UPDATE: Great to see all of you new visitors to the site. Can I ask commenters to please be civil to each other and to the readers? Thanks.

I just got pointed to an interview that aired on last night’s CBC Radio show “As It Happens.” For readers outside of Canada who don’t know about this show, it’s one of the flagship national current affairs shows on CBC Radio One, hosted by a senior journalist named Carol Off.

The interview was with the newly-elected mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. Ford is a colorful figure to say the least, and I would suggest that those wanting the details of the many controversies (ranging from insensitive remarks to a DUI arrest to a pending defamation lawsuit) check out the wikipedia entry. He was elected based on a platform of cutting waste and spending and reducing taxes. That platform differed greatly from his chief competition George Smitherman, and his predecessor David Miller.

So when there’s a major change at the top of Canada’s largest city, it’s not surprising that As It Happens would want to talk with him. And if you’re the leader of Canada’s largest city, you’d think you’d want to speak on As It Happens.

Well… apparently Ford was struggling with the dilemma of coaching his minor league football team and doing a national radio interview. Listen for 3 and a half minutes:

I am flabbergasted. I can’t figure out whether Ford did this out of incompetence, or whether it was a direct insult to the show and/or CBC. Now here’s my question for you: If you were Adrienne Batra, Ford’s director of communications, how would you respond to this? Options that occur to me:

  • Resignation
  • Apology to AIH for the insult
  • A heart to heart with your boss
  • Something else

Tell me what you think.

UPDATE: Torontoist has kindly provided a transcript of the interview. If you just can’t bring yourself to listen to the audio, here it is:

Carol Off: Mr. Ford, congratulations…

Rob Ford: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Carol Off: People are saying it’s a, calling it a stunning win. What do you think that—

Rob Ford: Things are, things are going really well.

Carol Off: What drew so much—

Rob Ford, yelling: Coach, half your juniors aren’t even here, eh? Alright. Alright.

Carol Off: Hello, Mr. Ford, are you there?

Rob Ford: Yeah, yeah, I’m here, yeah.

Carol Off: Oh, you’re at some event or…?

Rob Ford: I’m a coach. I’m a football coach.

Carol Off: Okay, so you’re at football practice, then.

Rob Ford: Yes.

Carol Off: Alright well, okay, we’ll continue then. What is it that you think drew so much support to your campaign?

Rob Ford: Yeah, it’s just people are sick and tired of the wasteful spending. People are sick and tired of wasteful spending, that’s the bottom line, that’s what it comes down.

Carol Off: Well there—

Rob Ford: You know, I’m the only one that can go down there [Inaudible, then, yelling:] Just go get changed! Go! Out! And get changed! Don’t worry about the water right now. [Pause.] Sorry.

Carol Off: Uh-huh—

Rob Ford: So, um, yeah, no, people are just fed up with, uh, with, you know, uh, politicians squandering, uh, hard-earned tax dollars, and they know that I’m gonna get rid of the sixty-dollar car registration tax and the land transfer tax.

Carol Off: Well you know that your campaign has been compared to Mike Harris’s Common Sense Revolution, to the Tea Party movement, do you see those comparisons?

Rob Ford: I don’t see [inaudible] comparisons [inaudible] what, I don’t care [laughs]. I just, I just know, know the taxpayers, uh, want, uh, you know, the gravy train to come to an end, and that, uh, Rob Ford’s the guy to do it, and uh [inaudible]—

Carol Off: Do you think there are similarities?

Rob Ford: And, and, I don’t, I don’t see there’s any similarities, I just know that, uh, like I said, uh, I’m, you know, gonna put an end to the wasteful spending, and, uh…you know, stop the gravy train—sorry, I’m being distracted [inaudible] so…

Carol Off: So—

Rob Ford: So, that’s pretty well it.

Carol Off: Mr. Ford, do you think that though there’s not people that who might think that their taxes are too high, or that too much is being spent on things? There seems to be a division in this city. People, in the, ah, you’ve seen it in even your voting: people who live in the more of the core of the city have different priorities than people in the suburbs. So when you stop the gravy train, some people want to see more public transportation, more bike lanes…

Rob Ford: Right…

Carol Off: …others want to see better routes out into the suburbs. how are you going to reconcile that?

Rob Ford: Well the first, well the first and foremost concern with people—is money. That’s the first and foremost concern. So, I’m gonna make sure our finances, um, you know, are well taken care of, and then we can deal with all the other issues, but uh, money’s the first and foremost concern, and, uh, that’s what my uh, what I’m gonna concentrate on.

Carol Off: Well sure, that’s everyone’s concern, but we’re not sure what it is that you’re going to save money on. Are you going to reduce public transportation?

Rob Ford, interrupting: Well I just told you that I’m gonna get rid of the sixty-dollar car registration tax and land transfer tax, so, um, maybe I’m not making myself clear, but I’m gonna get rid of the sixty-dollar car registration tax and land transfer tax. And we’re gonna stop the wasteful spending, and not have $12,000 retirement parties, and you know, all the other nonsense that’s been going on for seven years.

Carol Off: Um—

Rob Ford, interrupting: Anyways, I gotta let you go here. And, uh…

Carol Off: Well, can I ask you about public transportation before you go?

Rob Ford: Pardon me? I can’t talk to you right now—I’m really, I’m on a really tight schedule, so I hate to be rude, but I gotta let you go, and we can chat another time. Really nice talking to you, all the best, buh-bye.

Pass on the flacklife:
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