Thursday, October 31, 2013

Well, Ford Nation, how to explain away this one?

The Toronto Star and Gawker were right. The video does exist. The police have it and it will be used as evidence in an extortion trial against Alexander Lisi, a friend of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said the following today at a press conference:

"The video files depict images that are consistent with what has previously been reported" in the media, which described the mayor of Canada’s largest city obviously impaired in the video, puffing on what appears to be a crack pipe while uttering racist and homophobic slurs.

The Star earlier reported that Lisi, who also faces drug charges, was involved in attempts to recover the video.

Ford has been the target of a police investigation that witnessed and photographed him taking part in meetings with Lisi, according to police documents released Thursday.

Blair told reporters they recovered two videos from a computer hard drive that are relevant to their investigation. At least one will eventually be presented in court. The Star has been told by sources that the 90-second video its reporters saw was an edited version of the original.

"It's safe to say the mayor does appear in the video," Blair told reporters today.

His reaction? "As a citizen of the city, I am disappointed."

Over at the Toronto Star, which has been attacked by Ford Nation fanatics and various Ford apologists for months, there's vindication.

"Of course, we are extremely happy. Journalism has been on trial for the past six months," said Robyn Doolittle today, one of the two Star reporters who saw the video earlier this year and reported on it in May.

This article by Royson James sums up my feelings perfectly.

To all those Ford Nation fanatics who stood by their mayor despite all of the mounting evidence of his complete unsuitability for higher office, you deserve a big fat slap. You really do! At best, you deserve a time out (perhaps that should include staying away from the polls during the next municipal election) in which you can think carefully about your own judgment and what led you to perceive this abomination of a politician as suitable for the mayor's chair.

I suggest all of Ford Nation have a look at these pictures that were released to the public today. Now Magazine has posted all of them on their website for public consumption.

I truly hope the actual video becomes public soon. It will during the upcoming trial of Lisi for sure.

I predicted a train wreck in 2010 after Ford won his election. And indeed, that train wreck has arrived and will be pulling into the station for quite some time.

This Star editorial is bang on.

"Let’s review: Ford stands revealed as someone who has chronically, repeatedly and relentlessly misled the public about his conduct. Troubling surveillance evidence points to possible criminal behaviour. And one of his associates, being investigated for work done on behalf of the mayor, stands charged with extortion. Under these circumstances, having Ford at the helm badly undermines Toronto’s reputation. If Ford possesses even a scintilla of respect and concern for the city he is supposed to lead, he will step down as mayor."

Rob Ford should step down immediately.

No comments: