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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: My Press Team Quit, But Everything's Perfectly All Right Now. We're All Fine Here Now, Thank You.

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You might recallthat story from last week about allegations that a drug dealer was shopping around a cellphone video showing Rob Ford, the "colorful" (that's Journolese for "asshole") mayor of Toronto, Canadialand, smoking crack. Gawker's John Cook, one of the three writers who have seen the video, started a "Crackstarter"* campaign to raise the $200,000 the crack guy wanted for the video...but crack guy seem to have kind of disappeared. So has Mayor Ford escaped from the Death Star trash compactor? Maybe not -- last week, he fired his chief of staff, he's still up to his knees in sludge, and now Ford's press team has headed for the escape pods. Oh, and just like everybody in Anakin Skywalker's family ended up part of a shadowy implausible plot, it looks like the whole freaking Ford family is involved with drugs and crimey-wimey stuff. We're pretty sure the whole mess is almost ready to make the jump to Ludicrous Speed.


First, the Inside Canadian Baseball (Basebaulle?) stuff: Last week, Ford gave his chief of staff, Mark Towhey, the heave-ho for as-yet unxplained reasons. Towhey got the full Walk O' Shame treatment:

"I am no longer the chief of staff. I did not resign," Mark Towhey told reporters in the afternoon as he was escorted out of city hall by security guards wearing bullet-proof vests.

Then on Tuesday, Ford's press secretary, George Christopoulos, and his deputy Isaac Ransom resigned "on principle," according to a "source close to the mayor’s office." (We just love terms of journamalistic art like that, don't you?) Despite the nearby waters filling with desperately swimming rodents, Ford insisted that as long as he knows how to love he knows he'll be all right: “We are just soldiering on.”

And then there's the family. Seriously, kids, there is far too much horrible behavior -- er, behaviour -- to get at in a brief Wonket. It would be like trying to summarize Proust in 30 seconds. The Globe And Mail's story on the Wild And Wonderful Fords Of East Ontario is an epic of sleaze and self-righteous denials, and would make a hella good cable series, maybe. But it's just too much. You have the former (allegedly) hash-dealing brother, Doug, who is now on the Toronto City Council and one of his brother's most vocal supporters. You have brother Randy, who was charged with assault and "forcible confinement" -- that would be kidnapping -- in a drug case years ago, and now tries not to be photographed.

Ford's sister Kathy is also a piece of work; she's "been linked to a number of bizarre, violent and sensational incidents," like palling around with white supremacists, having a drug-dealer boyfriend, Scott MacIntyre, who (allegedly) "threaten[ed] to murder the mayor," and a whole series of maybe-unwise relationship choices. Like how in 2005 McIntyre and another guy were "accused of shooting her in the face during an altercation in her parents’ basement," after which McIntyre drove off in Ford's mother's Jaguar (charges were eventually dropped, although his pal pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession). Oh, and then there was the earlier boyfriend/ex-husband incident:

Seven years earlier, Ms. Ford’s lover was fatally shot by her ex-husband, a drug addict named Ennio Stirpe. At his trial, Mr. Stirpe testified that his victim, Michael Kiklas, was a martial artist, which forced him to bring along the shotgun as “an equalizer.”

And of course, attorneys for everyone in the Ford family say this is all just nonsense and smears, blahblahblah.

Still, way to go, Canada! In America, these characters would be living in Mississippi and mailing homemade ricin to the president. In Toronto, they're the Mayor's kinfolk. Netflix Original Programming, are you paying attention?

*We kind of feel bad that this pun is so perfect, because the campaign actually ran on Indiegogo. Which is a different thing from Kickstarter. Our Nitpicking Sensibilities are offended.

[Globe and Mail / Globe and Mail again/ CBC / Slate]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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