Toronto Mayor Rob Ford called the news media a "bunch of maggots." He later apologized for the comment
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, were critical of the media during the early part of their weekly radio show, which came after a tumultuous few days in which both men denied separate drug-related allegations that had been raised about them.
Just a few minutes into their talk show, Mayor Ford suggested the media were a "bunch of maggots," though he then apologized for characterizing them in that way.
"Folks, I've addressed these allegations and it’s unfortunate that you get put in this situation, but we're moving forward," the mayor said Sunday afternoon, in reference to the reports that a video has surfaced of the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
CBC News has not been able to validate the existence of the video or any of the claims being made about it.
The purported video, which has been described in reports by the Toronto Star and the U.S. gossip website Gawker, has yet to be made public. Someone had been trying to sell it and Gawker has been soliciting online donations in an attempt to raise $200,000 in funds it would like to use to acquire it.
On Sunday, a caller asked Ford directly if he was the person in "the Gawker video," to which the mayor said he couldn't comment because the video doesn't exist.
"Number one, there is no video, so that's all I can say," Ford said, who publicly stated last Friday that he does not use crack cocaine and is not addicted to it.
"You can't comment on something that doesn't exist."
When speaking on the radio, Coun. Ford, suggested that "80 per cent" of the people in the media are "nasty son of a guns."
But he did not restrict his criticisms to members of the media.
Coun. Ford suggested that most of his fellow councillors would be unemployable if they weren't in the positions they were at City Hall.
"Do you know something, Rob? I'll tell you right now, the vast majority couldn't get a job. I'll tell you that right now and that's fact," he said.
"I wish the media looked into some of their backgrounds, where they came from."
At times, the mayor and his brother have had a difficult relationship with the media in Toronto. Mayor Ford has withheld details about his personal schedule, information that was often freely available under his predecessor.
The mayor was only present for the first-half of the afternoon radio show, telling his listeners that he had to leave early as a result of a family commitment.
Councillor rejects newspaper report
The Globe and Mail newspaper published a report in its weekend edition alleging that the mayor’s brother had sold hashish in the 1980s, a claim the councillor firmly rejected as being "100 per cent false."
"I have never dealt hash," Coun. Ford said Saturday when speaking to the CBC's Jamie Strashin.
The councillor was irate that the newspaper had been calling people from his past, as well as those connected to his family's business.
"They called my customers, they have called suppliers of Deco Labels. They have called competitors, they try to take our business down," he said.
"They have called family friends, they have called people from across the county [that] I can't remember I went to school with 30 years ago calling me and saying: 'I can't believe what they're saying.'"
On the Sunday radio show, Ford reiterated his rejection of the allegations contained in the newspaper's weekend report.
"The accusations that the Globe and Mail have brought against me are completely, undeniably false. It's plain and simple. I was not a dealer of hashish in the 1980s, their story is not accurate whatsoever," he said.
During the same radio broadcast, Ford fielded a call from Gary McClelland, a retired Toronto police officer who was a supervisor of drug investigators from the late-1970s through to the mid-1980s.
McClelland said that he never heard the councillor's name come up years ago when he was an active officer.
When reached by CBC News, McClelland reiterated that he never heard Ford's name come up during the years when he was involved in drug investigations — and the retired officer said that he was in a position that he would have heard such information if it had been obtained.
"The reason I called in was to clarify at least from my point of view and from my position that I did not hear of Mr. Ford being involved in any kind of drug activity at all," McClelland said in a telephone interview with CBC News on Sunday afternoon.