The real revelation in the latest release of reports of investigations and wiretaps surrounding the Rob Ford controversy is that there is no revelation. At least not about Rob Ford.
The "shocker" is supposed to be that some people talked on the phone about Ford having done heroin and that people discussed his attempting to buy the "crack video" which was at the centre of the media firestorm.
But these are reports not of anything Ford actually said but what some people have said about him.
There are even some Toronto City Councillors suggesting that Ford should face criminal charges. If your Councillor is among them, the big concern you should have is that your municipal representative is a moron.
Ford should be charged with what, exactly?
If there is actual evidence of his attempting to pervert the course of justice, then absolutely he should face criminal charges. But if there is any such evidence, there has been no indication of it so far.
Furthermore, most of the released information about Ford has nothing to do with a criminal investigation. It seems to be in the report for the sole purpose of smearing and humiliating him. That aspect, which seems designed chiefly to benefit Ford's political enemies, is not, as far as I know, what police or judges are supposed to do as part of their paid duties.
To be clear, to the best of my knowledge, Ward 21 Councillor "Fiasco" Joe Mihevc has never had sexual relations with a farm animal. But the Ford-related transcripts are not dissimilar to what could occur in a hypothetical situation in which a recorded conversation was released in which Mihevc was alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a goat, and if then outraged activists railed "Why hasn't Mihevc been charged with cruelty to animals!?"
What would happen if police released a transcript of a recording in which someone said: "Yeah, Mihevc tied the goat to a post, then pulled his pants down. He lubed up his cock and then jammed it into that goat doggie-style. Or I guess it would be goat-style in this case. Mihevic was grunting and the goat was groaning. Or was it the other way round? Anyhow, he started screaming as he was cumming, 'you're the best goat I ever fucked!!' Then he untied it and walked it back to the organic goat milk farm. That poor goat looked traumatized."
Now, had such a conversation occurred among third parties and a transcript been released, would there be any legal grounds for charges against Mihevc? Of course not. It would have all been unproven allegations and baseless hearsay.
But the release of the conversations among third parties about Ford have been nothing more than a political hit job by a politicized police department for no other apparent reason than that it can be exploited by some sleazy municipal politicians, their allies and media stooges.
Among the issues raised was Ford having been allegedly blackmailed by some of the drug gangs in the suburbs. That would be a serious matter and the first question which should be raised is, did Rob Ford ask or in any way try to influence police to not investigate or enforce the law against those criminals?
Unless there's something I haven't heard, the answer to that question is a clear and resounding "no."
Moreover, Ford has been the more supportive of Police and their efforts to combat drug crime and gang violence than any other Toronto mayor in living history. Ford himself has devoted countless hours to volunteering to help youth in those at-risk neighborhoods, so he is well aware of the need for police to take a hard line on them.
If this sounds like some sort of bizarre contradiction, that Ford associating with some of them and using drugs belies that, the problem is that indeed Ford does have some personal failings which he has committed to remedy.
But this goes further to the point that Rob Ford's personal life and issues have no bearing on the job he was doing as mayor. He is still far more competent and professional in exercising his public duties than his City Hall opponents.
There are a lot of people whose lives may not look so good if continually put under a microscope the way that Rob Ford's has for the last three and a half years. There is even a very, very senior Toronto Police official who has been described to me by reliable sources as having been "a major pot head."
To say nothing of other politicians and media figures.
The new transcripts with fewer redactions do have some interesting revelations. Among them that many of the allegations of which the media are making so much are actually contradicted in the document by other allegations.
It's quite interesting to note that the one person who claims to have seen Rob Ford "do lines at the Bier Markt" never saw it. If the report is accurate, then this server speculated that he saw Ford snorting cocaine and then went around boasting to both as many of his fellow employees he could find and The Toronto Star's Robyn Doolittle that he had eyewitnessed something which he admitted to police that he in fact hadn't. Even more interesting is that this same server had been a volunteer for George Smitherman, whom Ford defeated in the mayoral race.
Speaking of The Star's Robyn Doolittle, she comes across in the report as an obsessive stalker of Ford, practically harassing people and turning up unannounced at their homes to pester them for information after being told by people they had nothing to say to her.
The Toronto Star's vendetta against Ford was made even more clear in a recent panel discussion that included Doolittle and Star editor Michael Cooke. Cooke described to the friendly audience that during the mayoral race, The Star had sent reporters to Chicago to investigate every facet of Ford's business to dig up dirt on them. Disappointingly to him, he described the way Ford conducted his business as "squeaky clean."
Did The Star send cohorts of reporters to investigate "party drug addict" Smitherman's personal life? The Star's anointed candidate cost Ontario taxpayers billions through the waste of the EHealth and ORNGE debacles, but as long as he was toeing the line they liked, evidently that didn't matter. Smitherman's husband was recently found in what appeared to be a drug-induced stupor in a ditch after a massive police search, following his going missing for a day. And that is the same George Smitherman The Star wishes were running Toronto now.
This all points to why Ford's support remains solid. He is a man who, whatever personal problems he may have, confines them to his personal life, but in exercising his professional duties is meticulous. This is the opposite of a number of City Councillors who have clean personal lives but whose incompetence and corruption, along with their subservience to special interests, cost Toronto taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.