Crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is back in the news, as usual, for all the wrong reasons. On Monday someone shot a surreptitious video of Ford, appearing drunk of out his mind at a suburban Toronto diner, spewing obscenities in a pseudo-Jamaican accent.
Everything about this embarrassing mayor is pseudo. Or just plain psycho.
He should be in rehab. Instead, there he was, rocking on his feet, using Jamaican slang that many members of Toronto's sizable Jamaican community found deeply offensive.
(The offending word is "bumbaclot.")
Reporters showed the video to the mayor's big brother, Doug Ford, a Toronto city councilman. Doug Ford denied it was current: "You know something? Rob's a lot heavier in that picture than he is now. Obviously, that's him, but it didn't happen last night."
As reporters pushed, Doug Ford became exasperated: "I'll repeat what he said 10 million times. Since the beginning of November, he hasn't taken a drink."
That's probably true. Mayor Ford hasn't taken a drink. He's apparently not capable of stopping at one.
On Tuesday, the Toronto Star reported, the mayor admitted he'd been drinking:
"A little bit, yeah," he told reporters. He had pledged numerous times he does not drink anymore, after revelations in 2013 of his crack use while in office. When asked if his Jamaican accent was offensive, he said no. "I met some friends. If I speak that way, that's how I speak with some of my friends and no, i don't think it's discriminative at all," he said. "It's my own time."
We're all familiar with the concept of the enabler who helps celebrity down the addiction path to disaster. The Ford brothers take this sick dynamic to new heights.
"Don't you think he needs help, Doug?" asked a reporter who showed the most recent video to the mayor's brother.
"Help for what?" Ford replied. "The only person who needs help is you."
Any addict can relapse. That's to be expected.
But Rob Ford has drained the city of any goodwill. He is a liar and an embarrassment to the city. He has turned Toronto City Council meetings into hysterical group therapy sessions that devolve into verbal abuse and physical confrontation, the governmental equivalent of "Fight Club." Except it's real.
On Monday, thousands of his staffers' emails from last year were released to reporters. Unsurprisingly, they depicted an administration in chaos as Ford operatives tried in vain to control the crack video story, which broke in May when Gawker posted a story headlined "For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack Cocaine." It would take the mayor six months to fess up.
In many of the emails, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, staffers anxiously tried to locate the mayor, who was AWOL.
In an email dated June 10, the mayor's director of operations and logistics, David Price, wrote:
"Hoping we're out of crisis mode now. No nasty bozos with broadcast cameras camped out in our lobby scaring away our disabled and senior constituents wanting to visit us TODAY!"
Speaking of bozos, Ford announced three weeks ago that he would seek reelection in the fall. Calling himself the best mayor the city has ever had, he said, "My record speaks for itself."