WGRZ Anchor Talks About Dustup Over ‘Sweetheart’ Rob Ford Tweet

By Kevin Eck 

During Monday’s 5:30 p.m. news, WGRZ anchor Maryalice Demleraddressed criticism over a tweet she sent calling Toronto Mayor Rob Ford a “sweetheart.”

The two were at the Buffalo Bills game Sunday when Demler took a picture with Ford and tweeted it out. Demler later deleted the tweet and the picture. But like all things on the internet, they lived on elsewhere. WNYorker.com posted the picture on its facebook page.

On tonight’s 5:30 news, the anchor for the Buffalo NBC affiliate told viewers the conversation she had with Ford was cordial and polite and she tried to convey that in her tweet. “Does it mean I condone his drug use or his recent antics? Of course not,” said Demler. “In hindsight was the word sweetheart the right word to describe him? Obviously not. And I will certainly keep that in mind on my twitter feed going forward. It’s not just what you put out on social media, but how you say it as well.”


Buffalo Rising had a modified retweet of the original tweet that appeared to have been deleted from the NBC affiliate anchor’s twitter feed,

Buffalo News media critic Alan Pergament picked up on the tweet after Demler responded to Buffalo Rising, “@BuffaloRising @WGRZ Yepper. Had a nice chat. Down to earth. Loves the Queen City. Sounded sincere. I don’t judge.”

Pergament then tweeted back, “I think the only other anchor who would be photographed with Rob Ford is Ron Burgundy. But I judge.”

Demler and Pergament have disagreed once before over Demler’s on-air commentaries.

More of the the Twittersphere jumped on the Demler tweet with people weighing in with everything from support to scorn for the Buffalo anchor.

John Borsa, reporter for Buffalo ABC station WKBW tweeted, “Which criminal or suspected criminal should I pose with for my holiday cards this year?”

Earlier that day Ford was accused of snaking the seat of Canadian musician Matt Mays at the same Bills game. Mays tweeted,