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politics

The Rob and Doug Ford Radio Recap: “Great Day For Democracy” Edition

Every Sunday, Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Doug, host a two-hour talk show on Newstalk 1010. This week, we listened for you. You're welcome.

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It’s the Rob and Doug extravaganza! The mayor’s Sunday radio talk show is usually filled with blustery anger, but was yesterday’s also tinged with joyous outrage, given Friday’s verdict? Find out below, in our recap.

1:07: Rob kicks off the show by congratulating incoming Premier Kathleen Wynne. Later in the show, he says he’ll ask her for subways.

1:13: Doug Ford says Friday was a “great day for democracy,” and that the Ford family have “always been strong believers in democracy and the judicial system.”

1:15: Council speaker Frances Nunziata (Ward 11, York South-Weston) says she was disappointed that some members of council tried to position themselves for more power in anticipation of the vacant mayor’s seat. “Disgusting,” she says.

1:16: Doug talks about how councillors have wanted to become Budget Chair in the wake of Mike Del Grande’s resignation, and then deflates Nunziata’s point about disgusting power-hungry politicians: “You lobbied me too to be the chair.”

1:18: Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” brings the show back from commercial. The people want cowbell, folks. Cowbell, cowbell, cowbell.

1:19: Rob reads a variation on his speech from Friday, saying he wants to spend the next six years getting the job done and building consensus. Rob is much better speaking extemporaneously than from prepared notes, and so this comes across as terrible radio.

1:23: Rob and Doug anecdata point #381502: “Our friend Paul is a dealer down in Florida,” says Rob as a way of showing there are good casino jobs. “He makes $94,000 a year…that place is hopping.”

1:27: Nunziata sings a terribly off-key rendition of “Twist and Shout” as the show intros back from commercial. If someone doesn’t form a band called The Screaming Nunziatas, then I’ll have to join Rob Ford in questioning what Toronto’s arts grants are accomplishing.

1:28: It’s time for callers, the real voices of Toronto! Liz starts, saying she dislikes Adam Vaughan and wants Rob to keep carrying on. Stay the course!

1:30: Caller Lisa says Toronto is proud of Rob, and that he’s an inspiration. She also wants to make sure Paul Magder pays Rob’s legal fees. Do you know how many plastic bags $200,000 buys?

1:32: Caller Silvana says it’s lovely to speak with Rob and that she celebrated Friday’s court ruling by saying “Yay! Yay! Yay!” and clapping her hands. This is the closest we’ll get to a Ford Nation reaction GIF.

1:34: Caller Paul says Rob, Doug, and Frances are doing great jobs. He also says casino developers should fund subway construction for 30 years and pay for operating costs after that. Doug says he loves the idea, although the odds of this happening are zero.

1:36: Caller Sue says she’s a proud member of Ford Nation, but is disappointed that her husband has turned into a lefty who opposes the mayor. It sounds like the perfect question for a Toronto Sun advice column by Doug Ford. Why hasn’t Sun editor Adrienne Batra made this happen yet?

1:40: Caller Joe tells His Worship that the lefties blitzed him, but Rob did a quarterback sneak. Oh, I get it. Rob likes football!

1:50: Caller Al owns a restaurant on King Street and the power went out Friday night. It’s in Adam Vaughan’s ward, so it’s presumably his fault. Rob promises that the CEO of Hydro One will call Al and arrange a meeting. Efficiency!

1:55: Rob and Doug speak about the recent sole-sourced deal between the TTC and Gateway newsstand, and they don’t like it. It’s crazy, says Doug. He just doesn’t understand when the CEO of the TTC says one thing and then councillors vote to do the opposite. Wherever Gary Webster is, I hope he likes irony.

1:56: Doug, who sole-sourced the plans for his Port Lands Ferris wheel proposal, says sole-sourcing doesn’t make sense. Rob, who was criticized for sole-sourcing his city business cards, agrees.

2:13: Rookie councillor Vincent Crisanti (Ward 1, Etobicoke North), a loyal Team Ford member, joins the show. Crisanti was one of the councillors who was voted off the TTC board following the dismissal of Gary Webster, and he argues this Gateway decision is because of the inexperience of the board’s current members.

2:17: Doug says the TTC needs transparency and accountability, and specifically refers to the TTC chair. This doesn’t sound like the consensus Rob wanted to achieve earlier in the show—particularly with a conservative voice like Karen Stintz, a vote he needs on any close motion.

2:18: On Twitter, JP Boutros, the policy advisor to Stintz, takes the Fords to task for their attack. He claims Stintz tried to contact the mayor a week ago about the contract but did not receive a return call. Boutros also refers to the Fords’ commentary as “pathological.” For context, it is fair to say Boutros is one of the most respected political staffers at city hall.

2:19: What’s lost in this episode is that Rob and Doug actually have a fair point about sole-sourced contracts. It’s worth having a more meaningful conversation about what constitutes best practices, but the Ford brothers are incapable of making that happen.

2:22: Time for more callers! Patricia says Rob has brought her to tears twice—when he was elected as mayor, and now when he won his appeal. But she has a problem, the streetlights go out in her area. Doug asks where that is, and it turns out it’s Karen Stintz’s ward.

2:31: Sash Simpson, a chef at North 44, joins the program in studio to promote Winterlicious. Rob struggles to pronounce Mark McEwan’s name as he reads his guest’s biography, but probably doesn’t lose any votes from people who identify as foodies.

2:37: Rob reads the weekly community announcements, the best evidence that community postering (which Ford’s administration has crusaded against) is still needed.

2:39: We learn that Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough-Agincourt), has invited the Ford brothers for a Super Bowl party. Last year’s Super Bowl Sunday was surprisingly productive for the mayor: the City avoided a strike by CUPE 416.

2:41: Maybe caller Dave will bring some balanced criticism on the mayor’s show? He congratulates democracy and freedom, the big winners on Friday, and criticizes the “merry band of leftist losers and abdicators” who attempted a “coup d’état” to push through their “authoritarian socialist radical” agenda with “cocktail socialist sympathizers.” It’s an “unholy war” against the mayor by “bottom-feeding scumsuckers.”

Rob and Doug get uneasy and cut off Dave, who is presumably a voltron of Toronto Sun commenters. Rob responds, “People are upset…obviously I can’t say what he just said.”

2:47: As usual, the show is really boring in the second hour. In the background you can hear the clanking of spoons as the Fords eat food on-air. The Galloping Gourmet would not make for good radio.

3:00: Mercifully, we’re done. The mayor promised to build consensus, and then criticized the TTC chair. He also heard around 10 callers, all of whom told him to stay the course, and that’s totally a fair sample size for a poll. Doug shared his pearls of private sector wisdom, including a recommendation to talk to Tim Horton’s about business arrangements, so it was a normal day. Three out of Five subways.

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