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Queer Eye for the Straight G.I.
July 22, 2003
Satire by Phil Lebovits

Oh, how low can the Bushies go? Mired in plummeting poll numbers, guerilla warfare in Iraq and a record-setting budget deficit, the information machine run by Karl Rove is now going after Canadians. Gay Canadians. Eh?

Last week, ABC News correspondent Jeffrey Kofman reported on the issue of poor morale in the armed forces stationed in Iraq, focusing on the gripes of some in the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. The report put a lie to the myth that all is hunky-dory with our brave soldiers. It's 115 degrees there, those grateful freedom-loving Iraqis are killing Americans almost every day, and the troops want to know when they can come home.

The story was riveting. As much as the spin maestros in the White House try to put a happy face on the events following the "end of hostilities," nasty facts keep getting in the way.

Using Matt "Lose the Hat" Drudge as their messenger, the White House clumsily leaked word that the aforementioned Mr. Kofman is gay, and horror upon horrors, a Canadian! How can one trust a reporter who enjoys both hockey and Liza? How objective can a newsman be when the very troops he's interviewing have no idea that the "camouflage look" is so Nineties?

They do have a point. It's common knowledge that many gay Canadian journalists looked the other way when Wayne Gretsky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. While that fair and frosty city agonized over the loss of their favorite son, gay Canadian journalists took to the airwaves with stories of separatists in Quebec and the "goings on" in Ottawa. To a keen observer of the Canadian scene, it was obvious that these indifferent gay Canadian journalists were glad to see Gretsky go. They rejoiced while Edmonton wept.

Gay Canadian journalists, unrepentant and prone to "just making it up," have filed stories in the past few months that have raised more than just a few penciled-in eyebrows. Case in point: SARS. The outbreak of that virulent disease jolted a public that was just coming to grips with a new terror alert, not to mention the cancellation of ABC's "Are You Hot?" Exploiting the SARS scare for their own crafty agenda, these cynical gay Canadian journalists fabricated story after story of how Toronto was SARS-ridden, and, by implication, must be avoided at all costs.

But why? One needs to look no further than the champagne and chablis crisis that was raging throughout all major Canadian cities. Tourists, lured by the "safe streets" of Toronto, its hip cosmopolitan flavor, and a favorable exchange rate, descended in droves. The gay community looked on in horror as these free-spending tourists ordered round after round of white wine spritzers and splashes. The laws of supply and demand soon kicked in, and many gay Canadian journalists now found themselves paying up to twenty-five percent more for their Sunday brunch mimosas. Something had to be done.

Meeting in a dank, yet well-decorated, cellar off of York Street, a cabal of gay Canadian journalists conspired to manufacture the "SARS Hits Toronto" story. With the help of nefarious Chinese restaurant owners and freelance feng shui instructors, they planted SARS rumors amongst the fearful denizens of Toronto's Chinatown. Within days, these fabrications reached critical mass and began leaking into the mainstream press, a press run, incidentally, by gay Canadian journalists.

Soon after, the World Health Organization placed a "travel advisory" on Toronto and the flood of tourists became a trickle. And the trickle of chablis became a flood.

It's an axiom in journalistic circles that there's nothing a gay Canadian journalist won't do to get a sexy by-line. Peter Jennings, Canadian by birth, and still umarried, has seen his ratings tank since the public has become more aware of this scourge.

Only by the grace of god were the New Jersey Devils able to defeat the Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup finals this year. Thankfully, we were spared the awful sight of celebratory gay Canadian journalists dancing through the streets of the Canadian capital, hopped up on cheap chardonnay, leaving nothing, not even the truth, in their wake.

Yes, American troops are unhappy with the Iraqi mission. And yes, they have a right to vent their anger and frustration. But the Army, embarrassed and humiliated, needs to take its sexual-orientation policies and adapt them to the ruthless world of cutthroat journalism. A new motto is needed now: "Don't ask. And don't tell a gay Canadian journalist. "

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