Several days after the show aired, three Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan adding fuel to the already raging fire.
The show's host, Greg Gutfeld issued a public apology. Benson's mea culpa came via MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
But, many Canadians it seems, aren't happy with these men merely offering to fall on their swords. They want to insert the sword themselves, twist it around, pull it out and maybe sell it on Ebay.
The comments left on Benson's Facebook page are disturbing. Along with the threats of violence and orders to "stay out of Canada" some folks took the opportunity to engage in a little America Bashing. Here are but a few examples:
"The United States is a cancer...one day the world will treat the disease accordingly.."I feel like I'm watching the reaction to the OJ verdict all over again. It's weird to realize you've been hated all this time.
"Bigotry should be better understood by you as most Americans have practiced it enough in their own country let alone around the world."
"Americans wear Canadian flags on their luggage so that they don't get treated like the arrogant pricks they are...and they wonder why the rest of the world hates them."
"Because of people like you, most of the civilized world sees America as a giant cultural trash heap that needs to be incinerated. Your enemies don't "hate your freedom", they hate your ignorance and your arrogance."
"It must be nice to live in that tiny American mind where you eat that bullshit propaganda and scare tactic crap hand over fist as long as the Big Macs and Taco Bell keep rolling down your fat mouths and you have the latest Iphone."
"you're a typical ignorant american"
Of course, not all Canadians feel the same way as Benson's Facebook "friends." There are very reasoned comments on Small Dead Animals.
During the US Presidential campaign, a few of my friends said they were voting for Barack Obama solely because his election would make the rest of the world like us again. How's that working out for us? It doesn't seem like the above commenters are cutting us any slack.
I'm a big supporter of the military. In fact, I support any soldier who isn't on the other side trying to kill us. But joking about the military is a tough thing to do. Ask Bill Maher. He's had to make the switch from network to premium cable because he implied "our boys" were cowards.
Just as it is possible to criticize the war without criticizing the troops, it is also possible to joke about the war without turning the soldiers into jokes. Whether it was done well here will remain a topic of debate and one which I will happily stay out of.
The popular Canadian show This Hour Has 22 Minutes brilliantly illustrates the bind we have all found ourselves in.