Rob Ford, the disgraced Toronto Mayor, tried to gain goodwill in the media with the premiere of his political talk show, Ford Nation.

Ford Nation, which airs on Toronto’s Sun News Network, is co-hosted by the Mayor and his brother, Councilman Doug Ford. The two brothers, who previously hosted a radio show together, spent most of their inaugural hour tiptoeing around Ford’s recent scandal storm, which began when a video of him smoking crack cocaine was released to the press a few weeks ago. When word of the video first emerged, Mayor Ford denied ever smoking crack, and, once the video surfaced, he said it must have been during a “drunken stupor.”

Mayor Ford Denies Drug Problem

On Ford Nation, which aired Monday evening in Canada, Mayor Ford avoided speaking on his documented drug use and, instead, steered the conversation towards his efforts to recover and become a better mayor for the city of Toronto.

“I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol, I’m dealing with a team of professionals. I’m getting the help for, sometimes, sometimes my excessive drinking. Guys, I think this is getting blown out of proportion,” Mayor Ford said.

On Nov. 13, in front of the Toronto city council, Mayor Ford declared that he does not believe he has a drinking problem, and insisted that he is not addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Mayor Ford continued to deny any substance abuse problems on Ford Nation, dodging direct questions and repeating that “the past is the past.”

Mayor Ford Has No Plans To Leave Office

Ford also re-affirmed his intensions to stay in office, despite the fact that the City Council has stripped him of many of his mayoral powers and fired his senior staff. Ford has shown no signs of leaving his post as Mayor of Toronto amid allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Ford even mentioned keeping his name on the ballot in his upcoming election.

“Everybody has skeletons in their closet. Mine have been exposed. I can’t speak for other councilors but if council wants to strip all my powers, do whatever they want to do. I disagreed with it but they have their right and I think it’s wrong. I think it’s illegal but the people are gonna have their say on October 27 [2014],” Mayor Ford declared.

During the opening segment of Ford Nation, Mayor Ford claims that his alcohol and drug use are part of personal life and have no bearing on how he runs the city of Toronto.

“Actions speak louder than words,” Ford said, referring, one assumes, to his actions as mayor and not his actions with drugs.

Ford: "I Am A Role Model."

The show also featured a question and answer segment, in which an increasingly passionate Mayor Ford defended himself against allegations of being a poor role model. When asked by a woman if the mayor of the third-largest city in North America should be a role model, Ford replied,

“Well, absolutely, they should be a role model, but I am not perfect… I have yet to see someone who has not made a mistake in their life. And, I am a role model. I’ve helped out thousands, and thousands, and thousands of people when nobody else would help ‘em out, I’ve been there…You know what, am I perfect? I’m not perfect. But I’ll tell you what I am perfect at: watching tax payers’ money, creating jobs, stimulating the economy…This city is 100 times better than it was three years ago, that’s for sure.”

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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