Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fact #28: Losing a few pounds doesn't make the _________ ok


It's true. One of the key campaign narratives of Rob Ford's return from extended leave/rehab for unspecified substance abuse is that he has lost a significant amount of weight. This, the argument goes, indicates that he has solved his personal drug and alcohol problems and is now ready re-election. As the National Post reports:

Councillor Doug Ford predicted in an interview Thursday that his brother will “turn the race upside down. They’re both, in my opinion, Tory and Chow, are absolutely terrified, and rightfully so,” said Councillor Ford, the mayor’s campaign manager... Rob Ford has had more than 450 hours of counselling while in rehab, he said, and trimmed down from a 52 pants size to a size 44.
Rob Ford was "spotted" in Barrie buying new suits in advance of his return to politics, reinforcing the weight loss narrative.

Why should I care?l

To start, the claim is yet another Ford brothers exaggeration. The National Post notes that 450 hours means 8 hours of counselling a day. Given the mayor's willingness to pose for photos all over Muskoka (usually closer to his family cottage than the rehab centre), the Ford definition of "counselling" is either extremely liberal or the effort expended has been seriously goosed up.

Similarly, the reported eight-size pant drop strains credulity. At 5'10, this would take Rob from a height:waist ratio of 0.74 (very obese) to 0.63 (still very obese, but a lot better). It's not easy to calculate weight loss from waist size, but a rule of thumb is 8lbs for the first inch and then 17-18lbs per inch after that. This puts Rob's loss at 125-135lbs, or over 1/3 of his post-crack, pre-rehab body weight. At a rate of two pounds per day. Which unless he is lopping off a finger every morning is physically impossible. Ford would need to cut 7,000 calories a day, which means that not only was he on a starvation diet, he also ran a marathon every day for two months straight (great - now Doug is going to start saying that "Rob Ford is the new Terry Fox"). Doug may try to explain this paradox by claiming that his brother turned fat into muscle, but if that were true Rob Ford and Ben Johnson would need to share the same equine veterinarian. Maybe the Ford boys are used to telling people that 2-3" are actually 8, but this time they can't rely on vodka coolers and the dimly-lit back seat of their dad's station wagon to complete the illusion.

As much fun as it is to poke holes in Robs's weight loss story, it is exactly what the Ford campaign wants. When we talk about weight we ignore alcohol and crack. We also forget about Rob's other issues.

Rob Ford has still not apologized for, among other things, saying he wanted to have sex with one of his mayoral competitors, using terms such as "Nigger", "Kike" and "Paki", getting caught on video (yet again) smoking crack with criminals and appearing in public extremely intoxicated. Neither Rob nor Doug have explained why they gave preferential treatment to Deco clients and business partners, and Rob has never explained why he used tax dollars and city staff to run errands like deliver cigarettes and vodka to his house.

But he did lose 8 inches (he didn't) so that's all water under the bridge, right?

How do I know you're not lying?

1 comment:

  1. The pant size might have something to do with less bloating not fat loss. Notice how he says "pant sizes lost" not "pounds lost"