Streetcar Named Rob Ford rides again .. “I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist” ????

May 24th, 2013 | By | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED MAY 25]. As this strange week in Canada’s most populous metropolis (also most domestically hated and now “internationally” laughed-at) draws to a close, Mayor Rob Ford has at last broken his silence about the “Allegedly Seen Smoking Crack” video of which he is said to be the Toronto star.

Following our earlier report in “Streetcar Named Rob Ford lives on .. remember when his worship said he “no longer uses marijuana” in 2010 ????,” here are a few  additional links that more or less summarize the current state of the Fordist art :

* “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denies crack cocaine allegations.”  This CBC News report includes a video of Ford’s brief remarks before the press at City Hall this afternoon.

* “Rob Ford video scandal: The mayor responds.” This Toronto Star post gives the full written text of the Mayor’s remarks. As best we can tell, the key part comes up front : “I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist.”

So, you might ask, just what does all this mean, at last? We certainly don’t know, but we think the following two additional links are intriguing :

* “Rob Ford crack scandal: Gawker’s ‘Crackstarter’ campaign hits snag as it nears $200,000 goal, editor says … John Cook, editor of US website Gawker, hasn’t been able to speak with his source since Sunday …” Various twitterings this afternoon have observed how quaint it seems that Mayor Ford has finally said “I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist,” just after reports that the source of the alleged video seems to have disappeared.  And this may or may not be especially intriguing in light of an article this past Tuesday by the Toronto Star’s Rosie DiManno:

* “To end Rob Ford crack scandal uncertainty, Star must buy the video: DiManno …  If a Ford ally buys the tape, the purported evidence of the mayor smoking crack will be lost forever.” Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …

Finally, we quickly add two final links that shed some light on our own carefully balanced opinions (well, sort-of balanced, of course) :

* “Rob Ford’s video scandal: ‘I do not use crack cocaine,’ mayor says … Mayor Rob Ford ends eight days of silence to address the cocaine video scandal.” This Toronto Star article includes an online poll, on the question : “Does Mayor Rob Ford’s statement put the issue behind him?” As of 5:45 PM ET this Friday afternoon, the rounded  results are 14% Yes and 86% No. This is of course a Toronto Star poll, and while this is Canada’s most widely read newspaper, Mayor Ford believes it has a vendetta against him.

* “Rob Ford and civic embarrassment: Salutin … Leaders don’t reflect on the citizens who voted them in or suffer under them.” Today’s Toronto Star also includes a piece by columnist Rick Salutin. And this includes a passage with which we particularly agree (and that, as it were, parallels one of our own conclusions in our earlier “Streetcar Named Rob Ford lives on” post). As Mr. Salutin nicely explains : “Here I come to urban guru and U of T prof Richard Florida, who I do find embarrassing in this context, but also instructive. He wrote this week in the Globe and Mail: ‘It is time to convene a blue-ribbon commission on Toronto’s future . . . the top leaders of all of our key institutions must step up — our banks and corporations, schools and universities, labour unions, the city, the province, and more’  …  Does he really not get it — that this is exactly the mentality that led to the Ford mayoralty, out of widespread popular disgust for an unelected elect who think they have the right to gather in blue ribbon bodies and decide on behalf of everyone else?” (Or, put another way, it may not quite be the time to write the altogether final epitaph for Mayor Rob Ford just yet — even if he is still not telling we the people of this increasingly interesting as well as laughed-at city the plain truth!)

UPDATE MAY 25: Not long after Rob Ford’s press conference yesterday Nicholas Köhler on the Maclean’s site wrote : “provided news organizations don’t over the coming days bring forward new evidence, the Fords may still beat all this.”  He couldn’t have known that today’s Globe and Mail would publish a long article examining “the Toronto Ford family’s decades-old connection to illicit drugs.”  This includes a claim that “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s brother Doug sold hashish for several years in the 1980s, in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke.”  Doug Ford has this afternoon denied the truth of (or at least hard evidence for?) the Globe‘s claims. See, eg: “Rob Ford video scandal: Ford family faces fresh drug-related allegations in published report … Doug Ford said there is no truth to new allegations the Ford family has a history with drugs and he was involved in selling hashish.” And some of us came into the office on a Saturday to hear Doug Ford’s interview on cp24. Can “the Fords … still beat all this”? Our current guess would be that the chances are now somewhat less than they were last night. But … stay tuned.

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