The Problem With Rob Ford and His Camp: Kevin Donovan Speaks

The Problem With Rob Ford and His Camp: Kevin Donovan SpeaksKevin Donovan is an investigative reporter at the Toronto Star. He has won three Canadian Association of Journalists Awards, one Michener Award and three National Newspaper Awards and you might know him as the guy who broke the ORNGE story.

Kevin Donovan co-wrote the Star story that Rob Ford was asked to leave a gala event celebrating the Canadian armed forces last month, because organizers were concerned he was impaired.

It’s an open secret at city hall that the mayor has battled alcohol abuse. Those closest to him are concerned for his health and the impact it has on his job as mayor of Canada’s largest city. Current and former staff have told the Star of repeated attempts to persuade the mayor to get help for more than two years and as recently as November. All attempts have been rebuffed.

Kevin Donovan appeared on Humble and Fred's podcast this morning. Listen to what he had to say and then meet me after the jump.

In response to this story, Rob Ford has called it "an outright lie". His brother and unofficial spokesperson, Doug Ford, has also denied the allegations. Doug and Rob both believe the Toronto Star is out to get them and anything the Star writes that puts Rob Ford in a negative light is a lie.

Make no mistake, I don't take delight in the fact our mayor has a substance abuse problem. I sincerely hope he gets help, and my issues have always been with his flawed logic and regressive approach to city planning. He's a leader who won't raise a flag for the Pride Parade, but won't miss a photo opportunity with the pandas. He's a leader who will scream "subways, subways, subways" but won't tell you how we'll pay for the subways. And when an investigative journalist presents overwhelming evidence about our mayor being asked to leave a gala event, even confirming it with councillor Paul Ainslie, chair of the government management committee and a strong ally of Ford, Rob Ford, his brother and his camp stick with plan A: deny, deny, deny.

In this instance, it's a true shame. Rob Ford needs help, and step one is acknowledging he has a problem. Until Rob Ford accomplishes that, my fear is this will only get worse.

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Regardless of what you think of the Star, you can't deny Kevin Donovan's integrity. There's no vendetta here, this is just quality journalism.

It seems there's a new Rob Ford controversy every day. More work gets done for this city when Rob Ford's busy with football, lawsuits and extended holidays.

I can't wait to vote this buffoon out of office. I'm sorry about his drinking problem but he's embarrassing our fine city.

March 26, 2013 @ 2:31 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Even my Rob Ford supporter pals seem to consider what happened the other day to be the last straw.

Rob Ford called into Closing Arguments with Steven Skurka, a legal affairs radio show on Newstalk 1010, to criticize Richard Kachkar's legal defence in his trial for the first-degree murder of Sgt. Ryan Russell on the night before the jury is set to deliberate. Ford said Kachkar will walk if he's found to be not criminally responsible. The panelists cut Ford off repeatedly to explain that he won't. Concerns have been raised that Ford's comments may result in a mistrial.

We're tracking his scandals here.

March 26, 2013 @ 2:34 PM

Mississauga Phil

I certainly hope this man gets the help he so clearly needs.

March 26, 2013 @ 2:39 PM


He's looking more and more unwell these days. I think he's gaining weight, has never looked more red faced and just looks sick.

He needs help and maybe a less stressful job.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:02 PM


So we can't debate abortion (i.e. the killing of the unborn) or made up same sex "marriage" but every freaking week there's a Rob Ford is terrible discussion.

I'm not defending Ford but can't you people get another topic? How about we discuss our Premier Kathleen Wynne - oh God where do I start?

March 26, 2013 @ 3:03 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Arige - if it's any consolation, I can't see the Provincial Libs still being in power after the next election....

March 26, 2013 @ 3:11 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Argue away about abortion and same sex marriage, but in this country the debates about both are over. There's just no point in the argument... abortion will always be a woman's right and gay people will always be allowed to get married.

If one of those two things is a deal-breaker for you, you're living in the wrong country.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:13 PM


Checked your scandal tracker. A lot of this is unsubstantiated hearsay or has since been proven to be incorrect.


Ford stumbles and falls while demonstrating a football play before television cameras; an animated GIF of the incident goes viral.

How is that a scandal??

A guy falls down on tv and it's the end of democracy as we know it?
Looks to me to be more of a coordination issue.
You guys kill me!

March 26, 2013 @ 3:16 PM


So Mike, what would you do we get a govt with the courage to outlaw those two fads?

March 26, 2013 @ 3:17 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

Anonymous was me.
my bad.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:17 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Argie - While I disagree with your stance on abortion, I can at least understand where you are coming from....

But why do you care if 2 men (or women) who are in love want to get married?? How does that affect you at all?

March 26, 2013 @ 3:24 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Nigel Trousershrapnel

It's not my tracker... I don't have editing rights. And that one you've identified shouldn't detract for the many legitimate items.


Please. Save your energy. You have the right to never get an abortion and to never marry another man.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:25 PM



Using your logic, you're saying "if you don't like to steal or assault anyone, don't steal or assault anyone".


See above. most things that are wrong in this world don't effect me or you, however, good people must speak up. Slavery or the holocaust didn't effect most people, but people spoke up and those things were stopped.

Anyway, I wont convince either of you so I wont bother going on.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:31 PM


Time will tell on this issue, but regardless of how you view Mr. Ford, he does not look well.
He needs a longish break and a trip to a spa to get healthy.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:37 PM


Not worth responding to the Ford story, nor the abortion gay marriage thing.
The Left made up their mind a long time ago.
By the way arguably it was Paul Bliss who broke the Ornge scandal.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:39 PM


Here is what I don't like about all these stories....why isn't The Toronto Star spending all this time going after the people that have wasted BILLIONS on eHealth and Ornge???

At the end of the day what has Ford done that even comes close to this??? He has ratified contracts with all the city unions, saved us money and put the city in a better financial position. Yet everyone wants to crucify him. Where is the outrage for Ornge and eHealth?? It was BILLIONS Of WASTED TAX DOLLARS!!!!

March 26, 2013 @ 3:47 PM


Sarah Doucette just said it best. It's time to stop denying and get help.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:53 PM

Another Lurker

Argies comparison of same sex marriage and abortion rights to thievery and assault might be the most offensive thing I've ever read in these comments.

Congrats Artie you Neanderthal.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:55 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

If the originator of the list felt that it should be included, it should be given the same weight as all the rest.
Easy enough to mix in some mistruths and inuendo with the legitimate items, giving the impression that all on the list are legit.
The list is bogus if readers have to guess which items are true and which items are fabricated?

March 26, 2013 @ 3:56 PM



Don't forget the Mississauga gas plant screw-up - that will likely cost over a bil.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:57 PM


Thanks, Lurker. Too bad I'm right.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:58 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Nigel Trousershrapnel

Well, it's not a mistruth. That actually happened. Rob Ford fell and the animated gif did go viral globally.

But him falling isn't a scandal, nor is it a character flaw or a reason why he's a bad mayor. But it did actually happen, so if the author wants to throw it on the list, that's his / her prerogative, even though I wish it wasn't there.

March 26, 2013 @ 3:58 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Speyside/Argie - Not a leftist at all. I am pro choice (it's everyone's personal decision...walk a mile in someones shoes) but, personally I am against abortion, and would not be party to one.

However, what is wrong with 2 people in love getting married.

I'm not saying I think the church should do it, if it is contrary to the beliefs of that church, then it is their right to deny performing the ceremony....a Catholic Priest wouldn't preside over an Islamic union....

But what is wrong with 2 men being wed by a judge, military officer, etc.? How is it wrong other than the fact that it makes you uncomfortable?

March 26, 2013 @ 4:15 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

Sorry Mike,
When you said, "we're tracking his scandals here", I thought you were endorsing the list.
Fair and balanced right? Just like Fox News.

March 26, 2013 @ 4:40 PM


Excellent article about all of this by John Lorinc in the Globe:

"Since late 2011, Mr. Ford has been unable to advance his agenda, and the sense of political impotence has served to foreground the personal scandals."

March 26, 2013 @ 4:45 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Nigel Trousershrapnel

Agree or disagree with what I write, you always see I'm the author. I write about our mayor often at but I never did care for the "Rob Ford falls down" gif that everybody shared.

I never shared it here.

March 26, 2013 @ 4:48 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

@ Mike,
Always appreciated your point of view. Don't always agree with it, but that's what spurs healthy dialogue.

But for the record I have never seen a more sustained unrelenting attack on a mayor of Toronto. I think its the personal nature that makes it appear all that more vicious.

Nothing worse than a lefty scorned I guess.

I personally think he's doing well for an overweight, ass grabbing alcoholic, based on the image the Star wants me to believe.
But if he truly afflicted with alcoholism, some discretion on the part of the media might be warranted. And maybe put some names to those unamed sources.

March 26, 2013 @ 5:38 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Nigel Trousershrapnel

I'm no lefty. Socially, I lean to the left... but I certainly don't align myself with a particular political party. I've voted for PC candidates, Liberal candidates and NDP candidates.

Besides, there are no parties in municipal politics.

The reason I posted the audio was for those who think the Star have it out for Ford. This isn't a Star thing... this is a Ford thing. I thought Kevin Donovan made a lot of sense and explained who the unnamed sources were and why they didn't want their names in the story. And there is one named source that's quite the doozy.

Did you read this Globe piece?

March 26, 2013 @ 5:44 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

@ Mike,
I didn't mean to imply that you were the "lefty scorned". But the dude who puts together a scandal sheet might have an agenda.
Just the effort to discredit this particular mayor is off the chart. Ass grabbing a few weeks ago, drunk this week. We should place bets to guess what the next manufactured scandal will be.

I would have to disagree that there are no parties in municipal politics. Party affiliation might be a better descriptor. But it does exist.
I'll check out the Globe article and get back to you

March 26, 2013 @ 5:57 PM


Suburbs elected Ford, you won't find many downtowners voted for him. Takes money to live downtown, often requires smarts to make money, smart folks don't vote for Ford, he's a fucking idiot.

March 26, 2013 @ 6:09 PM

Freddie P.

The tragedy of the latest Rob Ford story? He may very well need help, and he may suffer from an addiction, but because of the petty bullshit stories leading up to this one, few can take it seriously. The Toronto Star has shot itself in the foot.

And John Tory just made a great point - in the year 2013 its amazing that at two recent events, with hundreds of people attending, most likely carrying devices with cameras, not one stinking picture or piece of video can be produced... not to mention a witness with a name... or a regular citizen who's seen anything.

It's amazing how people like Toronto Mike, who I respect very much, can continuously over-look how this man has been unfairly attacked because they so dislike him, meanwhile there still isn't one piece of "substance" that has stuck to the man.

Two more points Mike. You wrote "the fact our Mayor has a substance abuse problem."

And you wrote.

"And when an investigative journalist presents overwhelming evidence about our mayor being asked to leave a gala event."

You are dead wrong on both counts. We don't "know" if he has a substance abuse problem so its not a fact, and several unnamed sources is "not" overwhelming evidence.

I know it's Rob Ford, but at least be fair.

I fear the city that you long for Mike, then again I saw enough of it under David Miller.

March 26, 2013 @ 6:10 PM

No Dope

He's a loudmouthed jackass from the suburbs who hates urban Toronto.

And yes, he's an idiot.

But I hope he gets help for his disease.

March 26, 2013 @ 6:13 PM


Too many people out there sympathize and say there's a target on his back.
He's the only one responsible for a target on his back because he gets himself into these situations time and time again. Why do people defend him???

I'm really tired of the Star being accused of a witch hunt......over them refusing to apologize for a story about the mayor hitting a kid on a football team? No way!

This is responsible journalism that reports the facts. They appear one sided merely because there is SO MUCH TRASH to report on the mayor that it's really hard to believe.
When you put yourself out there for scrutiny, you better have some good excuses or people to make them up for you. He has his babysitter chief of staff and his meathead brother lying to the media on a daily basis.

At what point do they stop enabling him and tell him to stop and get some help. Rehab, counseling, whatever is needed. He's appearing to be more of a real liability to the city than helping it.

I'd have waaaay more respect for the guy if he just admitted to needing help and step aside to get it.

March 26, 2013 @ 6:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Freddie P

Did you even listen to the clip from the Humble and Fred podcast?


Well said.

March 26, 2013 @ 6:18 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

"he's a fucking idiot"
"he's a loudmouthed jackass from the suburbs who hates urban Toronto"

Brilliant analysis.
Obviously well thought out. I defer to the superior intellect. You know, the smart folks who make money.....

March 26, 2013 @ 6:20 PM


First, sorry Argie, I get your point, but I hate when posts get derailed. It's annoying to read past the off topic stuff - that's what Open Mike's are for. Stay on target!

Second, @Mike: it doesn't bother me in the least that Ford. One is the showed up at the Panda photo op, but not at the Gay Pride parade. One event was to acknowledge a goodwill gesture of an important international relationship and a contribution by Toronto to further breeding programs of a severely endangered animal. The other event is put on by a special interest group to celebrate that fact that they have gay sex (but don't want to be defined by it), and demand that everyone else recognize the event.

March 26, 2013 @ 6:55 PM


Eek. What a mangled post. Stupid touchpad! Second paragraph should read, "Second, @Mike: it doesn't bother me in the least that Ford showed up at the Panda photo op, but not at the Gay Pride parade."

March 26, 2013 @ 6:58 PM


"Takes money to live downtown, often requires smarts to make money, smart folks don't vote for Ford,"

.. and white folks too, right Anon? That's what you're implying isn't it?

I had a good laugh listening to Bill Carroll on the way home today. He was interviewing a rather stunned reporter named "Robyn" something. She's the idiot you co-wrote the Ford article with that effeminate sounding Donavon. Carroll ate her lunch and dinner - she ummed her way through the interview. Not one the Star's brighter lights.

March 26, 2013 @ 7:54 PM


Argie, the Star doesn't have any bright lights.
And if I hear the words "Investigative Journalism" one more time I"ll Puke.
Just exactly what was the investigation?
What a joke!

March 26, 2013 @ 7:58 PM


Here's the thing: Rob Ford DOES use crack cocaine. A friend of mine,
her mother is a serious drug addict. Rob Ford regularly goes over to
her house to smoke crack.
The problem is this: The daughter wants to expose Rob Ford's drug
abuse, but her oldschool Italian grandmother won't allow her to "bring
shame" upon the family, long story short. So basically the daughter has
become complicit with the entire thing instead of doing the right
thing. Shame on you Jasmin.

March 26, 2013 @ 9:09 PM


@Rinse - you should do they right thing, and set up near the house with a camera and video Ford going in and out a few times.

March 26, 2013 @ 9:12 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

So let me get this straight.
An ass-grabbing, alcoholic crackhead who drowns kittens and masterbates at city functions is the mayor of the 4th largest city in the world. Un-named sources report that he strong ties to Mexican drug cartels and Syrian Death Squads.

Is this a great country or what!!!

March 26, 2013 @ 9:34 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Nigel, soon he will be accused of running Bunga Bunga partys with Berlusconi and the pope. Trusted anonymous sources have confirmed this.

March 26, 2013 @ 9:39 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Rinse- You're an idiot.....

March 26, 2013 @ 9:41 PM


Hahahahahahaha love it Nigel.
This story will be in the Star tomorrow.

March 26, 2013 @ 9:41 PM


The audio from the H&F podcast is further evidence that writers should leave the spoken medium to those already in that space.

March 26, 2013 @ 10:37 PM


Why is there never any concrete proof over many allegations towards Ford. There always seems to be anonymous sources. Here is a story on 680 News....

March 27, 2013 @ 7:21 AM


And so the saga continues. Despite whatever other "overwhelming evidence about our mayor being asked to leave a gala event", we now also have a letter signed by 6 members of the gala organizing committee (including two co-chairs) who deny Ford was ever asked to leave the event. Overwhelming indeed.

March 27, 2013 @ 7:25 AM


I'm an ardent supporter of the Mayor and I don't doubt he has a drinking problem. He's probably a big drinker, but so what? If it doesn't hamper his ability to do his job it's a matter that should be dealt with privately.

I'm thoroughly disgusted by the Toronto Star story. What's strange about this is, if the story was truly accurate, we would have heard about it a long time ago. Ford being asked to leave an event for the troops would have been on the front page the next day. In this era of cell-phone cameras and social media...there's no doubt that it would have been out there right away. A story of this nature shouldn't take "investigative journalism" to uncover. When you have members of the organizing committee saying Ford was never asked to leave, it further discredits the Toronto's Star's story. This so-called "investigative report" also relied on a bunch of anonymous sources. If what these "sources" were saying was true, why were they afraid to put their name to it? The only person named in the report is Paul Ainslie, and he has an ax to grind with Ford because Rob didn't choose him to be the new budget chief (a job Ainslie actively campaigned for).

The Toronto Star has become a self-parody of themselves trying to discredit Ford at any chance they get. They've camped their car outside his cottage, followed his elderly mother around, falsely reported Ford assaulted a minor, snooped around his backyard at night, and were the first to post that ridiculous KFC video on their website. Nothing the Star says about Ford should be taken seriously at this point. Hell, they can't even sell papers if Ford isn't on the cover. The Toronto Star is nothing but a useless, filthy rag.

March 27, 2013 @ 10:14 AM


Well said Justin.

March 27, 2013 @ 10:32 AM

Ben Vidal

I love the fact that now everyone is attacking anonymous sources. If this situation were reversed and it was miller or it was a left leaning politician I'm sure there would be crickets . I don't see anyone complaining when the star covers the Ornge scandal or the power plants. I don't see any so called "lefty" slant in those articles. Yet when it's a story about Ford it's a left rag. Funny how that works. If I wanted a rag I'd pick up the Sun one of the homeless of Toronto is using as a sleeping bag.

So now when we don't like how Ford is being treated we try to discredit an award winning journalist? Instead we are supposed to trust in a well documented liar? Would any of you give Dalton McGuinty the same innocent until proven guilty stance ever? Give your head a shake.

If Ford wants to win this PR war how about he shuts his mouth when he doesn't need to be talking. Instead he should just concentrates on city hall, loses the radio program. Which if any of you have listened to is the worst thing ever allowed on the radio.

All of you keep touting him as a great mayor, but this guy spends more time out of city hall acting stupid, than he does in it actually working.

March 27, 2013 @ 10:48 AM



There's a big difference between the Ornge scandal and whether Ford was blitzed out of his mind. The former cost the taxpayers over a billion as the Liberal govt sat by and did nothing but cover it up.

When Miller and McGuilty were in power the Sun went after them, daily - but only on the job they were doing (which was pitiful). They never attacked those jokers personally.Admit it, there is a huge difference.

March 27, 2013 @ 11:26 AM

Ben vidal

Clearly you didn't get the point Argie. It wasn't comparing the Ornge scandal to Fords scandal(s). It was pointing out that the so called left wing rag term that gets tossed around by a number of people posting hereonly seems to apply to Ford, nobody says the same thing when they are breaking stores about Ornge or the power plant coverup.

What I compared at the beginning of my statement is the discrediting of anonymous sources by a number of people who are in Ford's camp and presumably for the most part(but not all) right wing in terms of political slant. Yet if it were reversed and it was a left leaning politician like Miller, none of these people would be saying anything bad about anonymous sources.

In my second paragraph I compared Ford to Dalton McGuinty in terms of innocent until proven guilty. In that if Ford was accused of something he's innocent despite being a well known liar, where as Dalton would be presumed guilty because he's a well known liar.

As for attacking Ford personally? You have to be kidding. This guy slings personal attacks all over the place. He's well known at city hall for call people names and at times has made slurs that some would consider racial. He uses his radio show to personally attack anyone who doesn't agree with him. While no one really listens to 1010 anymore, the once widely listened to news radio station has no problem allowing him to attack anyone and anything.

I will agree that the Sun never went after miller or Mcguinty personally, but neither of those two made their lives a circus outside of the political forum. That is the huge difference.

March 27, 2013 @ 12:04 PM



A newspaper deserves to be called a "rag" when it continually goes after sensationalized stories on daily basis - without much concrete evidence. The Sun was ofteen referred to as a rag by people like you for its right wing slant but in reality the only valid criticism people can have of the Sun is the abundance of ads and lack of actual news. Of course some of the Church and Wellesley crowd might still be bitter over the fact they eliminated the Sunshine Boy several years ago, but that's another thing.

Most people agree the Star has become a rag. Declining subscription numbers has caused them to go after the sexy story at any cost - and in this left leaning town, Ford is an easy target.

As for orge and the power plant eff-ups, these were stories no paper could ignore, including the Star. No paper could accused of being a "rag" in exposing these obvious criminal acts. You would have to agree there.

March 27, 2013 @ 12:22 PM

Ben Vidal

Declining subscription numbers for a newspaper have nothing to do with political the political slant. It has everything to do with how the times have changed and everything has gone online. So that attempt at a point is null and void.

I would agree with you that they have to cover those stories, but if they were truly that far left anything can be manufactured when it comes to print. You must admit this point. Any article could have it's slant changed and tone of the article, but they haven't chosen to when it comes to big ticket items like those.

I'll tell you what I'll pick up a copy of the SUN everyday for the next week and I guarantee the first 5 pages will reveal some sensationalized story that has little concrete evidence.

In regards to Ford being an easy target. I fully and completely agree with you that he is. That said no one is to blame for Rob Ford being an easy target other than Rob Ford.

March 27, 2013 @ 1:18 PM


Alright Ben, I agree on most points you make but you have to admit that while Ford is an easy target, if he was politically left (i.e. union lover, gay pride booster, politically correct coward, etc), there's no way the Star would go after him with the fervor they do. There might be the odd fat joke but overall it would all be in good nature. The public wouldn't hear about his reading while driving, giving a lady the finger while driving and so on.

Do you remember when Mike Harris was Premier? He wasn't fat or awkward yet the Star and other media went after him constantly. He hasn't been Premier in 11 years yet look how often the left bring his name up.

March 27, 2013 @ 1:35 PM

Il Duce

@ Toronto Mike

'Make no mistake, I don't take delight in the fact our mayor has a substance abuse problem. I sincerely hope he gets help’

Be honest Mike, I think you take great pleasure in this for your own personal agenda and trying to portray yourself as a concerned friend is really insincere. I’m disappointed that people are taking glee in Mayor Ford’s alleged substance abuse problem. Trust me, I couldn’t care less about Toronto politics or Mayoral issues but what I hate more than anything is the bullying by the Star, bloggers and other ambitious councilors toward Mayor Ford. It’s done for their own personal reasons and spin it any way you want Mike but that’s what it is and it’s disgusting.

When you or others write about personal issues about the Mayor Ford, does anyone take into account that first and foremost he is a husband, father, brother, uncle, son and then a Mayor? Do you Mike? Tell me something Mike, how would you and those who continue to harass the Mayor feel if their sons or daughters saw on TV or read about their father’s personal issues? Do you think they would feel good? Or how would you like it if your son or daughter were being portrayed as Mayor Ford is now? My guess is based on my own personal feelings that you would be upset. Don’t say it’s not personal Mike because you’re insulting the intelligence of your readers by trying to wrap it up into something else that’s soft and warm.

For someone who blogs on issues for tolerance and acceptance, this isn’t the case when it comes to Mayor Ford.

March 27, 2013 @ 1:38 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Il Duce

Honestly, I hope he gets help. I take zero delight in this.

Regarding the personal vs. political, you should read this:

March 27, 2013 @ 1:40 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

I can't remember who the Toronto Star endorsed in the last three provincial elections? Could you help a brother out?
And maybe you remember who the Toronto Star endorsed in the last mayoral race?
Seems to have slipped my mind.

March 27, 2013 @ 1:41 PM


I disagree with the perspective that people are suddenly discounting anonymous sources. It's always been controversial, and many news orgs have policies against it. The fact that this particular story relies so heavily on anonymous sources strains it's credibility. Everyone hates Ford. You would think that people would be lining up to go on record against him. As others have said, in a room of 800 people, no one had a smartphone to record Ford embarrassing himself and being asked to leave? They caught him easily enough at KFC. If I ever saw Ford at a local restaurant charging out onto the dance floor, acting like an idiot and starting fights, I'd be the first one to pull out my iPhone. As far as I'm concerned until more than one person goes on record, or there's other evidence, this is just another in a long list of Ford attack stories by The Star that ultimately goes nowhere.

March 27, 2013 @ 1:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


They're not anonymous sources... they're unnamed sources. Kevin Donovan certainly knows who they are, but just don't want their name in the article.

So if you discredit the sources, you're discrediting Kevin Donovan. His record speaks volumes.

March 27, 2013 @ 1:49 PM


As I wrote earlier BILLIONS of our money was wasted or who knows where it went....and the Toronto Star keeps looking for anything to nail Ford and McGuinty has walked into the sunset with his big fat pension which we are paying for.

Meanwhile, Toronto is in much better shape financially, but people would rather nail Ford than worry about the BILLIONS and BILLIONS of mismanaged money. The left wing-nuts are truly unbelievable.

March 27, 2013 @ 1:52 PM


I am going to jump in and support my brother (Gary).

Left wing-nuts are ok with their governement wasting billios of dollars. They shut it out and don't want to talk about it. BUT, if Rob Ford looks the wrong way....look out!!

And Mike....just because someone has a past record which speaks volumes, doesn't give them immunity on everything they do in the future.

March 27, 2013 @ 2:05 PM


Firstly Gary, that's completely irrelevant. That's like saying "why are we working on better golf clubs when we could be curing cancer". It's a dumb argument.

My buddy works for the LCBO just west of Ossington on Dundas. He's told me countless times of the many mickeys Rob Ford has purchased there. We have no doubt the man has a drinking problem. He's there between council meetings for a mickey of vodka (his drink of choice).

And I have another friend who met Rob Ford one Friday evening at 10ish PM when he was riding the Yonge Subway Line and completely hammered. He was definitely drunk and slurring his speech.

Rob Ford's brother is doing him no favours by saying he doesn't have a drinking problem. He's enabling him. Rob Ford needs help and it's completely fair game for the Star, CBC, Globe and other news outlets to report it.

March 27, 2013 @ 2:05 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

@ Mike,
Gets help for what?
Nothing has been proven at this point, as far as I can tell.
He denies it, facts are surfacing that support his claims.
There seems to be a lot of "unqualified" opinions from those who "hopes he gets help". Those of us who haven't completed their doctorate in medicine, specializing in addictions, really aren't in a position to speculate about Ford's drinking habits.

p.s. If you did get your doctorate, congratulations.

March 27, 2013 @ 2:07 PM


Banger....Irrelevant??? I really hope you are joking. People are spending more time on Ford than on BILLIONS of WASTED tax dollars. How is that irrelevant????? Oh was a Liberal left leaning government....oh I get it now.

March 27, 2013 @ 2:09 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

Heresay adds nothing relevant to the discussion.
I got a friend who thinks you're a douche-bag. And another buddy who saw you acting like a douche-bag.
Does that make you a douche-bag?
I would only believe that you're a douche-bag if I saw it with my own eyes. Only then would I confirm your douche-baggery and I would do so on the record.

March 27, 2013 @ 2:21 PM


No, Mike, I don't have to discredit Donovan. I can discredit the practice of using unnamed sources, which is an editorial policy. For all Donovan knows (and I'm sure believes absolutely) these sources are completely genuine in their claims. Knowing you have the protection of anonymity gives the source a certain amount of freedom though, that I, as a reader am not comfortable with. If that's enough for The Star, given their already dubious record of reporting on Ford, then I'm not ready to buy in. How many times are we going to see stories from them on claims that ultimately can't be substantiated?

March 27, 2013 @ 4:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Name a news organization that won't use anonymous sources?

Kevin Donovan vetted his sources, named one key source, and the entire story has since been vetted independently by the CBC.

Are you suggesting the Star made this story up to get Ford?

March 27, 2013 @ 4:45 PM


Mike, you claim Donovan vetted his sources, (so what?),
Named one key source who has already been dismissed as having an axe to grind,
And vetted by the CBC? Are you kidding me?
Are we suggesting the Star made up the story, no not really, but we are suggesting its a continuing bashing and attempt to discredit the Mayor of Toronto. Shameful and disgusting.

March 27, 2013 @ 5:00 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


As you said, the Star didn't make this up.

Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle are solid journalists.

Suggesting there's a Star bias and axes to grind doesn't make this story any less true.

March 27, 2013 @ 5:08 PM



The story stands even if it was written just based on Councillor Paul Ainslie's account.

Read the Star story today on the Star website titled: 'Ainslie Emails details of what happened at Garrison Ball.' Ainslie was 1 of 13 organizers of this ball. Yesterday he repeated that at least 8 people at the ball approached him to say that Ford appeared impaired. He checked & Ford appeared "somewhat incoherent" and he then asked Fords' assistant to get him out of the ball. Ainslie sent an Email about this to several of the other ball organizers.

Ainslie was named in the original Star story & he stands by his account of the events.

Despite what Rob and Doug want you to believe, the world is not out to get Rob Ford. Where's the accountability?

That's what's shameful and disgusting here.

March 27, 2013 @ 5:13 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

The Star bias and axes to grind doesn't make this story any less true. (so now there are degrees of truth? I thought truth was an absolute). To quote Colbert, "the story has an element of truthiness".
The lack of facts is what makes it untrue.
Even the Star acknowledged they were allegations.

March 27, 2013 @ 5:24 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle are not personal friends, but they have good reputations and I respect their work. I don't see bad journalism here, I see reporters doing their jobs and doing it well.

As usual with this topic, Ford defenders cry bias and paint him as the victim. No reason, logic or argument will convince them otherwise. It's been this way for years, every time there's a scandal, and there's been many.

I'm done commenting in this thread. We'll once again agree to disagree.

March 27, 2013 @ 5:41 PM


@Mike- I'm not suggesting anything except that relying so heavily on unnamed sources immediately robs it of credibility. The fact that the school of journalism has wrestled with this topic and debated is telling.
At the end of the day, were back in familiar ground with these Ford stories, aren't we? It's yet another case of "they said / they said". You've got unnamed sources saying Ford was asked to leave, and you've got 6 people who aren't afraid to hide their identities, sit on the organizing committee of the event in question, and signed a document stating Ford was not asked to leave. Naturally, you'd immediately side with the unnamed sources.

March 27, 2013 @ 5:51 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Dammnit Corey, I'm trying to leave this thread!

Last comment... for real...

The article clearly says Ainslie told Towhey that Ford should leave. In fact, here's the quote:

“I urged the mayor’s chief of staff, Mark Towhey, to have the mayor leave the event,” Ainslie said in an interview.

That's not an unnamed source.

And remember, the several unnamed sources aren't named in the article at their request but are known to the journalists writing this story.

Now I'm out... I have Kinder Eggs to bash!

March 27, 2013 @ 6:02 PM


That's right. Ford does not look healthy. My trainer says so. My trainer says he looks really sick and he's very fat and could die any minute. George Smitherman should have won, then we wouldn't have those stories. My trainer and I both voted for George Smitherman. If you guys ever got to meet him, you would like him, I'm sure.

March 27, 2013 @ 6:18 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

I have no dog in this race. I don't vote in Toronto, but I do think the Star has a tendency to go over the top in their coverage of Mayor Ford.
The article did what it was supposed to do, which was to discredit Ford.
One has to question the motivation of the self righteous, self appointed experts in addiction, who insist they only want to help the man that they have had nothing but contempt for since his election. Crap like this is polarizing and only serves to harden the resolve of those who voted for Ford and will vote for him again as a result of this kind of bullshit. The Star wins the battle but Ford will win the war.
Trousershrapnel OUT!!

March 27, 2013 @ 6:23 PM

Mike from Lowville

@Mike, Freddy must have listened to his podcast as I did. I heard him say "listen I'm not an idiot" something I've been saying of Fred for many years now...... ;O)

March 27, 2013 @ 6:26 PM

Mike from Lowville

@Il Duce when I read you post on here today I actually changed where I had lunch today. I made my mind up to give your joint (on Prince Michael) a chance but went to Sushi Hour instead. I don't support people who support losers.

March 27, 2013 @ 6:36 PM


Yeah, Mike. But the crux of the story is that organizers had to ask Ford to leave, is it not? That's what makes it so compelling - that the Mayor was so trashed that he couldn't successfully navigate a simple dinner, so how can we trust him to perform his duties as Mayor day-to-day!
Unnamed sources have proven to be an embarrassment to higher profile journalists that Kevin Donovan.
I do agree with you about Kinder Eggs though.

March 27, 2013 @ 6:52 PM


This is just too good...


When Sarah Thomson asks a married man for sex it's merely a "joke" with "nothing to it." The double standard here is unbelievable and the hypocrisy is appalling. Sarah Thomson truly belongs in the loony bin.

March 27, 2013 @ 8:11 PM


...And crack smoking is true...

May 16, 2013 @ 11:18 PM


@Rinse should definitely be using that info to get rich quick. If the video goes for 6 figures, corroborating evidence should be worth a couple of grand.

May 17, 2013 @ 12:22 AM


So anyone got something clever to say about our mayor now? Hmmmm?

Right wing deny-ers? I think it fits from Mike Duffy the crook to Rob Ford the crack user... have a nice day dealing with these facts

May 17, 2013 @ 2:06 AM


Rinse: Be careful of this [redacted] guy. His facebook page shows that he is friends with Rob Ford and he went to Scarlett Heights Entrepreneurial Academy (Rob Ford's highschool).

Use the newspapers' contact lines if you have anything you want to say.

June 6, 2013 @ 2:52 AM


My apologies to Brett. Seems like he's legitimately helping to get the story out. Just too much shady business going on with this story to not be cautious.

June 6, 2013 @ 2:58 AM


Argie/Ben: been reading your debate and really enjoying it. Excellent and well argued points on both sides. I just want to interject one thing.

Argie, you say: "Alright Ben, I agree on most points you make but you have to admit that while Ford is an easy target, if he was politically left (i.e. union lover, gay pride booster, politically correct coward, etc), there's no way the Star would go after him with the fervor they do. There might be the odd fat joke but overall it would all be in good nature. The public wouldn't hear about his reading while driving, giving a lady the finger while driving and so on."

My two cents: If Ford was a lefty, he probably wouldn't be doing those things which make him such an easy target. Check out these links from the UK which would tend to support my opinion and that of most "left leaning" people. ;) &

June 6, 2013 @ 6:22 AM


@Argie- you are like a pitbull with it's jaws locked! You can't get past your bias. Ben made point that shot all of yours down yet you insist. I'm ashamed that I voted for Ford but I know a bunch of us who would never do it again...and he's done all of this himself. It's a big freaking deal when this clown who's supposed to run this city is threatening tourists at a hockey game- telling the wife he's going to rape and shoot her??WTF is that? I don't know if you are Doug, his daughters, or just stuck in cement and can't find a way out but I know who's on their way out. RIP Anthony Smith/Rinse.

June 8, 2013 @ 1:20 AM


You guys are no saints and probably have a lot worse hidden in your closet and yet you think you can judge. Why don’t you think of what you have done since you were little or even now….maybe you are having an affair or screwing someone!!!!!
Maybe someone should dig deep into your past and bring it out to the open and criticize you in front of the whole nation and make you lose your job because what you did in the past affects your present job.
In my opinion you shouldn’t be in that job as newspapers should be used for actual facts not fiction. I don’t see any of you destroying criminals’ lives and yet the people that do good get thrown under the bus.
Guess what? What goes around comes around and you will get your share.

June 12, 2013 @ 7:56 AM

Nicholas Roach

I think Kevin Donovan has proved now that he has been on a witch hunt for Rob Ford for years now. He has finally paid $5000 to get a very private moment of Mayor Ford on video. Is Kevin Donovan doing this for the NDP and Olivia Chow's Mayoral candidacy campaign or is he just so obsessed with Mayor Ford that he needs real psychiatric help himself. I think Dr. Phil would tell Kevin Donovan that there are other things in life and it is time to move on.

P.S. On that video, Mayor Ford is explaining what he will do when the extraterrestrial aliens invade Toronto.

November 7, 2013 @ 9:04 PM

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