SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Until 10 days ago, most Americans had never heard of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Which seems unusual given his astounding track record of disregarding political correctness in favor of making blunt, often weird statements such as implying bicyclists who are killed on roadways deserve their fates for having the gall to use thoroughfares intended for motor vehicles, or that "Oriental people work like dogs… I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over." To his credit, Ford didn't go so far as to say "Oriental people" eat dogs. But there's always next week. Now, some media are reporting the existence of a homemade video that captures scenes of Ford enjoying crack cocaine. But instead of calling for his ouster, Ford's constituents seem to be defending him, and his popularity and notoriety have noticeably increased. Scandal, it would seem, is a mystical oven that bakes contradictions into delicious pies of irony . And lesser-known political figures in the United States want a slice.
Rob Ford captured the attention and imaginations of Canada's south-of-the-border cousins when the Toronto Star and Gawker reported having watched a video of him allegedly smoking a crack pipe. This most recent scandal follows a long succession of bizarre behavior that's done little to taint Ford's public image. In fact, he keeps getting more popular. That's why some obscure U.S. politicians, such as San Narciso Mayor Manny DiPresso, have hired key members of Ford's now disbanded public relations team to bolster their exposure through carefully designed scandals and gaffes.
Mayor Ford, 44, roundly denied the existence of the videotape and called the allegations ridiculous.
"I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine," he declared last Friday. Although in 1999, Ford was arrested in Florida for driving erratically under the influence of marijuana.
Despite his protests of innocence, Ford's staff seemed less sure of the situation. On Monday his two press relations people abruptly resigned. Three days later his chief of staff also quit.
While the organizational shakeup comes as more bad news to the beleaguered politician, it's a boon to public figures in the United States who are struggling to achieve recognition.
"As a politician you have a staff full of 'experts' who get paid to provide advice. I'm beginning to realize that most of this advice is bad," Mayor DiPresso said. "Stay out of trouble, they tell you. Avoid scandal, they caution. Don't cheat on your wife or traffic teen sex slaves from Saipan or bed male prostitutes. But those are the very things that take political careers to the next level."
DiPresso cited an infamous sex scandal involving President Bill Clinton and his aide, Monica Lewinsky. Throughout the sordid affair, the lies, the admission of lies and the impeachment proceedings, Clinton's approval ratings actually climbed.
Ford also recalled the lurid career of Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. Barry was charged with three felony counts of perjury, 10 counts of misdemeanor drug possession and one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to possess cocaine in an FBI sting operation. But even after his arrest, Barry continued to serve as mayor. Upon his release from jail, Barry ran for office again. And he won. And he remains an active council member.
Like Ford, Barry displayed unparalleled hubris and "arrogance" during his trial. Like Ford, Barry made anti-Asian remarks: "We've got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops. They ought to go, I'll just say that right now, you know. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too." Like Ford, Barry had run into problems with police for erratic driving and failing sobriety tests. Barry also refused to file several years worth of tax returns or pay taxes he owed.
Yet, Marion Barry is consistently voted into office.
"It's become impossible for an honest politician to win reelection," DiPresso lamented. "Integrity schmintegrity. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but if I want to stay in office and advance the causes dear to my small California community, I need to start getting in trouble. Like Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan trouble."
In addition to creating a new PR team headed up by Ford's former public relations officers, DiPresso has also brought in a select group of thugs, racists and crazed homeless people as consultants.
DiPresso has been working closely with these experts to learn racial slurs, homophobic talking points, deranged behavior and to experiment with a variety of dangerous, mind altering narcotics.
"They've brought in a female martial arts instructor to teach me the most effective way to beat my wife before I progress to adultery," DiPresso explained. "After I pick a drug of choice, I'm going to engage in some reckless, dope-fueled antics in my vehicle. When the police pull me over, I'll be able to resist arrest while unleashing a torrent of racial and religious hate speech that I'll later deny in court. Next month I'll also begin carrying around an unlicensed firearm, which the NRA has agreed to support."
DiPresso also indicated that he's working with a local priest to help select some under-aged boys to molest.
"Meeting with Father Preternature, who leads our county's only Catholic church, is proving to be quite beneficial," DiPresso admitted, clearly excited about the progress of his conditioning. "He's gone the extra mile by introducing me to a curious little diversion known as autoerotic asphyxiation. I'm not sure what it entails just yet, but I understand it involves neckties, lemons, self pleasure and explosive media coverage, even if I fail. So that's a win-win, right?"
The campaign's PR experts will be "leaking" strategic details of Mayor DiPresso's escapades to the press in order to guarantee timely coverage. DiPresso hopes to launch his new public image initiative around the July 4 holiday.
2013. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.