I've never been called "a douche-nozzle" before. At least, not that I know about anyway. The insult came from one supporter of the Fox News Channel.
But then I don't think The Globe and Mail has ever been called "the far-left Toronto Globe and Mail" before. That's what this great newspaper was called by Bill O'Reilly on the Fox News Channel on Monday night.
Reacting to my column, which cheerfully suggested that the proposal to bring the Fox News Channel to Canada should be acted upon promptly, so that we can all take a look, and get a laugh, O'Reilly gave us a Fox-style whacking. In his segment The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day, he quoted from my column (which called him "pompous"), dismissed The Globe as a lefty outfit and said, "Hey you pinheads up there, I may be pompous, but at least I'm honest."
Right. But the very idea that The Globe and Mail is "far left" only proves my point that the Fox News Channel is the most hilarious thing on American TV since Seinfeld. When we get to see it, we'll decide if, like Seinfeld, it's about nothing.
Spurred by O'Reilly's remarks, dozens of Fox News viewers wrote to me. Remember now that I only suggested that Fox News be available to us -- not only as a vital window on the United States, but as an outright tonic. Before the channel has even appeared, I can tell you I was in stitches reading the voluminous response from Fox News supporters in the U.S. By Monday evening, I was so paralytic with laughter I had to call off the writing of yesterday's column. I was incapacitated with the hilarity.
Me, I find it quite bracing to be so reviled and it's very encouraging to know that mere newspaper coverage of a TV news channel can make some people so very angry.
The people who support Fox News must be the most uncivil and foul-mouthed creatures on the planet. This is an informed opinion. They'd give English soccer hooligans a run for their money.
I lost count of the number of times I was called "an a**hole." It was at least 43 times, anyway. I was called "a pussy," "a wussy," "a pr**k," "a jerk," "a hack" and "a creep." A man in Cleveland not only called me "an a**hole" but also wished me a "f***ed-up day." A lady -- and I use the term advisedly -- in Colorado wrote to say that all Canadians are "a**holes" and thenordered me not to visit her state. I was also called a Canadian numerous times, as if that were an automatic and withering insult.
In an nice touch, a man from somewhere-in-the-USA opened by cheerfully calling me "sonny bub" and, after some confusing name-calling that involved the word "intellectual," he rose to a great rhetorical flourish -- he asked if I had served in Vietnam! Nothing of the sort has ever come from viewers of Newsworld, CTV Newsnet, CNN, MSNBC or, indeed ROB-TV. My point was that we have a great deal to learn from the Fox News Channel. And I am proved right. Talking to Americans is always a tonic. Bring on Fox News and bring it fast. Let's see this thing that has so many ardent and incredibly aggressive viewers.
Blue Murder (Global, 10 p.m.) is back but dead on arrival. The muddled cop show begins its fourth season tonight but it has already been cancelled by Global.
Tonight's episode highlights all the flaws in the series. What's happening is a clear attempt to create a broadly popular cop show but the result is unsubtle and unconvincing. Tonight's story line has two murders being investigated simultaneously. One occurs among rich folk and the other happens among the poor folk in the ghetto. In both cases, many people are unwilling to tell the investigating cops very much. You get the picture -- at both ends of the social spectrum, people have things to hide. You get the picture because you've been hit over the head with it.
At the top end, a nanny is found murdered in a park. The people who employ her are obviously cold people who hide their true feelings. Meanwhile, down in the ghetto, an apparently popular community leader is found slain.
One of the cops looks around the murder scene and says, "A guy gets smoked in broad daylight, and nobody sees nuthin'. Welcome to the neighbourhood!" Right. We get it.
Kari Matchett joins the cast for this final season and does a competent job as a skeptical, rough-talking detective. But Blue Murder's best work has always been done by the guest stars and supporting cast.
The main characters are given too much dull dialogue and are asked to be all too obvious.
Nominations for Most Irritating Canadian are arriving. Right now, the guy in the Canadian Tire commercial is still number one. However, in a sudden surge, Ben Mulroney has coasted to second spot on the MIC list. Other nominees holding steady are Don Cherry, Ken Finkleman and Ralph Klein.
I'm just the messenger here, I haven't made up this list. However, I must point out that the suggestions should have something to do with television. Politicians regularly appear on TV, so their names are allowable. But please don't write to me about the entire staff of Canada Post or the annoyingsales assistants at Shoppers Drug Mart. Stick to it, people, and when CBC unveils its The Greatest Canadian series this fall, we'll have the definitive, alternative list of really, really, irritating Canadians who appear on TV.
And when you write, be polite -- this is a Canadian thing.