Rob and Doug Ford release a new batch of YouTube videos
When their Sun News Network show was cancelled after just one episode, Rob and Doug Ford vowed to bring their brother act to “the YouTube,” as Doug calls it. The Fords evidently see this experiment in online broadcasting as a way of performing an end run around an increasingly unfriendly press corps, but the results so far haven’t been particularly impressive. The videos are amateurishly produced, and the most successful of last week’s initial batch of four short clips attracted just shy of 35,000 viewers, which is good by non-cute-cat-video standards, but not stellar. Plus, the series has already raised suspicions of improper campaign spending, giving mayoral candidate David Soknacki a perfect angle of attack.
Today, the Fords released a second batch of video clips. Here are the highlights.
1. Rob Ford names his most and least favourite councillors
For a normal mayor, publicly announcing a list of enemies would be political suicide, but Rob Ford must intuit that he has nothing left to lose on the loyalty front. In one of today’s clips, the mayor names the five councillors he still considers to be allies (Frank DiGiorgio, Frances Nunziata, Vincent Crisanti, Anthony Perruzza and, naturally, Doug Ford), and then rattles off a list of colleagues he’d most like to see defeated in the 2014 municipal election. Here, for the sake of convenience, is the full list. The Fords say they would be delighted to help you run against any of the following:
1. Gord Perks
2. Janet Davis
3. Adam Vaughan
4. Joe Mihevc
5. Sarah Doucette
6. Shelley Carroll
7. Glenn De Baeremaeker
8. Mike Layton
9. Kristyn Wong-Tam
10. Paul Ainslie
The mayor also mentioned that the following councillors are “vulnerable,” though he stopped just short of explicitly calling for their defeat:
1. Josh Matlow
2. Mary-Margaret McMahon
3. Chin Lee
4. Raymond Cho
5. Paula Fletcher
6. John Fillion
7. Maria Augimeri
8. Gloria Lindsay Luby
So that’s 18 sitting councillors out of 44, and Ford is banking on many of them losing their seats to total unknowns. He’s going to be disappointed.
2. The Fords complain about free zoo passes
In classic Rob Ford style, the brothers spend three solid minutes enumerating all the different perks available to city councillors: free Metropasses, free Toronto Zoo passes, free parking, and so on. It’s an attempt to stoke resentment against municipal politicians, the implication being that Rob is the only one who can be trusted to punish them for their excesses. And it’s true: antagonizing city councillors is arguably what he was elected to do, and it’s the thing he’s been most successful at.
3. “I am not a homophobe.”
In another video clip, the Fords take a viewer’s question about the mayor’s attempt, two weeks ago, to get a pride flag removed from Nathan Phillips Square. The flag had been raised in solidarity with Russian gays, whose plight at the hands of their government has gained prominence because of the Sochi Games. “This is about the Olympics. This is about supporting our athletes. This is not about your sexual preference,” Ford says. “I am not homophobic.” None of which explains why he decided to pick a fight with a piece of fabric. Later, Doug tries to cast the mayor as the victim. “Don’t try to put a gun to anybody’s head who disagrees with you,” Doug says.