Doug and Rob Ford met expectations Monday on Ford Nation

When the overnight estimates come in at the end of the day Tuesday, look for the Sun News Network to have set a viewing record for Monday night’s premiere of Ford Nation. (Those numbers will be updated right here).
Mind you, that’s like saying the Jays will win more games next year, or the Leafs are a better team, or the most recent episode of Dads had a few laughs in it. The bar has not been set overly high.
Still, Ford Nation got a world of publicity from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s bottomless, jaw-dropping shenanigans.
Too bad the show itself was such a bore.
Nobody got trampled or even shoved. There were no vulgar outbursts. Not a single chair got tossed.
The Ford brothers, Rob and Doug, sat behind a desk and did a video version of their recently cancelled radio show. Occasionally, questions were floated but they never landed. When a clip was shown of the recent Saturday Night Live opener and hizzoner was asked if he laughed along with the rest of us, he never answered. He just stuck with his usual blather about being the best mayor ever and how he was going to kick ass in the next election–11 months from now.
The opening promised so much more. “Fasten your seat belts,” declared Doug, who even looks like a WWE ring promoter, “because this is going to be the most exciting hour you’ve ever seen on television!” An announcer teased that we’d see “the mayor of mayhem like you’ve never seen them before!”
Sadly that was true. Ford seemed strangely sedated, a little punched out.
The mayor at one point declared he had not had a drop of booze in three weeks, meaning he’s been sober during all the crap that’s been happening. In other words, it is way worse than we thought.
He repeated claims he’s been working out, two hours a day, and if voters don’t see a big change in four months they can do something or other. You could almost hear them slapping foreheads in the booth, realizing all those Sun News Network ads for dating and Ginsu knifes and CLR bathroom and kitchen cleaners should have been ditched for Thighmaster and Participaction spots.
My old Toronto Sun pal Joe “Scrawler” Warmington put on a suit and sat between the boys for a segment. Scrawler was the Ford’s lone media pal until even he started pointing fingers, and there was some awkward talk about a falling out. I kept waiting for all three to hug it out. Maybe next week.
Sun News guard dog Ezra Levant then came out and launched into the most litigious screed ever heard by more than the usual 45 Sun News viewers. Levant behaved like CBC’s Rex Murphy on crack, which somehow seemed appropriate.

Ezra Levant aced his audition

An old black and white photo of divers searching through Ted Kennedy’s sunken car were flashed on screen while Levant ranted that Kennedy “…even killed a girl once when he drove, drunk, into the Chappaquiddick river with a woman, not his wife, coming home from a party.”
Then, “Speaking of drunks who kill…Rene Levesque killed a guy one night…” Zut alors!
Former provincial Liberal cabinet minister George Smitherman “preferred party drugs,” Levant said. Justin Trudeau wants to legalize pot.
“The “hero of the left, Jack Layton, was found stark naked in a downtown whorehouse during a police vice squad raid…” he continued.
Levant clearly knew the show was his to steal. He used the segment to audition for a real job, perhaps replacing Bruno as the raving judge on Dancing with the Stars.
He kept hammering away at the point that all these creepy lefties got off scott free while poor Rob Ford gets picked on because, “He’s fat!” Ford is punished because he lives in the suburbs and drives “a Cadillac, not a Prius.”
Levant railed against the Toronto Star and declared he’d take Ford “drunk over his left wing predecessor’s sober!”
Instead of cutting to another Christian Mingle ad, the show went on, with Levant striding over to the desk where he continued to campaign for Ford. Dougie was reduced to throwing to commercials.
There was more. The pussy comment clip was actually shown and then Jon Stewart’s comical reaction to it. Ford was shown chuckling in the background, but made no direct comment on all the late night jabs, instead repeating that what he said was under stress and inappropriate.
Ford actually brought up the incident where he was caught peeing outdoors. He went for the urination defence, proving once and for all that he is a stand up guy.
Ford Nation, urination–the jokes write themselves.
Making things that much more surreal was switching over to CNN, where real newsmen held less of a wavy, clown mirror up to the mayor. That their report was actually more balanced simply made the whole spectacle that much sadder.
At the end, Ford gave out his phone number and email address and said goodnight. Somewhere, Paddy Chayefsky is spinning in his grave, cursing himself for not going for it a little more with Howard Beale.

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