The Corner

Beyond the Green Zone

I see I’m part of a news story north of the border this morning. As the CBC reports:

Dick Cheney Cancels Upcoming Toronto Visit

Or as the National Post puts it rather more larkily:

Dick Cheney Cancels Toronto Trip, Says Canada Is Too Dangerous

The Toronto Star wonders:

Has Dick Cheney been reading about how all the mean “pinkos” up in Toronto treat their right-wing politicians? Or is he just scared of Canadians in general?

David Frum is skeptical, but even the Yankee papers have picked it up. (Convergence alert: “Bush Ex-Officials Avoid Birth Control And Canada.”)

Anyway, the Steyn connection is this — I’m now pinch-hitting for Cheney:

Conservative author and pundit Mark Steyn will now be speaking along with Michael Coren. The night has been named “Steynamite.” We kid you not.

Unlike the former vice president, I have no fear of venturing into the heart of Canadian darkness. I always use the same three trusty native bearers. They’d take a bullet for me, or at least a maple crème donut.

Meanwhile, respected Canadian journalists are already muttering that the canceled-speech business is a crock. (We’re running out of names for conspiracy theorists, but I like this one: “Speechers.“) The Calgary Sun’s Stephen Lautens confidently declares that the whole Cheney-scared-of-Canada thing is a hoax. There never was a Cheney gig, and it was all ginned up to promote my lame-o appearance. The Globe & Mail’s Adam Radwanski challenges anyone to produce a valid Cheney-in-Toronto ticket. So Quebec monarchist Dr. Roy promptly does so ten minutes later.

An old colleague of mine from Maclean’s cruelly suggests I won’t draw “the same quantity of mob.” On the other hand, unlike me, Dick Cheney does not sing “Kung Fu Fighting.” The mob may be smaller, but more enraged.

If you’re in Buffalo and surrounding areas, the big show is merely a scenic 90-minute zip up the Queen Elizabeth Way. Even with herds of zombie moose ridden by feral Gordon Lightfoot fans rampaging across the dystopian wastelands, it’s reasonably safe, as long as you keep your car doors locked and avoid eye contact with the locals. And, if you book now, you can get your tickets at special early bird prices. As this excited Twitterer says, it’s two a**holes, one low price.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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