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It had about as much wit and humour mixed into it as a dish of 'freedom fries.' Canadians are used to getting little attention from south of the border. Many were repulsed and angered by a recent exception to that rule in which a Fox News late night talk show made fun of this country's military and even called into question the value of Canada as an ally.
Amazingly, the host of Fox's Red Eye show, Greg Gutfeld, was doing it in the name of comedy. He has since apologized for the remarks, saying they were taken out of context and that he never intended to make light of Canada's efforts in the beleaguered Asian country.
The comments, a jab after Canada's army chief said the military would need a year's hiatus to regroup and refurbish after its Kandahar mission ends in 2011, came just before the deaths of four more Canadian soldiers.
The calls for an apology came swiftly. Defence Minister Peter MacKay, at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, where he was to attend a homecoming ceremony with the families of the latest soldiers killed, made reference to the timing and called the comments crass and disgusting.
Dan Dugas, a spokesman for MacKay, went on to say the country wants an apology from the host and his panellists to the grieving families, along with acknowledgment they were misinformed.
Canadians who did find the performance despicable would also do well to take it in context. These so-called comics displayed that they know nothing of this country's contribution to the effort in Afghanistan - of the deaths of more Canadian soldiers nor of the proportionally high Canadian sacrifice.
The so-called comedy segment had all the trappings of a group of people convinced that their country is the only one upholding freedom, and misinformed about what is going on in other countries - the 'freedom fries' syndrome.
It's also good to keep the on/off switch close at hand when it comes to 'entertainment.'

Organizations: Fox News, Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Geographic location: Canada, Kandahar, Afghanistan

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