In the first segment of his new YouTube series, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he lied when first asked about his drug use because he was "embarrassed" and "didn't want to tell the truth."
"Why did I lie? I think everybody in the world has lied. Because I was embarrassed. I didn't want to tell the truth. That's the only answer I can give. That's as straightforward as I can be," Ford said in the first edition of his new Ford Nation series, which was posted Monday.
Much of the show, which comes after his weekly radio program was halted last fall and his television show was nixed after one episode, includes Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, talking sports and politics and praising Ford's efforts in office.
Ford did take an emailed question about his drug use from a woman in Bangkok, who asked why he lied about his "substance abuse problem" when he was initially asked.
Ford begins his answer by saying that although he's experimented with drugs, he doesn't have a substance abuse problem.
"I'm not a drug addict, I don't use drugs. Have I in the past? Yes. And when they ask me, it's very humiliating in front of the world to say yes. Everybody has lied."
Doug Ford then says "if we dug into every politician's background around the world, I think you'd get a real eye-opener."
The YouTube show features the same Ford Nation title of the mayor's ill-fated Sun TV show.
The Ford brothers had a weekly talk show on Toronto radio station NewsTalk 1010, which was ended by mutual agreement, according to the station.
Their Sun News Network show was cancelled after its debut due to its costs.
Like his other broadcast programs, the YouTube endeavour will give Ford a chance to sound off on city hall issues and will also let him hammer home campaign themes as he ramps up his fall re-election bid.
The mayor, who last fall admitted to smoking crack cocaine, has already become something of a star on the massively popular video-sharing site, where a search for his name yields tens of thousands of videos.
Response YouTube channel has already popped up
That number is sure to be bolstered in the wake of Ford's new show due to YouTube's feisty and at times derisive culture, where users offer up their own takes in recorded responses that can run the gamut from exhaustive criticism to unbridled praise.
A video channel dedicated solely to countering the new Ford show has already sprung up, lambasting its 30-second teaser with more than three minutes of clips of Ford scandals and controversial statements dating back to his time as a city councillor.
"Ford Nation Rebuttal will echo the call of the Ford Nation channel to '[g]`et to know the mayor that the whole world is talking about,"' the channel mockingly pledges.