Every Sunday, Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Doug, host The City, a two-hour talk show on Newstalk 1010. We listen so you don't have to.
Oh my, it’s show two since the start of our evolving (alleged) crack scandal. What will happen next? Will Rob unequivocally deny using crack while in office? Will he categorically say he didn’t know where the alleged video was hidden? Will we talk about the serious issues that affect our city and how we can find real solutions? Find out next!
1:07: Rob and Doug spend the first few minutes talking about what’s on everyone’s mind: sports. Rob is excited that the Argos training camp is about to start, and they talk NHL playoffs, Toronto FC, and the Jays, too. These guys sure know how to bury the lede.
1:13: Doug is angry. He says that the same councillors who shout and scream that there’s a crisis at City Hall are happy to go off on a taxpayer-paid trip to Vancouver to stay in a five-star hotel and sip margaritas by the pool. Wait, I’m confused. Aren’t they supposed to sip lattes? And wasn’t this good last fall when a host of councillors went on a Porter-sponsored trip to Chicago, where Rob learned about public art and Manitoba geography? Anyway, Rob and Doug say this is different. Clearly the workplace shouldn’t pay for a work-related visit to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference—at least not for all of the 18 councillors who went over the weekend.
Doug argues these councillors are slacking while Rob and Doug are working 18 hours a day. That’s not a typo, he said 18 hours a day, not a week. Dear Doug, the media has been staking out Rob’s office for the past two weeks and the mayor regularly gets in at 1:00 and leaves around 4:30.
1:16: Rob, who was born a multi-millionaire, says if his council colleagues went on their own dime to FCM’s conference, that would be okay.
1:18: Doug somehow transitions to wanting to cut the size of council in half. “I don’t think anyone in Toronto wants more politicians,” he says. If only there were a term for self-hating politicians. Raccoon Nation, you know what to do in the comments.
1:18: While discussing how it would be great to get rid of some lousy councillors, Rob and Doug say “efficiently” a lot, as if practicing a child’s tongue twister.
1:19: Doug incorrectly says each household will pay $1,000 in order to subsidize public transit under Metrolinx’s newly released investment strategy. Rob later repeats the same thing. Except it’s expected to cost $477 per household, and that’s before factoring in the economic benefits associated with investing in transit.
1:22: Rob says he hired four new people—previous media reports had it at three. Doug somehow turns this mass exodus of staffers into a talking point. He says it goes right back to job creation, somehow. Maybe this whole fiasco is a false flag to boost Toronto employment figures ahead of an election. Think it through, sheeple!
1:29: Doug announces a new radio segment called “Setting the Record Straight,” which is totally heterosexual, and no, he won’t be at Pride, thanks for asking.
Doug is angry that, in his view, the Star doesn’t do its due diligence. He points to an article about the mayor’s office ordering emails deleted in an attempt to prevent reporters from getting a hold of them with freedom-of-information requests.
But Doug says there was no order, and that the reporting represents “nothing but gutter journalism at its worst.” He demands an apology from the Star, and as the show outros to commercial, Rob mutters, “They’re never going to apologize.”
1:39: Doug continues to set the record straight. He says that Provincial Conservative house leader Jim Wilson has met him, although Wilson said that wasn’t the case last week, in an apparent attempt to distance the party from the increasingly toxic Ford family. Doug adds that he’s always maintained that if there’s not a provincial election soon, he might not be able to run, which is something that he has never said publicly before.
1:40: Doug, self-hating politician: “I’ll tell you right now, I don’t like politicians. They’re self serving.” Yes, like when they cause a crisis of confidence in the institution they’re meant to uphold, but won’t step aside because they’re too stubborn to recognize they aren’t bigger than the discourse they’re supposed to lead. Like that.
1:41: Doug calls Rob, who will not attend Pride Week, a social Dipper.
1:42: Now we’re talking about subways. Rob says if Metrolinx passed all their proposed taxes, he would have to take his children out of activities like soccer and dancing. All these social elites, hating on soccer and dance classes.
1:48: Rob says he’s saved the city $1 billion as mayor. Except, as Matt Elliott writes in Metro, that’s false. Sigh.
2:00: Rob is going to announce his favourite media person! Will it be me? Oh gosh, Raccoon Nation. This is exciting. Darn, it’s Talk 640’s John Oakley. So close. It’s okay Rob, call me if that doesn’t work out.
2:07: Rob goes through his talking points, saying how he plans to reduce the City’s debt over 10 years. Sure, this relies on the assumption that there will either be more funding from other orders of government or some kind of massive sale of the City’s capital assets, but whatever.
2:09: Doug is now trying to justify the $1 billion falsehood that he and Rob talk about so frequently. He points to eliminating the vehicle registration tax as an example of a savings, which is like talking about saving on credit card expenses by using debit.
2:12: Doug says Rob is the only mayor to achieve four years of labour peace, which must be news to the library workers.
2:12: “I promised to bring accountability to city hall, and that’s exactly what I’ve done,” says the mayor who refuses to answer direct questions about whether he has smoked crack while in office.
2:26: Apparently a calypso singer wrote a song for Rob Ford called “Toronto is Strong.”
2:35: The Fords say they’ll grant interviews to any media members who are willing to get in an inner tube at their cottage. I was planning to cover Pride Week, but challenge accepted.
2:42: Rob says he can’t wait for an election, that he’s a caged animal. This makes it sound a lot like he’s a wrestler itching for a match, which is fitting, considering the fact that he was mentioned on Monday Night RAW in Calgary last week. World class city!
2:43: Alan on line two is really upset about a traffic light in his ward. Rather than installing the light, he suggests hiring police officers to camp out there and issue tickets for jaywalking, which would generate revenue for the city. Alan is kind of crazy.
2:45: Rob says again that he wants an election, and Doug suggests that the City have an election early, at the same time as the provincial one. Rob likes this idea. He seems almost gleeful, like a kid who just hit all the buttons on the elevator. Doug refers to the people as the only ammunition he and Rob have, which is true: when, as mayor, you don’t have a vision to share, Torontonians become collateral damage in your political games.
2:48: Kate on line four wants a telephone referendum on the casino issue, which recently lost at council 40-4. If Newstalk 1010 ran the casino referendum, it would probably pass.
2:49: Another caller is angry that the media only goes after Rob, when someone like councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul’s) was charged with impaired driving in 2006. Fair is fair. Neither DUIs (with which Rob has also been charged) nor any kind of crack use are cool. Fair and balanced.
2:51: Rob characterizes the Star and Globe as the “two NDP newspapers,” and Doug promotes the Sun and Post as the papers worth reading. Really? The Globe as an NDP paper? The one whose lead columnists include Margaret Wente and Jeffrey Simpson? The one that called household chores the final frontier of feminism in its Saturday edition? Okay then.
2:52: Caller Clare isn’t from Toronto, but follows what’s going on. She thinks Rob and Doug are wonderful “teddy bears” and that Kathleen Wynne should mind her own business.
3:00: Doug signs off, and blesses Ford Nation with a wave of his infallible hand, or whatever the radio equivalent is.
This was a pretty good show, folks. There were sports, and digs at the provincial Liberals, and attacks on wasteful spending that’s actually kind of reasonable, and an election idea that’s pretty crazy. Also, Rob and Doug demanded that the Toronto Star apologize, but also offered its reporters rides in an inner tube. The Fords contain multitudes! Four out of five inner tubes.