FRIDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — There are many unfathomable nuances to the whirlwind that surrounds Toronto Mayor Rob Ford but the strangest one of all is the media’s reluctance to write him off.
The Rob Ford saga returned to familiar ground this week with more stories about videos and audio tapes and just when you thought the Toronto mayoralty election might turn into politics, we’re once again immersed in angst over his after-hours behavior.
There have been so many chapters in this book that you’d think we’d have slammed the cover shut and moved on long ago, yet whenever an “analyst” is asked whether this time Ford’s political career is over the answer is a guarded “maybe.”
Media observers make the mistake of relying on history for their conclusions. They look at the number of times Ford has escaped controversy, at his polling numbers and at his recent campaign momentum.
Even the admirable Olivia Chow seemed helpless to dent the Ford Nation’s seemingly impenetrable faith in his charm. But those media experts are being way too cautious.
The saying goes that if we don’t learn from history we’re doomed to repeat it but the history of Ford’s mayoralty teaches us something very different — sooner or later, something’s got to change.
Instead of being in awe of his ability to carry on through one scrape after another, the media should ponder the collective weight of it. They should think about the discredit this whole situation is bringing not just to Toronto politics but to the Canadian political landscape as a whole.
As CBC editorialist Rex Murphy said last night on The National, Toronto has become an international laughing stock. If there’s one thing that folks from the TO don’t like, it’s being laughed at. Toronto, after all, is the centre of the universe. They’ve had enough.
Ford’s string has run out. It’s too late for the addictions counseling card — he’s passed up too many opportunities to seek forgiveness via that route. Too late for an honorable resignation. Too late for campaign comebacks.
Let’s call it.