12.13.2010

jack todd: don cherry is nothing but a phoney

Jack Todd, a sports columnist in Montreal whose book I wrote about here, has some thoughts on Don Cherry.
When Cherry dives in to right-wing politics with both feet firmly in his mouth, he is over the line - the line that separates commentary on hockey from such complex issues as public transit, health care and the war in Afghanistan.

Shameless to the core, Cherry has even devoted one entire segment of Coach's Corner to his own self-aggrandizement as Canada's self-appointed No. 1 soldier. But Cherry the soldier is as phoney as Cherry the bluecollar guy. I know someone who has held the same bluecollar job for at least the past 15 years. Cherry has walked past this person on a regular basis for all those years - and never once said hello.

Still, Cherry wants us to believe that he is blue-collar, while guys like me are the elite, bicycle-riding columnists.

You want a tough, blue-collar guy, Don? A real one, not a phoney? Well, I grew up with one. A father who was a combat veteran of the First World War. An ex-boxer with his hands all smashed up, his nose broken, his brain addled after 70 pro fights as a light-heavyweight and more amateur bouts than he could count. A guy who would drive a spike with his bare fist, then lick the blood off his knuckles.

My father had just about every fault in the book, but he was real. He voted solid Democrat. He stood up for the working man and the little guy. When he had almost nothing, he would give part of what he did have to a family that had nothing at all.

And he would have spotted a phoney like Cherry a mile off.

Read his great column here.

In case you missed it, Cherry recently finagled some media attention by doing his shtick at Toronto City Hall. Toronto was not impressed.

Thanks to The Galloping Beaver.

6 comments:

impudent strumpet said...

I'm rather surprised that none of the media coverage seems to be asking/looking into who paid Don Cherry's appearance fee.

Skinny Dipper said...

I don't think the blue-collar schtick is just a Don Cherry thing. I think the Conservative establishment uses the same schtick. Somehow, the Conservatives know how to get blue-collar voters to vote against their interests. They know how to attract the attention of voters who in theory should be voting for the NDP. I don't think this is a problem for the Conservatives or the voters. I do think that the NDP needs to frame its message so that the party will attract the same-blue collar voters.

L-girl said...

Somehow, the Conservatives know how to get blue-collar voters to vote against their interests.

To vote against their economic interests - but not their social outlook. That's how it's been done in the US for a long time, too. (Not that the Dems actually were the party of the blue collar, but they were supposed to be.)

Plenty of blue collar folks vote NDP, but they tend to be union and urban - as opposed to rural people voting Conservative.

L-girl said...

I'm rather surprised that none of the media coverage seems to be asking/looking into who paid Don Cherry's appearance fee.

More info, pls?

Joe Gravellese said...

Don cherry's hockey commentary is usually pretty good, but he's such a blowhard that it's hard to listen to the guy even when he talks about something he isn't igorant about.

impudent strumpet said...

More info, pls?

That's my point, we don't have any information at all, and that's weird.

We know that people are often paid for giving speeches, especially public figures who are in demand.

Don Cherry is certainly in enough demand that he'd charge money for giving a speech. The internet suggests that his appearance fee is in the $30,000-$50,000 range. I don't know what the normal going rate is, but that sounds like a lot of money to me.

Did the City (which just cut that much out of the budget for feeding councillors) pay that much money for Don Cherry to speak? Did Rob Ford's campaign (which is in debt) pay it? Did Rob Ford pay it himself (yes, he's a millionaire, but that would still be rather a lot of money.)

This is the very first thing that popped into my head when I saw the transcript of that speech, but the media doesn't seem to have thought of it.