Every Sunday, Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Doug, host The City, a two-hour talk show on Newstalk 1010. We listen so you don't have to.
Since his last show Rob Ford has been accused by Gawker and the Toronto Star of smoking what looks like crack cocaine in a video supposedly in the possession of Etobicoke drug dealers. Since then, Gawker has raised over $175,000 of the $200,000 they think they need to potentially purchase the video, Rob was fired from his football coaching position at Don Bosco, fired his chief of staff who reportedly told him to enter rehab, and played the city’s most elaborate game of hide and seek with the media. Brother Doug also made the news, as the Globe and Mail finally released its investigative report into his alleged drug dealing days in the ’80s. There were also awesome photos. So with that said, I wonder what we’ll talk about this week?
1:07: Rob says that no matter what you say, you can’t make the media happy. Doug adds nuance, pointing out that there are some great media folks, like Sue-Ann Levy, Christie Blatchford, and Joe Warmington. Yes, I really thought Blatch’s article was good, Doug.
1:09: Rob calls the media “maggots.” I wriggle.
1:12: Rob Ford, alleged crack user who shows up to work half the time, calls most councillors ‘unemployable.’ Doug, who inherited a successful business, says they couldn’t get a job on their own.
1:14: Rob and Doug discuss how they attended late Toronto Sun editor Peter Worthington’s funeral, and how he was a great conservative. They do no mention how “Rob Ford Mayor” magnets were passed out after the service.
1:16: A Rolling Stones tune plays the Fords back from commercial. Apparently Doug was at the show last night and loved it. No word yet on whether Doug loved Mick Jagger’s jokes about Rob’s alleged drug use. As Jeet Heer said on Twitter, when the Rolling Stones are making fun of your drug use…
1:19: Doug, who wants to run for provincial office, thinks they should increase salaries for MPPs. He and Doug also talk about how they want to cut the size of council in half.
1:21: Doug touts pollster and cartoon villain Nick Kouvalis’s predictive prowess. He does not mention how Kouvalis incorrectly predicted 11 of 12 U.S. election swing states. Mr. Kouvalis, I’ve read Nate Silver’s blog, and you’re no Nate Silver.
1:27: Rob and Doug are continuing to say how awesome their chiefs of staffs are and how they came from the private sector, which shows just how amazing they are. Note: as a freelance journalist, I also work in the private sector.
1:28: Doug Ford alleges that there were a lot of politics being played “at the highest levels” to axe Rob from his football coaching job at Don Bosco. This is a reference to premier Kathleen Wynne, who Doug argued in an interview with the Toronto Sun‘s Sue-Ann Levy was behind the local school board decision.
1:29: Rob makes a point of saying how he’s donating $50,000 worth of football equipment to Don Bosco. This comes on the heels of two sources telling the Toronto Star that Rob wanted to send office staff to the school to take back the players’ equipment that he had donated over the years.
1:35: Rob reads out a list of councillors who opposed a casino at both Woodbine and downtown. Doug is angry, and he wants to call an election, “Let’s go to town…let’s go to the people.”
If you can’t win a casino vote you spend a year of political capital on, maybe you shouldn’t be in power.
1:38: Doug says critics want to run him and Rob over “with a streetcar.” I presume it would be a streetcar purchased on credit.
1:41: Rob recites his favourite talking points. Eliminated VRT. Reduced councillor office expenses. Reduced mayoral office expenses. Reduced travel budget. All of which is to say that he has not confronted the real problems that would move the city forward: transit, affordable housing, homelessness, and more.
1:44: Rob continues to tout his achievements, including transparent and accountable government. Running through parking lots avoiding questions about crack is probably not what people had in mind when he made that campaign promise.
1:48: Doug, alleged former high-level drug dealer, “We love our police…they’re the best in the world.”
1:51: Since the Fords just spent 10 minutes talking about all the really cool things they’ve done for Toronto, here’s a brief list of things Rob has voted against: An LRT for Finch, public street nurses paid for by the province, provincial money to treat pre-schoolers with speech impediments, easier access for people with disabilities to make deputations to council committees, preserving funding for public pools, keeping the Urban Affairs Library open, providing funding for youth workers, oh the show is back, I have to stop this list. What have I missed, Raccoon Nation?
1:56: Caller Joe has kids at Don Bosco, and they’re very upset their coach was fired. Rob said they were upset when his football team was over at his house the other day, and the mayor sounds pretty broken up.
1:58: Caller Trevor says the reporting on Rob Ford has been “worse than horrible” and that, as a university student, he has to cite his sources, unlike the Star and Globe.
2:00: Caller Pam asks Rob if it’s him in the alleged Gawker video. For the first time, Rob gives a declarative answer, saying “the video does not exist.” He does not, however, say he has not smoked crack in the past six months.
2:01: Oh great, Doug Ford is talking about race! He calls comments questioning the mayor appearing with murder victim Anthony Smith racist, saying that he appears in all sorts of photos with young black men with hats and funny signs.
He goes on to say how in the next hour Doug will defend “my Somali community.” Which is interesting, because Doug seems like an unlikely candidate to represent the Somali community.
2:08: Doug is now flying solo on the show, as Rob left to attend his daughter’s first communion. He calls the Globe and Mail accusations “completely, undeniably false” and that the accusations represent “the lowest of the low in terms of journalistic integrity.”
2:13: Now Doug has a retired police officer who worked on drug investigations on the show. Somewhere McNulty is flipping his lid.
2:15 Doug, on the police officer: “The reason he has never heard Doug Ford’s name is that Doug Ford never [dealt hashish].”
2:18 Doug thanks Stephen LeDrew for his CP24 interview yesterday, “He played hardball, he wasn’t soft on me,” he says of the extraordinarily softball journalist. Sample LeDrew comment in the intro to the interview: “No one is without sin…this is gotcha journalism.”
2:27: Doug talks about how his family donates lots of money and has lots of parties in their backyard, so they can’t be bad people. Charity = good. Bragging about it for political cover = unseemly.
2:30: Doug estimates that the media spends $20 million chasing the Ford family doing their “journalism” thing, and that they should just cut back on it and donate the proceeds to a hospital. Okay.
2:35: Now Doug Ford is calling out Global News’s Jackson Proskow for “gotcha journalism” because he Tweeted where the Fords parked their cars. Okay.
2:37: To defend the Fords, there is now a councillor on the show. Except it’s Carmine Perrelli (Ward 2, Richmond Hill), a councillor from Richmond Hill who defended the Fords in the regrettable “Assgate” incident involving Sarah Thomson in March.
2:39: Doug Ford is now accusing Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) of illegally using money from Rouge Valley for his campaign. He also derides the media, saying that there’s a lot of coke use there, and they’re hypocrites. Well Doug, I’ve never done coke—I know, boring, right—and I can say with a clear conscience that I think you’re a terrible councillor, with or without drug connections. Want to finally do that interview I’ve asked your assistant about for a couple years now?
2:47: A commercial during the show selling condos along Eglinton extols the virtues of LRT and a walkable, convenient community. The dissonance does not seem to register.
3:00: Doug wraps. “It was a heckuva week,” he says in an understatement. He insists he works for the people and announces that Ford Fest will go on the road this summer to Scarborough. He then blesses Ford Nation, which hopefully will have a better week that Los Bros Ford did.
Well Raccoon Nation, that was the Ford show. Rob did definitively say for the first time that the alleged crack video does not exist, but he did not deny that he has smoked crack, met with drug dealers in Etobicoke, or clarify why he took so long to make a statement. Rob called journalists “maggots,” Doug called critics “racist,” and we all wonder how we got to this point. Regardless of how that might be, this was your radio on (alleged) crack, folks. Five out of five non-denial denials.