Say what you will about Toronto mayor Rob Ford, the man knows how to get attention.
Fresh from a very prominent night out at Toronto's Taste of the Danforth street festival -- and still dogged by wild drug allegations -- the mayor of Canada's biggest city has now inspired a TV show.
According to the show's creator, Jordan Whelan, The Crowd Funder launches in Southern Ontario, Toronto and Western New York on the local Fox affiliate beginning on September 22 -- beaming out to some 3 million households. And that's just the start. Whelan, a TV producer and former Ford colleague, says the rest of Canada and the United States won't be far behind.
And it's all thanks to the high-flying mayor who is known to have a 'couple beers' and hit the town.
In a blog for The Huffington Post, Whelan said he got the idea after watching a so-called 'Crackstarter' campaign raise more than $200,000 to buy an alleged video purportedly showing Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.
"After watching Gawker's Indiegogo campaign successfully raise enough money to purchase what was thought to be a video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine I was in awe," he writes in his blog. "To think that thousands would fund the unproven with their sole reward being intrinsic, well, that set my gears grinding."
The mayor's own gears may be grinding for very different reasons this week, after what appeared to be a rough outing at Toronto's Taste of the Danforth -- where he was apparently pirouetting with camera-toting revelers.
The city's outgoing deputy mayor, Doug Holyday came to Ford's defence after several videos surfaced that appeared to show Ford in a somewhat inebriated state at the festival. The images, he told The Canadian Press, were "inconclusive."
Holyday also preached sobriety to the media, suggesting the mayor is subject to an unprecedented level of public scrutiny.
"This mayor has gone through such scrutiny that everything he does is scrutinized in a way that no other politician has ever had before that I know of."
It turns out, Holyday isn't Ford's sole defender.
A Burlington company is churning out t-shirts extolling the virtues of the mayor, dubbing him a 'regular guy' according to the Toronto Sun.
“It’s finally time for somebody to be on his side,” Peter Dougherty of DRT Products told the newspaper. “Everybody picks on him, it seems.”
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