Toronto Mayor Rob Ford nixes weekend radio show in wake of video controversy
TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will not be hosting his weekly radio show this weekend after explosive allegations that he was recorded on a video appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
CFRB program director Mike Bendixen has tweeted that Ford and his brother Doug, a city councillor, won't be behind the microphones this Sunday for their two-hour talk show "The City" on the Toronto station.
Bendixen says the Ford brothers told the station on Friday the show would not go ahead as scheduled, but expected it would be back on the air next weekend.
Rob Ford has slammed a Toronto Star report on the video as a smear job and called it "ridiculous."
The Toronto Star and the U.S.-based website Gawker.com reported the story Thursday night. Two reporters from the Star and the editor of Gawker said they viewed the cellphone video and said it appears to show Ford smoking crack.
The media outlets reported the video was shown to them by an alleged drug dealer who has been reportedly trying to sell the video for at least $100,000.
Gawker is trying to raise $200,000 from the public, which it says it needs in order to buy the video to post on the gossip-news site. By Saturday afternoon it had raised more than $52,000 toward its goal.
In its report, the Star said two of its reporters had watched the video on May 3 that it said showed an intoxicated Ford in a room, sitting in a chair, and lighting and smoking from what appeared to be a glass crack pipe.
The publications reported Ford could be heard making crude remarks about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and the high school football team the mayor coaches.
Doug Ford told CFRB on Saturday that "I have never seen my brother involved with anything like coke."
The Star has stood by its story and rejected any suggestions the paper was out to get the mayor.
Ford's lawyer Dennis Morris called the reports "false and defamatory." Morris also told the newspaper it was impossible to tell what a person was smoking by watching the video.
Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said Friday investigators were "monitoring the situation closely."