Over the past eighteen months I have written a couple of articles about Toronto Mayor (and News Talk 1010 radio host) Rob Ford. In the first one (Leave Mayor Ford Alone!) I came to his defense when people took a video of him leaving a fast food restaurant and made fun of him (he was trying to diet). The next one I wrote on June 3rd of this year expressing my opinion that it was time for him to either leave or be relieved of his duties as a member of the media – I did not feel that he had any business as a talk show host (You can read the article here).
For those of you who do not know the story: Earlier this year two media outlets – www.gawker.com and the Toronto Star – reported that they had both been offered a video of Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine, and making a bunch of stupid remarks. Unfortunately neither of these media outlets purchased the video so while there was a whole lot of speculation, there was never any proof.
Over the past few days (from what I have been able to glean from various reports on the Internet, as I am overseas) the following has been determined:
- Toronto Police are now in possession of a video that Chief Bill Blair confirms is exactly what Gawker and the Toronto Sun reported: Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine.
- Close associates of Mayor Ford have been arrested and charged with several Class A Felonies.
- Mayor Ford used his Sunday afternoon radio show to make a brief statement, saying that he is not perfect, and that he has made mistakes, but he cannot change the past.
Now here’s the problem that I have: Mayor Ford made several mistakes that caused the video to be made – and the mayor smoking crack is certainly in that category. I am ready to accept that he made some terrible mistakes, and could even forgive them. What happened after the video allegations were made are completely inexcusable, and are not mistakes: they are absolutely lies, and there are allegations that there is criminal activity in the attempt to cover up the video.
- He told reporters that he never smoked crack. lies.
- His brother, Councillor Doug Ford, acting in several situations as the Mayor’s unofficial spokesman, confirmed that Mayor Ford never smoked crack. lies.
- Mayor Ford, after several weeks, told the media that the ‘alleged video’ did not exist. lies.
- One of Mayor Ford’s close associates (who is currently under arrest) is alleged by Toronto Police Services to have acted in the interest of the Mayor to the end of ensuring that the video be completely destroyed. criminal.
While the list likely goes on, I don’t need to kick a man when he is down. The Mayor says in his apology that ‘…I love the work I do, and I am going to continue doing it. I want to keep working for the people of this city’ Well Mr. Mayor, from what I have read there may be no legal obligation for you to do so, but there is certainly an overwhelming moral obligation for you to resign as mayor.
He keeps talking about ‘the right thing to do.’ He asks Chief Bill Blair to release the video to the public, because it is the right thing to do, and that people deserver to see it…’ If that is the case Mr. Mayor, then why have you been lying about it for six months? That was the absolute wrong thing to do.
‘All I can do right now is apologize for my mistakes.’
No Mr. Mayor, you are wrong. You can resign. That is the right thing to do, You claim that you can and will learn from the past.
If the lesson you plan to learn is that it is a bad idea to hang out with drug dealers smoking crack, I am curious to know how you did not learn that lesson in high school. You and I are close to the same age, and Just Say No was as much a part of your upbringing as it was mine.
If the lesson you plan to learn is that it is wrong to lie to the media and to the citizens of the city that you represent, then that ship has sailed. Your credibility is shot, and anyone who believes you will change, or will continue to support you, must have head trauma. You have made Toronto the laughing stock of every major city in the world. Yes Mayor Ford, Tokyo is laughing at you.
If the lesson you plan to learn is to learn how to lie better, then when you have learned that lesson you can run for office again. I assure you that the voters are just stupid enough to consider voting for you again, be it municipal or provincial. Not me – you have lost any chance of my ever voting for you for anything as important as assistant head dog catcher – but others will still vote for you.
I do not have a vote in Toronto. I live in Oakville and have voted for Mayor Rob Burton and will do so again. However if he were to be embroiled in a scandal where he lied about something this important for six months until video proof was released, then no… he would lose my vote. Fortunately I know Mayor Burton, and expect there is less a chance of that happening that there would be of my getting elected to replace Mayor Ford.
By the way Mayor Ford, there is one more thing that you can do: In the last six months several of your staff have either resigned or been fired. You owe each one of them an apology, and not as a group – in front of the entire media pool that you continuously chase off your driveway you should name each one and give a detailed account of how you screwed them.
Goodbye Mayor Ford… You may not be stepping down, but until you do, I am tuning out. I will not listen to another word that you have to say, because I do not listen to lying, insulting, crack addicts. Step down, go to rehab, I’ll consider giving you another chance.
- Rob Ford apologizes – though does not say for what – and calls on police chief to release video (macleans.ca)