It's over. On the heels of a 400 page document outlining an extensive police investigation and surveillance against individuals surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Police Chief Bill Blair dropped a bombshell on Halloween. That alleged video that Gawker and the Toronto Star claimed to have seen, the one of Rob Ford smoking crack, it exists after all. It exists, and is in police possession, the nail in the coffin of an extortion case against Ford's driver and alleged personal drug dealer, Alessandro Lisi.
The meteoric run of unbelievable episodes in the career of Rob Ford is now in its endgame and the most tragic part is that the man was given endless opportunities to take accountability, own the narrative, and for lack of a better phrase, man-up.
People are breathtakingly forgiving when you show yourself to have been vulnerable or admit making a terrible error in judgement. Even your harshest critics will give some pause to an attitude projecting personal ownership and resolve to make it right.
Doug Ford watches Bill Blair's revelation,
and with it the end of his brother's career.
Rob Ford refused to do this at every opportunity he was given. Instead, in the wake of the crack allegations and escalating police investigation up to Chief Blair's revelation, Rob Ford doubled down, denied, lied, or hid behind his family and friends. Even his brother, the irascible Doug Ford came out swinging when accused of having been himself a pot dealer back in the day. Though he too denied, he at least tried to paint himself as no more than a guy who "smoked a joint at a party once as a kid, who hasn't?" But from Rob, nothing but silence or at most a flat out refusal to even acknowledge the story.
Loyal to the end, the fans and supporters of Rob Ford, affectionately named "Ford Nation," took to comment forums on Toronto's Fox News equivalent, the Toronto Sun. What followed throughout the day was a breathtaking display of denial:
Conspiracy theories aside, the bulk of his supporters remained disturbingly complacent...
And most bizarre, accusations of a vast, left-wing conspiracy undertaken by...Chief of Police Bill Blair?
Six months ago, when the original story broke that there was an alleged video of the mayor not only smoking crack, but making racial and homophobic slurs, Ford stood in front of reporters and told the world he couldn't comment on a video that didn't exist and, of course that he was not an addict of crack cocaine. One of those statements is now without any doubt a lie. The man may have serious health problems for which no one would crucify him, but he has lied to us all, and is not fit to lead a city.
As night falls on the city of Toronto and trick or treaters fan out to collect their goodies, so comes to an end the most surreal Halloween in the city's history. Toronto is again splashed across the front page of major newspapers in the United States and overseas, and the mayor's usually bellicose brother is silent as the grave. And for the first time in as long as anyone can remember, the four major Toronto newspapers from left, centrist, and right are unanimous in their op-ed: Rob Ford, you must resign.