Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s name was a trending topic on Twitter on Thursday night, but no politician would want this kind of attention.
and the Toronto Star
published articles during the evening hours about a video which appears to depict Ford smoking crack cocaine. The Star
was fairly cautious with its reporting, stating it could not verify the authenticity of the video itself nor whether the man in it, who did appear to be Ford, was actually abusing crack cocaine.
was more definitive in its take: “He was f---ing hiiiiigh,” wrote blogger John Cook.
Ford’s attorney, Dennis Morris, contacted Gawker
via email. He wrote, in regards to Gawker
’s plans to post a screenshot from the video:
“Mayor Ford denies such took place, and if such posting occurs, it is false and defamatory, and you will be held legally accountable. In reference to the photo you wish to publish, Mayor Ford has his photo taken daily, sometimes with others.”
contacted Morris for comment, and the attorney seemed to admit the subject of the video was smoking something; it was simply impossible to tell what.
“How can you indicate what the person is actually doing or smoking?” Morris asked the paper.
Neither publication ran the video itself.
The group of Somali men who are shopping it around Toronto were asking “six figures” for it, according to Gawker
. Both sites recount several details of the video, however, including a moment in which it would appear an impaired Ford calls Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau a slur often used to refer to gay men.
Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.