Mayor Rob Ford attacks Newstalk 1010 during his Newstalk 1010 show
The brothers’ latest broadside against perceived media failings follows a two-week period in which the mayor was taken off message by stories on his use of city resources for his football teams and his personal request for city repair work outside his family company’s building.
Rob Ford regularly denounces the Toronto Star. Doug Ford has lambasted the Star, the Globe and Mail and the CBC. But neither of them had publicly scolded a talk radio station that is generally sympathetic to them.
Early in the Sunday show, Rob Ford claimed again that last week’s official trip to Chicago won’t cost taxpayers “a dime” — even though taxpayers are picking up the tab for at least some of the eight councillors who attended. Newstalk ran a mid-show update that pointed out his claim was false.
Soon after, Doug Ford said unnamed members of the media are “like a bunch of little sucky little kids” who “whine and cry and moan” when the Fords stand up to them and who “sensationalize and lie through their teeth.”
Rob Ford then added: “They’re pathological liars, that’s what drives me nuts. Let me tell you: we talk about an hour on Chicago, and now these guys come out and put advertising on about expenses,” he said, referring to the Newstalk news update as advertising.
“They don’t even know what the expenses are, because the councillors said this, this is all gonna balance out at the end, and I know, I’m gonna stick to what I said: it’s not costing taxpayers a dime.”
Talk radio is Rob Ford’s preferred media venue, and he regularly calls in to Newstalk. The brothers thanked and praised the station in an attempt to make amends before the show ended.
“If they’re comin’ after me, I’m comin’ after them. I don’t care who they are. So you better make sure your chin strap is done up pretty tight,” Rob Ford said with a hint of a chuckle.
The mayor followed the “pathological liars” accusation with incorrect statements of his own.
When he took office, he claimed, the city was “gonna be bankrupt within a year.” The city had the same excellent credit rating under David Miller as it does now, and there has never been even a remote risk of bankruptcy.
Ford also claimed that he dominates the football pool he participates in with left-leaning council colleagues. In fact, he regularly loses.
Ford has refused to offer a justification for his use of his office staff and a city car for his high school and summer football teams. He said Sunday, without explaining what he was referring to, that he “paid for that car” by reimbursing the city $1,000 last year.
At the time of his $1,078.92 reimbursement payment, however, the bill for the car was $1,972.95. And the city council code of conduct flatly prohibits the use of city resources for personal activities. There is no allowance for reimbursements.
Ford said he doesn’t think TTC fares should be increased for next year. In late 2011, the TTC board, which was then dominated by Ford allies, approved in principle a 10-cent hike in each of 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Ford touted the Chicago trip as a major success that will “create thousands of jobs.” Ignoring the swirling controversies, he said last week was “the best week, probably, in my 12 years in politics.”
Doug Ford spoke proudly of his frequent media criticism. “Think of this, folks, think of this: we’re the only two elected officials — think what I’m saying here — we’re the only two elected officials, Rob, in recent memory — federally, provincially, or municipally — number one, has put a halt on the gravy train, but number two, talks back to the media,” he said.
Rob Ford said, “We’ve done more in this administration than any other administration ever has, and the media just — I don’t know what, I don’t know what they want. I guess they want bankruptcy. I guess they want a ghost town. I don’t know.”
Doug Ford claimed that members of Chicago’s media had approached him during the trip to say, “What is wrong with your media? They’re embarrassing your city.”
Chicago outlets largely ignored the trip. NBC Chicago published a blog posting that called the mayor “obnoxious” and mocked his weight.