Friday, May 24, 2013

Gawker responds to Rob Ford denial of their drug report by noting he didn’t actually deny smoking crack cocaine

The U.S. website that first reported to have seen Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine in a video says the mayor’s statement Friday does nothing to address the issue, since he didn’t directly deny having done the drug in the past.
In an article headlined “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Says He No Longer Smokes Crack Cocaine,” Gawker editor John Cook claims Ford’s statement was not “inconsistent with Rob Ford having been caught on tape smoking crack cocaine within the past six months.”
“The fact that Rob Ford says he does not currently use crack cocaine has no bearing on his past behavior. He did not say, as one who has never smoked crack cocaine might say, ‘I have never smoked crack cocaine,’” Cook wrote on Gawker shortly after Ford’s statement.
“He said he does not smoke crack cocaine, which is the sort of thing that someone who woke up this morning and decided to stop smoking crack cocaine might say, on the grounds that it’s not presently untrue.”

After eight days of silence, Ford finally spoke to the media Friday afternoon, delivering a carefully worded three-minute-and-45-second speech.
“I do not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” Ford said. “As for a video, I can’t comment on a video I have never seen or does not exist.”
He blamed the accusations on longtime rival the Toronto Star, where two reporters said they saw also saw the video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine.
While the mayor did not take any questions, his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, took several questions from reporters, although he abruptly stopped when asked about Gawker’s role in the controversy. Instead he attacked the website’s attempt to crowdsource the purchase of the video.
“I think it is disgusting . . . That an organization like Gawker would go out there and deal with a bunch of extortionists, a bunch of Somali drug dealers,” he said. “I puts a real tarnish on a great community, the Somali community.”
Gawker’s own efforts to purchase the alleged tape to hit a snag Friday after Cook said his confidence in completing a deal to buy the video has “diminished” because the dealer who apparently has it has been incommunicado in recent days.
“The owner of the video is presumably frightened and skittish, and it’s not entirely unreasonable that he would go to ground,” Cook said.
“At this point, we have no idea why he is out of touch or if he even knows about the ’Crackstarter’ campaign.”
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris YoungToronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves city hall after making a statement to the media.
The crowdfunded ‘Crackstarter’ was attempting to raise $200,000 to buy the video. It has raised $166,000 with three days to go as of early Friday evening.
According to sources, the mayor fired his chief of staff Mark Towhey yesterday because he asked the mayor to go to rehab.
The mayor’s statement appears to have done little to quell the controversy at City Hall.
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38 – Scarborough Centre) said the mayor did not tell the truth in his statement Friday and said Ford has to resign.
“You don’t have legitimacy to run this government anymore,” he said was his message to Ford. “His tenure is over. The mayor should resign and get some help for himself and his family.
“Take care of yourself. Take care of your family. But he is unable to govern the city anymore,” he said. “The statements he has made are so offensive on so many levels that his tenure as mayor is effectively over.”
Other councillors said Ford’s statement wasn’t enough and called for a “comprehensive” response. Ford did not take questions from reporters.
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