Early last week, the near-dead Rob Ford media circus produced a bit of press interesting enough to keep everyone’s attention. No, I’m not talking about the mayor of Toronto being ticketed for jaywalking in British Columbia. Yes, I’m obviously talking about his YouTube-aired confession of the use of drugs.
In the third of five newly uploaded instalments of Ford Nation, Rob himself answered a question posed by his brother Doug (but submitted by a Thai-resident named Sandra): “why did you lie about your substance abuse problem when you were initially asked?” In response, Ford admitted that he had experimented with drugs, insisted that he did not have a substance abuse problem, and —true to his “everyman” political persona — said that he lied because, “I think everybody in the world has lied: I was embarrassed.”
His brother Doug backed him up by vaguely implying that every politician out there has something to be ashamed of – which may or may not be worse than smoking crack.
This entire situation seems predictable, and almost entirely calculated. The debut of Ford Nation on YouTube, (after its cancellation on the radio and TV) just as Ford enters the year of (possible) reelection; the fact that the question was submitted by someone who wasn’t presented as a Canadian or Toronto-resident; not to mention that the contact, should you have any questions for Ford yourself, is firstname.lastname@example.org – directly tied to the his new campaign to keep his seat in Toronto.
This entire initiative was just a part of the Fords’ plan to keep Rob as the mayor of Toronto. It should be noted, that this has worked in the past. Despite not having to deal with drug-use allegations, the brothers Ford have seen many smaller dilemmas through to the end, most of them concerning social justice.
The point of all this is that it shouldn’t be news worthy. Since word leaked about the video of Ford smoking crack, there hasn’t been any doubt in anyone’s mind about it, so why would it matter that he’s admitting to it now, when it’s politically advisable for him to do so?
Just as its been from the beginning, the truly important thing to understand about this is what it says about voters: they will put up with just about anything if they don’t have to pay more in taxes. This will really be put to the test come October; will the damage control put forth by the Ford administration (and get ready for it, there will be plenty) be enough to get Ford another term? It may not be as unlikely as we’d all like to think.
Also, I’d like to add that regardless of whether it was Rob Ford or not, it’s absolutely ludicrous that someone was given a ticket for jaywalking. The sad fact is, it’s very likely that the police officer only gave the ticket because it actually was Ford. The “crime” is so incredibly insignificant of an offence it’s laughable and the cop in question should be embarrassed to have actually ticketed him for it.
Note: It was commented that this is Ford’s first term as Mayor, the article has been updated the reflect the correction.