Toronto mayor's video rant makes international headlines
Published Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:24AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:38AM EST
Rob Ford's admission he was drinking, after new video of him rambling and swearing surfaced online, has the Toronto mayor once again making headlines around the world.
The video, which has been viewed more than 410,000 times since it was posted on YouTube Tuesday, shows Ford ranting in a fast-food restaurant.
It's difficult to discern exactly what Ford is saying in the video, but he makes reference to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, and being "chased around."
When he was asked about the authenticity of the video, the mayor told reporters that it was taken Monday night, after he'd been drinking.
"I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life with my personal friends … it has nothing to do with you guys," he said as he left his office.
"I'd met some friends. If I speak that way, that's how I speak with my friends."
On CNN's website Wednesday morning, Ford is described as "infamous for admitting he smoked crack and drank too much" in a succinct story that says the mayor's caught-on-camera rant, "the latest embarrassment for Ford," featured "babbling about the city's police chief."
Across the pond, The Daily Mail's illustrated account of the video describes Ford as ranting, "incoherently in what appears to be an imitation of a Jamaican dialect while throwing a series of random shapes with his arms."
The Daily Mail's coverage makes note of Doug Ford's defence of his brother, and also recounts the mayor's recent "campaign visit" to the downtown Muzik nightclub during which, it says, he set "social media abuzz".
The story made headlines Down Under too, where The Sydney Morning Herald reported Ford has admitted drinking again, after the video surfaced of him, "ranting about police surveillance in a mock Jamaican accent".
The mayor's colourful language also attracted the attention of the website Hip-Hop Wired, where an article rounding up memes appearing in the wake of the YouTube video opens with the line, "Rob Ford never ceases to amaze us."
Closer to home
In Toronto, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly told reporters he was more surprised than amazed.
"I guess like everyone else, I was surprised, and not surprised," Kelly said Tuesday. "It's one of those situations you wish hadn't occurred, but it has, and it seems to fit a pattern, regrettably, for the mayor, for his office and for this city."
When she was asked to comment, Ont. Premier Kathleen Wynne said she was in meetings and had not seen the video.
"I'm working with city council, with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. City council is functional, and that was my concern, so we'll continue to work with them," she said.
Last week, Wynne had faced questions over her consulting with Kelly, rather than Ford, on the issue of storm-recovery funding for the city.
Former prime minister Jean Chretien, who was in Toronto for his 80th birthday celebration, was asked about Ford on Tuesday night too.
"I never have a problem like that, so it's not my problem," he said, before adding: "He's not seeking my advice."
The mayor has been answering questions about his personal conduct since May 2013, with the first media reports about a video that appears to show him smoking crack cocaine.
The video has not been made public, but Chief Blair said police recovered it as part of an ongoing guns and gangs investigation.
Ford repeatedly denied smoking crack until he surprised reporters with an admission he used the drug, "probably in one of my drunken stupors."
Soon after, Ford said he would quit drinking alcohol and promised to stay sober.
Ford has not been charged with any crimes and he has brushed off calls for his resignation.
However, council has stripped him of most of his mayoral duties, transferring much of the executive power to Deputy Mayor Kelly.