Brian Lilley has a lot of trouble speaking in front of a camera without fumbling what he’s trying to say. This is a problem because Lilley, as host of Sun News’ Byline, is paid specifically to speak into a camera.
His colleague Ezra Levant barely needs to breathe while he rants about The Wind Turbine Problem and how awesome fossil fuels are. But Lilley can’t make it through a five-minute segment on the troops — the troops, Brian! — without stuttering, stumbling and even appearing to forget what he’s trying to say.
The trouble starts at just 29 seconds in, and it gets worse from there. What’s intended as a rousing cry for military support (there was a parade last week), reminder of how terribly Canada has treated its armed service-members in the past (no parades), and recognition of the current regime’s success in this area (who the hell do you think made this parade happen?) is instead five minutes of an uncomfortable substitute teacher trying to deliver a lecture.
Lilley’s speaking style is so tortured in this segment that it distracts almost entirely from his hair, which is no mean feat. But what’s worst, what’s really unforgivable, is that it distracts from the troops.
May 9 was the National Day of Honour, you see. The commemoration, which Harper announced in March, was for honouring the troops, but especially troops who fought in the recent 12-year-long military mission in Afghanistan. There were parades to celebrate soldiers coming home. Politicians made speeches.
It was also a convenient way for the Conservative party to remind everyone that they love the military despite their decision earlier this year to close eight regional Veterans Affairs offices. But you know what they say: Veterans Affairs, schmeterans affairs! We’ve got parades to plan!
Lilley’s poor performance and the government’s shameful treatment of veterans aside, one thing we can all take from this segment is that in conservative Canada, “many” people apparently refer to the 1990s as “the decade of darkness.” Nobody appreciated the military in the 1990s. It was a dark time when people appreciated the United Nations and touted Canada’s role as an international peacekeeper. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.