the same time.

Who is Toronto's Ziggy Sobotka?
posted by jason_steakums at 11:25 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's got so the video itself is going to be a complete let down.

"Ayup, there he is, smoking crack. Anything else?"
posted by unSane at 11:26 AM on June 14, 2013


Scratch that, the more I think about it, Rob Ford himself is clearly Ziggy.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:08 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


My wife was saying last night that she wants to see the video, just for her own entertainment. For validation.

I was in a meeting recently with a right-leaning councillor, and it was shocking to hear how matter-of-fact they were about the video, about how constituents have been telling them for years that Doug and Rob sold them drugs back in the day, that Rob would be late for events because (according to Towhey) he was "incoherent" and Towhey would be asked "incoherent due to alcohol? or drugs?" and he would just shrug like neither would surprise him.

Until then, I suspected that this was true but a little part of me doubted. Now, not so much. In this case, validation sucks.

I'm so tired of this trainwreck. I'm tired of the shrugging, the craving for something "really" scandalous, the muted reaction. I'm astounded and disappointed that so many people knew this for so long, that this was old news, and they did NOTHING. That people surely knew all of this and still groomed him as a candidate. That it took major press investigations for his staff to quit.

When do we get to talk about what we WANT for Toronto? When do we start cultivating our own Nenshi? I don't want a less-bad candidate. I want an AMAZING candidate. I want tons of them, of all political stripes.

And I want ranked-ballot voting so a multitude of great choices doesn't bite us in the ass.
posted by heatherann at 2:17 PM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


But none of that is what the right-wing voters want. Just listen to Newstalk 1010's Jerry Agar: "I'd rather have Rob Ford drunk *and* stoned than David Miller or Dalton McGuinty".
I'm seeing that attitude more and more from my right-wing friends - that despite their platitudes about principles and values they really only care about the party affiliation and the ideology. Conservatives can do no wrong and liberals and leftists can do no right and values, facts or even criminal behaviour has nothing to do with it.
posted by rocket88 at 2:54 PM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I had high hopes for Adam Giambrone, before his campaign imploded. 'Cheats on girlfriend' seems so quaint and charming now, by comparison.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:54 PM on June 14, 2013


They took out basically that whole gang, and hoovered up a lot of drugs, guns and money.

They hoovered a puppet gang. The Hell's Angels ultimately run the Canadian drug scene.

In The Godfather, the organization sought ways to place members in positions of political, judicial, and business power. It's sensible self-protection.

The South Ontario area of Canada was the center of prohibition smuggling. The wealthiest, most powerful gangs undoubtedly sought ways to maintain their trade after legalization, as well as ways of gaining political, judicial, and business power.

Pappy Ford was a provincial-ranking politician. The Ford business expanded into one of the USA's most notorious gang-controlled cities. The brothers Ford dealt bulk drugs as children.

When I read between the lines, I see a crime family.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:20 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Conservatives can do no wrong and liberals and leftists can do no right and values, facts or even criminal behaviour has nothing to do with it."

That's Canadian politics in a nutshell, rocket88. In sixteen years, my local (Conservative) MP's only professional achievement was getting arrested for refusing to give a breath sample to police, and he gets reelected by a landslide every time. Now he wants to run for mayor!
posted by Kevin Street at 3:30 PM on June 14, 2013


The Hell's Angels ultimately run the Canadian drug scene.

Yes and no. It's my understanding that they're basically subcontractors for "traditional organized crime" (read: Mafia) who, though they make a lot more noise in Montreal, are still very much a major presence in Southern Ontario.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:57 PM on June 14, 2013


Andrew Coyne: "Rob Ford’s good shot at re-election another example why we need to reform voting system".
So, just to catch you up with all the latest on Toronto’s mayor: The police were reportedly aware of the infamous video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack weeks before it was shown to the Toronto Star; the mayor’s name is also reported to have been mentioned in discussions picked up on police wiretaps, part of a year-long investigation culminating in this week’s massive raid on an apartment complex in the city’s western suburbs — the same one where the mayor is reported to have told staff the video could be found.

Two of the three men pictured with the mayor in a photo taken outside a notorious local drug den inhabited by a high school friend of the mayor were arrested in the raid; the third was shot dead outside a downtown nightclub in March. The house was invaded days after the photo was first published by a man armed with a pipe who beat up the inhabitants. Oh, and the city’s police chief refuses to say whether the mayor is under criminal investigation.

Now for the bad news. If an election were held today, the mayor would have a good shot at re-election. As of late May, more than a week after the story of the alleged crack video broke, Rob Ford still had the approval of 42% of Toronto voters. In a probable four- or five-person race, that would very likely be enough to win.
I don't think Ford has as much of a chance as Coyne suggests: the last set of polls showed Chow trouncing him in both 2 and 3 way races. I don't think it's likely that 4-5 credible candidates will show up next time. (Really, fuck you very much, Giambrone. You make Weiner look like a mensch.)

But it's a decent argument against first past the post. You can also catch up with Coyne's earlier article on ranked ballots.
posted by maudlin at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2013


Rosie DiManno: "Dixon Road raids turn up glare on Rob Ford's helter-skelter life"
Project Traveller — which was never about Rob Ford but tripped over him in its year-long investigative odyssey towards massive pre-dawn drug and gun raids Thursday — has turned up the glare on some very dark corners of the mayor’s helter-skelter life. ...

That Windsor Rd. address, the Star has learned, was included on search warrants sworn out by police before the multi-jurisdiction raids were launched in Toronto, Windsor (the city) and Edmonton. Police never went to the house on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they hadn’t served the warrant earlier. At least one other address listed in the warrants was visited by police last Sunday — they simply knocked on the door rather than kicked in the door.
posted by maudlin at 7:22 PM on June 14, 2013


Just finished watching CTV's W5 piece on Rob Ford. Lloyd Robertson introduced it by likening RF to a Bobo doll--those creepy inflatable clown dolls you can punch but they always pop back up. Wow.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:38 PM on June 14, 2013


Was it this show from April?
posted by maudlin at 6:33 AM on June 15, 2013


That's the one! It was pretty good.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:13 AM on June 15, 2013


Slurpee thrown at Rob Ford at Taste of Little Italy ; Ford pressing charges
posted by anthill at 4:26 PM on June 15, 2013


Police said the drink used in the alleged assault was "a cup of juice."
posted by Sys Rq at 5:49 PM on June 15, 2013


Someone on Twitter made the very good point that in the famous photo of RoFo with three men (two now charged with trafficking, one deceased), there is an invisible fifth person -- possibly the most significant after RoFo -- taking the pic.
posted by unSane at 6:12 PM on June 15, 2013


« Older What's the point of teaching a man to fish, if som...  |  As you may know, large areas a... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments