Toronto Mayor Rob Ford does not want to call a holiday truce with Toronto media, despite the potential legal ramifications he could face after alluding to one reporter as a pedophile. In fact, he repeated those allegations on a U.S. sports radio program just this morning.
On Thursday, Ford appeared on The Sports Junkies, a Washington, D.C., radio show that has him on to make weekly NFL picks. The previous night, he held a Christmas party at his mother's house, to which he invited every councillor, their staff and family, and even members of the city hall press corps.
It was a begrudging invitation, but it was an invitation nonetheless.
According to the Toronto Sun, only three councillors turned out for the fest – Gary Crawford, Frank Di Giorgio and his brother Doug Ford – and members of the media who came agreed to stow their recording devices.
It seemed that, perhaps, Ford was angling for a Christmas truce with the media. The relationship hit a new low this week when Ford insinuated during an interview with Conrad Black that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale was a deviant and had been caught spying on his children. He later said he stood by "every word."
The allegation stems from an incident last year in which Ford confronted the reporter while Dale was reporting on a plot of public land near the mayor's home. In a recent column, Dale called Ford a liar, picked holes in his claims and said he was considering a lawsuit.
Perhaps Ford realized he had gone too far in his comments. Perhaps he wants to put the distraction behind him, but was too proud to apologize. Offering invitations to a Christmas party and a tour of his mother's home sure seems to be the action of a contrite man.
Alas, no. During his weekly appearance on The Sports Junkies on Thursday, Ford appears to have repeated his claims against Dale, restating his vile and knowingly-untruthful accusations. Indeed, he added a few new ones.
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According to the Star's Graham Slaughter, Ford repeated most of his previous lines, including a claim that Dale was standing on bricks and taking pictures into his back yard – which Dale soundly denies and Toronto police have also discounted.
Ford has previously said that a single neighbour alerted him to Dale's presence. This time, he said, "the whole street came out." He has also changed his story to claim that he actually caught Dale on the blocks. Previously he has said his neighbour told him he was there.
"The whole street came out, they couldn't believe it," Ford says. Claims he "caught a reporter looking over my fence taking pictures."
— Graham Slaughter (@grahamslaughter) December 12, 2013
Fact-checking isn't important for the Washington sports crowd. The show is called The Sports Junkies, after all. They have Ford on every Thursday for the publicity, not to set the record straight.
The show even celebrates the chaotic effect the appearances have up here in Canada. According to The Sports Junkies, a show producer recently appeared on TSN Radio (using a false name for some reason) and discussed the Ford appearances.
"What makes this just so great, and I know I’ve already mentioned it, but it bears repeating, is Rick Valdez isn’t even Rick Valdez (he’s Matt, the aloof, oft-befuddled mushmouth producer of the Junkies), and he’s being asked to give legitimate insight on something that affects the real-life problems in Canada," reads a post on the show's website. "HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?"
How is any of this possible? It’s Toronto, it’s the Fords. Just yesterday, Doug Ford fake-interviewed a Santa Claus statue and put his brother on the “nice” list.
Nothing makes sense anymore.