Robyn Doolittle, author of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, went on The Daily Show last night to dish on everyone’s favorite Canadian mayor. A reporter for the Toronto Star since January 2010, Doolittle has been covering the city for the entirety of Ford’s tenure and has the details on exactly what it’s like to live in a city run by a crack-smoking mayor.
Right off the bat, she could tell that Ford wasn’t going to be your average mayor. “The first few years Rob Ford was mayor, he was never the typical mold of a politician,” she told Stewart. So what was Ford like?
This is Doolittle’s description of the early Ford years:
“He was always very colorful, and he didn’t make a lot of friends, and he was aggressive … it wasn’t until about a year after [he took office] that I started hearing about domestic incidents at the mayor’s home, and then there were rumors of drugs, and then he stopped coming into city hall every day, and his staff didn’t know where he was some times.”
So Ford’s erratic behavior (he declared yesterday Bob Marley Day in Toronto) isn’t exactly a new development. Which prompts Stewart to ask the one question everyone who is even remotely familiar with Ford’s exploits has been dying to ask: “How does he get away with this … What keeps him in charge?”
The explanation, according to Doolittle, stems from two things. First, Canadian access to information laws tend to be more restrictive than American laws, which makes reporting on the mayor difficult. But perhaps more interesting is the fact that Ford’s family “fancies themselves a political dynasty.” There's Ford’s personal political past, too. Doolittle says that when Ford was a City Councilor, he “returned every phone call that people made to him,” even showing up in person to deal with things like burst pipes on streets, which built him a very loyal following. OK, fair enough. He’s handy. But as Stewart says, “Let him be your country’s super."
In the end, Stewart has the most succinct description of Rob Ford that I’ve heard: “The man is an entire season of a Cops episode.” And now, he’s a book, too.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.