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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Michael Coren: Little girl dressed as a soldier

Michael Coren was at his pugnacious, patronizing worst last night in his monologue and later in the discussion with his panel of guests. In a follow up to an earlier tirade on his CFRB radio show with Tarek Fatah, Coren described 21-year-old Canadian trooper Karine Blais, who was killed in Afghanistan on April 13, as a “little girl dressed as a soldier.”

Yes, this young adult woman who made the courageous choice to join the Canadian military, serve her country and die in the execution of her duties was that glibly dismissed by this parsimonious boor.

Mind you, Coren may not actually feel that way—you never know with this man. This would not be the first time he has made controversial remarks or taken contra positions and later withdrawn them.

Seems to me that a few years ago he advocated a tactical nuclear strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in one of his Toronto Sun newspaper columns. About a year later he wrote in the same newspaper:

“I did not, of course, call for all-out nuclear war, but I did support what would be a massively destructive campaign against the Tehran regime’s military ambitions. Thirteen months later I feel obliged to say that I wish I had never written such an article. I was wrong.”

Coren apparently converted to Roman Catholicism in his early twenties then to converted to Evangelical Christianity and back again to Roman Catholicism—at least, that is what is written on Wikipedia and seems to square with other comments I’ve heard over the years.

Then, of course, we have his position on capital punishment: first he was for it, now, apparently, he’s against it.

In 2004, Coren did a mental 180 degree turn when at first he disparaged Mel Gibson’s The Passion, and months later praised it.

I have heard Coren “defend” Roman Catholic priests who diddle young boys as being homosexuals rather than being pedophiles—some of the boys were 14. Somehow, that seemed to make quite a difference to Coren, and the fact they are perverts with very sick minds seemed to escape him.

Coren is hardly a man of conviction, so I suppose we shouldn’t take him too seriously.

He certainly seems to thrive on  controversy—perhaps it sells columns and attracts viewers and listeners to his show. But even he should have some respect for those who lose their lives in the service of their country. Karine Blais’s sacrifice should not be the subject of the banal banter that passed as debate among the intellectually challenged former Ontario NDP cabinet minister Marilyn Churley and the marginally more coherent journalist David Menzies. Broadcaster Rick Bell was also on the show and held similar views about women in combat, but managed to express them intelligently.

I am a frequent viewer of the Michael Coren Show on CTS television. It is one of the few forums in which conservative views are expressed and debated. On Tuesday of this week, for example, “Conservatism” was discussed by a panel made up of Tom Flanagan, Randy Hillier, Ginna Brannan and Bob Plamondon—the best show Coren has had since he had Ezra Levant on to discuss his book, Shakedown.

But to get these these gems, we have to endure the likes of Andrea Calver whose grasp on the issues is as loose as a twelve inch collar on a Chihuahua, and Harry Capito whose grasp on reality is tenuous at best.

A debate over whether women should serve in combat is as valid as any, but one should not use Karine Blais’s sacrifice in so puerile a manner. And a person like Coren, who professes to believe that women with young children should not have careers at all, is not one to be taken seriously on such a weighty issue.

5 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I was a faithful adherent of Michael Coren and would tape episodes if I was away from home. However, over the past year I have become disillusioned with the direction of the commentary and some of his guests. When he started saying that Sid Ryan was not a "hater", I had to ask myself what I was doing following this program. Will watch his commentary this morning regarding Karine Blais. My sympathy and prayers to her grieving family, friends and fellow soldiers.

  2. She was 'dressed' as a soldier, because she was trained as a soldier.

    Unlike most other countries, western nations train their soldiers (regardless of sex) to a high standard.They are not child soldiers, or illiterate, untrained revolutionary guards.They are serving their country proudly, and with conviction.

    I wish that could be said of some of the critics of the mission here at home.

  3. Do you have a link to the video? I'd like to see the context because this sounds very very dispicable.

  4. Sorry, Ted, no link to a video clip—I watched his show last night and heard him on CFRB radio earlier in the week. He has led off his show now a couple of times with similar views about Karine Blais—this was no single rant.

  5. If he actually said that, he's a scumbag of the lowest kind, despicable enough that no soldier would piss on him if he was on fire. Hey Coren, if you read this, go jump off a bridge, you *&*&?%$# garbage.