More Rob Ford Please

I have to confess that I am loving the story of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. It’s tough to top a mayor who smokes crack on video camera, claims he didn’t do it, then says he did — but only when he was in a drunken stupor. And then, when asked if he has a substance abuse problem, says “absolutely not.”

He’s also been accused of a number of other things, including sexual harassment. And he gave my favorite answer ever to the allegation that he had told a female staffer that he wanted to “eat her pussy.”

“I’ve never said that in my life to her. I would never do that. I’m happily married. I’ve got more than enough to eat at home. Thank you very much.”

He said that. On camera. I want video cameras on this guy 24 hours a day, not to catch him in more wrongdoing but just to see what he says next. And his brother too, for saying things like this:

It’s understandable many on council want their pound of flesh, want the circus to end or at least get some face time of their own under the big top.

“It was kind of like what they did to Jesus,” Doug Ford said of what he describes as a modern-day crucifixion.

Oh yes, it’s exactly what they did to Jesus. Someone on Twitter said he’d go one better: “It’s what HITLER did to Jesus.” All of this is endlessly entertaining. More please.

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  • “And then, when asked if he has a substance abuse problem, says “absolutely not.””

    I see a substance, I abuse it, no problem.

  • Actually, a Canadiladian who stopped to visit a few months back was talking about the Robster. She said that the video was out there and that it then disappeared. It’s apparent it didn’t disappear enough.

  • Rip Steakface

    “I used to do drugs… I still do drugs, but I used to, too.”

  • dysomniak, darwinian socialist

    I don’t see what the big deal is, plenty of people like to smoke when they’re drunk.

  • Alverant

    Please don’t tell people to steal from Han Solo, OK?

    **joke explained**

    steal = rob

    Han Solo = Harrison FORD

  • ragingapathy

    It gets better: He says he would like to run for PM:

    If you’ve been following this since the springtime, there’s a long backstory of he and his brothers and henchmen in their younger days, and there is also a large document dump from Canadian courts detailing all sorts of stuff.

  • eric

    More please.

    John Stewart has used him in at least two shows. I expect SNL will do a Palinesque bit of him, too – get one of their actors to play him and not change his words at all, just speak them straight.

  • Synfandel

    From the comments section of one of the many CBC News articles on Mayor Ford in the last week:

    “I voted for this guy, but I was in one of my drunken stupors.”

  • demonhauntedworld

    Columnist/commentator Andrew Coyne has a great piece on Rob Ford, which contains this gem:

    It is the same condescending populism, the same aggressively dumb, harshly divisive message that has become the playbook for the right generally in this country, in all its contempt for learning, its disdain for facts, its disrespect of convention and debasing of standards.

  • rabbitscribe

    “All of this is endlessly entertaining. More please.”

    So you’re on board with my proposition to amend the Constitution such that Presidential elections would be held semiannually and the voting age lowered to twelve?

  • magistramarla
  • omcdurham

    Hell, Marion Berry was caught smoking crack in a hotel with hookers, and he got re-elected. I see no issue here…move along, get off the corner, everybody. Nothing to see here!

    Ford’s antics were written for Chris Farley to spoof…too late!

  • Loqi

    If our representatives in the States just got piss drunk, smoked crack, and made lewd comments on camera, I’d consider it an improvement.

  • vmanis1

    OK, I have to say it. I think Rob Ford has passed beyond comedy into tragedy. He’s so clearly out of control that eventually he will come to a bad end, unless he smartens up. It’s not just the dope and the booze, or the consorting with odd people, or saying tasteless things about his wife. It’s also the fact that he’s surrounded by enablers, who encourage his bizarre behavior for their own reasons. Whether it’s his mother saying that all he needs is to lose some weight, or Sun-TV (Canada’s low-budget, low-talent version of Fox News) giving him a TV show (premieres tonight!), there are those who encourage him in his behavior, rather than the reverse.

    I stopped laughing at Mr Ford last week, when he said that he has no need to hire prostitutes to eat p***y, er, perform cunnilingus on, because he had enough p***y to eat at home. A man who would say that under these circumstances is simply a lost cause. Mr Ford’s behavior reminds me of the old poem about the man who drank far too much and passed out in a gutter. A pig came and lay next to him. Two ladies saw that, and one remarked to the other `You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses’. Then the pig got up and walked away.

    A very sad case.

  • howardhershey

    Well, it is perfectly obvious that he has had more than enough to eat somewhere. So at least that part of his statement is true.

  • colnago80

    Re omcdurham @ 312

    Marion Berry also said while he was being arrested that, “bitch set me up”.

  • According to the Doonesbury site on Slate, he dropped this gem about himself: “A positive role model for kids who are down and out.”


    Well as terrible as it is, I think him steamrolling a council member counts, right?

  • As a Torontonian, I’m begging: Please stop calling for encores. Let the man slip off stage and get some actual help.

  • baryogenesis

    He recently referred to himself as a “gym rat, not a drug addict.”

  • Acitta

    One of Rob Ford’s fishing buddies is the Prime Minister of Canada.

  • He’s the Mayor of Toronto. Toronto is, I’m told, the center of culture in Canada. Draw your own conclusions on how this reflects on the rest of the country.*


    * Take that, Hull!

  • Hello????


    The place that gave us Trailer Park Boys (

  • My question when this all began (as a Canadian, though not from Rob Ford’s town) was simply, is he a good mayor? Lots of people abuse lots of substances in public office, and that should ultimately be the question. The answer I got from people was that he was a bully and a jerk, but I can’t say if that’s so or not.

    What I have seen is very much a concerted effort to humilate him and remove him. Is it wrong? I have no idea. But sneaky cell phone videos of him in his house raging out against someone, saying he’d kill them have resulted in people being stunned at what the man is really like. Sorry, but when we get angry, we often say things we don’t mean in the comfort of our own homes.

    His reaction, though, is pathetic. There’s this breaking news of him accidentally running into someone while running past her (in council chambers) to get in the face of someone calling him names.

    Sometimes we wind up screwing up. Sometimes we wind up getting demonized for it. I’m pretty sure this is not how we rise above adversity, or how we be the bigger man. And for that, I’m thinking Ford’s a joke.

  • Trebuchet

    He should just let the council have their pound kilogram of flesh. It’s not like he doesn’t have a few to spare.

  • My question when this all began (as a Canadian, though not from Rob Ford’s town) was simply, is he a good mayor?

    I don’t think it’s possible to be a good mayor and pull all the shit he’s pulled. His behavior speaks of corruption. And drug abuse is more than a personal character flaw when you’re the mayor. Among other things, it’s apparently gotten him mixed in with some serious criminal elements.

    It’s also easy see why the bullying and other obnoxious behavior are incompatible with good governance. You need some modicum of people skills for that job.

  • jba55

    “I don’t think it’s possible to be a good mayor and pull all the shit he’s pulled.”

    Buddy Cianci was an amazing mayor, although to be fair he didn’t say things like this. He just did coke with hookers and ran the government like a mafia Don. But while he was in charge Providence was the best it’s ever been! The economy boomed and the streets were safe since all the criminals had jobs in government.

  • vmanis1

    Disclaimer: I live in Vancouver, so my perceptions of Ford are filtered through the media. That said, there are several dimensions one can consider Ford’s mayoral performance on.

    1. Politics: he preaches an aggressive tax-cutting, `little-man’ kind of politics, in which the goals are to keep taxes low, while still maintaining (or extending) city services. This is often stated as `saving the city money’, though sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. For example, Ford has pushed an extremely expensive subway extension, even against his own council, as opposed to a surface LRT system that would be much cheaper. (I don’t know which of these would actually serve the area better, I’m just saying he’s gone for an extremely expensive alternative). A plurality of Toronto voters went for Ford’s politics, and AFAIK, he’s complied with the platform he campaigned on.

    2. Effectiveness: as a councillor, the knock against him was that he was substantially uninterested in much of the business that came before council. He rarely bothered to initiate measures, and didn’t form coalitions so much as identify loyalists. While there were doubts about his effectiveness prior to these scandals, of course his effectiveness has suffered substantially since.

    3. Interaction with the public: according to two Toronto-area journalists I heard on CBC last week, he always said that his priority was responding to the needs of taxpayers. He’d rather go out and meet taxpayers than stay in his office and read briefing documents. (On the center-left, Cory Booker has the same philosophy.) This has resulted in substantial popularity, even now. According to today’s Globe&Mail, he was cheered at yesterday’s Toronto-Hamilton football game. We may laugh and sneer at him, but he still commands a sizable, if shrinking, base.

    According to the two journalists I mentioned, most of council was hostile to him right from the election on. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the few councillors who took him under his wing when Ford was first elected to council was Jack Layton, who was on Toronto council before being elected to Parliament and subsequently being elected as leader of the New Democratic Party. Jack (who died a couple of years ago) was a man of legendary empathy. Although I can’t imagine that his and Ford’s poiitics overlapped much, he did seem to have an impact on Ford, who was even asked to speak at Jack’s funeral. I can’t help but think that, had Jack lived, he might have been able to help Rob Ford in this crisis.

    If things were unfolding rationally, Ford would resign in favor of someone who shared his politics (the voters would get their say on those politics at the next election), and would concentrate on rebuilding his life. It’s a shame he doesn’t understand this.

  • gerryl

    He didn’t just say the crack incident was during a drunken stupor. He said it was “during ONE of my drunken stupors.”

  • carlie

    The NPR show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me tweeted: “At this point, we may as well just introduce a segment called, “Who’s Carl This Time? That’s Right, He’s Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Again.”

  • …get one of their actors to play him and not change his words at all, just speak them straight.

    Or maybe have William Shatner sing them?

    Politics: he preaches an aggressive tax-cutting, `little-man’ kind of politics, in which the goals are to keep taxes low, while still maintaining (or extending) city services.

    In other words, a US Republican avoiding tough choices and pretending we can have everything we want for free. And he became an out-of-control drug-addict who refuses to take responsibility or even admit there’s a problem. Coincidence? I think not.

  • I don’t think it’s possible to be a good mayor and pull all the shit he’s pulled.

    It’s possible to do SOME such shit and still be a good mayor or other executive — maybe some weed after hours and some well-managed hooker(s) or mistress(es). But the extent of Ford’s indiscretions shows severe lack of self-discipline, and that’s bound to degrade the performance of even the sharpest politician. And crack and a chief executive’s schedule really don’t mix.

    Hell, Marion Berry was caught smoking crack in a hotel with hookers, and he got re-elected.

    Not really. For starters, he only had ONE woman with him (and I’m not sure she was a hooker); and he didn’t get reelected mayor that year — he lost that election (the same year he was caught, IIRC), and later got elected to a city-council seat, which he still holds.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    More Rob Ford please?

    Be careful what you wish for, you may get it!

    Problem with political jokes is they tend to get elected. (We here in Oz should know – we now have Clive Palmer MP and, far worse, Tony Abbott PM.)

  • caseloweraz

    Both Andrew Coyne and Christie Blatchford shed some light on this complex situation. Blatchford implies that the Toronto police may have gone soft on their mayor, and Coyne refers to (but does not name) city council members who are quite happy to have Mayor Ford remain in office.

    Personally I think his behavior alone has doomed him to be laughed out of any political office he holds or tries to win. And then there are the admitted crimes, and the probable involvement in others.

    However, I can think of exceptions here in the good old USA. For example, Mark Sanford. When governor of South Carolina, he went missing for a week; no one could contact him. On his return, faced with the likelihood that the press would break the story, he admitted he was having an affair. He refused to resign until privately threatened with impeachment two months later. He now holds a seat in the US House of Representatives.

  • brizian

    Torontonian here; Rob Ford plays the suburbs against the downtown core. Essentially, anyone who disagrees with him is a downtown leftist socialist hippie latte-sipping liberal bike-riding commie (his words). Since the right-leaning suburban wards outnumber the left-leaning core, they can vote in whatever candidate they want without winning a single seat in Toronto Proper.

    To give you an idea of the kind of mayor person Rob Ford is, here’s how he reacts to a bill that would require a homeless shelter in every ward:

    Here he is during a transit planning debate:

    Here he is during the mayoral debates before he was elected:

    Here he is commenting on improving cycling infrastructure to help prevent the deaths of more cyclists:

    He is routinely unable to answer simple questions about Toronto’s infrastructure, he plays divisive politics, arrives at work late and leaves early. He is a born millionaire who claims to be a working-class average joe. Does that sound like a good mayor?

  • caseloweraz: comparing Ford to Sanford is ridiculous: fir starters, Sanford didn’t have a serious drug habit, and he had a steady mistress, not a string of hookers, bimbos or possibly-coerced subordinates. (And that, strangely, is something even the comedians acknowledge to his credit: it was an actual caring relationship, not just a purely-physical fling.)