Mayor calls media 'bunch of maggots' amid allegations
Chris Kitching, CP24.com
Published Sunday, May 26, 2013 7:42AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 26, 2013 3:43PM EDT
Two days after he broke his silence about the drug allegations against him, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was forced to address the accusations head-on when he co-hosted his radio show Sunday afternoon.
As Ford and his brother Doug took calls from listeners, a woman named Pam asked the mayor to address published reports that he was seen smoking from a glass pipe in a video recorded by a cellphone camera.
“Number one, there’s no video, so that’s all I can say,” Rob Ford told Pam as he and his brother co-hosted “The City” on Newstalk 1010. “I can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist.”
Pam also asked the mayor about a photo, showing him with two young black men, that has been circulated with the reports.
“I take pictures with everybody. Everywhere I go, as of last night, I take pictures with everyone,” the mayor responded.
In his brother's defence, Doug Ford said anyone who questions why the mayor is in a photo with two black men is racist.
“Rob has taken thousands of pictures with young black men with their hats on, with their funny little signs and everything else,” Doug Ford, a city councillor, said. “But, I think it’s disgusting that you would even come up with a comment, ‘Why is he taking pictures (with) two young black youth.”
Rob Ford said it is impossible for him to do a background check before posing for a photo with someone.
“Unfortunately, we have some racists there, and that’s one of them," Rob Ford said of the caller. "That’s very sad that she’s a racist.”
'Bunch of maggots'
Early in the show, the Fords ripped into the media for their handling of the allegations, referring to journalists as "nasty" and "maggots," and vowed not to back down.
In their first show since the allegations surfaced, the Fords spent much of the opening segment defending themselves and accusing the media of spreading false accusations with biased and unfair coverage.
“Obviously, I want to address these false accusations or allegations, whatever you want to call it, against me and against you,” Rob Ford said to his brother as he opened the show. “This is all ridiculous. No matter what you say … you’re never going to make (the media) happy."
After Doug Ford named some of the Toronto journalists he enjoys, he suggested most are unprofessional.
“There's a lot of nasty. I think it's eighty per cent, eighty per cent of them are nasty son-of-a-guns,” Doug Ford said.
“A bunch of maggots,” Rob Ford responded. "Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have said that, but, anyways. I've addressed these allegations and it's unfortunate that you get put in this situation, but we're moving forward."
After the mayor strayed from the topic and expressed his desire to seek re-election in 2014, Doug Ford accused the media of attacking the brothers’ credibility and their family’s character, and vowed that he will not back down.
“The point is, they want to come after us, I’m coming after them," Doug Ford said. "This is new politics, by the way, folks, in Toronto, and it was driven by some journalism - journalism, in my opinion, has sunk to an all-time low."
Because of a family commitment, Rob Ford departed the two-hour show an hour early, leaving his brother to co-host the second half on his own.
Mayor thanks former chief of staff
Before he signed off, Rob Ford publicly thanked ex-chief of staff Mark Towhey, who was fired last week, for his service in the mayor's office, but he declined to disclose the reason or reasons for the firing.
Rob Ford also touched on his dismissal as the volunteer head coach of Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School’s football team.
The mayor said he learned of the dismissal from the media and he hasn’t received a call informing him he is no longer the team’s coach.
As he addressed the matter, the mayor dismissed a claim that after he was let go he wanted to retrieve football equipment he had donated to the high school.
Ford said the he doesn’t want the equipment and the high school can keep it.
He didn’t rule out a return to coaching, but said he is focused on living up to his campaign promises before the next municipal vote.
After staying silent for days, the mayor spoke to the media for the first time Friday to deny drug use allegations that were made by the U.S. gossip website Gawker and the Toronto Star on May 16.
During Friday's address at city hall, Rob Ford said he did not respond sooner because he was following legal advice to remain quiet.
“There has been a serious accusation made by the Toronto Star that I use crack cocaine. I do not use crack cocaine. I am not an addict of crack cocaine,” Rob Ford said as he read from a written statement. “As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I've never seen or does not exist.”
The alleged video has not surfaced, and its authenticity has not been substantiated. The person or people who are in possession of the video are reportedly seeking a six-figure payment for it.
Newspaper report 'completely' false, Doug Ford says
During Sunday's radio show, Doug Ford, who has repeatedly defended his brother amid the allegations, defended himself again after a Globe and Mail report accused him of being a hash dealer in the 1980’s.
Doug Ford said the Globe and Mail report is "completely" false and an example of "gotcha" journalism, and he suggested the media is targeting the brothers because "they can't come after us on our record."
In its report, the Globe and Mail said it found nothing on the public record that shows Doug Ford was ever criminally charged for illegal drug possession or trafficking.
In Saturday's newspaper, Globe and Mail editor-in-chief John Stackhouse said the story was executed “with utmost caution, journalistic rigour and legal scrutiny.”
Stackhouse said the newspaper approached Rob and Doug Ford several times for comment, but they declined.
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