By CHARMAINE NORONHA
Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother say they will host an online show so they can take their message straight to “Ford Nation,” the name of the show and the term they use for the mayor’s conservative suburban supporters.
Doug Ford, a Toronto city councilor, told The Associated Press Friday that the show is meant to “to get their message out and not have that message be twisted by the media.”
Since the mayor admitted to smoking crack in a “drunken stupor,” Toronto’s city council has stripped him of most his powers after he refused to resign or take a leave of absence. Rob Ford said he has “declared war” on the council after it acted in response to his crack use, public drunkenness and a series of outbursts that have made him an international media sensation, to the embarrassment of many Canadians.
The new webcast follows last week’s airing of a single episode of a TV talk show hosted by the Fords that premiered on Sun News Network before it was cancelled. Network executives said “Ford Nation” was the highest rated program ever on the two-year-old cable channel, but said it was too costly to make.
The Fords co-hosted the hour-long TV program. The mayor used much of the prerecorded program to defend himself and talk up his re-election bid.
Doug Ford said the new self-funded online series, also to be called “Ford Nation,” will be uploaded to YouTube before Christmas.
He said that since the council moved to strip his brother of most of his mayoral powers, Rob Ford has become “a man on a mission.”
Ford said the mayor has given up drinking for good and is committed to leading a healthier lifestyle.