The Corner

Loony ‘troon

Readers may recall Ann Coulter’s visit to the University of Ottawa a couple of months back. The Provost, François Houle, had threatened her with criminal prosecution before she’d even set foot on Canadian soil, whereupon a mob of Houligans forced the cancellation of her speech. The Canadian Press filed a freedom-of-information request and has discovered that M Houle’s fatuous letter was sent at the behest of the University’s President, Alan Rock, a former Minister of Justice under the Liberals:

“Ann Coulter is a mean-spirited, small-minded, foul-mouthed poltroon,” Rock wrote to Houle in a March 18 email. “She is ‘the loud mouth that bespeaks the vacant mind’.”

On the subject of vacant minds, how embarrassing that the president of a leading (okay, “leading”) university doesn’t know the meaning of the word “poltroon”. Webster’s? “Spiritless coward.” The OED? “Spiritless coward.”

Say what you like about Ann Coulter but she’s no coward and she doesn’t want for spirit. “Poltroon” would seem to apply more to the shifty and dissembling Alan Rock. If he dislikes that characterization, I’d be happy to sponsor a debate between him and Miss Coulter in Ottawa, if not at his dingy campus then at the Chateau Laurier, and we’ll see who emerges most poltroon-like.

Presumably, Rock thought its meaning approximate to that of its rhyme, “buffoon”. As Bugs Bunny is wont to observe, “What a maroon!”

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

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