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The Rise of the Rob Ford Idiocy-Industrial Complex

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is shown in a video frame-grab knocking down Councillor Pam McConnell as he ran toward hecklers at City Hall on Nov. 18
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is shown in a video frame-grab knocking down Councillor Pam McConnell as he ran toward hecklers at City Hall on Nov. 18 Photograph by Paola Loriggio/The Canadian Press via AP Photo

Toronto’s tragicomic Mayor Rob Ford may have capped six months of political self-immolation with a Maple Leafs-worthy body check of an elderly fellow city councilor this week. The collision came during a raucous session at city hall that stripped Ford of more than half his office budget (leaving him as leader in title only), and during the proceedings he managed to compare himself with Kuwait being invaded by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Still, the bumbling politician everyone loves to joke about has vowed to remain in office, fighting for taxpayers.

Although Ford has stated that his fiscal record as a penny-pinching leader is sound—read my earlier article to see why it’s not—the legacy of the Rob Ford train wreck has actually, for some lucky individuals, been a financial windfall. Gawker, the website that first broke the story of the Rob Ford crack video in May, subsequently raised $201,204 through a crowdfounding campaign they dubbed “Crackstarter,” to purchase said video from its purported owner. The filmmakers soon disappeared and were later arrested in a police sweep on Somali drug gangs, so Gawker donated the funds to four Toronto charities, minus nearly $15,000 in fees that went to PayPal and Indiegogo. So, congratulations PayPal and Indigogo.