TORONTO - While Rob Ford's antics are the focus of a spiraling scandal gripping Toronto, the infamy of his misdeeds has only been made possible by the phalanx of journalists covering his every move.
Reporters, cameramen and producers from around the world have for 10 days been packed into the narrow second-floor corridors outside Ford's office at City Hall.
It started when the mayor admitted to once smoking crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor." He then waded into deeper trouble with his revelations of driving drunk and mingling with a suspected prostitute. When he attempted to dispel the allegations he made an obscene outburst. And through it all he has refused to quit.
What had been the beat of a handful of local politics reporters is now making headlines worldwide.
"There are crime reporters in the lobby," one councilor complained.
American television networks have broadcast Toronto city council meetings live, while elected officials gave interviews to global news outlets.
Canadian newspapers such as The Globe and Mail and the National Post assigned teams of reporters to cover Ford's downward spiral. International coverage has come from Britain and from the US late-night talk show circuit.
"God bless Canada, what a gift the Canadians have given us," said "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno as part of his Thursday night monologue.
"Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon quipped: "It's official, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is the best."