We don't know yet.
That's really the only answer
that you can give to that question.
We don't know whether the Rob Ford story,
or this particular chapter in it,
is a comedy or a tragedy
because we don't know how it's going to end.
And that's, generically, how you tell,
the easiest and main way to tell,
whether a story is a comedy or a tragedy.
Tragedies begin well and they end badly.
Comedies begin badly and they end well,
they sort themselves out by the end of the episode.
Or, as Lord Byron put it,
all tragedies are finished by a death,
all comedies are finished by a marriage.
So, we're going to have to wait for the end of the story
to see whether this one ends with a wedding or a funeral
or some metaphorical substitution
for either of those two things.
In the meantime, you decide.
Tragedy, at least traditionally, classically,
tends to revolve around and be about high characters,
aristocrats, kings, nobles, the best of their kind,
people brought low by circumstance.
And that's part of the pleasure
is the bigger they come, the harder they fall.
Comedy, on the other hand, traditionally revolves
low characters, people of large appetites.
Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp, Mall Cop.
You decide in another sense.
We are currently deciding, I would guess,
each and every one of us who's following this story.
That is, if you see Rob Ford as persecuted
by the media and other forces,
then you are no doubt seeing this as a tragedy
and will continue to see it as a tragedy.
If, politically, you're on the other side of the story,
at least for now, I don't see
that you have much of a choice but to laugh...
or so I think.