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Mayor addresses crack scandal on new 'Ford Nation' YouTube show

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, left, is flanked by his brother Doug Ford as he appears in front of the media in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013, after learning that he has successfully appealed a decision to remove him from office following a conflict of interest hearing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

With his weekly radio program surprisingly halted and his television show nixed after one episode, Rob Ford launched his latest effort on Monday at getting his message out with a new show on YouTube.

The scandal-soaked Toronto mayor was joined by his brother Coun. Doug Ford in hosting the online “Ford Nation” series, sharing the name of his ill-fated TV broadcast.

During the show Ford explained why he initially lied about smoking crack cocaine.

“Why did I lie? I think everybody in the world has lied, because I was embarrassed,” Ford said.

The show was posted on Monday morning in four parts. You can watch them below.

A brief teaser posted on YouTube last month shows the pair jokingly trading jabs before ending with Rob Ford asking viewers to “please judge me on my record, not my personal life.”

The show comes months after a weekly radio talk show hosted by the Ford brothers was ended on what Toronto radio station NewsTalk 1010 called mutual agreement.

Their Sun News Network series was cancelled after its debut due to its costs.

Like his other broadcast programs, the YouTube endeavour will give Ford a chance to sound off on city hall issues and will also let him hammer home campaign themes as he ramps up his fall re-election bid. Ford will take questions via email.

The Internet premiere comes as Ford finds himself dogged by questions about his conduct on a recent trip to the West Coast.

A Toronto Star report cites an unidentified witness alleging the mayor appeared impaired and was “talking gibberish” at a pub outside Vancouver. The Star said it was unable to independently verify the source’s allegations.

Ford has not immediately commented on the Star’s story.

Even before his official debut, Rob Ford has already become something of a star on the massively popular video-sharing site, where a search for his name yields upwards of half-a-million videos.

That number is sure to be bolstered in the wake of Ford’s new show due to YouTube’s fiesty and at-times derisive culture, where users offer up their own takes in recorded responses that can run the gamut from exhaustive criticism to unbridled praise.

A video channel dedicated solely to countering the new Ford show has already sprung up, lambasting its 30-second teaser with more than three minutes of clips of Ford scandals and controversial statements dating back to his time as a city councillor.

“Ford Nation Rebuttal will echo the call of the Ford Nation channel to ‘(g)et to know the mayor that the whole world is talking about,'” the channel mockingly pledges.