More than one online commenter has asked whether Gawker will share revenue from pageviews with their donors if they are able to purchase the alleged Ford video. I'm more curious whether the donors will share the credit and the blame if crowdfunding checkbook journalism becomes the next big thing.
The public needs to be engaged in order to resolve the humungous problems facing the city, such as crappy public transit, insane traffic congestion, aging and inadequate infrastructure, and so on. Just as an alcoholic derails a family so that no member can function adequately even at work, so has Mayor Ford derailed us.F
Dear Mayor Ford: Like it or not, you have a drug problem. I'm not referring to your alleged issues with alcohol, or your DUI in Florida all those years ago. I'm not talking about the time you were arrested for possession of marijuana, or even the alleged video that's said to depict you smoking crack cocaine. I'm not talking about the claims that you were inebriated at a Garrison Ball, or your brother Doug's alleged running of a hash ring during the 1980s. Your drug problem is the fact that nobody believes you. What other mayor could ever be accused of smoking crack cocaine, and have their constituents pause, and say, Yeah, that makes a lot of sense?
The individuals who admit selling illegal narcotics to the Mayor of Toronto were repeatedly referred to as "Somali drug dealers." Senator Mike Duffy, (former) PMO Chief of Staff Nigel Wright, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford all boast heritage from the British Isles. How different would the national conversation be if the foursome had another ethnic lineage?
Toronto might not be rid of Rob Ford for some time -- that is, it somehow seems more likely now that he could be re-elected in October 2014. Judging by radio call-in shows over the last week and a bit, the mayor has his fair share of supporters out there -- still, amazingly, even after everything. Some of them are delusional for sure -- the popular argument from the pro-Ford ranks that what the mayor does on his own time, even if it's crack cocaine, shouldn't matter is completely, utterly, stupid -- but there are a lot of people who still buy into his just a regular guy fighting for regular people like me shtick.
A yet-unpublished video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford allegedly making inappropriate statements while ingesting crack-cocaine has (somewhat predictably) g...
The only commonality linking the scandals of Mike Duffy and Rob Ford is a shared theme of public accountability. The fact that both guys remain in office to this day (and could easily remain for years) exposes one of the worst structural deficiencies of the entire Canadian political system: it's way too hard to fire bad politicians.
This week, the embattled federal Conservatives received a gift from the Gods: enough Rob Ford drama to deflect attention from the senate scandal in Ottawa. First there was Ford's sudden ousting of Chief of Staff Mark Towhey. Then, there was Ford's public statement adamantly denying doing crack or being a crack addict ... in the present tense. But as taxpayers and citizens, we should be careful that we don't become so distracted by the local guy squirting mustard on our shirts that we fail to notice the gentlemen from Ottawa carefully picking our back pockets while we fuss.
What we have here is a refusal to communicate. We have a prime minister who refuses to explain why three of his Conservative senators have been forced to resign from his party. When it comes to codes of silence, His Worship the oafish mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has learned a lot from the nation's chief magistrate.
Mayor Rob Ford's stubborn refusal to address substantively the allegations of drug use, and the reputational contagion and distraction it has caused, needs to be addressed in short order. In a corporate setting, a Chief Executive engaging in similar patterns of behavior would not be tolerated by any board of directors. The CEO would have been fired long ago.
Let's forget whether or not the truth matters at this point in the Saga of Rob Ford. In my opinion it doesn't. But there are 6,000 people who have given their money to the Crackstarter campaign who believe it does. Well, they're not likely to get it. You can't possibly be surprised that this gang member is proving hard to reach.
Rob Ford has chosen to imitate an ostrich when it comes to questions regarding "the video." He has buried his head in the sand. It's a lousy strategy, highlighting only his ability to run away from trouble. It's not leadership - it's panic. And it's especially sad when he had so many options open to him. Instead, he ran away and hid like a scared, petulant child. And it's this complete and total lack of leadership that has doomed him. At this point, it doesn't matter whether the video is real or not - the electorate has seen their Mayor as someone who clearly cannot handle dealing with a rough situation when the chips are down.
I don't know for sure if Rob Ford's alleged use of coke/crack/alcohol/weed is the reason he's been such a terrible mayor. If so, then I would certainly encourage him to step down and seek treatment. However, if his incompetence as mayor exists independently of his alleged substance use, then the substance use pretty much a non-issue for me.
Tweets are brief. I get that. But Robyn Doolittle's response to my earlier blog post is telling. She failed to address the widespread concerns about her reportage, and opted instead for a straw man strategy starring yours truly. It's a familiar defense aimed at ending debate. Call someone a sexist, a racist, a homophobe. I've heard them all. But I've never used them.
Either way, with all of his other scandals in mind, if this video proves to be true, Ford must leave office. But the fact that he should leave office as a man in need of help, and not a morally bankrupt criminal (at least for potentially using crack), remains. Unfortunately, the lingering effects of the Drug War likely will remain as well.
Living in Vancouver, I'm no Rob Ford fan. I'm not even sure what that is. Media outlets across Canada and around the world reported on what the Star published while their reporter Robyn Doolittle has gone Hollywood. Drug dealers, no video proof, there's nothing right about this whole thing. Folks, prepare yourself for the new normal.