"Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience."

Sometimes a silly signature line says it all. In this morning's Toronto Star, I see a recap of Ambassador Frank McKenna's appearance on John Gibson's Fox News show.
In an encounter more game show than great debate, Frank McKenna fended off Fox News allegations yesterday that Canada is soft on security and welcoming to terrorists.

The show was "The Big Story" with John Gibson, but the new Canadian ambassador, his on-air time squeezed by reports on a double murder and a police shooting, took on the host as if he were on Final Jeopardy.

"Mr. Ambassador, the big question: Are Islamic radicals inside Canada a threat to both your side of the border and ours?" asked Gibson, a well-known critic of Canada — or Canada-baiter, depending on one's point of view.

Hard on the heels of that question, Gibson asked McKenna: "Explain to me something — I hear there are a certain number of Americans who were mad that President Bush was re-elected. They want to move to Canada."

It takes them a long time to get in, he added.

"But you get the impression that if you get off the plane from Afghanistan and say, 'I'm here claiming political asylum,' you're welcome to Canada," Gibson asserted.
I understand why McKenna has to make these appearances, but sheesh, this is a loss out of the gate. Read more here.

The Star story closes with this:
His message to Americans thinking heading north of the border?

"You like sneering Canadians so much? Fine. Stay forever."
This is not the first time we've encountered this Fox cartoon. Who are these sneering Canadians Gibson is so obsessed with? I've yet to meet one, nor has anyone I know or have ever heard from.

OK, Rob, Kyle, ALPF, G, Raspberry Jubileee, my unknown loyal reader from Nova Scotia, and all you other Canadians reading: one, two, three... sneer!!

Come on, you can do better than that. Really get into it. Crinkle up your noses, curl your lip, feel superior. Think of Elvis! That oughta help.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I feel bad for Frankie MC - it's always a no-win when coming up against ignorance.

It's amazing how a *ahem* "journalist" such as Gibson can't make the link between borders and security checks. It's like one has to simply say no to anyone Islamic or from a country that has known terrorists in it, in order to please these guys. Last time I looked that was his unlawful thing called discrimination.

In the meantime, when the story of terrorists coming through here is false, and the security checks on immigration to Canada are known to be thorough (how many terrorist attacks have we ever had here?), one has to think Gibson is reaching on this one.

Why would he do that? My guess is to save face for the network ... remember, Canada took a ton of heat when the alleged story of terrorists entering via our soil hit the airwaves. Now it's been proven false and the American media look like idiots for having reported something that untrue. My guess is it's easier for them to push the story anyway, to argue that even though we know it didn't happen, it could have happened ... thus they still look semi-smart and we still look like we welcome terrorists with open arms.

In the meantime, the rest of Canada laughs at such reports, cracks open a beer, and turns on the hockey game (yay World Championships!). And somehow still gets more world news out of that than FOX.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...let me see. Stay forever in a country like Canada or deal with idiots like Gibson every day...

That's a toughie :-)

laura k said...

LOL! Oh ha ha ha, thank you Nick. You made my morning. See you there!

"Why would he do that?"

To turn on TV sets, to maintain his image as an asshole/tough-guy pseudo-journalist, to take the anti-Canada position, because that's become part of the ignorant pro-everything-Bush agenda. And also for the reasons you say, G.

Rognar said...

You know, many of the issues FOX News has with Canada regarding lax immigration procedures and border security actually have a fair bit of resonance among conservatives here. The problem is the sweeping generalizations and factual inaccuracies that FOX News commentators employ to make their arguments. Canadians are pretty skeptical people. We have well-calibrated "bullshit-o-meters" (probably explains why we're not very religious). So if you want to make progress with us, you better have your facts straight. FOX News just doesn't get it.

As for sneering, well, I could pull off a pretty solid sneer when I was a student. Now in my late 30s, the best I can manage is a devastating cocked eyebrow.

laura k said...

I notice my sneering abilities have declined with age, too.

However, my ability to laugh - at others and myself - has increased in inverse proportion.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

I'd make a joke about being young enough to sneer, but then who'd be sneering at me?

As for borders and immigration, that's been conservative bread-and-butter forever. What's new is the Soviet-like attitude among American "conservatives", like that baptist minister who tried to excommunicate all the members of his church the didn't vote for Bush.

As for Canadian conservatives, all they seem to care about is bringing down the Liberals. All else is irrelevant. However, I think a lot of Canadians have been put off by the endless politiking of all parties recently, and really don't care who wins this next election. To be honest, it wouldn't change things much. The difference between a Conservative and a Liberal government is fairly minor.

laura k said...

"To be honest, it wouldn't change things much. The difference between a Conservative and a Liberal government is fairly minor."

That's the impression I get. In all seriousness, how would things change? And does that depend on how a new govt comes in - with what kind of alliance and how many seats? Or no? Pardon my ignorance, I'm not real clear on the Parliamentary system yet.

Rognar said...

Two likely scenarios, a Liberal minority (i.e. the status quo) or a short-lived Conservative minority followed by yet another election a few months later. We are entering an "Italian" phase of governance in Canada.

Anonymous said...

I for one actually think it is exciting... I can't remember the last time federal politics was this interesting...


laura k said...

I meant what will actually change it terms of laws or life in Canada?

Rognar said...

If the Liberals win, the gay marriage law will arrive faster. If the Conservatives win, we might not go bankrupt from all the spending promises the Liberals have made with the NDP and the provinces in order to hold on to power. Beyond that, not much will change.

Jubileee said...

Did I read this post too late? Did I miss the sneer-off? That's okay, I'm sneering everyday on my commute into work. I'm sure an American or two might have seen it. Oops sorry, eh?

laura k said...

Never too late to sneer. :) I'll see you down the road a bit.

Cin said...

My sneering abilities have gone down hill since I was a teen. On the plus side, I've been practicing my momma's nostril-flaring "you-are-so-in-trouble-with-me-don't-even-try-to-talk-yourself-out-of-this-one" glare, and almost have it perfected.

Can I use that instead?

laura k said...

Absolutely! You can be the Glaring Canadian. Why not.

I'm sure The Criminals are thoroughly intimidated by that look. (NOT.)

barefoot hiker said...

Two likely scenarios, a Liberal minority (i.e. the status quo) or a short-lived Conservative minority followed by yet another election a few months later. We are entering an "Italian" phase of governance in Canada.

I've wondered how likely a slight Conservative majority might be. Let's face it, the Liberals have been in a long time. People were tired of Chretien. Martin's a good finance minister, but there's just something about him that isn't prime ministerial timber. And a lot of people I know can't support them with the scandal going on and are thinking of voting NDP. So my thinking is, we could see something along the lines of what we saw in 1984... vote-splitting on the left that moves votes away from an unpopular Liberal government to the NDP, kneecapping them both as they eat each other's lunch, with the Tories shooting up the middle in a rough 30-30-40 split. We might actually see something like this again.

Frankly, I'm increasingly of the opinion we'd be better off with proportional representation. It would address a lot of the concerns that seem to be perennial in the West, limit the influence of the BQ in federal elections, and save us from the extremes that vote-splitting (Liberal-NDP back then, PC-Reform till recently) facilitates. We'd probably end up with more minority governments, but that might not be such a bad thing. David Peterson, when he was premier of Ontario, was never so popular as when he was in minority and had to make deals with the other parties. The minute he got his majority and started doing what he pleased, his popularity went down the toilet.

laura k said...

Frankly, I'm increasingly of the opinion we'd be better off with proportional representation.

I think this is a great idea. Many Americans (including me before I started this blog) mistakenly think Canada already has this. It's so much better than the winner-take-all system here in the US.