EDMONTON — A man honoured for penning the most popular comment ever made on the New York Times’ website isn’t actually who everyone believes him to be.
Bob from Calgary, as he was identified on the site, is actually Bob from Edmonton. The man, whose real name is still unknown, once again took to the comments section of the New York Times’ website to clear his name and apologize for the way he wrote the original comment five years ago.
“I’m Bob from Calgary who is actually Bob from Edmonton (I was posting from Calgary),” he wrote. “I’m surprised that the comment was so popular; also a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t taken better care to write it more eloquently & accurately.”
Bob’s original comment was made in 2010 on an article titled “The Angry Rich.” The article outlines the rage spewing from many top-income earners in the U.S. over any hint of modest tax increases while many lesser advantaged silently bear the true brunt of economic downturns.
Bob’s very Canadian response praised the country’s public schools, universal health care, banking system and paid maternity and paternity leave, and said his tax bill is only two per cent higher than it would be south of the border.
He added he didn’t feel Canadians were any less free than their American counterparts.
In his most recent comment, Bob from Edmonton also takes a polite Canadian approach, by apologizing to those he may have offended.
“I apologise for those offended by my comment. I love your country. I am proud, though, that Canada has resisted practices such as gerrymandering and the undue influence of corporations and the wealthy on democracy,” Bob wrote.
“I think that the comment becoming popular had nothing to do with any comparison between Canada & the USA, but rather it was because Americans are seeking the re-establishment of an economic system that benefits the middle classes, the poor, & the wealthy in an equitable way. They want to return to being a compassionate society. One where there are opportunities for all to succeed through hard work (the American Dream!).
“Through the example of Canada, the comment demonstrated that this caring middle class oriented society is not just a relic of the 1960s or some radical socialist pipe dream, but a real option for America.
“It challenges the right wing orthodoxy that low taxes on the rich, and small & ineffective government are necessary for prosperity.”
Bob’s most recent comment was, coincidentally, also the most popular comment on the article on which it was posted.
With files from Tania Kohut, Global News.