Five things learned about the Rob Ford "phenomenon" from TVO's The Agenda panel Us, Them and Rob Ford.
1. The so-called Ford "phenomenon" is no phenomenon at all. There's nothing remarkable about angry taxpayers, which make up most of Ford's base. Check accountant dude from Etobicoke invited on the show in role of "typical" Ford supporter. He owns a cabin in the woods.
2. If you're going to tackle weighty issues like the Big Lie being spread by the Ford camp, ie: the city's broken, don't invite card-carrying Tory columnists from the Sun who throw the word socialist around as if it's the second-coming of McCarthy and the Red Scare.
3. Sarah Thomson makes a better mayoral candidate than she does George Smiitherman lieutenant. Invited on the show to provide an antidote to the for-Ford side, the usually passionate Thomson couldn't muster a cogent argument on why Ford's not suited to be mayor. How about the all the BSing?
4. While it may be inappropriate to call Ford a racist or homophobe, it's not completely true to say Ford's not xenophobic. Besides the history of unfortunate anti-immigrant comments, check some of the seamier elements supporting him online, like the folks at Blazing Cat Fur. Why hasn't he disavowed them?