First there was a radio show, and then a one-episode TV show. Now Rob and Doug Ford have a YouTube show. We watch so you don't have to.
It’s the Rob and Doug Ford show! On YouTube that is, because every day is really the Rob and Doug Ford show. The campaign season is heating up, with most candidates having done two debates, and people calling for details on transit funding and other vague policy ideas. But this is YouTube, the land where thinking goes to rest, and so we won’t have any of that policy nonsense.
Let’s see what Rob and Doug have to offer instead.
Letters to the Editor
0:02: Doug reads letters from “fans.” The first is from the producer of a sports talk show in San Francisco who says they all love the mayor, and who has considered moving to Toronto to vote for Rob. “Be sure to keep up Ford Nation,” the letter writer says of the YouTube show. “It’s sure to gain you votes.” Here’s the thing: When the producer of a sports talk show compliments an internationally infamous crack-smoking mayor, there’s a good chance he just wants you on his show.
0:42: The email from Anthony the sports talk producer indicates that he’s originally from Michigan. Rob marvels at how people in the United States seem to move around all the time, whereas in Canada they stay in one place. Doug explains it’s because the country is so massive and there’s job opportunities everywhere. It’s the closest Doug will come to invoking Frederick Jackson Turner.
2:28: One letter writer writes in to argue that Rob should essentially just do whatever he wants, “Shut your office blinds, grab a beer, throw your feet up on top of the desk and kick back.” Doug says Rob doesn’t do that, but then Rob adds with a grin, “I was just going to say, it’s not just one beer, so that’s a problem.” Hopefully this is a newfound self-awareness about his substance abuse, but sadly that appears unlikely.
2:40: The previous fan was from Niagara Falls, and regrets he can’t vote for Rob. Doug says, “Well, you never know, folks—maybe one day you’ll be voting for him for the provincial side.” Doug, why do you have to say things that ruin my day?
3:15: Another email asks Rob how he thinks he’ll do in the upcoming election. Spoiler: Rob thinks he’s going to win.
4:10: Rob describes his favourite meal as veal parmesan with Caesar salad on the side and some pasta with hot peppers. It’s true: this was the meal served by the caterer at his Christmas party this past December. Mind you, he then kicked me and a colleague out after we asked him to account for falsely insinuating that journalist Daniel Dale is a pedophile or peeping Tom. Weirdest Christmas party ever.
Rob Ford Does a Jamaican Accent, Again
0:15: Steve Lowe writes that he truly believes Jimmy Kimmel is a fan of Rob’s, and Doug agrees, because Jimmy told them that. Ford Nation is an irony-free zone, folks.
0:52: Lowe adds that he hopes Ford will win and set a precedent for voters separating public and personal lives. Rob agrees: “It’s true, people’s private lives are private. I haven’t been perfect, but we move on.”
1:26: Rob says he’s never missed a day of work in 14 years. This is a lie, and a bad one at that. People get sick and they miss a day here or there all the time, and it’s understandable. Additionally, Rob routinely shows up for work around 11:30 a.m. or noon, and leaves around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. This is not the kind of attendance record to brag about.
1:43: In an email, Jack points out what Kimmel said about Rob at the end of the show: “‘You are the most wonderful mayor in the world.’ That, my friends, was worth a million dollars to Rob in his run for mayor. God bless Rob Ford.”
2:00: Doug says that they received a Ford Nation email from Jamaica, and Rob instinctively goes into his accent and says, “Ya mon!” Sarah Thomson shouldn’t have dreads, and Rob Ford shouldn’t speak like a 12-year-old who just saw Cool Runnings.
2:15: Doug says that on the next Ford Nation episode they’ll have some merchandise available for sale, like bobbleheads, shirts, and ties. Presumably this is to fund the Ford campaign, as Doug previously mused.
2:40: We hear the email from Jamaica, which says of Rob that “Jamaica loves you” and “the world needs more leaders like you.” Rob responds by doing his Jamaican accent again, because the world needs more world leaders who perform caricatures of exotic others. In the words of noted anthropologist Elena Basso, Rob Ford “is a big fucking idiot.”
And that’s the show. Rob and Doug read a bunch of emails about how great Rob is, and they agreed. It was basically a self-help show, except the host of the show was the one receiving the wondrous power of positive reinforcement. It was also an example of how the enablers of Rob’s behaviour extend beyond Doug or his closest allies on council; the likes of Steve, Jack, and Anthony demonstrate to Rob that he has a constituency to maintain exactly what he’s doing, even if that amounts to infotainment or includes destructive personal choices. If anything would help Rob Ford, it would be for the people who consider themselves part of Ford Nation to challenge him to be better rather than to offer unconditional support, but that would take a level of humility and self-awareness on the mayor’s part, traits sorely lacking in the chief magistrate.
Three out of five geography lessons.
Thanks for reading, and God bless you, Raccoon Nation.