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**READ THE UPDATE BELOW BEFORE CONTRIBUTING** Please help us raise enough money to purchase and publish a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.
John Cook
Video / Web
New York, New York
United States
1 Team Member

UPDATE-- MAY 27, 2013, 9:46 AM EASTERN EDT: We have had no further contact with the people we believe to have custody of this video since the last update.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: PLEASE GO HERE AND READ BEFORE YOU CONSIDER DONATING. Our confidence that we can consummate this transaction has diminished.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smokes crack cocaine. Gawker is trying to purchase a video of Ford smoking crack cocaine. If we raise $200,000, the owners have promised to hand it over so we can publish it online.

Gawker editor John Cook has watched the video, as have two reporters for the Toronto Star.

This is what the video shows, in Cook's recounting: "Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, is the only person visible in the frame. It is well-lit, clear. Ford is seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe. The kind with a big globe and two glass cylinders sticking out of it. In the other hand is a lighter. A slurred voice off-camera is ranting about Canadian politics in what sounds like an attempt to goad Ford. Ford, pipe in one hand and lighter in the other, is laughing, and mildly protesting at the sacrilege. He seems to keep trying to light the pipe, but keeps stopping to laugh. He is red-faced and sweaty, heaving with each breath. Finally, he finds his moment and lights up. He inhales."

From the Star's account: “'I’m f---ing right-wing,' Ford appears to mutter at one point. 'Everyone expects me to be right-wing. I’m just supposed to be this great.…' and his voice trails off. At another point he is heard calling Trudeau a 'fag.' Later in the 90-second video he is asked about the football team and he appears to say (though he is mumbling), 'they are just f---ing minorities.'"

We are raising the money to purchase the video and publish it so the citizens of Toronto can watch a startlingly clear video of their mayor smoking crack. The people who are selling it want money. But they also want security. During Cook's trip to Toronto earlier this week to view the tape, they told him that they will not feel safe in the city after the video comes out. Ford is a powerful man, with powerful friends, and these are young kids who fear a possible frame-up from Toronto cops or worse. The money they are asking for will, they say, cover their departure from Toronto to get set up in another city where they will feel safer. Right now, they are in hiding.

This is a fluid situation. The people who have this video have been straight with Gawker so far, and honored every commitment they have made. We have every expectation that they will live up to their end of the bargain and, if enough money is raised, hand over the video. But buying videos of prominent political figures smoking crack inherently involves a bit of unavoidable dodginess. In the even that, for some reason, the deal goes south and we raise the money but don't get the video, Gawker pledges to donate 100% of the proceeds to a Canadian non-profit institution that helps people suffering from drug addiction and its various consequences. We'll figure out what that is later if it comes to it.

But that's not going to happen! Because we're going to raise the money and use it to buy a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and publish it online! Please help us get there.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 8,387 people in 11 days
101% funded
No time left
$200,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 27, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    The Little Book of Rob Ford

    Donate $5 and the good people at House of Anansi Press--@houseofanansi or https://www.facebook.com/houseofanansi--will email you an e-book compendium of Ford's most outrageous statements and lowest moments.

    2546 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013

    The Little Book of Rob Ford II

    Donate $25 and the good people at House of Anansi Press--@houseofanansi or https://www.facebook.com/houseofanansi--will send you a hardcopy compendium of Ford's most outrageous statements and lowest moments. Offer only valid for Canadian mailing addresses.

    100 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $75USD
    A Public Thank You

    We'll publicly thank you from the Gawker Twitter account, unless you'd like to remain anonymous. All your friends will know how cool you are!

    75 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $150USD
    Signed Canadian Flag

    Every $150 donor gets a Canadian flag defiled by Gawker owner Nick Denton's signature. Own a piece of history. (Only available if the video purchase is consummated.)

    42 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013

    Commemorative Print

    If you donate $100 or more, you'll receive a limited-edition hand-drawn digital painting of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine by Gawker art director Jim Cooke. (Only available if the video purchase is consummated.)

    100 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013

    Dinner with the Gawker Staff

    Donors of $1,000 or more will be invited to a dinner with the staff of Gawker at Public restaurant in New York City, date and time to be determined. (You'll have to get yourself to New York; only available if the video purchase is consummated.)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    The Rob Ford Crack iPhone

    Donate $10,000 and we'll give you the actual iPhone that was used to record the video. This perk is, of course, contingent on the deal actually happening as we hope. There's a chance that the owners will deliver the video but not the phone. There's only one, so first to donate $10,000 gets it.

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
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