The dog days of Michael Vick

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:26 PM ET

TORONTO - I love the good old USA for a number of reasons, not the least being how absolutely outrageous and goofy they can be.

They unwittingly provide a constant source of laughs.

Take Fox political pundit Tucker Carlson as Exhibit A.

Being a bit of a U.S. political junkie, I've seen a lot of Carlson over the years.

A middle-of-the-road conservative - we're talking U.S. standards here - Carlson's shtick has been his boyish clean-cut looks and his hokey bow tie.

That and the fact that he has lost more jobs on cable TV than the Leafs lose games.

Perhaps in an effort to cause a little outrage and to shine in the YouTube spotlight, Carlson, earlier this week, opined on Fox that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick "should have been executed" for his dogfighting crimes.

That's right. Executed.

You know, just take him out back and shoot him, just like what happened to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.

Carlson was guest-hosting for crackpot Sean Hannity and maybe that fact brought on a rush of blood to his head.

So out it came: "I'm a Christian, I've made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances," Carlson said. "But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?"

The latter part refers to President Barack Obama applauding the Eagles for giving Vick a second chance after he served 18 months in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring.

Carlson also called Vick "some creepy rich overpaid football player."

Naturally, in Philadelphia and various websites, the pooh hit the fan.

Vick's role in the ugly affair was truly disgusting and he has been working overtime in trying to rebuild his image.

Animal lovers aren't buying into it, but as long as Vick continues with his mea culpas and wins football games, the majority of Eagles fans are prepared to turn the page.

Vick now works off the field with the Humane Society of the United States and is constantly speaking to schools and groups about the horrors of his past.

Recently he caused another wave of outrage when he said he genuinely cares about animals and would like to have a dog for a pet.

That sent the animal lovers up like rockets.

Clearly, though, Carlson went way over the top as is the wont of pundits who are looking to make a name for themselves. If that was his plan, it's working.

The dogfighting, being an old scab that the Eagles don't want to scratch, ignored Carlson and had no comment.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, however, was quick to jump to Vick's defence.

"That is ridiculous," Rendell said in a statement. "Michael Vick served an appropriate sentence in a federal penitentiary. That is not a country-club prison."

One of the best responses came from another guest host - hey it's post Christmas and all the TV bigshots are off - Cenk Uygur who was sitting in as host of The Ed Show on MSNBC.

MSNBC leans to the left in a big way politically, and Uygur drew a parallel to the lefties favourite target - Sarah Palin. During a recent episode on the Sarah Palin's Alaska series, Palin shot and killed a caribou.

"And if you're executing people because they killed defenseless animals, you might want to remember this," Uygur said, before showing the clip of Palin shooting the caribou.

Take Vick out and shoot him. Hey, it's the American way.


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