- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2009

Canadian Ambassador Michael Wilson Thursday denounced an American television show for mocking Canadian forces in Afghanistan.

In a meeting Thursday with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, he said comments by panelists on the Fox News Channel show, “Red Eye,” were “quite inappropriate.”

“You don’t make satirical jokes about Canadian forces that have been recognized by presidents Bush and Obama for making a significant contribution to the work in Afghanistan,” he added.

Canada has lost 116 Canadian soldiers in the war against terrorism in the south Asian nation since they deployed to Afghanistan in 2001. Four were killed last week in a roadside explosion near Kandahar in the violent southern part of the country.

The show’s host, Greg Gutfeld, mocked Canadian forces as he opened a discussion into reports that Canadian Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie noted that his troops might need a year off after their mission ends in Afghanistan in 2011.

“The Canadian military wants to take a breather to do some yoga, paint landscapes, run on the beach in gorgeous white capri pants,” Mr. Gutfeld said, during an episode of the show last week.

Another panelist, comedian Doug Benson quipped, “I didn’t even know they were in the war. I thought that’s where you go if you don’t want to fight. Go chill in Canada.”

The panelists on the show, which airs weekdays at 3 a.m., also mocked Canadian troops needing a break for “manicures and pedicures.” They joked that Canada should be invaded and made fun of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Mr. Gutfeld apologized this week, after Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay demanded an explanation from Fox News executives.