Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Good Fences Make Good Neighbo(u)rs

President George W. Bush was in Canada yesterday and today on a State Visit. The coverage of this on CNN and the other American networks took up... not very much time. The coverage of the "anti-American feelings" on the part of Canadians took up a lot more time.

All the media on both sides of the longest undefended border billed this visit as "an attempt to mend fences." CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Tucker Carlson (yes, the one Jon Stewart called a dick) beat up on poor Carolyn Parrish. Even a Canadian MP who is expected to exhibit pure anti-American venom for the American viewing audience was too polite to do so. At least she didn't apologize. It takes some getting used to.

President Bush came to Ottawa, but chose not to address Parliament, apparently because Parliament has heckled other American Presidents, notably Ronald Reagan. Does that make Bush a bully AND a coward? Even Carolyn Parrish faced up to the other Members of Parliament, not to mention facing up to Wolf Blitzer and Tucker Carlson.

Anti-Bush demonstrations erupted in Ottawa, in Halifax, where he also spoke, and in Vancouver. The puppets just keep getting better and better. The radio talk shows were filled with anti-American rhetoric. It takes some getting used to. Meanwhile, as long as they were in Canada, some of the press corps visited a clinic and paid $20 (Canadian?) for flu shots. I guess they were sure the medication would cure them and not kill them.

At the State Dinner, President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister exchanged toasts. The transcript of the speeches appeared on the websites for the White House, and for the Prime Minister.

In the White House press release Canadian Prime Minister Martin is quoted as saying:

…Right behind me, totem poles, the Aboriginal cultures of the Pacific Northwest. Upstairs, a journey through our social history from the first Viking settlements on the New Foundland coast. (Speaks in French.)…

As an American now living in Canada, it is difficult to say which is more embarrassing: The apparent ignorance of the name of the Canadian Province whose people opened their arms to some 13,000 stranded airline travelers on September 11, 2001 and never asked anything in return, or the parenthetical note that Mr. Martin "Speaks in French."

The full text of Mr. Martin's remarks (including translation from French) can be found on the Government of Canada website. So can the full text in French. Both versions correctly identify Newfoundland as…well, as Newfoundland.

This is the thing Americans wonder about. We just can't understand why "foreigners" don't "like" us. But it's just this kind of lazy, arrogant crap that makes us the laughingstock of the world. Does the White House Press Office have a fact-checker? How about a spell-checker?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why would the White House want a fact-checker?

If it were any good, it would have to be trashed for disloyalty. ;-)