Giorgio Mamolliti, one of Rob Ford’s criminally leaning supporters on City Council started a chain of events yesterday that underscored the achingly obvious, on many fronts.
After a heated exchange with Adam Vaughan, a disruptive Mammoliti refused to leave and was heard to say that he would “physically” resist any attempt to oust him from chambers. Citizens would likely be forcibly removed by security for this kind of thing, and police wouldn’t be far behind, but unapologetic Councillors are not held to a similar standard even when they physically assault others.
Council Speaker Frances Nunziata directed Mammoliti to apologize. He refused to say sorry, then refused to leave, and then made the statement that he’d physically resist anyone who tried to get him to budge.
In Mammoliti we have a two-faced, law-breaking, witless goof who has no problem reproaching those around him with blazing hypocrisy while supporting waste, lies, greed, and corruption; the perfect set of qualifications for a member of Ford’s inner circle, the kind of person that the Ford brothers would defend against all opposition.
And that’s exactly what Ford did in Council, claiming that “the most corrupt ones can stay” while Mammoliti was being asked to leave. Considering that neither he nor Mammoliti apologized or left, I’d say that the statement was partially accurate.
I’m sure that Ford Nation would claim that both Ford and Mammoliti apologized. But if that’s an apology…
Mr. Mammoliti had objected to city staff giving their advice between votes on the council floor.
After his apology, Mr. Mammoliti told reporters that procedural bylaws require council members to apologize when asked to, but do not require the members to “actually feel sorry for what they’ve done. In my particular case, I can’t feel sorry for saying that city staff seem to be running city hall,” he said.
“How about ‘I am so sorry? Super, super, super, super, super, super, super, sorry? So sorry?'”
To Ford Nation, everything I’ve claimed so far must seem like incredible hypocrisy. I accuse Mammoliti and Ford all sorts of things, then I fault them in the next paragraph for doing exactly the same thing. But as I keep saying, the difference between slander/libel and merely uncomfortable but completely legal statements are facts.
For example, a statement like Mammoliti being an aspiring criminal might seem like just plain name-calling except for the fact that the claim is linked to an earlier post in which Mammoliti announced (live in an on-camera interview), that he was willing to break the law to push through Ford’s subway agenda (which itself was based on an illegal cancellation of previous transit plans). It wasn’t an off-the-cuff statement and it wasn’t taken out of context, much like Mammoliti’s most recent statement that he’s once again ready to break the rules in order to get his way.
But in the Ford universe, a mountain of evidence backed by a public admission (a fact by most standards), is equal to completely baseless and slanderous comments. If the Toronto Star can accuse Rob Ford of smoking crack without (initially) providing evidence then Rob Ford is entitled to call Daniel Dale a pedophile without evidence too!
The only problem is, of course, that almost every accusation about Rob Ford thus far has been proven true, while almost every accusation made by Rob Ford has vaporized into thin air. And when Ford’s denial of the growing mountain of proof simply can’t be maintained any longer, he blurts out a bizarre admission and, in very rare times, a sort-of half apology.
Adding to this lengthy list of about-turns is Ford’s apology to Dale in Council today, peppered liberally with finger pointing (damn neighbour! damn Star editors!), contradictory statements, and qualifications ensuring that we all understand the limits of Ford’s apology. He sure as heck isn’t sorry for lying to us.
“My comments related to the fear I had for my family when my long time neighbour told me that someone was lurking at my fence, and appeared to be taking pictures of my family home over the fence. To be clear, I never personally saw Mister Dale peering over the fence or taking pictures. My neighbour told me, however, that he did see someone doing this. Mister Dale, apparently, denies that.
At that moment I honestly believed, I honestly believed, my neighbour’s account of the events. I had no idea, at the time, who the person was, my neighbour told me was leering over my fence. At that moment I had the same fears and concerns that I believe many people would have when such a report from a neighbour that they’ve known for over 15 years, and I ran to the area as quickly as I could to accost the person and attempt to protect my family. When I arrived at the corner of my home, very far from the land Mister Dale he implies was researching a story about, I indeed find an individual beside my fence in the general area my neighbour advised me. This confirmed my fears at the time. I accosted this person as I believed he was a threat to my family. This individual turned out to be Daniel Dale on assignment from the Toronto Star.
I have no issue with Mister Dale personally. I understand that he’s an employee in the very competitive news business and must do as do as his superiors instruct him. I do take issue with his bosses at the Toronto Star to put him and I into this situation. I do not mean to insinuate anything about Mister Dale personally in my interview with Mister Black. I certainly did not intend to suggest that he is a pedophile. I was merely commenting on the thoughts that went through my mind on the night of May 2012, before I had any idea that person — my neighbour told me he saw peering over the fence — was a reporter on assignment from the Toronto Star.
It is unfortunate that the word I did not say has been ascribed to me by the media, but I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mister Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offense. And if Mister Daniel Dale is here today, I want to personally apologize to him.”