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We Watched Rob Ford's YouTube Show So You Don't Have To

We Watched Rob Ford's YouTube Show So You Don't Have To
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After having their radio and TV shows cancelled, Rob Ford and his brother (city councillor Doug) started their own YouTube program. It's the one-sided sounding board they've been craving to address (often defensively and without much substance) the endless stream of criticism against them.

The show, which debuted last week, has created trouble already. After an internal email about the program labeled it as from the "Office of the Mayor," the city's integrity commissioner cried foul, telling the brothers that office email and social media can't be used in promotion, according to the National Post.

In the first episode, the mayor "came clean" about his substance abuse, saying that he doesn't actually have a substance abuse problem. On why he didn't tell the truth about his previous drug use? He was "embarrassed" and besides, "everybody lies." The show ended with hot sports takes.

For this week's episode, put online Tuesday morning, the duo listed off their enemies at City Hall and offered to help anyone running against "vulnerable" councillors they dislike. Then, in a segment called "Let Them Eat Cake", Rob criticized the many councillor perks he finds offensive to taxpayers, before finally addressing growing accusations of homophobia.

A gay pride flag, waving in front of City Hall as a protest against the Russian government's anti-"Gay propaganda" laws drew the mayor's ire earlier this month. He demanded it be taken down; he also taped a Canadian flag to his office window and told reporters "let Russia do what they want." The pride flag will continue to wave in front of City Hall during the Winter Olympics despite Rob's complaints. He had previously been criticized for not attending last year's Pride parade in Toronto.

A voter emailed the show (you can too at "fordnation24@gmail.com") asking for a response to Ford's seemingly anti-gay stance. The mayor replied that "this is about the Olympics, this is about supporting our athletes. This is not about sexual preference."

His brother was especially defensive, saying in response "when you have an issue and you call the mayor's office, he doesn't ask if you're gay." 

Rob then asked hypothetically, "do you know how many gay friends that we have?" before claiming their detractors make him feel like he's "been bullied into something." Doug, who said he went to a Pride parade once with his kids and won't do so again, added that he thinks the parade is "good for tourism."

The episode concluded with a segment called "Football!"

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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