The only English language newspaper in Montreal is handling damage control after publishing a column from a long-time sportswriter gone off the hinges, attacking Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, Glenn Beck, and several other U.S. conservatives. To make the writer's out-of-line criticisms even more vile, he was born in America but cowardly ditched for the Great White North to avoid serving in Vietnam, since renouncing his U.S. citizenship.
In a Sunday column entitled "Tim Thomas stunt earns him lifetime zero," Jack Todd leads off with the "Top 10 Reasons You Watched The NHL All-Star Game-- But Didn't Admit It To Your Friends," ranking at number seven "Hoped someone would hit Tim Thomas in the goonies with a 100-mph slapshot."
If you remember, Tim Thomas is the NHL goalie who had refused to join his teammates at the White House last week where President Barack Obama greeted the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Thomas is a Glenn Beck fan, and issued a statement saying; “I believe the federal government has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people.” The winner of the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in the regular season and the playoff MVP, said that the decision to stay away, “was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country.”
In a bitter rant one week later, the Montreal Gazette columnist unloaded on Thomas, alleging that the "Boston chowderhead" who "has nothing between the ears but industrial-grade gravel," would not have had the courage to pass on the event if the President was not African-American.
“What’s worse, you know Thomas would not have done this with the liberal Democrat Bill Clinton in the White House,” Todd wrote, followed by a line that has since been removed from the column on montrealgazette.com: “Truth is, he felt free to dis Barack Obama, because Obama is black.”
CBS Boston reports that the line created a stir Sunday, and was removed Monday with the website addressing the actions of their writer; “Note: The Gazette apologizes for previously posting an unedited version of this column.”
Edits aside, heated remarks from Todd still remain in the published column:
"Thomas’s decision to skip a team visit to the White House because he buys the garbage pumped out by Glenn Beck and his ilk was bad enough. But then, having pulled a highly public stunt to call attention to his whacko politics, Thomas blamed the media for paying attention.
Look, if this cretin wants to stand outside the White House and spew his drivel, that’s free speech. But standing up the president? All that does is show that Thomas has the class of a swamp-rat."
Todd closes his column with a heroes and zeros list, placing Barack Obama among the heroes, and producing a zeros list composed nearly entirely of US conservatives:
"Zeros: Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Don Cherry, Rob Kevin O’Reilly, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman, Alexander Ovechkin, Tiger Woods, Phil Knight, Rob Lowe, Jim Irsay, Jeffrey Loria, David Samson, Pierre Gauthier &&&&& last but not least, Tim Thomas."
What makes the rant even more outrageous than it appearing in a major city's newspaper rather than a liberal blog's message board, is that Todd writes his harsh criticisms of an American citizen respectfully declining to pose for pictures, as he lives in Canada as a Vietnam draft dodger.
The Nebraska-born Todd had boarded a bus for a U.S. Army Induction Center in Denver just before Christmas 1969, when he decided to ditch his family and oath to his country, hitchhiking to Vancouver rather than serving in the military.
"Leaving was the bravest thing I ever did and I'm damn proud of it," Todd told the CBC in 2000. Todd made his way to the Gazette in 1986 and won the National Newspaper Award for sportswriting in 1999. Todd wrote a book on his experiences entitled "The Taste of Metal: A Deserter's Story."