Rob Ford Scandal: Toronto Mayor Embraces U.S. Cable Media as City Strips More Powers
The embattled politician makes a beeline to primetime TV, including appearances on Fox News and CNN, as his city hall career disintegrates.
TORONTO -- Rob Ford just won't go away.
His ritual humiliation continued Monday with the Toronto City Council peeling away virtually all of his mayoral powers. Ford has become an international sensation due to a media circus largely of his own making.
Ford's beeline to primetime TV continues with the launch of his own show, Ford Nation, on Sun News Network at 8 p.m. Monday, at the same hour he is to appear on Anderson Cooper's show AC360 on CNN.
Ford's political career may be in shambles after admissions of crack cocaine use and "drunken stupors," but he hasn't chosen to keep a low profile and stop answering media questions. The Toronto mayor instead made appearances this weekend on U.S. cable shows, including Fox News.
"I'm going to continue to fight for the little guy. I'm going to continue to save taxpayers money. And if the councilors want to strip all my powers, that's up to them," Ford told Fox News' John Roberts, who got his start on TV in Toronto.
Ford also told Fox News he intends to be the Canadian prime minister one day. His supporters call him defiant, his critics delusional.
Ford was also the subject of a vicious opening skit on NBC's Saturday Night Live.
And Toronto councilor Sarah Thomson, who earlier alleged that Ford was high on cocaine when he groped her at a public event, tweeted Sunday that "CNN is flying me to New York tomorrow for an interview with Piers Morgan Live."
That gathering international media attention follows Ford being regularly lampooned on U.S. late-night TV shows, with Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Jay Leno no longer having to explain who the Toronto mayor is and why he's the butt of their jokes.
He's become his own 24/7 reality TV show.
Even as his Crackergate scandal daily mutates, Ford continued to hog the media spotlight on the weekend, bear-hugging fans and posing for photos as he attended a Toronto Argonauts game. That was after the Canadian Football League commissioner asked the mayor to stay away after Ford previously wore an Argonauts jersey and talked crudely about oral sex on live TV.
That also comes on the heels of a Toronto court this past week releasing more documents from a police investigation into Ford that had former key aides alleging heavy drinking and consorting with escorts at city hall. None of that police evidence has been presented or proven in court.
And Ford, meanwhile, has pledged to run for re-election as Toronto mayor next year.