ONTD Political

Ford's outbursts tarnishing Toronto's image, experts warn in wake of latest feud

9:33 pm - 05/04/2012
Toronto's reputation is increasingly undermined by the antics of its bombastic mayor, some political observers and insiders warned a day after Rob Ford's latest clash with the media.

The embattled mayor faced off Wednesday evening with a reporter he accuses of spying on his home, the second time he has called police to intervene when members of the media have come calling at his west-end house.

The feud continued Thursday as the mayor pushed to have Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale charged by police and removed from covering city hall. Ford then told a radio station he wouldn't speak to any media in Dale's presence.

The incident reignited a heated debate over Ford's often tense dealings with the media, in particular the Star, and prompted some _ including at least one city councillor _ to question his judgment.

Counc. Shelley Carroll, who has frequently butted heads with the mayor, said his chronic "overreactions" are drawing jokes and eye rolls in political circles outside the city.

"It's the conversation opener" when meeting officials across Canada and even parts of the U.S., she said Thursday.

Wednesday's incident "takes us into the realm of _ one could almost say _ international embarrassment," she added.

Graham White, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said Ford's blunders have given the city "a really bad image" beyond simple ridicule.

Unlike former mayor Mel Lastman, whose many gaffes both irritated and charmed the public, Ford "is coming across as a thug," a far more alarming reputation, he said.

The mayor's threatened media blackout is "absolutely appalling," White said. That it came on World Press Freedom Day adds a note of irony to an otherwise troubling development, he added.

Social media was abuzz Thursday as the public weighed in on the controversy, with many mocking the mayor for losing his cool.

"For sheer entertainment value, this is a Golden Age in Toronto civic politics. But, My God, Rob Ford is a knob!" tweeted one Vancouver man.

Others rushed to the mayor's defence.

"Sorry, I'm with Mayor Ford on this one. The Toronto Star crossed the line completely," a Toronto man wrote on Twitter.

The controversy will only cement the public's perception of Ford, whether for or against him, said Melanee Thomas, a political expert with Queen's University.

"The people who are rolling their eyes... are probably people who may not have voted for him in the first place," she said.

Neither Ford nor his brother Counc. Doug Ford were immediately available for comment.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident, which began when a neighbour saw someone he said appeared to be in the mayor's backyard with a recording device.

The Star said Dale was on public property next to Ford's home and was there to research a story about a piece of land Ford wants to buy. The paper maintains Dale was not there to harass Ford.

A visibly angry Ford held a press conference outside his home on Wednesday night denouncing the reporter's actions, adding when he confronted Dale, the journalist dropped his phone and recorder before running away.

Dale said Ford yelled and charged at him with one fist up even though the reporter pleaded for him to stop.

Ford said Thursday morning he "never laid a hand on" Dale but stressed he doesn't want to see the reporter in any media scrums.

"I will not be talking to any reporters if he is part of that scrum," he told radio station AM640.

This isn't the first time Ford has been involved in a dust-up with a member of the media.

In October, Ford called 911 after Mary Walsh of the CBC's comedy series "22 Minutes" confronted him in his driveway dressed as her Marg Delahunty, Princess Warrior character.

Ford, who has had death threats, said he didn't know who Walsh was and feared for his safety.


kira_snugz 5th-May-2012 03:44 am (UTC)
THERE IS NOT ONE PERSON IN CANADA WHO SEES A WOMEN OF A 'CERTAIN AGE' IN A XENA COSTUME AND DOESN'T KNOW WHO SHE IS. rob ford is an obnoxious lying liar and spouse abuser who thinks that because people were stupid enough to vote him in it means he will have all the power for forever. he can't keep acting like the asshole he is with the way people are noticing. all the shit thats slipped out since he called the cops on mary walsh is piling up and he is going to fucking suffocate in it. you gotta love it when people show you they are only tolerating you for the moment, and then you piss them off by attacking something they love.

I can not wait until toronto fires his obnoxious ass.

he is a useless dickweed. and a bully.

i have rage issues towards him. just such rage. he pops up on the news here all the fucking time and i'm not even in ontario. the entire country loves to talk about what a horrible ass he is. hell i know more about what my neighbors think of him than they do of the mayor of our actual town. my next door neighbor freely admits she doesn't know the name of our mayor, but she can lay out the facts about rob ford like there is no tommorrow.
hauntes 5th-May-2012 03:54 am (UTC)
Exactly. All of Canada thinks he's a joke. Just like you said, I know more about him than my own Mayor.
luminescnece 5th-May-2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Welll... oh god... now that I think of it, isn't her character name Marg Delahunty? *googles* It is. I haven't watched 22 minutes since I was like... eleven years old.

There is merit behind your statement. ._.

romp 5th-May-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
that was therapeutic to read!
effervescent 5th-May-2012 04:15 am (UTC)
I'm in Vancouver and I hear about this idiot all the time. :| If he truly didn't know who Mary Walsh is then it just makes me think he's lacking in his knowledge of Canadian media - c'mon, *I* know who she is and that show started when I was 12.
(no subject) - Anonymous
romp 5th-May-2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
It's weird, isn't it? Like all these mean people with poor judgement surround us in secret...
runonmoonlight 5th-May-2012 06:59 am (UTC)

Here's the thing. The City of Toronto DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM. THE SUBURBS DID.

I want to start a movement to de-amalgamate the city. The suburbs are getting to dictate what the city gets right now. And I hate it. I hate it so much.

Also it's late, and I get too angry when I think about Ford. I need to go to bed.

Fuck Ford. I hate him, and he makes my city look terrible, and he doesn't even like the city.
iolarah 7th-May-2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
If you start that movement, I will support it or help co-chair that. It should never have happened. We were three-to-one against it, and Mike Harris pushed it through anyway. Asshole.
ladypolitik 5th-May-2012 12:49 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, I'm suddenly embarrassed at the realization that Canadians OUTSIDE Ontario, never mind Toronto, are aware of Ford.
seishin 7th-May-2012 04:41 am (UTC)
Seriously. :(

fuckfrosti 7th-May-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, fuck, totally. He's a Canadian sensation!
blondebeaker 5th-May-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ugh this is the guy who will not let shit go. The Star did a piece on him before the election iirc that cast him in a not so nice light and Ford has had a bug up his butt about it ever since. Same with the transit issue.

Don't get me started on the Pride snub. But then again Pride doesn't need him.
celtic_thistle 6th-May-2012 12:00 am (UTC)
This asswipe right here.
iolarah 7th-May-2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
I cannot stand Ford. He's a childish boor, and a terrible mayor. He's inaccessible to his constituents, he lies about his bad behaviour, and I don't believe that he gives a damn about making this city a better place.
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