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“Yes I Have Smoked Crack Cocaine”: Early Reactions To Mayor Rob Ford’s Startling Admission
November 5, 2013
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On May 16, the Toronto Star and Gawker first reported on the existence of a video tape which allegedly showed Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. One-hundred-and-seventy-eight days later, Ford has admitted that he has indeed smoked crack, although he's not altogether clear on when it happened or whether there was a camera involved (he said it was "probably in one of my drunken stupors"). Here's the full impromptu press conference, which took place at Toronto City Hall earlier today:

Here are some of the early reactions:

From Robyn Doolittle, one of the Toronto Star reporters who first broke news of the tape:

Ottawa Citizen columnist Dan Gardner pointed out the importance of closely parsing Ford's initial denials:

In a press conference, City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong weighed in:

In a scrum, Premier Kathleen Wynne said the admission was concerning, but she would not intervene:

Like all Torontonians I am watching this with concern. I have faith in the police service, I have faith in the judicial system and it has to work itself through.... What’s happening at city hall is of great concern to everyone in the city of Toronto. I am not going to pre-empt what the mayor may or may not do. The mayor will have to make his decisions about what is appropriate right now.

Federal Justice minister Peter MacKay, meanwhile, had this to say:

“As a human being and the mayor of Toronto, he should get help.”

New York Times culture editor Adam Sternbergh, a former Torontonian, reminded his followers that the mayor's opponents have other, non-crack-related grievances as well:

Also in the U.S., here's Keith Olbermann, showing off his Canadian comedy knowledge:

Slate writer and executive editor Josh Levin was one of many cracking wise about Ford's particular choice of words:

And Saturday Night Live's Seth Myers had this crack about Toronto's new street cred:

Federal Minister of Industry James Moore tweeted this shortly after the revelations:

Finally, Star reporter Daniel Dale said what some others in the media are currently thinking:


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