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.
It’s The City, and this time the Fords are broadcasting from a portable radio kiosk at the CNE! Oh, boy—Toronto’s favourite novelty brother act will be doing its shtick, and the Superdogs are right next door. Grab some cotton candy, and let’s listen in.
1:08: Doug tells us Rob will be late, because Rob is on his way back from Niagara Falls. He was there on Saturday for a football game.
1:12: Doug derides “80 per cent of councillors” because he feels they couldn’t earn more than $105,000 in the private sector. (Councillors make a little over $104,000 a year.) I disagree. I think 100 per cent of councillors could earn more than $105,000 a year, provided they inherited a sticker company worth millions.
1:16: Doug cites Ronald Reagan, thus kicking off another game of Doug Ford Bingo.
1:17: Doug repeats his habitual boast that, under the Ford administration, Toronto balanced its books for the first time ever. Actually, Toronto has balanced its budget every year in its history. The City is legally required to do so.
1:21: Doug is asked a question about urban planning by an audience member. The councillor for Ward 2 responds that he wants to use landfill on Lake Ontario to extend the waterfront. Doug should stop getting his waterfront ideas from Simpsons episodes.
1:45: Doug welcomes caller Kim onto the show, and asks her to have her say. Kim corrects Doug and says he’s a guy, and the councillor says, “No problem.” Kim then asks how Rob and Doug get along so well, and how he—that is, Kim—and his brother can match that relationship. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
1:47: John calls in, and he doesn’t like the Toronto Star. He says that the paper is just creating news and that its outright harassment of the Fords has to stop. He adds, “Mayor Rob Ford is the most fantastic mayor I’ve seen in my 54 years.” So take that, Fred Beavis.
Doug adds that the Star is even giving away its product for free at the Ex, which, he says, shows you how desperate they are. Mind you, I suppose that’s what the Fords are doing too, only their product is a brand of populism that’s out of touch with reality.
1:55: Whoa, Rob joins the show! Only an hour late! Best mayor ever!
1:58: Rita from the Durham region calls in to complain about skyrocketing rents, and Rob doesn’t seem familiar with the subject. Doug says he’s sympathetic to all those renters out there, but at least the high rent is good for investors. Rob adds that with low interest rates, landlords are begging for tenants and will offer perks, like a free month’s rent. Rob Ford is absolutely wrong, as anyone who has spent 20 minutes on PadMapper can attest.
2:28: Rob’s guest, a high-school football commentator, discusses the military grenades he owns. Doug then says he wants to borrow those grenades and use them on certain councillors. What’s scary is that for any politician with dignity or shame, this kind of statement would be scandalous—but for Doug Ford, it’s a cliché.
2:29: After some CNE food is brought to their table, Rob hears “Corona” when a Cronut Burger is offered to him, and he doesn’t understand what a cronut is. This is further proof that he doesn’t read the Grid.
2:38: Harry calls in and says he supports Porter Airlines’ proposed expansion of Billy Bishop Airport. He wonders, how do Rob and Doug feel about it? By golly, they both support it too.
2:39: Doug says 80 per cent of people support the airport expansion, which is untrue.
2:41: Tom has parking issues, and Doug thinks it’s crazy that the caller has to get permission from the City to install a parking pad. Of course, parking pads reduce on-street parking and increase pressure on the sewage system (because the pad doesn’t absorb storm water), but hey, we can just blame someone else for that later, right?
2:43: Laura from the Annex says she didn’t like Rob Ford at first, but now she really does. She feels the media beats up on him, that he was just enjoying a few beers among the people during last week’s Taste of the Danforth festival, and that he didn’t drink and drive. Laura’s take is very charitable: the incident was not an isolated one, and Rob has not explained where and when he had his “two beers,” at what point he got intoxicated, or why he missed the scheduled launch of the festival, only to be seen tipsy next to his car an hour later. If this hints at a mayor driving under the influence—a crime for which he has previously been convicted—then that’s a problem beyond “boys will be boys.”
2:46 An ad for Scientology comes on the air, providing a metaphor that’s way too easy.
2:47: Rob gives out bear hugs at the CNE, and Doug calls him the “bear mayor.” I believe Pride Toronto would disagree.
2:48: Rob says the City is spending less money this year than the year before, which is untrue.
2:49: Rob says the City has been strike-free for three years, which is untrue.
3:00: And God bless Ford Nation!
I feel like there was something missing from this show. Oh, right, the allegations that Rob’s close friends consume and deal drugs, drive him around on nights when he’s intoxicated, sought the infamous crack video, and have faced repeated accusations of assaulting women. Yeah, somehow that didn’t come through in the show. Afterwards, when members of the media had the chance to ask questions about the allegations, all the mayor offered was “no comment.”
One out of five cronuts.