Liveblog: Rob and Doug on the Radio
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Liveblog: Rob and Doug on the Radio

The mayor and his brother are taking to the airwaves, to speak directly to the people of Toronto. Follow along with us as we listen to their first foray into radio hosting.

Rob and Doug Ford in the studio; photo courtesy of Newstalk 1010

3:00 PM: Rob apologizes to all of the people who waited for an hour to speak with him but they can call his office instead, because then he can lie to them about subways in person. Ha! Only kidding. One of his staff will do it.

2:56 PM: And we’re back! Rob encouraged “some” of the candidates to call in (ah, yes, “some”). Phil somethingoranother in Ward 17 explains that he is the Special Assistant to the MP for Don Valley East (who is a Tory) and he’s been a federal and provincial campaign manager, so basically his pitch is “I am part of the Conservative machine,” and he says how Rob Ford has heaps of support in Don Valley East. Carol McDonald in Ward 20 has lived in the ward for thirty years and has been a former Scarborough trustee and has worked for the Toronto School Board and is also a special assistant to Michael Del Grande (come on, you knew it was coming). I am shocked, shocked that there is quasi-advertising going on in this establishment.

2:50 PM: Rob Ford talks about two school trustee by-elections. There are 17 candidates running in Don Valley Eest and 14 running in Scarborough-Agincourt (he counts them individually each time) and it is important to vote in these elections. And after the final break, we will hear from some of the candidates! Who, I am sure, were randomly selected.

2:47 PM: And now we’re talking about the Oscars. Soumalias talks up Christopher Plummer, because you can’t go wrong rooting for Christopher Plummer in Toronto. Then he says that Norman Jewison has never been properly recognized in Toronto. The BroFo say they should do something about that at city council, because hey, you can’t make up things about subways all the time. Soumilias then talks up The Artist, because as a Canadian he is more or less obligated to celebrate meaningless fluff.

2:45 PM: Did you know Mary Pickford was from Toronto and she was very famous in Hollywood’s early years? Well, now you do. I am sure this is exactly what people tuning into a radio show hosted by the Mayor want to know about.

2:42 PM: In-studio: the BroFo have brought Peter Soumalias, from Canada’s Walk of Fame! And they’re going to talk about the Oscars. They talk about how the Walk of Fame exists and it is the second biggest walk of fame in the world after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is the only walk of fame anybody actually cares about. Also, Canadians helped found many of the major American studios! This is the entertainment-schmooze version of “Canadians invented basketball and the telephone after they left Canada.”

2:38 PM: And eight minutes later, we are back! Rob says there is “more than enough money” to pay for the subway and Doug elaborates that Gordon Chong’s report outlines numerous ways to pay for the subway and therefore people who say there is no plan are wrong, because there are ideas, and that is almost like a plan! Doug also says how private-partnerships can do the job and he doesn’t understand why it’s more expensive to build subways here than in Vancouver, where it is apparently cheaper. (Dear Doug Ford: it is more expensive to tunnel under developed land.) Doug then explains that we can build the subway in installments. Like, on layaway, like when Ben Affleck took away Casey Affleck’s sandwich in Good Will Hunting. Doug then says that if we sell a whole lot of condos we can have a subway and Scarborough is fast-growing and therefore we can have a subway, and then complains about the Yonge-University subway line going to nowhere, ignoring the fact that York University is up there.

2:36 PM: Honestly, if before the end of the show we don’t get Sue-Ann Levy calling in holding her noise and pretending to be “Sheila, from North York,” I don’t mind telling you that I am gonna be horribly disappointed.

2:29 PM: More calls! Marianne in Toronto asks about the Sheppard subway plan and wants to know when we’ll see some sort of formal plan as to how it will be paid for. She also doesn’t agree with characterizing St. Clair as a disaster, and says that the new dedicated lane has cleared up. Rob Ford, in response, says he has to take a break. COURAGE, ROB FORD!

2:27 PM: Doug says that when he and Rob were younger, they used to pretend they were Wendel Clark “dropping the gloves.” Wendel Clark first played in the NHL in 1985. Therefore, Rob and Doug Ford played pretend at least as late as the ages of 16 and 19. I am not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. I am just saying.

2:22 PM: I am not going to lie: I do not care about this even a little. Talk about basketball, Rob Ford! Basketball is a sport for the masses! You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on supplies: you need a hoop and a ball! Bitch about the Raptors! Our basketball team is one of the NBA’s jokes, and unlike the Leafs, it’s not because we’re doomed to futility but because our front office is a complete joke!

2:20 PM: Doug says Wendel is like Rob because they both like to get in the corners and do hockey things.

2:18 PM: “We’re all a little bit concerned about the Leafs recently,” says Rob Ford, which is not true because some of us watch basketball instead, and we have to suffer with the Raptors. But anyway, here is Wendel Clark, and they ware going to talk hockey, because if there’s one thing you want to hear the BroFo talk about, it is hockey. Rob really loves that Wendel was willing to beat people up and wishes Toronto would play more physically and hitting guys, because of course he does.

2:14 PM: Rob Ford starts talking about upcoming events he will be attending, because people want to know how they can help. First up: the Toronto stage premiere of War Horse. Also: the 50th anniversary of a CIBC branch! Lots of opportunities there for the publicly minded. But then he pimps out Meagan’s Walk and an event for kids with autism, so we can’t make fun of him for that. And it’s time for another quick break! Wendel Clark, coming up after the break! I wonder how Wendel Clark feels about subways.

2:08 PM: We have Brother David on the line, talking about the work the Brothers of the Good Shepherd do to help people in need and how they rely on private and public funds to help people. No snark here: it’s good work.

2:07 PM: Rob talks about attending events – a CNIB event, an eye research fundraiser and something for “dedicated hard work” which is for rehabilitating homeless people by helping them help other homeless people. Rob Ford explains that helping homeless people is important, which is why he wanted to close down a battered women’s shelter: that way, they will then be homeless and worthy of help.

2:02 PM: News break! The news is that the BroFo are on CFRB, apparently. So we’re getting a recap of something while it is still happening. CFRB is horning in on my territory. They recap Chris’s question again but only play back Rob’s sarcastic response.

1:59 PM: Shel in North York says the guys are doing a great job. Shel wants to know why rapid transit is necessary on Finch and Sheppard. Rob wants a subway on Sheppard and a dedicated bus line on Finch and maybe eventually a subway too, which doesn’t actually answer Shel’s question, but whatever, Rob Ford subway macro. Shel follows up asking about Dufferin between 401 and Finch and if it can be widened. Rob Ford tells him to call his office, because then he can get the guy an answer, which one assumes will be “no.” But who knows? It is Rob Ford. We are quite aware that inconvenient things like “reality” will not get in the way of Rob Ford’s transit planning. So maybe he’ll start asking everybody to widen Dufferin by moving all the buildings back about twenty feet on each side. “We can do it! Gravy.”

1:55 PM: And we’re back! Doug explains that they never even discussed this show prior to coming on the air, which is totally believable. Rose from Etobicoke wants to know “what service, LRT and subway, will we get” if the Eglinton line ends short of her home. Rose also wants to know if there are any plans to cut supervisory staff in Metro Hall. Doug explains again that the Eglinton line is a provincial project and they want it to run west and underground and the folks in his area don’t want a streetcar running along the road, because FORD HATE STREETCARS, and then they should run subways to Mississauga and Brampton and Ajax and possibly Tokyo. As for cutting middle management, the BroFo are all about that and there isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t look to fire somebody.

1:54 PM: By my count, approximately 16 minutes of this not-quite-an-hour thus far has been ads. Just so you know.

1:51 PM: Andy from Toronto wants to talk about the left-wing smearing Rob Ford (you know, like those pinkos at the Globe and Mail) and then talks about community housing. And how it’s important. And Rob Ford agrees that it is important. Rob Ford likes it so much when people agree with him!

1:47 PM: “And now we’re going to take calls on any topic.” First call: “Chris” in Toronto, which is not me. Less-impressive-Chris wants to comment about a “huge disconnect” between councillors and citizens, and says her councillor is wonderful and goes to the Dufferin Mall every week. Chris wants to know why Rob called the council vote “irrelevant.” Rob explains that the Eglinton LRT is a provincial project and that people do not want to see another St. Clair and they want subways because everybody tells him they want subways and the St. Clair is a complete disaster and I’m wondering at this point if I should just create a macro for that. Nearly-as-impressive-as-me-Chris says “but hasn’t the Premier said he’ll follow the will of council” and Rob Ford says “no he hasn’t” and she says “yes he has, he did it last week” and Doug tries to jump in but she wants to speak with Rob, and Rob does his nervous giggle that he does when he has NOTHING and then he talks over her, saying she is an “LRT person” and gets her off the air quickly, because Rob Ford is a man of the people, except when the people disagree with him.

1:45 PM: Giorgio says he has asked the Premier “legally” to not build any LRTs until he can consult with the community, then signs off so the BroFo can take another break so another pre-approved caller can phone in and talk about how much they love subways and Rob Ford. Wait, of course the BroFo aren’t doing anything like that! That would be dishonest, and if there’s one thing the BroFo are, it is that they are honest hardworking blah blah blahs.

1:42 PM: Giorgio wants to tell Toronto what parts of Toronto will get subways eventually rather than LRTs, because Toronto deserves that and because the city needs public-private partnerships. Hey, public-private partnerships! Been a while since Team BroFo blathered about that. Doug asks Giorgio about BIA and what a BIA is and how large Giorgio’s BIA is. Giorgio’s BIA is very large and it’s working with the city and the business community and it has changed its position on the LRT and now they are asking people to talk about their views on transit. Not included at any point: Giorgio explaining what a BIA actually is, which I’m sure confused at least a few listeners.

1:40 PM: GIORGIO MAMMOLITI! He calls anti-subway people Nazis! No, not really. Instead he reads off his resume, because that is what you do on Rob Ford’s radio show. Giorgio is so pleased to be part of Rob Ford’s administration and he and Doug are besties. Giorgio, and I know you are going to be shocked about this, wants to talk about subways and how the majority of Toronto wants subways.

1:38 PM: “Mary” in Scarborough uses the Sheppard subway but when she has to go east she has to use “the little outside cars, which are not very reliable” and she doesn’t think it’s right that you can take the subway downtown but you can’t take the subway everywhere else. Rob Ford asks who her councillor is: she is not sure, but she is sure they voted for subways. After Rob again tells everybody to go stump for subways, she wordspams about subways some more.

1:36 PM: Now that we’ve had an ad break and the BroFo have had a chance to check their notes to best answer the subways question to have a break from the onerous stress of radio, we are back! Rob explains that the Sheppard subway was first moved for in 1985 (like Dave said) and then starts asking everybody to call their councillors and MPPs to get subways and that Dalton McGuinty is committing “political suicide.” Doug encourages people to join Save Our Subways and the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition, because that way then they will have actual members.

1:29 PM: They’re taking calls! Dave from Scarborough thanks “your Excellency” for allowing him to come on and for fighting the gravy train. “Back in about 1985 residents here were promised subways, we got the RT, now it’s falling apart, and now we’re gonna get another St. Clair running down Eglinton…” and Rob Ford promises to answer that question, which is really an offer for Rob Ford to talk more about how much he loves the subways he never uses except when he wants to complain to random people. But we have to wait for a NEWS BREAK!

1:26 PM: And we’re back! Andy Byford answers Doug’s question about his international experience and what he can bring to the TTC. Byford talks about how he can bring more upper-level organization to the TTC and put performance targets in place at all levels of the TTC. Doug loves to hear that they are “measuring and targeting” because “you can’t manage anything unless you measure it.” Byford explains that he has put notices in the TTC office elevators about how well the TTC has met customer service metrics. Doug also loves this and loves that the TTC is being held accountable. I would call this a circle jerk but circle jerks are more entertaining.

1:25 PM: No, sorry, the baldness medication advertisement actually probably even beats out the IncomeAtHome people for apropos-advertising-ness.

1:23 PM: Best sponsor so far: Ah, barely reputable scam artists advertising on the BroFo show, whodathunkit.

1:18 PM: Rob asks Byford what changes they will see under Byford at the TTC. Byford: “my passions are customer service and safety.” His examples: cleaning, all TTC washrooms to be refurbished by June, cleaning the subway trains, and so forth.

1:16 PM: On the line the BroFo have Andy Byford, who took over Gary Webster’s job at the TTC when the city fired Gary Webster without cause because Gary Webster wouldn’t say exactly what Rob Ford told him to say. Byford speaks about his resume, which is of course really very impressive.

1:13 PM: Rob is now openly begging people to call their councillors and ask for subways. I would have thought he would work up to that. But Rob and Doug are resolute: “one hundred percent” of people want subways. Doug mentions how St. Clair is a travesty and it’s hard to drive along it (my word, a Ford brother complaining about how he can’t drive in the way he wants? How unexpected). They have said this three or four times and now it is time for A QUICK NEWS BREAK.

1:11 PM: Rob brags about how the City is spending less money than it did last year. Does that include the millions he spent on cancellation fees for projects he didn’t agree with?

1:09 PM: Doug asks Rob about why he got into politics. Apparently his dad yelled at Bob Rae a whole lot on the TV, and that’s how Ford Senior became a provincial MP, and then Rob Ford ran for council and lost, and then he ran again and won and I’m pretty sure the BroFo’s strategy is to bore all of their political opponents who might be listening to death. Dammit, where did I put that llama gland extract?

1:08 PM: Rob is giving us his biographical information. Now Doug is saying hello to all his kids. THRILLS!

1:06 PM: And we’re on! Hooray! Doug welcomes all the American listeners tuning in via the internet and everyone trying to “connect in a Toronto in an intermet way.” (That was not a typo.) Rob Ford offers a disclaimer that he isn’t speaking for his administration, because he’s just the Mayor after all.

1:02 PM: Russell Courtnay says that Rob Ford “wants to hear from you” whether or not you agree with him. So please: why don’t you call in and ask him questions? About subways. I’m sure he’d love to talk about subways. Or Gary Webster. Or city service reductions. Or why he suddenly thinks tax increases are okay for subways but not for anything else. I am just spitballing ideas here, because I can’t phone in because I am busy typing and I’m sure even the BroFo would get suspicious when they heard the clattering keys on the other end. Maybe I could pretend it was a stock ticker. “Yeah, that’s right, Rob. I’m just keeping track of the Nikkei on this old-timey ticker tape machine. I do my investing old school.”

1:00 PM: It’s one o’clock! Which means it’s time for Russell Courtnay’s news and traffic update and the BroFo are “minutes away.” What is the opposite of “I am so excited?” Not “I am not excited.” Like, anti-excited. That. That is how I feel right now.

12:48 PM: Mike Toth, doing his sports radio show, calls the BroFo on CFRB a “coup,” and then explains that Wendel Clark is going to be a guest on their show. Which is… interesting.

12:45 PM: So I am here, sitting at my computer, getting ready to listen to Rob and Doug Ford for two hours. I have taken numerous stimulants, as I am certain I will need them to stay conscious when the Brothers Ford say something so mind-bogglingly stupid that I bash my head against the wall. Ha! I’m only kidding. I haven’t taken any stimulants. I’m doing this all-natural, because I don’t want any perception of the BroFo’s performance altered by drugs. Drugs are bad, children. Even when they are exotic chemicals derived from the glands of Peruvian llamas.