Rob Ford, the crack-smoking Mayor of Toronto, is still smoking hot. No, he has not been caught on video smoking drugs again – been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. This time the colorful politician is planning on smoking the competition with a re-launched version of his online talk show Ford Nation, even as new information related to his alleged activities is being released.
Another member of the Ford family who works in politics, Councilman Doug Ford, brother to the embattled Mayor of Toronto, delivered the news about the pending YouTube show. Doug Ford has steadfastly supported his brother throughout his crack-smoking controversy; Rob Ford has publicly admitted to smoking crack cocaine, “probably in a drunken stupor,” but he denies being an addict or habitual abuser of the drug.
Speaking to Canadian radio station CFRB 1010, where he once hosted a radio show called “The City with Mayor Rob Ford” with his brother, Councilman Ford said that Rob was preparing new media ventures. Rob Ford was stripped of many of his mayoral authority by the city council of Toronto earlier this month.
A Canadian Superior Court has recently ordered the release of previously redacted documents relating to a police investigation of the alleged activities of Mayor Rob Ford and his associate and sometimes driver Alexander Lisi.
In a decision handed down Wednesday afternoon, Canadian Justice Ian Nordheimer ordered police documents related to the investigation be released in full. The first version of the documents, released on October 31st, contained several censored sections.
“We are dealing with the actions of the duly elected Mayor of the country’s largest city and the extensive investigation undertaken by the police into those actions,” Justice Nordheimer expressed in his written decision. The information, which includes wire taps, surveillance footage and interviews, may set off a new round of criticisms and calls for Rob Ford to step down.
The CFRB radio program hosted by the Ford brothers was cancelled when news broke about Rob Ford smoking crack. Rob Ford and his brother subsequently hosted a television show called Ford Nation on the Sun network. The program was in a talk-show format, and was cancelled after a single episode was aired.
Councilman Ford claims that the brothers have been contacted by a variety of media kingmakers, from Oprah Winfrey to Dr. Phil, regarding a possible reality TV show. The online program currently in the works will be self-produced by the Ford Brothers and focus on everything from local Toronto issues to world current events, hoping to capitalize on Rob being recently catapulted into the international media spotlight for admissions of drug use and heavy drinking, as well as the various episodes of bizarre behavior captured on camera.
Deputy Mayor of Toronto Norm Kelly told Canadian website The Star.com that the upcoming show would be like Canada’s version of Keeping up with Kardashians, one of several reality shows detailing the lives of the American celebutante sisters.
Doug Ford does not find that to be an apt comparison. “We’ve done a lot more than the Kardashians,” he told the Star in a telephone interview. “I’m sure they’re [the Kardashians] are good people – but I don’t agree with that comment from Norm.”
Rob Ford is still eligible for re-election to the post of Mayor next year, and there are indications that he plans to run. The YouTube show might provide the ideal platform for him to re-brand himself, as Canadian electoral law might allow him to report the cost of producing the show as a campaign expense.
by Mark Clarke