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Twitter reaction to the Rob Ford substance abuse story

Posted by Chris Bateman / March 26, 2013

toronto rob fordAs expected, reports this morning of Rob Ford's alleged alcohol problems dominated online discourse from city hall observers and concerned citizens. Naturally, a report of this nature is likely to generate debate about what exactly falls within mayor's private business and what we as citizens and Ford's employers have a right to know.

Some corners are questioning the ethics of reporting a health problem while others say issues that have the potential to impair the mayor's ability to effectively perform his duties should be public knowledge.

Unlike the immediate fallout from other Ford scandals, comments for the most part urged caution, stressing the seriousness of alcohol abuse and its effects on the sufferer and their family.

Here's are some of the best Tweets from earlier this morning. Add your thoughts below.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Chris Bateman



Red Teeve / March 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Hey man, if Ralph Klein made a political career out of being a drunken bull in a China shop, why can't our own Mayor?
Mayor McCokehoover / March 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm
Isn't Ralph Klein dead yet? Lightweight.

If he was SERIOUS about fun, he'd get his ass on down to my office at Nathan Phillips Square where the fun hasn't stopped.
W. K. Lis / March 26, 2013 at 01:07 pm
Mayor Rob Ford is the 4th highest paid mayor in Canada. Still think he's overpaid.
jen / March 26, 2013 at 01:10 pm
I sincerely hope he doesn't drink and drive.
Mayor McGrabass replying to a comment from Mayor McCokehoover / March 26, 2013 at 01:31 pm
You seem like a cool guy, do you want take a run to the LCBO together?
Randall replying to a comment from jen / March 26, 2013 at 01:32 pm
According to multiple stories, he has. Many times.
No replying to a comment from jen / March 26, 2013 at 01:41 pm
No he rather drink and read while driving, true story.
Malcolm / March 26, 2013 at 01:52 pm
Looking @ that photo, Robbie should definitely cut down on the alcohol, especially if he's concerned about the health of the child he's carrying.
Mayor McCokehoover replying to a comment from Mayor McGrabass / March 26, 2013 at 01:56 pm
I would dude, but I am WAYYY too high to drive right now.

Ah fuck it, it's almost 2pm--day's almost done (hahaha!) Plus I'm low a quart, anyway...lemme grab my SUV and let's roll!
marion lewis / March 26, 2013 at 02:07 pm
Rob Ford runs on shame. It is his oxygen.
acb / March 26, 2013 at 02:09 pm
Toronto star is a joke newspaper there the fox news of the left in Canada
Mayor stepping down?? / March 26, 2013 at 02:13 pm
I don't know if it's only rumour, but it's clear as day that Mayor Ford is a very sick man and it needs to be treated for his addictions. but the rabid Left also needs to stop their antics while and let Rob Ford step away from office for the next 6 months so he can finally dry out.

Once the booze and coke are under control and he's in a better state mentally, then he can come back and resume his duties on Council. Until then, he should be oout-of-bounds.

Let's support Rob Ford as he leaves office, and maybe it'll bring a lot of welcome attention to the terrible scourge that is alcoholism and drug addiction.

Good luck, Mr Mayor!
Sousedbergin / March 26, 2013 at 02:16 pm
Rob Ford does not have a drinking problem, he has a decision making problem which permeates everything he ineptly does. Calling Alcoholism a disease is insulting to diseases, as if those with cancer can cure it with will power and a vacation. Telling someone they are powerless is about the most reckless than you can do to a problem drinker. This "disease" they are "powerless" against just creates the ultimate rationalization to continue drinking. Rob Ford is a incompetent Mayor and an incompetent drinker and he has the power, and should, quit both.
Mark replying to a comment from Sousedbergin / March 26, 2013 at 02:20 pm
Still, regardless of whether it is a disease or whether it's a decision-making issue, the man is reportedly stepping aside to get the help he needs, and no amount of kicking him while he is down is going to make matters better for anyone. Layton stepped aside and got the help he needed. Unfortunately, cancer isn't drinking/drug abuse, so the odds were stacked against him. But he did the right thing for his team and the country, and we should support Rob Ford (as backward as he has been on occasion) to do likewise. otherwise, it just stigmatizes people who do the right thing and step down.
steve / March 26, 2013 at 02:23 pm
Its amazing that despite his personal issues he's done such a great job of turning around city hall. Budget is in place on time, labour peace achieved, Toronto housing being straightened out. How bad have our previous mayors been that he stands head and shoulder above them?
Anna replying to a comment from Mark / March 26, 2013 at 02:23 pm
Ford is right to step aside, I just hope his team fully supports this and doesn't try to force him to stay on, which could only send him into a permanent downward spiral. because no doubt this latest incident is a cry for help.
acb (dropped @ birth?) replying to a comment from acb / March 26, 2013 at 02:26 pm
Dude...I know you're new to flaming, but you really ought to practice a bit before adding a comment. That was probably a grade three level.

Another tip? Don't run with scissors.
steve (works on the same floor at city Hall) replying to a comment from steve / March 26, 2013 at 02:32 pm
hey steve,

haven't seen you here in a bit. let's analyze your comments about the mayor's past two years in office:

"Budget is in place on time"

No on either count. Guess you weren't expecting readers to actually listen to the news.

"labour peace achieved"

With who, the guy who makes jack and cokes for the mayor? unions fucking hate Ford more than Miller...I know because you and I were both there for the negotiations

"Toronto housing being straightened out"
Nope...the TCHC head is a hired-stooge. and Ford sweetened the deal by siphoning some of his own slush fund to line his pockets. Living in TCHC now is worse than ever.

How bad have our previous mayors been that he stands head and shoulder above them?

So bad that we're all clambouring to have them back in a heartbeat. Even fucking Lastman.

Anyway, it's a moot point with the mayor about to step aside. Let's hope they find a way to keep him out once he's gone.

Todd replying to a comment from Sousedbergin / March 26, 2013 at 02:38 pm
Yeah, exactly, there's no disease here unless getting everything you want for your entire life and never being told no either counts as having a problem. He drinks like he curses at constituents. Because no one will ever tell him not to or will simply brush it under the rug.
j-rock / March 26, 2013 at 02:39 pm
One day, there will be a story about Rob Ford that is about something related to his actual job. Maybe.

Am I too early for the annual screaming match over his refusal to attend Pride?

I didn't have very high hopes for him, but this has been an even bigger circus than I could have ever imagined. We're into Mammoliti territory here.
Mark replying to a comment from j-rock / March 26, 2013 at 02:47 pm
Apparently he's actually going to step aside now. Does that mean Holyday is now Mayor?

If so, that's equally gross!
Mark replying to a comment from Todd / March 26, 2013 at 02:54 pm
Yeah...I don't know how much I like peopel taking potshots at the mayor for having everything handed to him. If that's the case, then you should also take a shot at half the people on Bay St or Queens Park or on the Leafs.

Rob Ford has a PROBLEM, period. He has to dry out, he has to get his shit together. Let's have an orderly transition where he transfers out of City Council, and a plan to re-instate him when he's better. Then both sides can't get off half-cocked and muck up civil governance for the next six months.
Mark replying to a comment from Todd / March 26, 2013 at 02:54 pm
Alex / March 26, 2013 at 03:02 pm
Where does it say he is stepping aside? All I've seen is him denying he has a problem. Did he announce something on the news?
jen replying to a comment from Mark / March 26, 2013 at 03:07 pm
Where are you hearing that he's stepping aside?
McRib replying to a comment from Mark / March 26, 2013 at 03:52 pm
Whats with all this talk of Ford stepping aside? Where did this come from?
TorontoTard! / March 26, 2013 at 03:54 pm
The Toronto Tard is a joke of a newspaper. They are still bitter because their champion, Smitherman, lost the last mayoral election, and they still have their panties in a knot over unfounded allegations of Ford mistreating student football players.

I'm not saying Ford didn't do it: I am saying, "Let's see the evidence, Star."

Oh, you don't have any? Time for Royston James and Dave Whiner (Rider) to suck eggs.
Chris replying to a comment from Mark / March 26, 2013 at 03:59 pm
You must have some inside source, because all I've read is that his brother claims he doesn't drink at all (completely ludicrous and easily verifiably false), and Rob himself just did his usual "chastise the media" response while denying everything.

And for all you soft-headed hippies talking about how has a "sickness" and needs our sympathy, give me a break. ALL we know, or at least understand, is that he was asked to leave a function, apparently because he was drunk. There's nothing to suggest he is in fact an alcoholic, and quite frankly, I'm tired of this tendency to slap that label on anyone who gets too drunk once in a while. The man is an idiot who exercises no self-control in any aspect of his life, and if this story is accurate, this is just another example of it.

If we applied that label to everyone who ever gets drunk in public, then Christ, we would need a rehab centre on every block of this City.

Besides, I've never been in favour of this "oh, feel sorry for the poor alcoholic" - after all, who forced them to drink? Even if you have a condition that makes you more susceptible to alcoholism than other drinkers, NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO DRINK. At some point in your life, you made the conscious decision to drink, and continued to do so, to the point of becoming an alcholic. Don't tell me it's not a choice - if that were true, then alcoholism would be an absolute defense (rather than simply a mitigating factor) to almost any criminal activity.

It's just like when Bailao got busted for DUI - the first reaction was "oh, she may be an alcoholic, feel sorry for her" in stead of "shes a damned adult, who willingly drank alcohol and then chose to drive home afterwards"

What the hell happened to accepting responsibility for your own behaviour?

I think he's the worst mayor we've had in my lifetime, and anything that gets that idiot out of office is fine with me, but don't expect me to feel sorry for this clown, even if he is an alcoholic. This is a guy who's never denied himself anything in life, and most of his tenure as Mayor has served as an embarrassment to this City and its residents - so what has he done to be deserving of our sympathy?
Mark replying to a comment from jen / March 26, 2013 at 04:00 pm
From Ainslie's people. Unannounced presser tomorrow morning, no idea where or when though.
Craig replying to a comment from TorontoTard! / March 26, 2013 at 04:02 pm
If the story is a lie, why doesn't Ford sue the Star? It seems like it would be a sure win situation wouldn't it? He could get a restraining order, lots of money and humiliate the Star in one foul swoop.
He's got you there, TorTard! replying to a comment from TorontoTard! / March 26, 2013 at 04:42 pm
Craig TOTALLY nailed TorontoTard! with a withering blow with no chance of a comeback.

TorontoTard! leave the arena sucking his thumb, holding his teddy, crying for mommy...

Is there no end in sight to the mega-pain the Right is suffering??
Bubbles replying to a comment from Chris / March 26, 2013 at 04:55 pm
Oh, but the bleeding hearts on Twitter will band together and SHAME you. You must be against women and cats as well.
Why doesn't Ford DEFEND himself?? replying to a comment from Craig / March 26, 2013 at 05:28 pm
Oh right, he CAN'T. Because if he tried to sue, he'd LOSE.

Because everything all the media outlets are reporting (CTV, GLOBAL, SUNTV, CITYTV, CBC) are all telling the plain, unvarnished TRUTH. And the TRUTH HURTS, don't it though?

Ford would sue faster than you can say "Gimme a double, Sam"...why would he stand for defamation??? But he won't. Cuz he can't. Cuz it's all true. And now Mark Towhey is scrambling to right the ship before it goes under.

Hope y'all have your floatation devices's gonna be a wet month.
Doug Ford replying to a comment from Bubbles / March 26, 2013 at 05:31 pm
Hate cats. HAAAAATE women.
acb87 replying to a comment from acb (dropped @ birth?) / March 26, 2013 at 05:44 pm
find a lyfe, you mad i botcher ur precocious engrish language ? lol getting feeling over a comment not about you.
Robert replying to a comment from TorontoTard! / March 26, 2013 at 05:57 pm
If you would bother to read you would have the evidence you need.
Picking on Ford... replying to a comment from acb87 / March 26, 2013 at 06:08 pm
...has become like shooting fish in a barrel.

Almost no fun anymore...where's the sport?

Will be glad when he steps down this week.
Mama Ford replying to a comment from Doug Ford / March 26, 2013 at 06:24 pm
He also hates harvies, prefers burger king.
Jay / March 26, 2013 at 06:24 pm
To all the lefty morons whipping themselves into another lather asking why Foes does not defend himself; he has three times and won.

It's also convenient for The Red Star to use unarmed "sources". If they are taken to court they are not required to name their "sources".

Yeah. Public shaming is the way to address an alleged alcohol problem. That will help. So many holes in this story it's sad anyone takes it as gospel.

Ford is a buffoon. But the left has proven to be so as well.
torontodude replying to a comment from Mayor McGrabass / March 26, 2013 at 06:34 pm
funniest comment on
Craig replying to a comment from Jay / March 26, 2013 at 07:31 pm
So, anonymous internet posters are more reliable than a corporation? Especially one that can be sued for libel? Again, if the Star printed lies, Ford should sue them. At this point it would be a slam dunk for him to win.

Are you the afternoon shift with the Mark Towhey Brigade?
Joe / March 26, 2013 at 09:20 pm
He's a drunk. Always sweating, can't loose weight, poor decision making. Think about it.
John Labatt / March 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm
Pill popping dope smoking ass grabbing crack head. dont you want to party with me.
Gabe / March 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm
Daniel Dale wrote the story for the Star. The same Daniel Dale Toronto Star reporter that was arrested at Fords house in May of 2012... Biased?
Jay / March 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm
@craig - it has nothing to do with Internet posters. The star have been called lairs. Why do they not sue? The argument you propose argues against yourself. It's as circular argument yet you cannot see it.

The left is so caught up in this witch hunt they cannot see the damage The Star is causing in this city by driving a deeper and deeper devide among the citizens. I've never seen this city so divided and it will take decades to repair the core vs the suburbs fight. Welcome to US style politics courtesy of The Star, Ruby, Magner, et all
Josh / March 26, 2013 at 11:28 pm
The Toronto Star seems to have a substance abuse problem for Rob Ford, but it'll probably help drive traffic to its website and apps for this week and bring the yearly numbers up for the digital team. Big Win. We did it... traffic is up!!
me replying to a comment from Gabe / March 27, 2013 at 01:22 am
You mean the same Daniel Dale who police, after they concluded that neither his BlackBerry nor a surveillance video that Ford gave to them contained any evidence of snooping, closed the investigation that Ford frivolously brought against him? Perhaps the same individual...
McKegs / March 27, 2013 at 02:20 am
He is a total waste case. I know several employees at a certain LCBO location who confirmed he goes there at least five days a week and grabs a micky or a 26'er of vodka. Now I am in no position to judge his drinking, but maybe if you are representing a world class city you might want to keep your shit in check.
Bob C / March 27, 2013 at 09:32 am
I'll take Ford over any other of these so called "candidates", any day of the week.
Anonymous sources? My "anonymous sources" tell me that Star reporters sleep with goats. Does that mean it's true?
Superclown / March 27, 2013 at 10:43 am
The man had his shot, time to send him packing.

If Doug doesn't love his brother enough to convince him to step aside and dry out, then he has a heart of stone and is only a self-serving, cold-hearted bastard.

I would hope my brother would stop me if I was royally messing things up.
Kerry replying to a comment from Bob C / March 27, 2013 at 01:01 pm
Oh god, i agree....he's lost my vote. An informal poll among the other women in my office say he isn't even on their radar.

Sanchez / March 27, 2013 at 01:16 pm
Why not write about Ana Bailao? She must also have an alcoholism problem.
Chris replying to a comment from Bob C / March 27, 2013 at 01:31 pm
Oh please - every paper uses "unnamed sources" in stories - its hardly unique to the Star and doesn't make the story untrue. Don't forget - unnamed sources brought down Richard Nixon.

That said, the real reasons this story has "legs", so to speak is that:

(a) similar to every other story of Ford's bad behaviour and conduct, it's totally believable by anyone who has seen how he conducts himself in public. People believe it because it's believeable, about him. He's a living, breathing, walking gaffe-machine.

(b) he has a history of lying about these types of things when caught, and more critically, denies these things that are ultimately found to be true, and as a result his denials have less and less credibility each time. Even in this case, his brother is claiming he's never seen him drink, a ludicrous statement that we all know to be false - the man does have a DUI after all, not to mention well-know public incidences of drunken behaviour - that further erodes the credibility of his denials.

(c) and of course, let's not deny that feelings about Ford are divided into camps - people either thinks he's awesome and the greatest mayor ever and the rest hate him with a passion unseen in recent municipal politics (although arguably, the Sun's hate-on for Miller was not much different than the Star's towards Ford, except Miller lives a much cleaner life, so was far less scandal-prone). As a result, storeis about him will generate much more discussion than about a public figure that people are generally indifferent towards.
Man makes a good point... replying to a comment from Chris / March 27, 2013 at 04:00 pm
...Ford HAS been know to lie out of both sides of his mouth. And that's with people most would generally consider allies.

Sad sack, the mayor is.
Is it me... / March 27, 2013 at 06:33 pm
...or does Rob Ford resemble one of the men in the statue The Encounter (in the business district)??

Or maybe that dock worker sculpture in City hall Rotunda??
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