TORONTO — Mayor Rob Ford has only one entity to blame for his very public relapse: the Toronto City Council, which stripped him of most of his staff, budget, and powers last November.
“The devil finds work for idle hands. Leave him alone,” warned Diane Ford, the mayor’s mother, “and Robert will try anything—anything—to regain the attention he so craves.”
She explained that her son was an “unremitting camera hog,” hamming it up for guffaws whenever someone pointed a lens or microphone his way.
Many of Ford’s recent antics have been memorialized in recordings of him smoking crack cocaine and making lewd comments, the latest of which were shot by a self-proclaimed drug dealer and, two days later, a bar patron who watched as the mayor knocked back shooters and tequila.
The Canadian press responsible for publishing clips of these videos, including The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Sun, organized an intervention after concluding that both Ford and public interest in his “stupors” was bottoming out.
“It was a fun ride while it lasted,” said Jeffery Taylor, The Toronto Sun’s managing editor. “But the shock value of a ‘man bites dog’ headline begins to wane if the same man bites the same dog every week.”
Representatives from the press accepted responsibility for enabling the mayor’s addiction but vowed that such behavior would have to end, even if it meant imposing a media blackout.
Ford, 44, tearfully admitted that he already has had “more than [his] fair share of blackouts,” and decided to “take a leave” from his reelection campaign and residual ceremonial duties, which the deputy mayor will now assume.
Gawker, which has also profited from video posts of the mayor smoking crack, donated a portion of their advertising revenue to support the creation of the Robert Ford Clinic for Media and Crack Addiction.
Ford’s older brother, a city councilor and his sibling’s campaign manager, told his colleagues on the City Council that they had the ability to facilitate the mayor’s sobriety. “Return his mayoral powers, keep him busy working for the good people of Toronto. Just please, don’t send my jobless brother back home to live with us.”