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News of Mayor Rob Ford’s Pot Admission Spreads Far and Wide

The mayor is becoming a reliable international newsmaker.

Ford, about to challenge Hulk Hogan to an arm wrestling match at Fan Expo 2013.

Mayor Rob Ford has been making international headlines since being elected in 2010, but this May’s allegations that he was caught on video smoking crack have turned him into a continual source of tabloid fodder. None of his recent mini-scandals—his evidently drunken stroll down the street at Taste of the Danforth, his close friends being investigated by police for apparently trying to recover the crack video—have escaped the notice of the international press.

The mayor’s admission yesterday that he has “smoked a lot of” pot (we already knew that he had smoked pot, but not in what quantities) is turning out to be no different in this respect. In fact, it’s almost a case study in how the latest Ford news finds its way out into the world.

Some of the spread is traceable to wire stories by the Associated Press and Reuters, both of which have been picked up by outlets all around North America and the UK. Wire stories like these are why relatives from far-flung places keep emailing you articles about the mayor that have been published on the websites of weird local newspapers you’ve never head of.

The New York Times, which is one of the better barometers of international importance, has covered the high points (or, arguably, the low ones) of Ford’s tenure, like the crack allegations and the time a judge removed him from office, but has mostly stayed out of the more petty stories, like this latest one.

American outlets seem to like covering Ford (the Atlantic has an article about Ford’s pot admission, though Gawker, surprisingly, has yet to weigh in), but the UK media loves our mayor. The Daily Mail, a conservative tabloid, has been following every twist and turn, and has used this latest story as an excuse to put together a sort of best-of compilation. The Guardian and the BBC also have stories.

For the moment, at least, there’s no Taiwanese animation of the mayor hitting a bong, but that could change at any time.

Ford may not be Canada’s most famous politician quite yet—Stephen Harper still makes plenty of his own headlines—but he’s getting there.


  • Paul Kishimoto

    Mr. Harper response to Mr. Trudeau’s pot admission was that it “speaks for itself”. Does Mr. Ford’s more expansive admission also “speak for itself”? Does it say the same things?

    I’m very curious whether the federal Conservatives will try to attack Trudeau on these grounds, knowing any such attack must also stick to Ford, or whether that possibility of collateral damage will make them to pass on the opportunity.

    • Testu

      I don’t know that the CPC has any particular love for Rob Ford, even the provincial Conservative party haven’t been associating themselves with the Fords much since The Globe’s piece on Doug Ford’s alleged drug dealing came out.

      Some people associate the Fords with the Conservative brand (the Fords themselves certainly seem to) but as long as the CPC avoids mentioning them directly I don’t think they need to go out of their way to explain the cognitive dissonance of their statement about Trudeau.

    • dsmithhfx

      Interesting front page on the Sun today.

    • dsmithhfx

      And sometime overnight, the PMO’s tooth fairies visited Rob and applied “Let’s all pretend I never said that” duct tape over his mouth.

  • dsmithhfx
  • Whitebox
  • Whitebox

    That one came out in may.