What's the matter with the Irish? What happened to that century-long love affair with America? It appears to be over.

Today a story on sportsillustrated.com called "Edge of chaos" talks about things getting "really ugly" over there in Straffan, Ireland, at the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament.

First, an Irish magazine printed some nude pictures of a woman and said it was Tiger Woods' wife Elin Nordegren, which was false and embarrassing to Woods and his wife.

Now The Irish Times has kicked off an "Ugly American campaign" about the American players saying: "Many Euros and other international players are put off by the overwhelming number of American PGA Tour players who identify themselves as George Bush-loving Republicans who support the U.S. occupation of Iraq."

The paper went on to complain that the American pro-golf world is too heavily influenced by corporate America and Republican politics and is now full of — gasp — born-again Christians. Named as born-agains, like it was a rash and not a religion, were Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Loren Roberts, some of golf's best players.

So now the Irish appear to be part of the British bitter left, which sees America as a burger chomping, over-militarized mutant nation of bullies who spend all their time pouring loading guns and praising Jesus.

In other words, to the Irish we have become not the nation they sought to relieve their famines with open immigration, but a nation of George Bush war-mongering dullards whose presence in their emerald paradise they find not merely annoying but deeply offensive.

My grandmother was first generation Irish in America, and I have to wonder what happened to Ireland. I have Irish immigrant friends and when I ask them what happened to Ireland they shrug and assure me it's not that bad.

I think they're not telling me the whole truth. It does look that bad.

I know we have some viewers in Ireland. So somebody explain: What happened to Ireland? When did it become an anti-American hotbed?

I haven't even been to visit yet. Does this mean I can't go because I'm going to have some guy who looks like me and has my gene pool yelling at me in the pub while I'm trying to enjoy a pint and leave some of my dollars behind?

I'm sure somebody will write to explain this.

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