Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: 4 reasons the drama keeps getting stranger

Why does Rob Ford continue to grab headlines, now delivering shock and awe not only to Torontonians and Canadians, but to bemused observers around the world?

4. He keeps saying truly amazing things.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press/AP
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attends a council meeting as councillors look to pass motions to limit his powers in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.

Since news emerged in May of a video allegedly showing Ford smoking crack cocaine, the Toronto mayor has given the Canadian public a steady stream of cringe-inducing remarks, the most recent of which was a comment made to hordes of TV cameras and reporters about his sexual relations with his wife.

Even before becoming mayor, Ford’s comments on bicyclists, AIDS prevention, and Asian migrants, among other things, had attracted criticism and notoriety. A 2006 drunken harangue against a couple while attending a Maple Leafs hockey game (and lying about it, even though he had given his business card to the couple) hasn’t helped his case.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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