TORONTO -- Oh, leave the poor guy alone.
There was a wave of sympathy building for the beleaguered mayor. Rob Ford was obviously struggling with addiction issues. Why wouldn't the media just back off and stop bullying the man? Such is the deep well of confounding goodwill that the populist mayor would dip into again and again.
If only those darned pages from Project Brazen 2's ITO (information to obtain a search warrant) didn't keep getting released to the media, an episodic serial of shocking details that would shake that empathy every time.
On Nov. 13, came the second release of the previously redacted police documents. Among the stunning -- and untested -- allegations were suspicions by his staff that Ford had an escort in his City Hall office and accusations by a bartender that the mayor snorted cocaine during a booze-fuelled St. Patrick's Day 2012 -- both charges he would deny.
But here were yet more claims that the mayor was out of control and unfit for his office. Any self-respecting political leader would call it a day, if not for his own sake, then for those who elected him.