On Tuesday, Rob Ford held a press conference. He wanted to talk about plans to coordinate Toronto's traffic lights. What he didn't want to talk about was an iPhone video allegedly showing him smoking crack cocaine.
That fits the pattern of the mayor's recent press appearances: Ford speaks about the issue of the day (Sherbourne bike lanes, the budget surplus, his staff resigning en masse), reporters inevitably ask him about the drug scandal, he pretends not to hear, and then walks away.
The conferences, held almost daily, appear to be a deliberate strategy on the part of the mayor's office, designed to show the public that Ford is conducting "business as usual," but carefully avoiding anything that could fuel the stories about the drug allegations.
This public relations push ramped up this week when, for the first time in memory, Ford's office posted a Youtube video of a media availability. Yes, the one about traffic signals.
It hardly makes for riveting viewing, but it is flatteringly edited from the mayor's point of view.
The clip ends before the part where reporters ask him about crack.
For the record, you can hear that bit here:
This time the mayor lasted only one question before leaving the room. The voice you hear is the Star's Daniel Dale, referencing this list of queries Ford has refused to answer compiled by the Toronto Sun's Don Peat.