The notorious Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appeared on national television Monday night to promote his city. He entered the set with gusto and seemingly left with his tail between his legs. Ford caught verbal haymakers left and right as Kimmel grilled him on his ABC late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Kimmel was shocked by the fact that Ford accepted his invite as a guest on the show. The host sensationalizes celebrity ignorance and civilian innocence and Kimmel was packing a loaded clip with the amount of Ford ammo that has been circulating international media.
Kimmel asked the Mayor, “Why are you here? What good could come of this? Have you ever seen the show?”
The relay of opening questions suggested a comedic bloodbath, not talking about Ford’s vibrantly red tie even though the clothing item did not stand much defense, was certainly ensuing. Kimmel separated Ford’s time into three segments with each segment becoming more cringe worthy and sweatier than the previous.
Ford portrays himself as the representation of Toronto taxpayers. On the late-night show he provided examples of the “billion dollars savings” he has brought his constituents through public work programs that have resulted in “$800 million efficiencies” and removing “a terrible car tax” that cost taxpayers $240 million.
Toronto citizens have counter arguments to Ford’s saving of taxpayer dollars. Huffington Post Canada contributor Sonia Hong claims that Ford’s billion dollar figures do not add up. According to Hong the Mayor is abusing Toronto’s government surplus and running the city into debt. Hong refers to an imprudent bike line project that realized costs of $86,000 for installation in 2010 followed by removal costs of $200,000 – $300,000 in 2012. She totals Toronto’s long-term deficit at an increased $800 million since Ford succeeded David Miller’s administration.
The counter points by Ford and Hong clearly present a separation in city government approval. A resolved answer of the debate will occur on October 27, 2014 when the Mayoral election concludes.
As Jimmy Kimmel’s show continued he uncomfortably switched directions from Toronto politics to intensified verbal haymakers degrading Ford’s viral on camera moments. The video evidence and constituent commentary presented by Kimmel is why Ford was on Jimmy Kimmel Live instead of the Rachel Maddow Show. The hardest part to watch during the interview was the video evidence. Kimmel led Ford to a projection screen where he played almost all of Ford’s embarrassing footage. Visuals were shown of Ford threatening a person on the phone, railroading a woman in a government building, and displaying his athletic balance.
Ford’s brother, Councilor Doug Ford, said the Mayor felt “set up” after, but Rob Ford was quick to release the negative sentiment telling the Toronto Sun, “There were some tough questions, but it was fun. I had a blast.”
The intent of the Ford brothers south of the border visit was to promote Toronto. They expressed disappointment when their city was not pumped more on Kimmel Live. However, Toronto commentators and officials were relieved that city publicity was limited. Councilor Shelly Carroll showed no sympathy for Kimmel’s berating on Ford, and Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly believes that Ford has gotten too involved with his role as a celebrity.
Ford caught verbal haymakers his entire time on Jimmy Kimmel Live. October 27 will dictate whether or not his additional publicity was the correct political decision.
Opinion by Niles Olson