Today is the first day of Rob Ford's "firewalled" mayorship of Toronto, after the City Council stripped him of most of his powers in a vote on Monday afternoon. Ford, who maintains that his drunken binges, crack use, and alleged cornucopia of other instances of misconduct can be swept away with an apology, wants to use his new celebrity status to explain his side of the story. Especially to Americans.
And what is his side, you ask? Ford argues that the effort to remove him from office after his admission to drug use is really about his record as mayor. "I went down to city hall, I cleaned it up. These people just aren't happy, these councilors want me out. The media wants me out," Ford told CNN's Bill Weir at the start of an American media tour this week. The Anderson Cooper 360 interview continues with Ford trying to explain why he first denied, and then admitted to, smoking crack:
WEIR (on camera): But can't you see why some would question your judgment?
R. FORD: So what? So lie about it? Just hide?
WEIR: No, no --
R. FORD: I'll say --
WEIR: You said you didn't do it in the first place. That shows --
R. FORD: No, no, I didn't say that. No, I didn't say that. You're wrong. You're absolutely wrong what they said. They said, do you smoke crack and are you a crack addict? No, I don't smoke crack and I'm not a crack addict, have I? Yes, I have. So that's what -- I didn’t lie, I don't -- I don't smoke crack. I haven't smoked crack in over a year. But did I? Come on.
WEIR: But that is semantics, Mayor.
R. FORD: Talk semantics.
WEIR: Come on. Totally semantics.
R. FORD: It's typical media. You guys are the same. You're all cut from the same cloth.
On the Today show Tuesday morning, Ford added that "Actions speak louder than words." That's intended to refer to his record as mayor, minus all of the crack. Yesterday, for reference, the mayor mimed drunk driving to an old (former) friend, accidentally knocked down a councillor, and argued with residents in the gallery during just one hearing. Those actions don't count either.