TORONTO — Another night, another TV show, another mention of Toronto mayor Rob Ford — but this time the jokes came with some words of support.
On Friday’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, the host left Ford out of his monologue but, a little later in the show, brought up the mayor’s name while talking about people’s self-righteous indignation about those who use drugs.
“I love this guy Rob Ford because he sticks his fingers back in people’s faces and says, ‘What, you don’t do anything?’ When his brother said, ‘Who here in the council hasn’t done marijuana’ … crickets. Crickets,” said Maher.
Panelist Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News America, countered that Ford hasn’t handled the crisis well.
“The trouble with Rob Ford is that he’s totally narcissistic about it and he’s a totally imperfect messenger,” she said. “There he is doing his press conference where he’s meant to be contrite saying, ‘Such a big load has been lifted from me, this has been such a hard time for me, I’m so relieved that I can get this off my shoulders.
“Nothing about the people of Toronto. It was all about him,” said Kay. “So it’s kind of hard to have much sympathy for him.”
(Ford, in fact, did say: “To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down. And I can’t do anything else but apologize and apologize. And I’m so sorry.”)
Maher responded by sticking up for Ford. “I don’t know Toronto politics that well but his defence seemed to be, you know, ‘You elected me to be a penny-pincher and that’s what I do every day.’ I didn’t hear anybody say different,” said Maher.
“So it seems like he does get the job done. Freedom means free to get your job done however you get your job done. I wouldn’t want anybody to tell me how to get my job done because it is slightly illegal also.” (Maher is an outspoken advocate for the legalization of marijuana.)
Only a week ago, Maher called Ford “a once-in-a-generation train wreck” during his Real Time monologue.
Referring to allegations that have not been proven in court, Maher said on the Nov. 15 show: “Toronto City Council yesterday stripped him of his powers — whatever they are besides staying fat while smoking crack — because they found out that he was at a party recently where he did cocaine, vodka, OxyContin and apparently was cavorting with a prostitute.
Maher did make one crack about Ford on Friday’s episode, though.
In a segment where he showcased some phoney holiday-themed books from politicians, he held up a book by Rob Ford entitled Christmas is for Sharing, So Give Me Some of Your Crack.