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Bill Mann

USA TODAY Humorist, media critic

Bill Mann writes a humor column for USA TODAY, . has worked as the Canadian columnist for MarketWatch.com, has also written the TV and radio column for the San Francisco Examiner, Oakland Tribune, and the New York Times Newspaper Group.

Mann hosted a radio talk show in the San Francisco area and is now Senior Media Analyst on "The Norman Goldman" national radio show.

Mann was a columnist at the Montreal Gazette and hosted a French-language radio show in Montreal while writing a Canadian network TV comedy series.. He also authored a joke book about Canada, The Retarded Giant.He spends lots of time in Vancouver visiting his grandkids and eating poutine.
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An American in Canada: My Summer Day at The Beach Highlights Canada's Civility

I took in one of Vancouver's big summertime Celebration of Light fireworks shows up in B.C. recently. The fireworks were pretty amazing. Even more amazing was the difference in public behavior there and at a beach, say, in Southern California. Canadians, you have Americans beat when it comes to civility and basic public decency.
08/20/2013 05:26 EDT
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The Difference Between American and Canadian TV Commercials

Want to know one quick way to tell how different Canada is from the U.S.? It won't take long. Just watch a few TV commercials. They speak volumes. These days, it seems impossible to sell anything on U.S. TV networks without the use of explosions, interpersonal violence, gratuitous sex, car wrecks, or gunplay. It's almost a flip image of Canadian TV, where you see elements sadly lacking on American spots: humour, whimsy, subtlety, cleverness, intelligence. If you want a microcosm of what's wrong with the U.S. -- and what's right with Canada -- you couldn't find a better place to look than by watching their TV commercials.
08/12/2013 05:26 EDT
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Americans Are Clueless About Canada -- and Other Countries, Too

Americans could learn a lot from Canada -- but they don't have a clue. And they don't want to. When I first moved to northern Washington state and began covering Canada for Dow Jones' U.S. business site MarketWatch.com, I spoke at a local Rotary Club. The members were mostly college graduates and business leaders. I gave a quiz about Canada to the Rotarians, who share a Rotary district with B.C. I asked: What's the capital of Canada? Maybe half the members knew. OK, who is Canada's Prime Minister? Even fewer hands went up. Many Americans don't just have their heads up their butts; they also seem to enjoy the view.
07/24/2013 05:16 EDT
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Montreal Was Jackie Robinson's Refuge From Racism

I'm pretty sure I did the final interview with Jackie Robinson. I'm glad I grabbed the chance to approach Robinson, already a legendary figure, when I did. He was gone shortly after. It took place in Montreal, where Robinson loved living and playing baseball. The new film about Robinson,42, virtually overlooks Montreal. A shame, but totally predictable.
04/11/2013 05:10 EDT

The Police Call Columns That Tickle My Funnybone

We all love newspaper Police Calls columns (they often appear in weeklies), where you can see what alleged criminal actions have occurred in your neighbourhood. Some of these interesting columns are weirder than others, depending on the locale.
02/06/2013 12:04 EST

How Getting Out of Jury Duty Got Susan Cole on Probation

Denver cosmetologist, Susan Cole, claimed to have PTSD, so Denver District Judge Anne Mansfield quickly dismissed Cole from jury duty. But Cole is also an author, and when she was on a local radio talk show a few months later, she openly bragged about how she'd scammed her way out of the jury box. One problem: Judge Mansfield was listening that day.
01/25/2013 12:06 EST
alamy

America Puts Politics Before Good Neighbourliness

We Americans should be a helluva lot more thankful for having such a friendly (and understanding) neighbour like Canada. We could, but we probably won't. We Americans are so fixated on building our foolish and short-sighted consumer/gladiator-show culture that it's easy to forget who provides most of our imported oil.
12/05/2011 12:23 EST

NHL's "Southern Strategy" of Moving Canadian Teams Is a Failure

Canada is where NHL hockey belongs, not in the football-centric U.S. South, for crying out loud. A poll this week showed that Canucks-crazed Vancouverites are more excited about this Cup final series than they were about the 2010 Winter Olympics there.
06/08/2011 12:26 EDT