In "South Park: The Movie," Americans talking about their resentments against Canadians bring up singer Bryan Adams. The Canadian prime minister protests, "The Canadian government has apologized for Bryan Adams on numerous occasions."
Well, it's time for another apology. I want Canadians to apologize for giving a free publicity windfall to Ann Coulter, the Marilyn Manson of political commentary. (Just as Manson uses contrived outrage to convince boobs to buy his CDs, Coulter uses inflammatory rhetoric to peddle books.)
If you don't follow the latest political outrage news, Coulter was supposed to speak at Ottawa University. Her speech was cancelled after protests because authorities said they could not guarantee her safety.
Details of the incident raise questions about whether Canadians take freedom of speech rights seriously. The student government, for example, banned posters advertising the event. An official at the university sent Coulter a letter, explaining that Canada treats freedom of speech "in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States." Yeah, it's more like the way they do things in North Korea.
That bothers me, but I have another gripe. Coulter obviously lives for publicity of this sort. She's been feverishly giving interview since her speech was cancelled, saying things like, "I should have worn a burqa" to avoid protests.
Banning her gives an odious public figure a bigger platform than ever. Happy now, Canadians?
(Thanks to my son, Richard, for helping me with the "South Park" reference.)