I think, Argo I am

As a result of Ken Taylor’s participation in the escape of six Americans from Iran in 1979 he is Canada’s most famous ambassador. How many other emissaries can you name from that decade or any other? Taylor and his wife Patricia have been the toast of the United States for years. They live in New York City and he has received numerous honours including the key to that city, the California Medal of Merit and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.

His exploits have been celebrated in song and story. The Canadian Caper, a 1981 book written by Jean Pelletier and Claude Adams, vividly described his involvement in the escape. In the movie of the same name Taylor was played by none other than Gordon Pinsent. After Taylor left the foreign service in 1984, his roles in the private sector were far beyond anything enjoyed by most former ambassadors. Taylor was a senior vice-president at Nabisco, a corporate director, and the Chancellor of Victoria University at the University of Toronto.

His recent life has turned into a series of complaints about Ben Affleck’s movie, Argo. Taylor’s first round of whinging a few weeks ago resulted in changes to the wording at the end of the film. So I was surprised when I saw Argo and concluded that the Taylor couple and their involvement in the depiction of the 1979 event was well drawn. Just before tonight’s Oscars, Taylor is protesting again. If Argo wins the Oscar for Best Picture, says Taylor, he wants Affleck to mention Canada’s role in his acceptance speech.

Maybe he will. But Ken, it’s just a movie. Many of the scenes in Argo were manufactured holus-bolus in Hollywood. Not everything shown on the screen actually happened, such as the hilarious scenes between Messrs Goodman and Arkin or the final chase along the runway. But you told the New York Times, “I don’t want to be hard on [CIA agent] Tony Mendez. I want to give him all the credit I can. But at the same time I’m a Canadian and enough is enough.”

I couldn’t agree more. Enough is enough. Ken, haven’t you lived long enough and well enough off the lore of your efforts in Iran more than thirty years ago?

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