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Liveblog: Conrad Black Interviews Rob Ford

One is a convicted criminal, one faces a growing range of allegations. One is known for using very big words, one for using barely any at all. Watch along with us as they congratulate themselves on their leadership and honesty!

Our two bellicose and bloviating blowhards, Rob Ford and Conrad Black, broadcast brilliant bombast for bemused boomers. Or something like that.

Monday night on Vision TV, Rob Ford is interviewed by the one man who might be more deluded than he is. Billed as a “Conversation with Conrad,” on The Zoomer (That’s boomers with zip, for you non-zooming types) the one-on-one is a rare, lengthy interview granted by the mayor of Toronto. Whether anything of substance comes of it remains to be seen—Vision teased a bit that Rob would be willing to do a drug test—but we’ll follow along with a live blog anyway, just in case.

12:00 And we’re off! We are introduced to Rob’s football-adorned office to circus-like music, which shows that someone at Vision TV has some perspective.

12:01: Rob is showing Conrad around the office. He shows off the cartoons about him, and the photo of him and Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion fishing. There’s something unsettling about Rob Ford engaging in small talk with Conrad Black, but here we are.

12:06: Conrad introduces Rob Ford as “the most famous Canadian in the world,” which probably kills Conrad on the inside.

12:07: Already Conrad uses the word “vendetta” and Rob claims he’s not an alcoholic. What an efficient show!

12:08: Rob says the city is booming. No Rob, you’re wrong, the city is zooming. Toronto is the city with zip.

12:10: Conrad says that even the Toronto Star concedes that Rob Ford has saved the city $650 million. It has not. A recent Star article stated the number is closer to $350 million.

12:11: Rob Ford: “If there was an election today, I’m very confident I would win.”

12:14: Conrad: “Rob, a good conservative does more for the little people than the socialists do.”

12:15: Rob uses the phrase “St. Clair LRT disaster”, and says that his opponents want to “St. Clairize” the city. Perhaps one of the oddest legacies of Rob Ford will be turning St. Clair into a verb.

12:20: Rob says that council’s recent move to strip him of his statutory powers is illegal. He has not sued.

12:22: We are now talking about office budgets, and Conrad can’t stand the hypocrisy on council. Oh, irony, how I love you.

12:23: Conrad says that Rob put forward a balanced budget, and asks why the mayor’s council opponents (that is, almost everyone) wanted to raise taxes more. This is an inaccurate characterization of the budget, and Conrad should read Torontoist to catch up.

12:24: Rob says he was embarrassed about being drunk at the Air Canada Centre, which is an odd statement, because he is currently laughing. He also claims that he wasn’t lying about not being at the game, because journalists asked about the wrong visiting team (they did not).

12:26: Rob says that what he really has to do is lose 60 or 70 pounds, because he’s really impressed when people lose weight. Okay, losing weight is great if that’s what you want, but please recognize that there are so many other serious issues to address that affect you and the people you love.

12:30: Conrad says that Rob didn’t even do what Ralph Klein did when he was drunk, and make fun of the homeless. Rob says that he helps the homeless a lot, adding that “I won’t give them money, because you don’t know what they’ll spend it on.” Not said: Rob Ford has also assaulted people while drunk, said racist remarks, and has been accused by his staffers of showing up to work intoxicated, drinking on the job, and drinking while driving. This is not something to dismiss with an offhand joke.

12:31: Rob Ford says council has started the gravy train in the two weeks since he was stripped of his gravy-fighting powers. Damn gravy lovers!

12:32: Rob says that he wants the next election to be about policy, because he “knows he’s run the city better than any mayor ever has.”

12:33: Rob says that he supports frontline police officers, but has an issue with Police Chief Bill Blair. Rob thinks the chief is too political and used Sandro Lisi as a prop to get to him. Darn you for watching that incriminating video of me, William Sterling Blair! Why couldn’t you let me allegedly smoke crack and be blackmailed in peace?

12:34: Conrad asks Rob whether anyone has blamed the death of Sammy Yatim on the mayor yet, because he has been blamed for everything else. What a hard-hitting journalist.

12:35: Rob says he’s willing to provide a urine test for drug use, right now. Black declines his offer, and we are all relieved.

12:36: Conrad asks if Toronto is going to build over the railway yards, and Rob says sure, if the private sector wants to.

12:37: Rob says he’s never been to New York City, but he has been to Buffalo.

12:38: Rob says that you won’t see any financial scandals with him as mayor like you did with Miller or Lastman. Conrad looks quizzical, as if trying to remember something, and says, “I don’t remember any financial scandal in…the Lastman administration.” Rob Ford corrects Conrad Black, reminding him of the massive MFP scandal. Presumably, for David Miller’s scandal, they mean that some councillors expensed bunny suits, because that’s outrageous.

12:45: Conrad uses a sports analogy. Rob is gleeful.

12:47: Rob invokes his family to try to get the media to stay away, saying that his six- and eight-year-old children are terrified, worried that their dad might die, and that it’s ripping their family apart. To avoid this worry, Rob says that he is willing to go to City Hall to debate anyone about the issues and answer questions. It’s a promise he has previously stated but did not fulfill. However, Torontoist will happily take him up on this opportunity at his convenience so that he can show how he keeps promises and further the City’s discourse. Get back to us!

12:48: Rob says that his wife Renata gets bothered with questions and comments when she goes out shopping.

12:51: Conrad asks about the pesky media, and asks Rob to list the most offensive moments with the media. Rob says that Star reporter Daniel Dale was in his backyard in May 2012, taking pictures of his children. This is patently untrue. Rob characterizes Dale here as something like a pedophile rather than the award-winning journalist he is, and it is completely unfair. Previously, Rob said he was helping his kids with their homework, not that they were playing, as he claims now. And previously, Rob said that he was alerted to Dale by his neighbour, and now Rob claims he saw Dale himself. Conrad asks if Dale was on public or private property, and Rob concedes it was public, but really close to his fence, so it was basically his.

Rob is not good at keeping a consistent story, while Dale’s has never changed. Rob Ford owes Daniel Dale an apology, and a promise that he will no longer spread these untruths as he tries to earn sympathy from a rightly skeptical public.

12:51: Rob cites Marg Delahunty as a threatening figure, and explains that he couldn’t figure out whether the character was a man or a woman. When Conrad learns that she was from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, he informs Rob that the mayor is fortunate not to be familiar with a program of such provincial humour.

Well, that was the interview. Black was as fawning as one could expect, and projected his difficulties with the judicial system onto Ford’s own situation. But really, did we expect anything else? This was an interview featuring the two Torontonians most out of touch with reality, so it was wishful thinking that we would get any great insights. Instead, we got further lies to justify the mayor’s behaviour, and a willing host to provide a platform for his claims. Let us never watch The Zoomer again.


  • PlantinMoretus

    Get your sick bag ready…

  • Christian Fletcher

    Thank you for watching so we didn’t have to. Everytime a Ford family member opens their mouth, my brain hurts…true story. I don’t know how you do it, Mr. Hains!

  • PlantinMoretus

    Not that I have any desire to watch Rob Ford pee into a cup BUT if that’s what it takes to get a real drug test from him, I’ll do it.

  • stoobiedood

    (CBC:) “If they want me to do a drug test, a urine test, I’ll do one right now,” Ford told Black. “If there’s any drugs in my system, any alcohol in my system. I have no problem doing that test.”

    Yeah, well, Rob, your family has kept you locked up in the basement for five weeks, so you haven’t had any vodka mickeys or any coke or any crack (must by making you, like, CRAZY!), so OF COURSE, you have no problem doing that test. Let’s wait until the next iPhone videos of you staggering along public streets or pissing on trees or vowing to tear someone’s eyes out, and test your f**king piss the day after!

    • matthewfabb

      I think it more has to do with the fact that Ford knows that no one will take him up on that offer. If he seems willing to take a test then it looks like he has nothing to lose. However, if pressed, I wouldn’t be surprised if he says that only after all city councilors also take tests.

      This is the same guy who keeps saying he will be willing to debate the media any time and then runs away from the media just a few minutes after saying that.

      • m5r3b7

        Exactly. More empty bluster from Ford. Sammy “Steroids” Sosa pulled the same stunt years ago and immediately backed off when a reporter actually tried to take him up on the offer.

      • andrew97

        Lance Armstrong called himself the most-tested athlete in the world, and look what happened.

    • Your Momma

      More likely he knows that cocaine will no longer be found in his freshly shaved head (again).

    • 5KidsNotEnough

      Let him get a HAIR FOLLICLE test.

  • m5r3b7

    “Rob characterizes Dale here as something like a pedophile rather than
    the award-winning journalist he is, and it is completely unfair.”

    Robyn Doolittle tweeted that the Star’s lawyers are looking into this. Wouldn’t it be great if, after all the Fords’ empty bluster about suing the Star over lies/slander, it wound up the other way around?

    • Your Momma

      Oh please do Daniel Dale! Ford has been doing this to Dale since the beginning. Toronto’s mayor is trying to make Dale into a pedo. He’s done this since the beginning.

    • Dinah Might

      I don’t think calling it “unfair” is anywhere near strong enough.

      “Complete balls-out lie told by a walking pukestain” would come closer.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Gawd, I hope the Star has a case to sue Ford. it would be ironic after the way Ford has cast the media as liars and maggots. It’s been a while since Rob was in court so I’m sure he misses it.

  • danieljchristie

    Sounds like an old Chip-n-Dale cartoon -a pair of exceedingly deferential, chipmunk-cheeked ground squirrels each insisting that the other enjoy the last nut. Trouble is that all the viewer sees is nuts.

  • Dinah Might

    “We are introduced to Rob’s football-adorned office to circus-like music.”

    Over on the National Post they called it “whimsical ballet music”. Give their write-up a read if you feel like vomiting up your breakfast.

    • SonuvaScrimbro

      Yes, nothing says “I hate the elitists” more than sitting down with a British Lord who holds sway over a national newspaper. Brilliant positioning, Robbie!

  • vampchick21

    This man is utterly delusional. Utterly and completely delusional.

    • selonmoi

      Mayor McCheese or Lord Convict? Please be more specific.

      • vampchick21

        Both actually. But in this particular case it’s Ford.

  • wklis

    Rob has gone from interviews that lob softball questions, to T-ball questions. Only questions Rob knows he’ll answer and the way Rob wants them answered.

    • vampchick21

      I seriously want to see him undergo a real interview, with a real journalist who isn’t afraid to ask real, probing questions and provide actual facts and evidence.

      • Max Supernova

        That interview would last about one minute, before Ford ran away then claimed persecution.

        • vampchick21

          Not if we strap him to a chair bolted to the floor.

          • Max Supernova

            But what if he likes that? :/

          • dsmithhfx

            “I already answered that.”

            “You’ll have to ask my lawyer.”

            “I’ve saved this city a billion dollars.”

            “Has anyone seen my pipe?”

            ok, maybe not that last one.

          • Kevin P

            More like “Anything else?”, “Anything else?”, “Anything else?”.

      • PlantinMoretus

        Who would you pick to interview him? Offhand I can’t think of a Canadian journalist who would really grill him. (I’m not saying there are no such journalists, I’m just blanking on names right now.) Maybe someone from our very own Torontoist?

        • vampchick21

          No idea, I’m blanking as well, but then I’m coming down with something and blanking in general. Hopefully someone else chimes in.

          • PabloYYZ

            Kevin Donovan? Maybe Jane Hawtin in one of her more punchy moods.

          • luganman

            Rosie Di Manno

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          Anyone from CBC’s “As It Happens” or Edward Keenan over at the Grid. None of these journalists would be afraid to ask the tough questions.

          • dsmithhfx

            Didn’t Keenan challenge him to a public debate a while back?

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            I think he did and Keenan has a radio show on 1010. I’d love to see EK take Ford to pieces. Keenan has been writing about Ford as far back as 2006/2007 so he’s sort of an expert on our train wreck of a Mayor.

          • SonuvaScrimbro

            Keenan is probably one of the last credible journalists to get serious facetime with Ford — he wrote a piece back in 2006 that was somewhat prescient about Ford’s attractiveness to the disadvantaged voters he targets/exploits. And he was the first (if I recall correctly) to take Ford up on his radio show offer to debate and media person anytime, with Keenan even offering to turn it into a chance to raise money for Ford’s football charity (you know, the one we never hear about anymore). So far, crickets. Says all you need to know about Ford standing by his word.

        • Ab on the line

          George Stroumboulopoulos is the man for the job. He got Will Ferrell to be serious for about 3 minutes so maybe he can get 60 seconds of honesty from Rob Frod.

          • luganman

            too lite

        • matthewfabb

          Jackson Proskow, from Global tv has pointed out earlier today, that Rob Ford hasn’t taken any interviews from any journalist who actually covers him. Meaning any reporter assigned specifically to city hall.

          How about Robyn Doolittle from the Star? Or Don Peat from the Toronto Sun? Matt Elliott from Metro? Katie Simpson from CP24?

          Really, just go through the list of reports on the city hall beat, basically those who know their stuff and could quickly catch Ford lying and call him out on it.

        • luganman

          how about that hard- hitting John Oakley?

    • dsmithhfx

      Interesting that Doug sat in on the interview, but did not participate. So Rob & Lord Blech were both on a short leash, then.

      • vampchick21

        And Doug thinks that all journalists need to take interviewing lessons from Black.

  • StealthCountryCitizen

    Thank you for watching this crazy train wreck mayor being interviewed by Mr. Black so we didn’t have to.

  • Jim

    I saw the interview. Ford looked very good. They had huge ratings. He looked clean and healthy. He clearly consolidated and probably increased his support. He targeted the right audience. He is going to end run mainstream TO media. Everyone with kids knows the fear of seeing someone trying to sneak an illicit picture of your family and your kids. He got the family vote with those comments. People can fantasize about Ford’s issues all they want but that interview marked an effective campaign kickoff for next year.

    • vampchick21

      You realize that his comments regarding Daniel Dale (the reporter in question) are catagorically false, right?

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      “Everyone with kids knows the fear of seeing someone trying to sneak an illicit picture of your family and your kids.”

      Umm, there was a police investigation into this incident with Dale. There were no photos found on Dale’s phone(he dropped it and Ford held on to it for Police) and there was no footage(from Ford’s video cameras) of Dale peering into Ford’s yard. Really, I shouldn’t have to point this out but I will: Ford is lying about this incident. Ford lies all the time. Why does anyone believe his BS?

    • Dinah Might

      No need to “fantasize” about Ford’s issues, Jim. There’s more than enough real-life ones to go around.

    • dsmithhfx

      There’s also the the police investigation that documented Rob Ford:
      tear-assing around the neighborhood to meet a drug dealer over several months; frequenting a known crack den; and being a person of considerable interest to the local gangbangers who were trying to blackmail him with pictures of him in compromising situations relating to his illegal drug habit.

      So maybe those are things that “everyone with kids” aren’t so impressed by.

      See, those aren’t fantasies, those are the results of an on-going police investigation that were released by the court.

      Notice how Rob has not offered any explanation or specific denial of these documented activities, and he hasn’t filed any lawsuits for libel and defamation?

      Whaddya say, Jim, still think “he got the family vote”?

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        I think Ford has sown up the delusional vote…

        • Justin Flontek

          Them and the crackheads.

        • vampchick21

          Yup, just look above your post. Sigh. I no longer want to live on this planet.

    • luganman

      until he has to testify at a slander trial

    • SonuvaScrimbro

      He did nothing to consolidate votes he didn’t already have. If anything, he further motivated the bloc of voters motivated to end his idiocy once and for all. And the sad part is, he didn’t have to say anything about that incident: most people had forgotten it, and now not only has he left himself open to a slander suit, he’s reminded people of just how inconsistent his story about that incident has been from the start. Sorry, but you’re way off base, and I can’t even say “nice try, though.”

  • Justin Flontek

    A con interviewing a junkie. How appropriate.

  • dsmithhfx

    Rob Ford is very, very far from a “regular person”. Any “regular person” who tried to do what he has done would be behind bars, and nobody would bother to report it, except in the police blotter.

  • vampchick21

    But Dale DIDN’T take pictures in Ford’s back yard. Nothing that Ford said Dale did is true, and the police investigation proved that. In short, Ford is lying. Again.

    • andreww

      You were there???? So what was he doing there then? He said he was checking out the piece of land behind the house. How long does that take? He was obviously being a little more intrusive than he is letting on.

      • vampchick21

        OMG. Seriously dude? He, as he has stated FROM THE BEGINING, was there to view the piece of City Park Land that Ford put in a request to purchase. He stated that due to inaccurate maps, he was on the wrong portion of the parkland, it was the land next to Ford’s house, not directly behind it.

        Police had Dale’s phone. They had security video footage of Ford’s house. NOTHING THAT FORD CLAIMS WAS PROVEN TRUE. Dale was NOT peeking over the fence, on Ford’s property, jumping to look over, standing on cement blocks, was not taking pictures of Ford’s property, Ford’s family, anytihng.


        Seriously, why are you believe the version of events that clearly contradicts the factual evidence, including evidence submitted by Ford himself? Why???????

  • dsmithhfx

    Or maybe he did something there…

  • dsmithhfx

    Obviously you’re reading different sources from me and every credible media outlet in town. Rob has already admitted publicly that he lied about not smoking crack. There are ample phone records linking him and his criminal, gangbanger associates in efforts to retrieve the famous ‘crack video’, and his phone which he lost at the crack house in question. That is all now a matter of public record.

    We can only speculate on why police have not, so far, charged Rob with any specific crimes in connection with this investigation. Maybe they’re holding out for the most serious charges. Maybe they’re giving him a free pass because he’s a politically-connected white millionaire. But ask yourself this: why does Rob Ford refuse to speak with the police, and why has he retained, in his own words, “the best criminal lawyer in the country”?

    • andreww

      Again, you keep referring to it as a crack house, yet there has been no arrest there. And cops haven’t charged him because they have nothing to charge him with.

  • M. Arthur Douglas Daley

    you were there??

    • dsmithhfx

      I’m starting to wonder…

  • luganman

    everyone who treats this lying sack of dog mess with deference is enabling him. Interviewers have to take off the kid gloves and treat him the way he treats others

  • Lloyd_Davis

    As Billy Martin said, one’s a born liar and the other’s convicted.

  • andreww

    Show me the police report. You are all so smart and you cant figure out that Ford never called anybody a pedophile. What would you think if someone was hanging out behind your house? I live on a park just like Ford. Last summer there was a guy hanging out behind my house acting suspicious. I called the cops and it turns out this guy was wanted and fleeing from the police. There is no reason for a reporter to be hanging out behind Fords house, especially on a weekend. He may have been there on the pretence of looking at property, but seriously, how fucking long do you think that would take??? He was there to intrude on Ford’s privacy.

    • CaligulaJones

      “There is no reason for a reporter to be hanging out behind Fords house, especially on a weekend.”

      It was a Thursday, Einstein.

    • dsmithhfx

      Daniel Dale is assigned to the city hall beat. The mayor was trying to buy city-owned park land. That’s the story Dale was covering. Ford called the cops and made all kinds of wild accusations, even claiming he had had it all on video from a security camera. The cops viewed the video. They looked at Dale’s phone which Rob Ford seized after threatening Dale (Ford later bragged on a radio show about assaulting Dale). They found nothing on Ford’s video or Dale’s phone that supported any of Ford’s claims. Rob Ford should have been charged with criminal assault, and wasting police resources, and anyone else would have been. But: politically-connected white millionaire — you know the rest.

  • Lloyd_Davis

    It wasn’t in the dark, but thanks for playing.

  • PlantinMoretus

    I dunno…Evan kind of bugs me… not my first choice but he’d be OK. If only it could really happen!

  • Marke N

    I thought the interview would only turn out as a complete farce. Conrad Black is not an interviewer nor is he a man to mince words; in fact I don’t know of any word Black couldn’t mince. What I do know is Harper is allowing Conrad to remain in Canada and, as Harper et al are dear friends of El cracko, there is a direction this interview will go in that I will not like.

    After reading about and hearing of Mr. Black over many years, I cannot think of another person on this planet that Black wouldn’t chew up and spat out given the opportunity. So, why the kid gloves now and with El cracko??What I heard of the interview afterwards, Mr. Black did not have gumption? balls? sense? to do anything other than baby Mr. Ford throughout and did not call him out on anything that was said. Like I said, an interview I will not like.