The recent news about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford using cocaine a year ago seems irrelevant and over-hyped. I do not condone regular drug use, especially among government officials, however I think that the current backlash is more than what is necessary. Several years ago, Barack Obama published a memoir in which he chronicled his youth and recreational drug use. Obama was praised by many for his openness about his past. It does not seem necessary to bring so much negative attention to Ford's ostensibly one-time affair with coke, especially if he has continued to be a good mayor in other respects.
I agree whole heartedly. The reason this is a news story is because a government official was smoking crack cocaine. Specifically crack cocaine due to the racial connotations that it has been associated with for years. If he had been caught doing cocaine in the powder form the conversation would be much different. This is in the news because it is simply entertaining to many people, it is not viable or important news.
The allegations of crack use by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have resulted in a public relations disaster for Ford. The allegations themselves have been less damaging than his clumsy attempt at damage control. Ford has been unapologetic, belligerent, and outright unstable since the allegations of crack cocaine use surfaced. During a recent televised council meeting, he barreled into an elderly female member after a heated exchange with a member of the audience. He clearly hasn't consulted public relations professionals, especially media planners, in his attempts to retain his office and reputation.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been in the spotlight recently for all of the wrong reasons. This is mainly due to terrible public relations guidance, or possibly because he has lacked any guidance at all. Ford's behavior has simply been unacceptable, and it has led, in my opinion, to him deservingly being stripped of many of his powers. The way he denied the use of crack cocaine, acknowledged the use, and then tried to apologize were not nearly sufficient. In my opinion, he does not deserve to remain Toronto's mayor, not because of his use of crack cocaine, but because of the embarrassing way he has conducted himself over the past few weeks.
I think that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is doing the right thing by publicly defending himself. Although he has not handled public relations as well as he could in the past, it is his job to do what he feels is best for Toronto. This reputedly one-time incident of crack cocaine use should not force the Mayor out of his duties. As Manweller stated, President Obama admitted to his past use of recreational drugs. People experiment, and people make mistakes. I do believe that Ford could handle the issue better publicly, however I do not believe he should step down as Mayor if he feels as though he is the best man for the position.
The scandal around Toronto mayor Rob Ford is a perfect example of why all public figures need a public relations team—or at least a PR coach. Although the controversy may have started over the mayor’s substance abuse, the issue is not whether or not we should condone or forgive such behavior. The issue is whether or not the citizens of Toronto want a politician, who has quite blatantly made a mockery of the democratic process, representing them in government. There is a certain amount of integrity and respectability that is expected of government officials and Rob Ford obviously has not displayed this. The sheer fact that the mayor has not already stepped down on his own accord proves to me that he cares more about his 15 seconds of fame than about what the citizens of Toronto actually want.
I find this very ironic because today in class we discussed crisis communication. A major point of the lesson was that one should get the truth out quickly and not to "drip, drip, drip" information. However, I feel as if Mayor Rob Ford took this concept a little too far. He could simply stated that the allegations were true, not show citizens a video of him under the influence that he has not even viewed yet.