A half-century ago,
A great deal has changed since then. Now, in a time when
Monday night, “Ford Nation” premiered on the Sun News Network in Canada and it looked like the walls had disappeared completely. Toronto’s embattled mayor,
Ford’s antics — including admissions of crack smoking, purchase of illegal drugs and rounds of heavy drinking, as well as allegations that he sexually harassed female aides and cavorted with call girls — have made the obstreperous mayor a wonderful satirical target for
Those antics have also led to him being stripped of most of his powers by the Toronto City Council.
On his show, Ford told his side of the story, with help from two sympathetic sidekicks — his brother, City Councilor Doug Ford, and Sun News host Ezra Levant. Prone to let his temper get the best of him, Ford stayed cool on camera. He kept his tie in place, his voice even and his outbursts in check. He said he had given up alcohol and was on a diet. In other words, Ford was not especially entertaining.
Nevertheless, "Ford Nation" earned the struggling news network solid ratings. It was, in fact, the biggest show ever for Sun. Despite this success, though, "Ford Nation" has already been canceled.
Sun insists production costs are the reason for pulling the plug, not advertiser angst or any other outside pressure. Network vice president Kory Teneycke told
Though seriously short-lived, "Ford Nation" did something new. There is an ever-growing list of politicians who have taken up jobs in TV — from Eliot Spitzer on the left to Newt Gingrich on the right — but none have had their own show while still in office.
Ford has set a new precedent, so what’s next? How about “The Obama Hour” on