Providing his first response to news reports that a cell-phone video shows him smoking crack, Toronto mayor Rob Ford told reporters assembled outside his home this morning, “Absolutely not true. I don’t — it’s ridiculous.” Ford added, “Another Toronto Star …” before trailing off and getting into his car. Later, outside his office, Ford continued to try to frame the scandal as merely some kind of Toronto Star conspiracy, even though Gawker has also seen the tape, and also says it shows Ford smoking crack.
Though coming clean at this point wouldn’t be out of the question for some politicians, lying is also a normal reaction. But lying is an especially normal reaction for Ford.
As we noted earlier, Ford has a history of offering easily disprovable lies when faced with unflattering news stories. In 2006, after being thrown out of a hockey game for drunkenly harassing other fans, Ford not only insisted that the incident didn’t happen, but that he wasn’t even there. “This is unbelievable,” he told the Toronto Star. “I wasn’t even at the game, so someone’s trying to do a real hatchet job on me, let me tell you.” He later admitted that, yeah, he was there and it happened.
And during his 2010 mayoral run, the Toronto Sun asked Ford if he had ever been arrested on a drug charge in America, and Ford vehemently denied it. “I’m dead serious,” he told the reporter. “When I say no, I mean never. No question. Now I’m getting offended. No means no.” When the Sun reporter mentioned the time Ford was arrested in Florida in 1999 for DUI and possessing marijuana, Ford claimed he “completely forgot about it until you mentioned it right now.” Because that’s not a memorable experience.