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I must admit that this took a while to get to me since I tend to pay attention to actual news and not racist, homophobic, xenophobic, marginalist neo-con right-wing propaganda, but Greg Gutfeld last week took time out of his busy broadcast schedule to offend Canadians and trivialize the deaths of more than 116 of our fellows in Afghanistan — a war which our government entered in order to show support and solidarity for our American neighbours and in which we were largely abandoned so that they could go off and pursue imperialist fantasies in Iraq.

Gutfeld, who also publishes a ponderous blog called the “Daily Gut” was responding to a report issued by the Canadian Chief of Land Staff Andrew Leslie that the Canadian Military would need a break before redeploying to another hotbed in order to retrain, repair, and rebuild forces after their withdrawal from Aghanistan in 2011.

Not since they demeaned to put Rachel Marsden on the air has Faux News offended Canadians so deeply.  Gutfeld weighs in with his obviously astute knowledge and understanding of international politics and warfighting.  What he fails to observe is that Canada has so drastically overcommitted itself to a deployment in Afghanistan that it is wearing out equipment faster than it can be replaced.  It has made a number of emergency interim equipment purchases and leases including tanks, transport aircraft, tactical transport helicopters, mine-protected vehicles, and blast-resistant transport trucks.  We have spent tens of billions of dollars helping George W. Bush perform his best impersonation of Emperor Nero against increasing resistance at home as young men and women return from what can fairly be perceived as an aimless fight in bodybags.

It fairly sparked the ire of Peter McKay, Canada’s Defense Minister, who appeared on CTV to demand an apology.  Really, though, Fox needs to consider whether a program like RedEye, which as the Tyee points out, is apparently “designed to appeal to the demographic most likely to be found on a beer-soaked dormitory couch at 2 a.m.” and “is chock full of fart gags and homoerotic innuendo” is befitting something that purports to call itself a news network.  Thinning pretense of news at Fox notwithstanding, stirring up this sort of controversy is dangerous for American and global politics, as it further widens the gap and reinforces a fundamentalism of American ignorance.  If you’re going to attempt to distort the truth, at least pay your audience the respect of starting from the truth.

Gutfeld is a clown, not a journalist — without the polarizing politics that are driven by America’s right-wing Taleban who converge around Fox News, he would have neither the audience nor the medium with which to reach them.  He is proof that neither a basis in education, nor in service, nor in intelligence is required to assert the airwaves in what shred remains of American journalism.

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