So it goes without saying that Rob Ford has been kicked off Eva-world. It shames me to think I was once a card-carrying member of Ford Nation, even though I've never been eligible to vote for the guy. Even after his mayoralty sprouted its own sideshow, I blogged: "I like Rob Ford and I can't say why".
I can say why now, now that the like has curdled. I liked Rob Ford not just because he imposed some much needed fiscal sanity on his city, and not just because he seemed exactly like the sort of brook-no-bullshit type I wish I was myself. (One of my life's great balancing acts: knowing when to call bullshit and when to keep my mouth shut. Sadly, I usually find myself doing the latter, out of what I think is self-preservation. But bullshit is corrosive. It burns internally).
I also liked Rob Ford because the media hated him from day one. The Toronto Star, a paper so politically correct it squeaks, has used words describing Ford that it won't even use to describe Stephen Harper; the normally staid Globe and Mail published an article that mentioned Ford's weight seventeen times. You know me: start harping on somebody's physical appearance, particularly their weight, and I'm going to leap to their defence.
But Ford sure hasn't done me any favours over the years. While there are politicians everywhere who let their private lives tun into a circus act which eventually overwhelms their political lives, I can't say I've ever run across one quite so brazen as this man is. It can't be a coincidence that Brazen 2 is the name of the police investigation that targeted, among many others, Ford's friend and sometime driver Sandro Lisi, and by extension Ford himself. Personally, I would have named the investigation Project Edsel. That might have provoked an even more apoplectic fit from Ford's lawyer.
It seems everyone everywhere now knows that the police have in their possession a video which purports to show His Worship smoking crack cocaine. In the absence of any other evidence, unfortunately that video doesn't prove anything, not to a legal standard, at any rate. Even if the video clearly shows Ford smoking a crack pipe, you can only infer it's crack he's smoking, not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
I don't want to sound in any way shape or form like I'm defending Ford. I find it well-nigh incredible how many people still do that. And by gar, they do. With a will.. When the story first broke in May, quite a large number of people scoffed at the existence of the video--just like Ford did himself, actually. It never crossed my mind that the video might not be real...the story was first broken by Gawker.com, an American website the majority of whose readers (justifiably) don't care about Toronto or its mayor one iota. It just didn't seem plausible that they, of all people, would make this up. And now that the police have announced they have the video -- well, it's obviously a fake. And never you mind that faking such a video is impossible. These Ford supporters are not the sort to let facts like that intrude on their delusions of persecution.
And even if it is true that Ford smoked crack...so what? It's only a highly illegal hallucinogenic drug. It's not as if he's ever done anything, you know, wrong....he has? Whatever. He's kept taxes low and that's why we voted for h--
He's raised taxes?
...Well, not as much as that libtard leftist pinko commie egghead David Miller did, sonny boy. Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it.
I swear, if we ever find out that Rob Ford murdered somebody, there will be people right there saying he obviously needed killing.
And Ford himself has vowed he's staying on. He's admitted to "mistakes", and even detailed two of them--two separate public events where he was intoxicated, or "hammered", "a little out of control", in his phrasing. The words "crack" or "cocaine" did not leave the mayor's lips; he did, however, urge the police chief to release the video so the people of Toronto can "judge for themselves".
Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Ford. Brass balls you have, I'll give you that, but you really don't want this video circulating any more than it already has.
Here's the thing I don't get, though. I really wish somebody could explain it to me. Why is there a video at all? So the Mayor allegedly decided to smoke some crack. Why let himself be recorded? For posterity? I mean, what the hell? I'm sorry, the question has to be asked. IS HE ON CRACK?
It's naive enough to think you can delete a video like that simply by deleting it.. Actually taking it in the first place is...there aren't words for how stupid that is.
It goes way beyond Ford: it's astonishingly common these days. Bounce around YouTube for any length of time and sooner or later you will see somebody doing something illegal. Often they don't even bother to hide their faces. Or the felon commits a crime, seems to get away with it, and then brags about it on Facebook. There are dumb criminals, I get that, but the level of stupidity you have to have to pull something like that is off the charts. I can't help but wonder what kind of reaction the killer has when the cops turn up. "You saw that on Facebook? I didn't send that to no cops!"
This is a strange new world we find ourselves in, folks. Where a man with Rob Ford's admitted 'mistakes' and a whole lot of unadmitted crap under investigation can still garner such support; where even crimes just gotta be shared. At some point this stuff goes beyond entertaining into sad and scary. I think that point is right about...now.