Friday, March 27, 2009

If only FOX was truly "Gut"less.

It seems I've been writing a lot of letters lately. Such a Canadian stereotype, I know, but I'm so tired of being prim and polite when it comes to international politics. I was just beginning to get past my rage concerning the O'Reilly keynote speech when another horrible bastard - from the same network! SURPRISE! - decided to insult my country, our armed forces, and therefore by default my grandfather, great-grandfather, and countless great-uncles who have served in the military. This man should be fired for the things he said, and I have sent a copy of the letter below to every available email address and bulletin board I can find. Once again, I acknowledge the fact that this is little more than tilting at windmills, but it took me three minutes to write it. A small sacrifice in the hopes that it just might affect something.

I doubt it. But it makes me feel better, anyway, to unload my venom on someone who deserves it.

A very brief primer, for anyone who's been living under a rock and hasn't heard word one about this situation: Watch the offending segment, filmed the same day that four more Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Then have a look at what this prick is passing off as an apology. And then see how angry even our own journalists have become as a result. If you're on Facebook, take note of the fact that all 600 of his 'fans' are disgusted Canadians, many of whom have crossed the line into death threats. Not our proudest moment, to be sure, but I can't say I don't understand that kind of disgust and rage.

Consider yourselves caught up.

To Greg Gutfeld:

I don't care how this gets to you, or if it's even read BY you. It would suit me just fine if your peers, however distant, and/or your colleagues and/or your superiors receive it instead.

My American friends - none of whom even watch your poor excuse for a network, let alone the show in question - have been apologizing to ME because of what YOU said. It's truly pathetic when a good group of people feel the need to distance themselves from their own nationality because you've embarrassed them by being the ultimate stereotypical American that the world has come to loathe. What's worse is that you haven't even apologized for yourself! You made a pithy statement about how Canada "misunderstood" what you said. So that's our fault, too, huh? I think you've been watching too much South Park, pal.

I just realized that I'm typing all of this under the assumption that you can read. That's rather foolish of me. Perhaps you can get Bill O'Reilly to sound out the words for you...?

I'd never heard of you before this. I hope I never do again. And I hope someday the freedoms our soldiers have afforded you are snatched from your greasy little hands.

Part II - To everyone associated with FOX:

You would be well advised to rid yourselves of this Gutfeld person and the others of his ilk; Canada is a very large country, full of consumers who are only too happy to boycott any product your advertisers are selling for as long as you allow uneducated mouthpieces to represent you.

Unlike America, we in Canada are regularly shown our soldiers coming home in coffins. My commute every day is along what has been renamed the Highway Of Heroes, which runs through Toronto, and I have seen altogether too many processionals of these young men and women being repatriated. We gather on overpasses with Canadian flags and we honour them in silence as their caskets are driven past us. There is absolutely no room for humour in this.

The talking heads responsible for this uproar need not offer another insincere apology. Fire them, save your ad revenue, and do not ever mention my beloved country again.


T. Max. said...

This is not going to be a popular opinion, but given the fact that on our own TV shows and national television network, we regularly portray Americans as stupid, selfish, and blindly patriotic, I don't really see that an apology is called for. He was making fun of our military in general, which is not an uncommon topic for humour (armies in general, not just the Canadian one), not picking on specific soldiers.

Even saying he made the remarks in ignorance of Canadian deaths, I'd be very surprised if that many Canadian media personalities kept a running tally of when bodies of American soldiers came back home, to time their own jokes. Canadian media personalities are welcome to prove me wrong, however.

Just as an aside, I THINK the law's recently been changed that the U.S. media now can broadcast when soldiers come home, but that was very recently.

I also really can't call him "gutless", as he did make these statements on one of the most-watched television networks available, on a show with his name on it, with his face clearly visible. If he had made them as a text comment on a Youtube video with a name like, "Anonymous123", a hidden IP, and not even an e-mail address attached to the username, okay, then he could be called a coward.

Anyway, there's my two cents.

~Ehch~ said...

Not popular may be putting it mildly. ;)

Having said that, though, I agree with some of your points and disagree with others. You're probably right about the fact that these morons weren't aware of the exceptionally poor timing of their remarks, what with four more boys being shipped home that very day. Clearly they pay little to no attention to anything that goes on beyond their own state lines, let alone beyond their borders.

BUT. And this is big. I challenge you - and I may regret this - to find me one example of a Canadian media outlet that has taken potshots at American soldiers. Not the U.S. government; not the "War On Terror". I'm talking about tasteless remarks made about their soldiers. Where are these Canadian shows of which you speak that dedicate their time to labeling Americans as "stupid, selfish, and blindly patriotic"? (Hell, after the CBC cuts, do we even HAVE any shows...? Hardy har.)

America is a country that seems laden with bumper stickers that say, "If you don't support the war, you don't support the troops!" and, "If you aren't standing behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them!" etc. (My latest weekend in New Hampshire was...enlightening.) If the CBC dared to allow some pundit jackasses to show up and start slamming the American military, the actual boys and girls in uniform and not just the policies made by guys sitting behind desks, we would be FLAYED. (This is, of course, assuming that an American would know what the hell the CBC was. The answer is in the question, there.)

Granted, there was no mention of specific soldiers. But the tone of the whole piece was unkind, saying that Americans didn't even know we HAD a military (yes, okay, funny-ha-ha,, not really), and that it's comprised of pathetic, lazy bastards who need a year of vacation to regroup. I'm not feeling terribly nitpicky about whether or not they got particular. It offended me, and I can only imagine how the families of our military members must've felt hearing this apparently "amusing" banter.

One of my cousin's closest and oldest friends, Thomas, is in Afghanistan as we speak. I check in on his Facebook page frequently. It makes me ill to think of him over there, and I barely know the kid. I also briefly dated (and was friends for years with) a Corporal who had completed two tours of duty in Bosnia, and I haven't heard word one from him since he was deployed to Afghanistan with his infantry unit to back up the U.S. soldiers. I watch the news every day and wonder if it will be their names I see. Their processionals headed along the 401. I'm sure that makes me a little more knee-jerk than others, the comments on this Gutland guy's Facebook "fan" page. I'm anything BUT in the minority.

I watch Rick Mercer religiously, and I can honestly say that I have never heard him say a disparaging word about the U.S. military. The guys who sit around in the War Room and bleat about what should be done next? Sure! The guys actually doing the fighting? NO. It should be off limits, period. (To quote Pink Floyd: "Forward!" he cried, from the rear, and the front rank died / The general, he sat, and the lines on the map / moved from side to side...)

I chose the word "gutless" for several reasons. One, it's the best possible way to butcher his already unfortunate name. Two, his "apology" was exactly that. (With your argument being that he needn't have made one in the first place, I suppose that point is moot.) Three, it's pretty easy and fairly far from harm's way to sit on a couch and get paid to slam soldiers when you've never served a day in your life. I therefore stand by my name-calling, as does my inner kindergartner!

So. We agree to disagree. And that's A-OK by me. I like knowing I have friends who think differently than I do, and who have the strength of their convictions to publicly say as much, especially in an intelligent and rational manner. ♥ But I'll finish my thoughts with this:

"...given the fact that on our own TV shows and national television network, we regularly portray Americans as stupid, selfish, and blindly patriotic..."

Really? Seems to me they do that all on their own, and I daresay the show in question is a fine example of that.