I must admit, I look forward in a sort of perverse way to Michael Coren's column. When I miss it in the London Free Press, I usually find myself looking for it online. His hatred, combined with this thin skin is often shocking, usually amusing, and always incredible. It's hard, in Canada, to find someone as inflammatory who's still accepted by the mainstream media.
Coren's a funny animal. His worldview is so twisted and distorted that I find it hard to believe that we're on the same planet. He decries religious intolerance while constantly insulting atheists, agnostics, and secularists. He laments "Christian bashing" and claims to be the victim of discrimination, while he has grown up in two of the most liberal and tolerant societies on the planet, one of which has an established Christian Church. He's insulted Muslims, homosexuals, feminists, tolerant Christians, the main stream media, African Americans and African Canadians, pacifists and human rights activists, accusing them all of bigotry.
His latest screed, Obama's victory fools public (November 8), is a good example. He accuses the mainstream media of being "drastically liberal and anti-conservative". The facts simply don't support it. McCain got a free ride on a number of issues, including his pick for running mate, his war record, his own finances, inconsistencies in his speeches and policy positions, his ludicrous "energy plan", his health status, his undeserved reputation as a "Maverick", and his association with known felons and his hypocritical associations with lobbyists.
In Canada, CTV showed its bias by releasing the Dion tape. The National Post endorsed Harper and the Conservatives, implying that the Green Shifts proposed by the Liberals and the Greens are dangerous, expensive and foolhardy, despite the fact that most economists on the planet have realized that its really the only effective way to reduce carbon emissions.
F17urthermore, Coren is a refutation of his own argument: He has a syndicated weekly newspaper column, a daily television show, a daily radio show, and two book to his credit.
Quite simply, if there is a bias in the media, it skews right, not left, and certainly for the status quo. In fact, in the next paragraph he mentions right-wing talk radio, a political force for which there is no balance on the left.
Coren also mentions Obama's association with " the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright". Black Liberation Theology was born in slavery and matured under segregation, Jim Crow laws, and overt and deadly racism. Even now, African Americans are more likely than whites to be born in poverty, to be raised by single parents, to be arrested, to be convicted, to face jail time when convicted, to to drop out of school, and to be denied the opportunity to get a post secondary education. Is it any surprise that black leaders are distrustful of whites? I'd be angry, too, and I don't think I'd stop with "God damn America."
He condemns people "who settle for group think and herd mentality". This from a man who accepts religious dogma as fact, and insults those who buck tradition. A man who implies that men like Limbaugh and his army of "dittoheads" are defending the North American way of life against the liberals who want a kinder, more compassionate society.
He calls Obama a socialist, an interesting charge from a man who left one country with a social safety net for another.
He calls Obama an "no friend of freedom", whatever that even means, implying that he is an enemy of freedom. I've not seen any evidence to support such a charge. In fact, it has been the GOP that has been running roughshod over the Constitution, flaunting the Geneva Convention, and spitting on the UN for the last eight years. The human rights record of Bush and his gang is appalling, and they ought to be tried as war criminals. I suspect that Coren would disagree.
I've been tempted in the past to ask that the London Free Press stop carrying Coren's column. He is a hate-filled, angry man, and while he may have a knack for rhetoric, his reasoning skills leave much to be desired. I've decided not to for two reasons. First of all, no matter how odious his opinions and how ludicrous his claims, he has a right to them, and a right to sell them to whomever will print them. He has a right to accuse gay people of destroying the Canadian Family, and I have the right to call him a homophobe and a bigot. Secondly, he serves as a useful lesson, a reminder that there are still men like that in Canada, and that we still have a long way to go.
Please continue to publish Coren's column. He's an amusing distraction, and he keeps my sense of indignation sharp. He's a powerful motivation.