Reporter from Texas Likens Canadians to Nazis
I wish I was making this up, but I am absolutely not.
Apparently our country has so appauled Texan journalist Gil Lebreton that he felt likening the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games to the games held in Berlin at the height of the Nazi’s control over Germany was the best possible comparison.
“Canada wanted to hold a party, and the Canadians did. The gold medals only seemed to fuel them.
Team Canada hockey jerseys became the uniform of the streets. Maple leafs were either hanging or on clothing everywhere.
One thing I never saw: a simple flag or shirt with the five Olympic rings. Not anywhere. After 15 Olympics, that was a first.
I didn’t attend the ’36 Olympics, but I’ve seen the pictures. Swastikas everywhere.”
After which he dutifully followed with a ‘no political reference is meant” note. Just in case someone gets confused by him comparing Canada to Nazi Germany, and — golly — why would they?
His major complaints are our overt patriotism, including having the gall to wear Canadian hockey team jerseys and other Canadian clothing in public, on TV, and in the stands. He freely admits he has no idea the awful coverage NBC gave to the Olympics in general, but curses Canadian newspapers featuring Canadian athletes rather than those under-appreciated American and European ones. Yes, Gil. How dare Canadian media spotlight Canadian athletes at the Canadian-hosted Winter Olympics! The sheer nerve!
Well. Forgive us for daring to put winning Canadian athletes on the front covers of our newspapers and at the front of the daily highlights of our sportscasts. I’m certain the Americans were busy featuring all the non-American winning athletes on the covers of their news media and in the first thirty seconds of their news broadcasts, so clearly something dreadful was overlooked. Terribly sorry not to have fangirled Americans while you were here, we should have realized you wanted to know what they were up to and would only bother looking at the front page.
Jeff Lee of the Vancouver Sun offers his response to Gil Lebreton, and thank GOD for it:
What bugs me most about this whole affair is that Lebreton came here and shat on Canadian hospitality as if only Americans have a right to feel patriotic. If we are normally the polite society, the people who say “sorry” and “please” and “thank you” and “you’re welcome” then does he think we won’t speak out and object when he makes such inane statements as suggesting we suffer from a “classic Canadian inferiority complex.” (And just what does that mean anyway? Classic? As in maple syrup or Canadian bacon?) Likening us to Nazis? What was that you put in your drink? A double dose of Sour-me-mash?
Listen, Gil. I get it. You were probably hard up for a column on deadline. You thought you’d be clever. You figured you could smack the nice little Canadians around and nobody would object. After all, what are we gonna do? March down to Washington. D.C. and burn down the White House again? What, you think people up here don’t read? Have a gander at my chain’s newspapers and you’ll see that we had better than 30 people involved delivering comprehensive news of all of the Olympic events, especially those not won by Canadians. If in these Games we also celebrated our Canadian successes, should we be ashamed of that
Bolded emphasis mine.
And good ol’ Gil? He wants us to know that offending Canada wasn’t intentional. Because gosh darn, who’d a thunk folk these days could get so twisted up over being compared to Nazis? Pshaw! We Canadians sure are sensitive about this kind of thing, aren’t we?
You know what? I’m going to be unCanadian right now and not apolgoize anymore. I’m not going to apologize for winning 14 gold medals, the most in the Olympic Winter Games history, and I’m not going to apolgize for celebrating it as loudly as I can either. I refuse to apologize for the awesome TV and online streaming CTV coverage of the Olympics that featured Canadian games when it had to choose because it’s our network and when 90% of your viewing audience is Canadian that’s what you show. I will not apologize for our newspapers and newscasters singing our athletes praises the days they won medals, which happened to be every day of the Olympics but one, because again that’s what 90% of those media outlet’s audience wants to hear. I categorically decline to apologize that for two weeks Canadian content outstaged, outshone, and outgunned American content in Canada and around the world, and that for once it was Canadian flags that was top of mind globally instead of American ones. I will not apologize for the amazing 14 medals won by Canadian women or the 11 won by Canadian men, or the gold won by ice dance pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. I absolutely refuse to apologize for Canada’s heartfelt embrace of Joannie Rochette, for the women who celebrated hockey gold in true Canadian form with beer and cigars, for Jon Montgomery’s cry of joyeous triumph from the podium, or for a nation that celebrated men’s hockey gold on the streets.
I refuse to apologize, world. At least about this, at least right now. Because my country is just as awesome as any of yours, because my national pride deserves to be showcased and highlighted, too, and because for once in my 27 years every time I turned on the TV or listened to the radio my ears and eyes were greeted by the voices and faces of fellow Canadians across our country united by our love of this nation, our love of sport, and our encouragement of our athletes.
My name is Rachelle, and I am Canadian. I won’t apologise for that, either.