Every Monday, Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug host Ford Nation, a one-hour show on the Sun News Network. We watch so you don't have to.
Do you remember when Futurama was cancelled and rabid fans demanded that the zany hijinks be brought back because the world needs more Fry, Bender, and Leela? Yeah, so the Rob and Doug Ford show is nothing like that. When Newstalk 1010 cancelled the Fords’ Sunday afternoon radio program two weeks ago, it was widely seen as a long overdue move. But a desperate TV station calls for a desperate mayor, and so in comes Sun News.
The beleaguered conservative network is giving Toronto’s beleaguered conservative mayor a platform to try and energize his base, with the show fittingly called Ford Nation. Raccoon Nation is ready to rummage through the show tonight, with a live recap of the Ford TV special. If your cable includes it, you can follow along on Rogers 142/567 or Bell 506.
7:49 Rob and Doug’s media blitz continues. Within the past hour, they wrapped a sit-down interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge—and they are currently speaking with NBC. The first episode of Ford Nation was taped yesterday and will be unveiled to the world in 10 minutes.
8:00: And we’re live! Except not really, because it’s taped. Sun News plays a montage sequence explaining how our hero got to this point—returning phone calls and hating the fact that garbage was in parks. What a guy!
8:03: The show suddenly shifts to the whole crack thing, with old clips of the mayor calling the media pathological liars. About that, Raccoon Nation will accept your apology any time, your worship.
8:05: Rob assures us he’s changing his behaviour, and he’s working with professionals, although he won’t say who. To date, he really hasn’t outlined how his habits will change—other than that he’s working out two hours a day.
8:07: Rob repeats his lie that he has saved taxpayers a billion dollars. He absolutely, definitively has not. The latest article to debunk this claim is in the Toronto Star, and it’s the most thorough yet.
8:11: Rob says he’s not perfect, but the only thing he’s perfect at is saving taxpayer’s money. Really, he said that.
8:14: A self-described member of Ford Nation asks Rob how he will put these issues behind him. Rob says, “The past is the past; it is what it is.” Apparently, he is the former catcher of the New York Yankees.
8:15: Rob claims he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in three weeks. However, he was spotted at the LCBO a couple of days ago. He also claims that he has never missed a day of council, which is false.
8:24: The Fords have their first guest on the show, and it’s their Toronto Sun stenographer Joe Warmington. The Scrawler says, “It’s not an interview—we’re just chatting.” Journalism!
Ford says that he has saved more money than any mayor in Toronto’s history, that he has built subways, and that council is spending $500,000 on an environmental assessment on Bloor. Pop quiz! Which of those comments are false?
A) Saved more money
B) Built subways
C) $500,000 for Bloor bike lanes
D) They’re all false
Ding ding ding! You get a cookie.
8:27: Doug Ford, hater of constitutional rights, says there should be drug and alcohol testing across the country for governmental officials. What a libertarian.
8:29: Rob is whining about the cost of Project Brazen 2, because clearly that’s the issue here. Pro tip to the cost-conscious mayor: if you don’t have a laundry list of vices, the cops won’t spend millions investigating you.
8:33: We are promised that up next, measured and sensible journalist Ezra Levant will “hit back at the haters.” Earlier, the term “journalistic jihad” was used—because that’s obviously what asking the mayor about his alleged criminal connections and habits is.
8:38: Ezra has only been on air for one minute, and has already mentioned Jack Layton being in a massage parlor that he refers to as a “whorehouse.” His diatribe is one long false equivalency that tries to cast Ford as a victim because he’s a conservative.
8:39: Ezra claims Rob gets criticized because he is fat, doesn’t drive a Prius, and is not a hipster. Is Ezra a real person, or is he some kind of algorithm that scrapes the worst internet comments?
8:42: Ezra: “I’d take [Ford} on crack over his predecessor sober.”
8:44: Ezra repeats the false claim that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale took pictures of Rob Ford’s backyard, and Rob seems to say it was in his backyard. This is patently false.
8:46: Ezra compares Rob to Princess Diana, presumably because Rob is the people’s princess. Levant goes on to say that Ford, who bowled over diminutive councillor Pam McConnell today, is being bullied.
8:47: Rob claims he was fired from his beloved high school football coaching gig because of “political reasons.” If by “political” he means that “My brother and I kept on saying how these kids would be in the gutter if it wasn’t because I’m such a saviour, and they can’t help themselves,” then that’s accurate.
8:53: Sun News plays the Jon Stewart clip of Rob Ford saying how much he likes to eat cats. He and Doug snicker along as they watch in the split screen.
8:55: Rob and Doug says that the people should decide in an election on October 27. Of course, today Doug Ford put forward a motion to call on the province to have a snap election. So, let’s just have an election whenever is convenient for the Fords.
8:56: Doug says, “God bless Ford Nation,” and our show is over. Raccoon Nation, we will live to see another day.
Well, that was terrible. Rob Ford, the world’s most famous mayor, spent an hour looking off camera and denying the most basic responsibility for his actions. He may have said “sorry,” but he essentially followed it up with, “Sorry for knowing how to party and being awesome at saving tax dollars.”
Not that it was any surprise, but it was the Rob Ford show, and that captures the Rob Ford mayoralty. It’s not about the people in Toronto the mayor purports to represent, or the issues that affect them–it’s all about how Rob is seen and whether he can rehabilitate his image. And then there’s Sun News, happy to cheerlead the guy on, because crack or no crack, he fits their image. It’s not elitist or condescending to say it–the whole show is a disgusting exercise.
One out of five Gulf Wars.
And God bless you, Raccoon Nation.