At the outset of Rob Ford and brother Doug’s maiden voyage as hosts of CFRB 1010’s The City, Councillor Doug issued a warning to listeners: “Fasten your seatbelt, because we’re going for a ride.” We figured that ride would be loud, brash and, at the very least, entertaining, given we were dealing with the Brothers Ford—Rob even warned listeners that he wasn’t responsible for the crazy things Doug might do on air. Disappointingly, though, the show didn’t end up being any of those things. It felt more like a thinly veiled, two-hour-long ad campaign—and a boring one at that.
Case in point: here’s the mayor at the beginning of the program, listing the Ford family members’ birthdays:
Rob Ford: My name’s Rob Ford. I’m the mayor of Toronto. I was born May 28, 1969. I’m married to my lovely wife Renata for 12 years. And I have a lovely daughter, Stephanie, who’s six, and my son Douglas, who’s four. And, um, that’s pretty well it…my family life. I’m the baby of four kids. Doug’s born in ’64, and Randy’s born in ’62, and Kathy’s born in 1960. So that’s a little bit about myself. When’s your birthday, Doug?
Doug Ford: November 20, 1964.
And then there’s the mayor listing off upcoming events:
Rob: So let me tell you what’s on the agenda. A few events, if you want to take part. On Tuesday, Tuesday February 28, Mirvish Productions at Princess of Wales Theatre, is the premiere of War Horse. If you love theatre, this is going to be a fantastic production. Phone number there is 872-1212, 416-872-1212. Greenbelt Day. The friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, inviting Torontonians to come and eat their lunch at Nathan Phillips Square. If you have any questions, it’s 416-960-0001, 416-960-0001….
And it went on like this. Seriously. The Fords took calls from (mostly) supportive voters, and repeated (and repeated, and repeated) their commitment to building subways. There were softball conversations with TTC head honcho Gary Webster Andy Byford, loyal Ford soldier Giorgio Mammoliti (even Hot Wheels couldn’t spice things up) and, yes, former Toronto Maple Leaf Wendel Clark. Still, if the Fords’ goal is simply to bolster their standing with their political base, they likely succeeded admirably. If their goal is to make quality radio, however, they failed miserably.
• Review: Radio show for Mayor Rob Ford brothers proves pretty dull [Toronto Star]
• Radio Free Ford: Toronto’s mayor and his brother take to the airwaves [National Post]
• Mayor to preem: ‘Political suicide’ to scrap my transit plan [Toronto Sun]
UPDATE: We originally reported that Doug warned listeners that he wasn’t responsible for the crazy things that Rob might say when, in fact, Rob warned listeners about the crazy things Doug might say. Torontolife.com regrets the error.