International reaction roundup to the Rob Ford scandal
Rob Ford's startling crack admission made headlines across the world yesterday and today, as all of a sudden Toronto became the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, and it's pretty much all the mayor's fault. Though he acknowledged the embarrassment he has caused, the impact of this negative attention on the city is hard to judge in the immediate aftermath of Ford's confession.
In the moments after Ford's sudden (but seemingly planned) admission outside his office at City Hall, Twitter erupted and reporters and columnists began frantically tapping out stories. Major international news outlets like BBC News and CNN ran the story on their front page. And from there it continued on into op-ed columns and the major American late night talk shows.
Esquire called Ford "the most polite crackhead in the history of the world" after he reportedly paid the utility bills at his alleged crack house.
While (Tornonto-based) Stephen Marche likens Ford's time in office to "an experiment in what would happen if you had a feral 16-year-old boy for mayor" in The New York Times.
Gawker, who has obviously followed the Ford story closely (and deserves all the credit for breaking it), weighs in with a (semi?) satirical op-ed piece that argues Rob Ford is ruining the entire country's image. "Rob Ford is not a Canadian. Rob Ford looks like the kind of red-faced American trash who would knock down an old lady in the WalMart pharmacy line just to get his brother's oxycontin prescription five minutes faster." Ouch.
And the list goes on.
Rolling Stone included Ford's "drunken stupor" line in its Top Five Political Excuses of All Time along with U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner's "I was hacked" answer after he accidentally tweeted a lewd picture, and fellow crack-smoking politician Marion Barry's classic "bitch set me up" response.
Even Deadmau5 weighed in: "Whenever I'm whaled on crack, I can't even get off my couch, let alone run a city. That's insane! Props. I guess."
The news was also ideal fodder for late-night talk show hosts. Steven Colbert lampooned our "Chris Farley tribute mayor," Jimmy Kimmel explained how residents of other cities can know if their own mayor is also on crack, while Jon Stewart took a more sombre tone, urging Ford to get help and calling his supporters enablers.
THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART
THE COLBERT REPORT
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE
NEW TAIWANESE ANIMATION
And what would an international reaction roundup be without a video from these Taiwanese animators, who really take the piss out of us. "Whatever suspicions you may have had about Toronto voters have now been definitively confirmed, the YouTube description reads. "Rob Ford is a crack smoking man of the crack smoking people, and they love him for it!"
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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