The extremely weird video above appeared on YouTube earlier today. Obviously recorded on a cell phone, it appears to show Rob Ford standing in a fast-food restaurant—some on Twitter are speculating that it’s Steak Queen, an Etobicoke eatery that’s a known favourite of the mayor’s—and mumbling incoherently to a group of men. What he’s saying isn’t entirely clear, but he seems to be attempting Jamaican patois. The level of uncanniness is on par with other candid videos we’ve seen of the mayor.
Little is known about the circumstances surrounding this piece of footage, but the mayor’s brother Doug Ford is already telling reporters that it wasn’t taken yesterday. Even so, some some astute reporters are pointing out that the mayor’s outfit in the video seems similar to the one he wore in public yesterday. Now Magazine‘s Jonathan Goldsbie found this photo of Ford at Steak Queen, posted yesterday on Instagram. Also, Steak Queen employees are telling reporters that the mayor was there last night.
Here is Doug Ford reacting to reporters’ questions:
Ford’s apparent inebriation is especially notable because he supposedly quit drinking two months ago. In an interview with CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, he said his crack scandal had led him to a “come-to-Jesus moment.” He claimed not to be an alcoholic or a drug addict, and said he planned to turn his life around. “If you don’t see a difference in me in five months, then I’ll eat my words,” he told Mansbridge. The mayor and his brother have spent the intervening two months trumpeting the mayor’s self-improvement regimen, which has included some well-publicized gym visits.
Here’s an attempted transcript of the video based on our editors’ interpretation of the audio track. There may be misinterpretations in some sections due to the poor quality of the video. It seems like the substance of Ford’s spiel is a complaint about his treatment by Toronto Police, and particularly by chief Bill Blair, who presided over a months-long investigation of the mayor and his associates. “Bumbaclot,” a term the mayor uses liberally in the video, is a Jamaican expletive with a meaning similar to “fuck.”
FORD: Cocksucker. Fucking Chief Blair […] Ciao, bonhomme. That mother chase me around for five months, brother. Bumbaclot, man. Hi sir. Well, me and him, we’re, uh, ba ba ba, […] Leave me alone. Five months, man. And him try to tell me, bro, we’re countersurveilling the guy, you know what I mean? He’s hiding here, I’m going to hide here. I’m going to […] Fuck off. You know how much money that cost them? I said bro, just cut some. “No! No money, no money, no money.” Ciao! Ah, bumbaclot, man. I said, “You know what? You’re […]” I swear to God, man. Then, honestly, man—
UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE 1: Sir, that’s to go, man.
FORD: Seriously shit, man. Serious shit, bro.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE 2: All we know, all we know, all we know is that […]
FORD: No, seriously, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE 2: This guy deserves to be even better than Prime Minister Harper.
FORD: No no no! I don’t pull shit. I’m a straight-up guy, you know? Who—who was in THC? Who go to James Town, and Jane and Finch, and then Malvern on the […] Then, fuck. […]
UPDATE: Reporters confronted mayor Rob Ford with the video late Tuesday afternoon, and peppered him with questions about it. The mayor insisted that what is captured on the video is part of his personal life and thus off-limits to reporters, though he did take the time to contradict his brother’s earlier statement that the video was not shot last night, and to state that his use of Jamaican patois was not offensive—it’s simply the way he speaks with the friends he was with at the moment.
More significantly, however, Ford admitted to drinking alcohol last night—an activity he said he gave up months ago. Here is mayor Ford’s full exchange with reporters: