As if the Rob Ford gong-show couldn’t get worse, we have breaking news that both of his press-secretaries have quit, citing ethical concerns about continuing to work under the Ford administration. According to the Star:
George Christopoulos, Ford’s press secretary, and Isaac Ransom, Ford’s deputy press secretary, both resigned and walked out of city hall Monday, a source with knowledge of their departure told the Star.
Sources said both men resigned on principle because they felt they could not continue in good conscience after Ford’s statement on Friday.
Can you blame them? If you think Ford is blameless and an innocent victim of the predations of the Toronto Star (and Gawker, the Globe and Mail, CNN, the CBC, the Toronto Sun, and… well, at this point, the conspiracy includes most media outlets in the civilized world), then it was a brutally inept piece of speech-writing that made an innocent man look devious and dishonest (BTW, you’re also pretty dim). And if Ford isn’t blameless and innocent, then it was just a devious and dishonest piece of speech-writing. In either case, I can see why Ford’s press secretaries want to disassociate themselves entirely with it.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, according to Adrienne Batra – note, Ford’s former press secretary, not some raving lefty at the Star – Ford’s Friday statement, i.e., arguably the most inept/disingenuous public statement by a sitting politician in modern Canadian history, was largely drafted by Rob and his brother
Drug Doug. Said Batra in her Saturday column in the Sun:
Even the statement the mayor read Friday, was barely recognizable compared to what his staffers had given him.
I am told Ford’s family basically wrote the statement, with only a sprinkling of staff input.
God, what I wouldn’t give to get my hands on the original draft of that statement! That the Ford Brothers apparently thought that their revised piece of shit, no doubt drafted in crayon on the back of a napkin, would do anything other than convince even more people that the allegations against Rob are true suggests that the two of them are too dumb to live. Hell, the statement was so bad that Ford would have to be on crack to believe that it would end matters.
Now, the real question is whether Christopoulos and Ransom couldn’t continue in good conscience because they don’t think that Ford is taking their advice and don’t want to be associated with the train-wreck that his administration is fast becoming? Or are they disassociating themselves from Ford because they believe his statement was dishonest and disingenuous? (Note, I wouldn’t call it a lie, because, once again, he never denied the allegation that he has smoked crack). Or both.
Either way, it doesn’t say much about Ford’s ability to continue as Mayor if he can’t maintain the respect of the people who work for him. Today’s Star has a description of an agitated Ford pacing around an empty mayoral office (what with all his top advisors having quit/been fired). Anyone ever seen the movie Downfall? This is starting to have the same feel (well, minus the Russians and Nazis), with a ranting and raving Ford (see the Star’s decription of how he fired his former chief of staff, Mark Towhey for giving him sensible crisis management advise) and his few die-hard followers (including his two most recent hirees – a 21-year-old Don Bosco football assistant coach and fitness trainer, and a musician who has worked for a marketing firm – yeah, that’s some high powered political advise he’s getting there) hunkered down in his bunker, while his enemies close in for the kill. Christ, even Nixon went out with more dignity than this!