TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother say they will host an online show so they can take their message straight to “Ford Nation,” the term they use for the embattled mayor’s conservative suburban supporters.
Doug Ford, a city councilor, said Friday that the show is meant to “get their message out and not have that message be twisted by the media.”
After the mayor admitted to smoking crack in a “drunken stupor” and refused to resign, Toronto’s city council has stripped him of most of his powers. Ford said he has “declared war” on the council after it acted in response to his drug use, public drunkenness and a series of outbursts that have made him an international media sensation, to the embarrassment of many Canadians.
The new online show follows last week’s airing of a single episode of a TV talk show hosted by the Fords that premiered on Sun News Network before it was canceled. Network executives said “Ford Nation” was the highest-rated program ever on the 2-year-old cable channel, but said it was too costly to make.
The Fords co-hosted the hourlong show. The mayor used much of the pre-recorded program to defend himself and talk about his re-election bid next year.
Doug Ford said the new self-funded online series, also to be called “Ford Nation,” will be uploaded to YouTube before Christmas.
“Numerous people have approached us around the world about doing a show and since technology has changed, you can get your message out easily to a larger audience on your own,” he said. “The objective is to get a clear message out there. We’ll say a sentence and the media will clip four or five words out of it and it won’t be clear or balanced.”
He said his brother has given up drinking for good and is committed to leading a healthier lifestyle. “If Rob comes back a new man, 70-80 pounds (30-36 kilograms) lighter, he’s going to win the next election,” he said.