A Video Introduction to Toronto's Alleged Crack-Smoking Mayor

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 17 2013 12:49 PM

Oh, Face! A Video Introduction to Rob Ford, Toronto's Alleged Crack-Smoking Mayor

Ford.YouTube
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may be unknown to many Americans (before today, anyway), but his particular brand of politics and PR is well known north of the border and on YouTube.

Screenshot from YouTube video

As we told you this morning, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is having a rough day north of the border amid reports that he was caught on camera smoking crack that he bought from a group of Somali drug dealers. The mayor is denying the allegations, but both Gawker and the Toronto Star say their reporters got a firsthand look at the smartphone footage and have no doubt that the man in the video is the Canadian in question. The reports are serious enough that local police are keeping tabs on the whole affair.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Ford may be a relative unknown for most Americans, but his profile is quite a bit larger in the land of Tim Horton's, where he is the once-nearly-fired mayor of Canada's largest city, and on YouTube, where there are a whole slew of videos capturing him offering up racist remarks, clashing with reporters and legislators, and walking face-first into a camera. Here's a small but accurate sampling. Oh, face!

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I know I should save this one for last, but I don't have that type of self-control:

Here's Ford clashing with—and eventually chasing—a reporter who he says called him a "fat fuck":

Here's Ford giving his thoughts on bicyclists on Toronto's roads (spoiler: He's not a fan.):

And, finally, here he is addressing previous reports about his alleged substance abuse:

For a more detailed list of Ford's many missteps while in office—both as mayor and as a city councilman—check out the Globe and Mail's "Rob Ford and a decade of controversy," a running timeline they've been keeping since August 2010. (The paper's had plenty of chances to update it since.) Or for those who prefer things ranked by absurdity, read the Star's "42 remarkable moments from Toronto mayor’s career."

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This post has been updated to provide additional links.

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