There seem to be two schools of thought among those who don't believe that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was, as has been alleged, filmed smoking crack cocaine. One school insists that, as Mr. Ford has said, "there is no video." The other school, which, according to a Forum Research poll, includes nearly 50 per cent of those living in the inner suburbs, believes that any such recording is a fake.
For the story to be a complete fabrication, three journalists from two separate news sources, The Toronto Star and Gawker.com, would have had to be deliberately telling the same potentially career-ending lie, one involving a fictional tape being held by real Toronto drug dealers.
Theirs would have had to be a groundless accusation that nonetheless appeared to throw the mayor's office into disarray, resulting so far in the departure of five staffers. The unlikelihood of that scenario suggests to me that either Mr. Ford was recorded using what is alleged to be narcotics or there is a tape – the Hitler Diaries of crack tapes – in which some phony imitation of Mr. Ford is using narcotics while calling Justin Trudeau a "faggot."
Doug Ford, the mayor's older brother and a city councillor, often says it's "the social elites" that will do anything to take the mayor down.
If he's correct in his insinuation that they're behind this alleged tape, I'm left wondering what the hell is wrong with the social elites in this country.
What would make this left-wing Latte Illuminati think that the most effective way to destroy a politician would be to forge a film of him smoking crack (a drug synonymous with sad dependency, not indulgence) and then leave it in the hands of some particularly capricious drug dealers? In Canada? A country where film distribution is often the bulk of the problem?
Is this some piece of Chomsky I missed?
Surely, if someone were going to go to all the trouble and likely enormous expense of creating plausible footage of Mr. Ford doing something they hoped would cost him support, they could have done better than this.
If this video is a fake, and the conspiracy theorists are right, then it explains almost every left-wing protest I've attended – the ones with lots of people but no good chants, where half the attendees think that the crowd should march to another location and the rest are still trying to get their candles lit.
Who sat at a top-secret production meeting and argued that having Fake Ford slur Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau would lose him a decisive number of votes from his staunchly conservative base? Justin Trudeau, really? I'd have gone with Geddy Lee. Who is writing the scripts for these social elites?
If this is a liberal plot, the left may have handed the Ford brothers a gift. The Fords need to be embattled to be politically alive. Their political personae are built on their outsider status. While I'm not suggesting they're John Ralston Saul and the man from Dos Equis in their off-hours, when cornered they go more and more everyman-for-the-little-man. It's their shtick.
Mr. Ford routinely speaks for the people he says he encounters at Tim Hortons who, it seems, universally support him. He does so almost as though he doesn't understand that people who buy coffee at Tim Hortons also get to vote. When criticized, Mr. Ford references these people as though they have the moral weight (and the mental capacity) of small children – and as if almost everyone doesn't go to Tim Hortons.
There he is, Saint Rob of the Doughnut Shop. Dunking with the downtrodden. You'd think he bought coffee at a leper colony.
I remember, when I was about 5, overhearing a normally taciturn friend of my dad, the first in his family to go through school, saying he would never let his children watch The Flintstones.
"It's a parody of the working class," he said. "It's an insult to them, written by men with no real insight and sold back to the people they're mocking." That's how I sometimes feel when I listen to the Fords.
The Fords are from a wealthy family. Their father was a member of provincial parliament. They were born into privilege, with access to power. It pains me to say this, but not as much as it might pain him to hear it: Rob Ford is Etobicoke's Justin Trudeau.