Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been generating plenty of headlines lately, but the biggest news seems to be that the U.S. actually cares.
Toronto’s infamous crack-smokin’, oft-sweating mayor has made waves in the past week for such admirable feats as talking about oral sex on live TV, and bowling over a charming little old lady in city council.
But during the past five days I spent visiting my glorious hometown, there was one Rob Ford story that seemed to dominate the local news networks: that Mr. Ford is being mentioned on American late night comedy shows.
Time to breath a sigh of relief, New York: If elected mayor, Bill de Blasio says you won’t find a video tape of him smoking crack cocaine.
Last week, Gawker editor John Cook launched a crowd-funded project to purchase an alleged videotape of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. They called it a “Crackstarter,” a play on Kickstarter, and aimed to raise $200,000 from viewers like you. As of this writing, more than $196,000 has been pledged.
It isn’t clear that Gawker will even be able to buy the video. Mr. Cook has been unable to get in touch with the video’s owner for over a week. (Mr. Cook did not return our request for comment). But one thing’s for sure: if Mr. Cook does manage to track down the owner and purchase the video, it will mean a big payday for Gawker. A post containing the video could draw record pageviews and advertising revenue.
Former mayoral hopeful and social media lothario Anthony Weiner once infamously declared to Mayor Bloomberg over dinner that his first year in City Hall would be spent “tearing out your fucking bike lanes.”
It is a prospect that terrifies urban planners and bike advocates, who worship the public space rejiggering championed by current DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Mr. Weiner is obviously out of the running, but some other mayoral candidates have expressed concern about these streetscape changes, as well, most recently Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who called the commish a “radical” recently. But would he really go through with it?