Monday, March 23, 2009

Well Done, Peter

MacKay elicits apology from Fox News personality

If there's anything everyone knows about Fox News personalities, it's that they know how to keep things classy.

When they aren't berating their guests and cutting off their microphones, they tend to indulge themselves in the kinds of shit shows seen on Greg Gutfeld's Red Eye recently, wherein Gutfeld and his guests mocked the Canadiam armed forces.

While Canadians mourned the loss of another four soldiers killed in Afghanistan, Gutfeld and his guests took to poking fun at the idea that the Canadian forces may need to take an operation sabbatical from the region.

"Once their Afghan mission winds down sometime in 2011, certain members of the Canadian military are looking to take a much-deserved break. And by certain members I mean all of them," Gutfeld said. "Meaning, the Canadian military wants to take a breather to do some yoga, paint landscapes, run on the beach in gorgeous white Capri pants."

North of the border, no one has found Gutfeld and his ignorant cohorts funny. And rightfully so.

Defense Minister Peter MacKay answered the call on behalf of all Canadians when he publicly demanded an apology from Gutfeld.

"It's crass, it's insensitive, it's in fact disgusting given the timing where Canada is just receiving back four fallen heroes here at CFB Trenton," MacKay fumed. "There should be an apology -- to the families in particular, and to the Canadian Forces and to Canada generally -- given the sacrifice and the commitment that we've demonstrated in Afghanistan."

"What could anybody with common sense say about his kind of trash? It's ignorant, it's inappropriate, it's insulting," added Conservative strategist Geoff Norquay. "It's insulting to the 116 Canadian troops who have given their lives and paid the supreme sacrifice while we've been in Afghanistan."

Gutfeld has responded by issuing a less-than-heartfelt apology.

"I realize that my words may have been misunderstood," he wrote in a statement. "It was not my intent to disrespect the brave men, women and families of the Canadian military, and for that I apologize. Red Eye is a satirical take on the news, in which all topics are addressed in a lighthearted, humorous and ridiculous manner."

This follows an earlier twitter in which Gutfeld mused "My apologies to the Canadian military, they probably could at least beat the Belgians."

Gutfeld's apology has gotten a lukewarm response from some Canadians.

"I think it's very nice and all that they did apologize. It just goes to show you that they were just a bit reckless, I guess," said Jim Davis, the father of slain soldier Corporal Paul Davis, and a man who has worked tirelessly to help drum up support for the mission.

"It's a very solemn moment," Davis said of the arrival of Canada's most recent fallen. "When you look at the seriousness of that moment, and you look at the foolishness of those comedians, well, what a difference."

"It was total ignorance, poor taste and wasn't funny at all," Davis said about the comments themselves.

Getting an apology -- even a rather disengenuous one -- out of a Fox News personality is no short order. Canadians should feel at least some measure of satisfaction, although it's only a matter of time until some other idiot at Fox opens their mouth and says something stupid again.

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