Michael Coren: Our Canadian Stephen Colbert

By Jonathon Van Maren

It’s been an interesting year in the world of Canadian journalism, from the ongoing saga of Q’s Jian Ghomeshi to the abrupt firing of Evan Solomon of Power and Politics. But no story has attracted more attention in so-con circles as the reinvention of Michael Coren from condescending conservative to bloviating progressive. Coren’s been doing the Oprah-style apology circuit lately, mourning his treatment by former customers while trying to pander hard enough to gain new ones, to little effect. Some of the interviewers bring up the statements he’s made on social issues before—his entire life, actually. Watching him respond is always quite fun—like watching a cage match between Michael Coren and Michael Coren with the main casualty being his career.

I wrote a piece on this story awhile back. But since then, I’ve come up with a theory: Michael Coren may just be doing a bit. He may be trolling everyone. A Canadian Stephen Colbert, but emulating the most exaggerated and hilariously stereotypical version of a left-wing progressive that he can. Maybe he’s just turning his career—or whatever’s left of it—into a brilliant piece of performance art.

Think about it: Coren has now changed on virtually every issue of importance, but hasn’t actually come up with anything intelligent to say about them. He hasn’t even come up with anything to refute Michael Coren circa 2005. He’s just parroting the same tired, well-worn lines that progressives always use—and ones he’s far too used to debunking to actually believe himself.

A few examples from his Facebook page:

On the Trinity Western University Case: “If you want to practice law you have to uphold the law. Equal marriage is the law. Law schools are not churches.”

And in the comments beneath it, when someone asked him if he believed in the rather conservative idea of “sin,” Progressive Michael Coren was ready with a response: “Sin? Of course: judging, condemning, hating.”

See what I mean? His skills of argumentation have been reduced to meme generation. He went from so-con mouthpiece to believing that religious education institutions should not have the right to train professionals, and spitting out the most embarrassing clichés on the questions of right or wrong that anyone who understand logic can only groan at. Judging is wrong? Isn’t Coren’s New Facebook Page devoted to judging “right-wing Christians”? Only a troll would make an argument that meaningless.

These days, the one-time writer has quite definitively turned to producing bumper stickers. On the gay marriage decision in the United States: “A great day for the United States. Now let all of the churches follow. Where there is love there is God!”

Posting an article claiming that same-sex parents were no different than opposite-sex, biological parents and that apparently mothers and fathers are interchangeable and bring nothing unique to the table in a family setting: “Entirely obvious of course, but I guarantee you that the Christian right will now try to discredit this.”

Commenting on Pope Francis’s current crusade against global warming, Coren even managed to refer to long-disproven (by people like Coren) arguments about over-population: “But as so often the Vatican gives conflicting messages and could even be accused of hypocrisy. The Roman Catholic Church forbids all birth control. Is population size not an issue in all of this?”

He even posted an article supporting assisted suicide and called it an “extremely helpful contribution to the euthanasia debate by a bishop who, thank God, avoids ideology.” This after he had gone on 100 Huntley Street to condemn euthanasia barely weeks before (he’s since been fired.) You can’t make this stuff up.

A final piece of proof that Coren is probably just putting one over everyone—or the few bloggers who check out what he has to say because they find it interesting and amusing—he took a bit of a poke at Fox News. This, from someone who ran one of the most strident shows on Sun News Network, aka Fox News North.

Coren is fading from the public scene fast, but I think that if we view Coren’s triangulations from the perspective of intentional parody, everything makes a lot more sense. Changing one’s mind on an issue, or two or three, makes complete sense. Abandoning everything one has ever believed without any good intellectual reason to—that reeks of a Stephen Colbert gig, and Coren’s doing a good job of it, too. I just hope he’s in on the joke.

6 thoughts on “Michael Coren: Our Canadian Stephen Colbert

  1. Cathy Smith says:

    I must disagree as well. I have never considered Michael Coren to be as truthful as people wanted to think he was. Watching him the odd time on Sun Media, you could see the ego was huge and he never appeared comfortable when pro-life guests were on the show. He had been suggesting in his last days on television that he did not agree with a lot of the Church teaching – this after having written a book on the Church.Sad

  2. Maria says:

    Thanks for following this for us Jonathon.

    My heart breaks for the guy. Even though I see the irony, I tremble at the weakness of man as evidenced by Michael Coren’s seeming complete denial of his own beliefs. Either he only pretended to believe to make a buck, or he has been gracely wounded in the battle that we all fight against ourselves and against evil.

    Be careful everyone, of arrogance. Even if we do have the truth, we ourselves are not the authors of truth and must maintain a humble attitude. That is the lesson I am taking from this and I pledge to pray for him daily.

    • sarina says:

      I never seen a more deceitful, despicable and immoral person as Michael Coren. The audacity to rant about abortion, gay marriage, contraception for decades, and now all of a sudden he has seen the ” liberal light” There is truly something deeply sinister about his motives which may come to surface one day. I think he knew Sun News would die out and he needed to secure a job with the liberal media which could explain his abrupt change of view. Now he refer to the Catholic church as the church ” of the nasty”. Does this man stand for anything?

  3. Ron says:

    I often wondered what was meant by the Bible passage: “The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”. I think it could very well apply to Mr. Coren…as it would have to King Henry VIII.

    I also heard it said that there have been many people who have changed from being pro-choice to being pro-life, but rarely the reverse is true. Apparently the one exception was politicians. And perhaps now, conservative celebrity commentators.

    I wonder too, what Mr. Coren thinks of Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby body parts selling business? Or is he looking to buy an exotic sports car, too?

    And regarding his quote: “If you want to practice law you have to uphold the law. Equal marriage is the law. Law schools are not churches.”, does that also apply when the law is based on a five to four decision, made by a cadre of unelected, unacountable and unrepresentative…[fill in the blank] ?

    To quote Satan, “Let us make ‘god’ in our own image and likeness”.

    Heaven help us. Please God, give us the rulers we need, not the one’s we deserve.

  4. Mark Sutherland says:

    We shouldn’t take glee in this guy’s fall. But that this guy still parades himself around as a conservative or even “moderate” Christian with his wholly hypocritical stance truly angers me. And for that, I am glad that he’s falling out of the media’s good graces. As we must continually do, we must pray. For him and for the conscience of all.

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