The Rob Ford Radio Recap: Stalkers and Assassins
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The Rob Ford Radio Recap: Stalkers and Assassins

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.

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Rob and Doug Ford in the studio. Photo courtesy of Newstalk 1010.

With Rob out in Winnipeg and Regina on vacation, it’s Doug flying solo today! Will he go off the rails without the moderating influence (really) of his younger brother? Or will he announce a new megaproject? Who knows? Find out below!

1:10: Doug says he’s going to continue to fight for subways, not just for Scarborough, but for the people of Etobicoke, North York, York, and East York too. He then adds that downtowners already have theirs.

1:14: Doug issues a disclaimer: anything he says on the show is not representative of Newstalk 1010 or Mayor Rob Ford. Which is a change from all those times when he speaks on behalf of the mayor, when Rob is unavailable for comment. But it’s not like we can expect consistency or anything.

1:18: Doug, who held two scrums at City Hall this week during which he lambasted the Toronto Star, discusses Star City Hall journalist Robyn Doolittle. “[She] was stalking my mother, following her around as she was delivering apples to the neighbours.” Now is a good time to mention that Rob and Doug have a very different sense of “stalking” or “ambushes” than most public figures. After all, when Global TV reporter Jackson Proskow knocked on the door of the Ford family company, Deco Labels and Tags, to ask Doug if he wanted to do an interview, Doug later called that an “ambush.” When the Star‘s Daniel Dale visited a park behind Rob’s home to better understand a parcel of public land the mayor was trying to purchase, that was “stalking.” But there’s another, better term for these types of actions, and Doug should understand it. It’s called “journalism,” and it’s what you get when you’re a powerful public figure who refuses to answer questions in the public interest.

1:19: Doolittle has been doing research down in Florida recently, where the Ford family owns a condo. Because this isn’t enough of a Seinfeld episode already, Doug introduces the president of the condo association, Vito. Vito confirms that he spoke with Doolittle, and describes her as “pretty” and “flirty.” He goes on to say that Doolittle had questions about whether Rob “partied hard” when he was at the condo, and Vito says this is not the case.

1:22: Doug explains the Star‘s “stalking” to Vito. “This is the Toronto Star, that wants to literally—politically, in my opinion—kill our family, kill Rob, kill myself, because you know something, they just don’t think about reducing the size and cost of government.”

Okay, just to clarify, the Ford family might seem like the Simpsons sometimes, but Robyn Doolittle is not Sideshow Bob, literally or figuratively. Sigh.

1:25: Doug Ford: “As far as I’m concerned, Robyn Doolittle, you need counselling. You have this obsession—obsession—with our family.” Or, you know, she’s a reporter at City Hall and is trying to understand the greater context of the individuals that ostensibly lead it.

1:38: Newly backbench Conservative MP Peter Kent is on the show, and Doug and he hobnob in that ol’-friends kind of way.

1:45: Clarissa calls in and compliments Doug on being so intelligent on all this subway stuff, but she’s concerned about whether it will be fully funded. Doug assuages her fears by saying that he and his brother already have $1.4 billion for subways, which ignores the fact that this money was just going to be used for an LRT line that represented a better return on investment and served more priority neighbourhoods.

1:50: Peter calls in. He wants the City to do a P3, like Canary Wharf in London. Sure, he says, that project went bankrupt, but it turned out well. Doug agrees. He mentions that Toronto has $18 billion in real-estate assets that could be sold—even though most of the board at Build Toronto, the agency responsible for that process, has resigned, in large part due to Doug’s meddling.

1:54: Perennial Ward 19 council candidate George Sawision calls in and argues that Toronto should be exploring the possibility of using its hydro and rail corridors to connect to the TTC.

1:56: Wisdom from the Tao of Dougie: “The only bad idea is the idea you don’t come up with.”

1:58: Jennifer from Collingwood thanks Doug for not allowing Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence) to do a sole-source deal with the TTC’s newsstands. Doug says that the TTC shouldn’t be in the business of retail, and it isn’t. That’s why the TTC has private companies paying it for the right to operate those newsstands.

2:00: Sam thanks Doug and the mayor for saving the city, and says that if it was up to Queen’s Park and the lefties at City Hall, Toronto would be the Detroit of Canada. That this shows a deep misunderstanding of both Detroit’s plight and Toronto’s opportunities highlights what a disconnect there is in communicating Toronto’s success stories and needs.

2:05: OMG, OMG, they’re playing my summer jam, the Rob Ford 80s-style anthem written by a local performer named Jenny James for this year’s Scarborough Ford Fest. Ford is the taxpayer’s lord, the cost cowboy, and the rollback viceroy, you know? With the song playing, Doug announces Etobicoke’s Ford Fest, which will take place in September. He promises people will get their food in a reasonable amount of time.

2:07: Mark calls in and comments on how honest Doug Holyday (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre) is, and how people need to get out and vote for him in the provincial Etobicoke-Lakeshore byelection. Mark really likes Doug Holyday.

2:10: Bill in Whitby says that our current subway system has segments that go above ground. This is fine, he argues, so why don’t we only go underground when absolutely necessary? Doug agrees. “You’ve never heard me say it has to stay underground, what you’ve heard me say is it can’t impede traffic, like LRTs do.” Abfvsbihsvdjuihsdjkihusd. Ugh. Headdesk.GIF. That was the Scarborough LRT plan. You know, the one Rob didn’t understand was entirely separated from traffic and wouldn’t stop at any traffic lights? The one Doug criticized at every opportunity, and didn’t seem to understand? You are so frustrating, Doug Ford.

2:15: Doug wishes Councillor Vincent Crisanti (Ward 1, Etobicoke North) a happy 60th birthday, and adds that he looks 35, which is as much of an exaggeration as everything else on this show.

2:16: Now Doug introduces a guest, Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6, Etobicoke-Lakeshore), whom Doug and Rob call the “Midnight Mayor.” Notably, he’s the first Toronto councillor to appear on the show since the crack scandal broke 67 days ago. They discuss how former Chicago Blackhawk and new Toronto Maple Leaf David Bolland will bring the Stanley Cup to Mimico in early August.

2:18: Irene, who solicited signatures for the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition petition to reduce the size of council, calls in. “We knew all along city council would not approve cutting city council in half,” she says. “The intention all along was to take it to the Ontario Municipal Board. We basically needed to meet the minimum requirements to do so.” As NOW‘s Jonathan Goldsbie pointed out on Twitter, this could provide an argument for the City that the petition was submitted to council in bad faith, and is thus invalid. Oops.

2:24: Doug Ford goes on about how most city councillors don’t know what a day of hard work feels like, and mentions left-wing Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) specifically. He then remembers that Perks was once a miner, and takes back what he said. It’s true: Perks was once a coal miner in Kentucky.

2:40: Doug says Mark Grimes is as “tight as skin on a grape” when it comes to his cheapness. “He has deep pockets, but short arms,” Doug jokes with a caller. Grimes bought pizza for all of council on Friday.

3:00: And God bless Ford Nation!

And God bless you, Raccoon Nation! Without Rob, it was double the Doug, which can be tough to handle. We heard that Robyn Doolittle is a figurative journalistic assassin, and confirmed that Doug still doesn’t understand LRTs. So, the show met expectations. Three out of five pizzas.