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Mark Steyn

A Se'nnight of Steyn, January 23-29

In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:

~The week began with Steyn's Song of the Week and a haunting, klezmerized version of his favorite Leonard Cohen number.

~On Tuesday's edition of The Mark Steyn Show, Mark considered the "women's march" in Washington and hosted Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, authors of a brand new book on the biggest serial killer Americans have never heard of. (Ann also joined him on America's Number One radio show two days later.)

Mark also addressed the performance of the American media in the Trump era: having got the pre-election period entirely wrong, they're now determined to get the post-election period even wronger.

~On Wednesday a distinguished but dissident climate scientist, Dr Judith Curry, filed an important amicus brief in the long-running suit brought by hockey-stick huckster Michael E Mann against Steyn and others. As longtime readers know, the case is a major threat to free speech in America. Dr Curry's blistering brief exposes the appalling double standards and unscientific behavior of Mann. As she puts it:

Mann wants a legal guarantee that he can dish it out, but he doesn't have to take it.

Shame on the DC courts for entertaining such a proposition. You can read the full brief by one of climate science's bravest practitioners here. Mark remains grateful to readers and viewers around the world who've supported him in this interminable, time-consuming battle against the Big Climate enforcers, and especially those who've bought his climatological bestseller on Mann's damage to science.

~Thursday brought a double dose of Steyn on the airwaves. First, he guest-hosted for Rush on America's Number One radio show, addressing such topics as EPA employees sobbing their way to work in the new Trump terror. Later, on Thursday's edition of The Mark Steyn Show, apropos of the new president's pledge to "fight fire with fire", he conducted an in-depth interview with the man who waterboarded 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other A-list terrorists, Dr James Mitchell.

~On Friday Mark was dismayed to find that a sarcastic Steyn aside has apparently been adopted as official government policy by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: We're gonna need a lot more bollards.

~On the weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show, Mark looked at the new Michael Keaton film about the man who made McDonald's a global brand. He also welcomed the great Patsy Gallant to perform a trio of Édith Piaf songs, revealed his ties to MI6, and tipped his hat to the late Mary Tyler Moore.

A new se'nnight of Steyn begins tonight with our Song of the Week - and stay tuned for this week's episodes of The Mark Steyn Show, on which his guests will include a triple Oscar winner, and a beleaguered university professor pushing back against identity-politics totalitarianism. In February he'll be bringing the show live to the annual Manning Conference in Ottawa. For more details on The Mark Steyn Show, see here.

January 29, 2017 at 7:19 am  |  Permalink

Wrong and Wronger

On the latest edition of The Mark Steyn Show, I begin with The New York Times' and other media's lack of self-awareness about how they got everything wrong these last eighteen months. If I were in their position, I think I'd pause before charging straight ahead and getting the post-election period as wrong as the pre-election. But apparently not.

By way of contrast, here's me on Tuesday August 18th 2015 - or just two months after Donald Trump announced his candidacy, back when everyone was saying don't worry, he's got a ceiling of 15 per cent, he'll be gone long before Iowa, etc:

The takeaway, courtesy of this Fox News headline:

Steyn: Trump Has as Good a Shot as Anybody at Winning the General Election

That was 15 months before Election Day.

"The Republican establishment needs to consider the fact that this guy is a serious leading candidate. He could well win the nomination and he has as good a shot as anybody else at actually winning the general election," Steyn said.

Did I get everything right? No. Me on Hillary:

I don't think she'll be the candidate either, Sean. I think that is the way to bet...

Well, if I had bet, I'd have lost. In mitigation, if the Democrat nominating process were not rigged, Bernie would have won. Likewise, if instead of bleating "I'm sick of your damn emails" he'd had have had the killer instinct to do to Hill what Trump did to Jeb, Bernie would have won.

But I'm always aware of what I called right and what I got wrong. And, if I'd been as wrong as The New York Times et al were about this race until approximately 10.30pm Eastern on election night, I'd be very wary of blundering through Trump's first hundred days with the same indestructible tunnel vision.

~Also on the most recent Mark Steyn Show, and also on the subject of media dereliction, I talked to Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer about their brilliant and shaming new book on mass murderer Kermit Gosnell. Here's what I had to say about him a few years back:

During the trial of "Dr" Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia reproductive-rights provider, the blogger Pundette compiled a list of questions she hoped that prosecuting counsel might ask him:

'Why did you routinely suction out the brains and crush the skulls of babies after they were fully delivered?'

Indeed. Usually the suctioning of the brains and crushing of the skull has to occur when the "calvarium" is still in the uterus. If you do it on the table, people might get the icky idea that it's infanticide or something. So the trick is to get to the head before it's cleared the cervix...

But Kermit Gosnell wasn't that good a doctor. So he preferred just to snip the spinal column. Which certainly kills the fetus. But then he additionally suctioned out the brain and crushed the skull.

Why? To make sure the dead baby was really, truly dead? Or just because he could? Or, like "Dr" Nucatola, once you've de-humanized what you do to get through the day, and you've decided that killing a healthy gurgling newborn isn't really killing at all, why restrict yourself to merely killing her once when you can kill her thrice? The Pundette posed another question of "Dr" Gosnell:

'Why did you chop off and preserve baby hands and feet and display them in jars?'

Which he did, like pickled eggs by the cash register of an English pub. There's no compelling medical reason for "Dr" Gosnell's extensive collection, but bottled baby feet certainly make a novelty paperweight or doorstop.

In the end he never took the stand, and the Pundette was obliged to provide her own response. "I think we already know the answer," she wrote. "He enjoyed it."

Kermit Gosnell was the most successful mass murderer in American history, but because he was a "women's health care provider" nobody knows that. The case barely made the papers. The enterprising and indefatigable Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney are crowdfunding a feature film about Gosnell mainly because no Hollywood studio or TV network ever will.

Ann and Phelim's new book is terrific, and the film will be well worth the wait.

~Stay tuned for more TV later this week, and more radio tomorrow, Thursday, when I'll be back behind the Golden EIB Microphone of a certain Number One radio show...

January 25, 2017 at 8:49 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, January 16-22

Happy Day Three of the Trump Era to our American readers. Much of the week was preoccupied with the countdown to inauguration, but there were a few other events that caught Mark's eye. In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Steyn:

The week began with Mark's Song of the Week and a slinky, shimmering tribute to the late Leon Russell.

~On Monday Steyn noted the passing of a once glamorous figure from Swinging London - Princess Margaret's former consort, society photographer Lord Snowdon.

~On Tuesday's edition of the new Mark Steyn Show, former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann swung by the studio to preview the next four years, Mark looked at celebrity boycotts of the inauguration - and at great inaugural disasters of the past 200 years. And, for Canuck, Aussie and other Commonwealth viewers, he played an opening round of "Know Your Ensigns". More details on the show here.

~As longtime Steyn readers know too well, free speech is in a parlous state through much of the western world. Two years after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, he highlighted a particularly revolting false equivalence from the British Prime Minister. Also midweek, the Cato Institute weighed in on the latest developments in the interminable suit against Mark brought by Big Climate's hockey-stick huckster Michael E Mann. In Cato's view:

The court's reasoning could put thousands of articles, blogposts, and even tweets under a cloud of potential liability, thereby chilling the speech that is the lifeblood of Washington politics.

It is modestly encouraging to see influential American institutions somewhat belatedly waking up to the implications of where this slapdash jurisprudence will take us. We thank everyone around the world who's supported Mark in this long battle, and especially those who've picked up a copy of his climatological bestseller on Mann's damage to science.

~On Thursday night, the eve of inauguration, Steyn looked back at the outgoing and incoming presidents in what became our most-read piece of the week. He also addressed one of the odder columnar trends of the Obama/Trump transition: the Rat Pack on the Potomac.

~On Friday Mark hosted the third weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show. On the first day of the new administration, the bestselling author Andrew Klavan joined him to consider the intersection of politics and culture in the years ahead. Plus, live from the Steyn stage, a great klezmer performance of his favorite Leonard Cohen song:

~For our Saturday picture date, Mark looked at some memorable movie presidents.

A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week - and stay tuned for this week's episodes of The Mark Steyn Show, including a new book on the mass murderer America's media refused to cover, and, by way of contrast, Édith Piaf's loveliest love song.

January 22, 2017 at 6:55 am  |  Permalink

Pallies on the Potomac

According to my inspired compatriot Kathy Shaidle, Donald Trump is President Sinatra:

Here are two paradigmatic New Yorkers who brawled their way to the top; tabloid liaisons here, a trio of devoted children there; men of eye-watering generosity (you've heard the "we've paid off your mortgage" story by now) and spleen (the name of Sinatra's record company, Reprise, was pronounced with a long "i," as in "reprisal").

Note, too, the almost belligerent philo-Semitism: In 1948, as a favor to a stranger he met in a bar, Sinatra couriered a million dollars cash to a ship full of arms earmarked for Israel, docked at a New York pier; Trump, dead set on making Mar-a-Lago nonrestricted, taunted Palm Beach's town council by sending them copies of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

[Sinatra would] also recognize Trump as another swaggering, short-fused, thin-skinned alpha, worthy of his fealty, and who'd be more loyal than John F., too.

Sinatra's not around, alas.

Or is he?

Who needs a Sinatra to sing, spectacular as that would be, when we've got one taking the Oath of frickin' Office?

On the other hand, according to Bruce Bawer ...and, incidentally, Bruce and I once shared a stage with Frank's opening act, the great Tom Dreesen... anyway, according to Bruce Bawer, Barack Obama is President Dino:

That "cool" factor seduced a lot of voters in 2008. But over the years it has seemed increasingly clear that that "cool" factor was a function of his indifference. I was thinking about this the other day and it suddenly occurred to me whom he reminded me of : Dean Martin.

Yes, Dean Martin. Humor me here. Martin was cool, too. Audiences loved his laid-back style: he never seemed to be trying too hard. As Bob Greene wrote in 2012, "Frank Sinatra may have liked the image of being Chairman of the Board, but the core of Martin's enduring allure is that not only did he not want to be chairman, he didn't even want to serve on the board: It would mean that he would be cooped up in some boardroom for meetings when he'd rather be out playing golf." Hey, whom does that remind you of? Writing about Martin this year, jazz critic Ted Gioia noted that "There's a term in Italian for this kind of attitude: menefreghismo, a couldn't-care-less manner that brings with it overtones of extreme macho coolness and total disregard for all consequences." Ahem.

So Trump is Frank and Obama is Dean. I'm an old Fleet Street hand, and I'm fully aware it takes three to make a trend. So c'mon:

Bernie Sanders is Sammy Davis Jr? They're both Jews. Like Sam, Bernie is the Candy Man, luring millions of impressionable children with promises of a rainbow utopia:

Who can take tomorrow
Dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow
And collect up all the cream?

The Sandy Man
(The Sandy Man)
The Sandy Man can
'Cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good...

Er, okay. How about Ted Cruz is Peter Lawford? They're both British subjects who married into powerful American dynasties (Fitzgerald Kennedys, Goldman Sachs). They both had relatives involved in the Kennedy assassination...

No? Well, how about Marco Rubio is Joey Bishop? The lovable shnook with the great line in Vegas shtick: "Hey, have you seen Donald's hands? You know what they say: Small hands, small bird, pally..."

Okay. Hillary Clinton is Angie Dickinson. Like Angie, Hillary is a stand-up broad. Well, except for the standing-up part...

~Dispatches from Neverland: Eminent national-security Republicans, after declaring themselves #NeverTrump and denouncing him as "a danger to the nation", are apparently puzzled as to why they haven't been offered jobs in his administration. They're befuddled and bewildered. Why, it's almost like he took their principled stand seriously!

As Trump would say: Sad! You'd think "experts" on such internecine tribal sinkholes as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc, would have a better understanding that, when it comes to switching sides, you never want to leave it too late.

~On last night's Mark Steyn Show, we discussed a small manifestation of our incremental surrender - the Tweet by a Canadian cabinet minister that she is "fascinated" by Sharia. But these days who isn't? At Indiana's New Albany-Floyd County school district, they're also fascinated:

Parents in Southern Indiana are upset by a middle school worksheet's portrayal of "Sharia law," which they say casts the Islamic code in a positive light while ignoring human rights violations and the oppression of women...

"I'm just not OK with my daughter – or any child that age – leaving class with the understanding that anything about Sharia law is OK..."

"That document by itself, it's almost propaganda," said Jon Baker, whose daughter also received the worksheet. "If you read that, you would think everything's wonderful in that world."

Of course. That's the purpose of it. Soon we'll have advanced to the next stage, which many European schools are already at: You can't teach the Crusades or the Holocaust, because they're too "controversial", but the joys of Sharia are something we can all agree on.

If you missed The Mark Steyn Show, you can catch it at your leisure here. Michele Bachmann previews the incoming Trump Administration, I take a look at who's who in the celeb-Dem boycotts, there's a stroll down memory lane with some inaugural disasters from the past couple of centuries, and, for Canuck and Commonwealth viewers, we play a round of "Know Your Ensigns". More details here.

January 18, 2017 at 10:53 am  |  Permalink

Tribulations, But No Trials

On Tuesday's eve-of-inauguration edition of The Mark Steyn Show, former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann swings by the studio to preview what the next four years might bring. Also in presidential mode, I offer a few inaugural observations - and consider the attempt to de-legitimize the incoming chief executive. And it's Flag Day on the Steyn set - if only for Canucks and Aussies. For more details on The Mark Steyn Show, see here.

~On the second anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo bloodbath, Douglas Murray looks at the pitiful condition of France's satirical magazine - and the parlous state of free speech throughout the west:

Most of the people who said they cared about the right to say what they wanted when they wanted, about everything and anything -- including one particularly stern and unamused religion -- were willing to walk the walk: that is, they were willing to walk through Paris with a pencil in the air. Or they were willing to talk the talk, proclaiming "Je Suis Charlie." But almost no one really meant it. If they had, then -- as Mark Steyn pointed out -- those crowds in Paris would not have been parading through the streets holding pencils, but holding cartoons of Mohammed. "You're going to have to get us all" would have been the message.

Douglas cites this particularly egregious betrayal of the principle of free speech, from a land that was once the crucible of liberty:

Even the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, asked in the House of Commons to stand up for the right of an athlete not to have his career destroyed because of one fleeting, drunken joke, equivocated:

"This is a balance that we need to find. We value freedom of expression and freedom of speech in this country -- that is absolutely essential in underpinning our democracy.

"But we also value tolerance to others. We also value tolerance in relation to religions. This is one of the issues that we have looked at in the counter-extremism strategy that the Government has produced.

"I think we need to ensure that yes it is right that people can have that freedom of expression, but in doing so that right has a responsibility too -- and that is a responsibility to recognise the importance of tolerance to others."

For the last two years, we have learned for certain that any such tolerance is a one-way street. Our societies had been walking up it. But from the other direction came the Kalashnikov brigade who only had to fire once; in the face of it, the whole civilised world chose to U-turn and run back the other way.

The likes of Mrs May are conditioning us to tolerate the avowedly intolerant: That way lies a descent into endless night. I wrote a book on that theme a decade ago, but, alas, the western leadership class chose to spend the last ten years accelerating the process. Nevertheless, a few prominent Europeans are none too happy about where they're headed:

Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompeii, said that Islam will soon become Europe's main religion thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans.

Speaking to Italian Catholic journal La Fede Quotidiana, the archbishop said: "In 10 years we will all be Muslims because of our stupidity. Italy and Europe live in a pagan and atheist way... All of this moral and religious decadence favours Islam."

"We have a weak Christian faith," he added. "The Church nowadays does not work well and seminaries are empty... All this paves the way to Islam. In addition to this, they have children and we do not. We are in full decline."

One of the safest bets is that something beats nothing.

~I wrote the other day:

Next month, by the way, I'll be north of the border to see the litigious hockey-stick huckster [Michael E Mann] take on my compatriot Tim Ball in Vancouver. If you're in the neighbourhood, do swing by and say hello.

If you're in Goose Bay, Labrador and about to set off, save your Greyhound fare. The Mann vs Ball trial has now been mysteriously "adjourned" until a not yet specified later date. So yet again the court system appears willing to assist the litigious Mann's resort to interminable lawsuits that never actually get to trial. But I promise this: In BC as in DC, the courtroom doors will eventually be prised open, and I will be there.

~And, while I won't be in Vancouver next month, I will be north of the border. Three years ago, I spoke at the Manning Conference in Ottawa, which is, very roughly speaking, the Canadian equivalent of CPAC. My thesis was that the facts of life are conservative. This year I'm back, in very different circumstances for northern Tories. But, the Trudeaupian restoration notwithstanding, we will have fun and do our best to rouse the troops. The conference runs from February 23rd to the 25th, and you can find out more details here.

~W magazine - the magazine for George W Bush fans - has a feature called "Culture Diet", which I like to give the once-over every so often. The subject this week is Vanity Fair's maestro of profiles, Bob Colacello:

First thing you read in the morning:
The New York Post.

Books on your bedside table right now:
The Undocumented Mark Steyn. He's Canadian, conservative, and amazingly funny.

The TV show keeping you up at night:
Don Lemon on CNN.

Last movie you saw in theaters:
Hidden Figures. Loved it.

In the old days at the Speccie in London and Canada's National Post, I used to have a lot of readers who didn't agree with me politically but enjoyed reading me. My unexpected namecheck from Bob Colacello reminded me that, in all the years I've been in America, that's hardly ever happened here. As the new President would say: Sad!

See you tonight on the telly.

January 17, 2017 at 10:24 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, January 9-15

In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:

The week began with Steyn's Song of the Week and a wild jungle tribute to Debbie Reynolds.

~On Monday Mark addressed a huge media blind spot - the refusal to see the Islamization of Europe and what it portends - and their outright deception about a brutal attack in Chicago. It was our most-read piece of the week.

~On Tuesday Steyn unveiled the first current-events edition of the new Mark Steyn Show. He pushed back hard against Meryl Streep and Hollywood "victimhood", and noted that neither she nor other movie A-listers had said a word about film-makers and other artists who in recent years have been silenced for their art, even unto death. He also talked about the disease of "cultural appropriation" - can non-Mexicans wear a sombrero? can white novelists write black characters? - and celebrated a prototype reality star, Buffalo Bill. More details on the show here.

~Later in the week Mark's old boss Rich Lowry penned an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times on climate mullah Michael E Mann's five-year lawsuit against Steyn, and the hockey-stick huckster's serial hostility to free speech for anyone who disagrees with him. We thank those readers around the world who've enthusiastically backed Mark, and especially those who've expressed their support by buying his climatological bestseller on Mann's damage to science.

~As Steyn noted this week, it cannot have been the intent of the authors of the First Amendment that Americans should enjoy fewer free-speech rights than those territories that remained within the British Empire. Just to underline that point, Breitbart's James Delingpole won an important victory in London this week over a Big Climate enforcer, but even in his hour of triumph he quoted a too familiar maxim:

As Mark Steyn says, the process is the punishment.

~On Friday Mark ended the week with the second weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show. The theme was the future, the day after tomorrow - the America of 2029, as conjured in a new novel - but Mark and his guests also found time to pay tribute to the late songwriter Leon Russell, with his slinkiest, sultriest ballad.

~For our Saturday movie date, Steyn presented a special video edition of Mark at the Movies, celebrating a classic film and discussing both the high-tech security state and cinema's first sexy robot:

A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week - and stay tuned for further episodes of The Mark Steyn Show: On our pre-inauguration show this Tuesday, he'll talk the state of the world, and what the new administration will do about it, with Michele Bachmann.

January 15, 2017 at 7:09 am  |  Permalink

Fake but Literally Accurate

If you missed the first weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show, Deborah Poore writes:

Loved the first show - well worth the wait! Entertaining, smart conversation, talented people - what a concept. Looking forward to more!

On the other hand, Brian Shanley writes:

The Sorvino interview was unbearable. Ugh. Awful.

If you incline more toward the Deborah Poore end of the spectrum, check in with us tomorrow night, Tuesday. We'll be talking, among other things, about "cultural appropriation". I may have to wear my sombrero for that.

~Tim Blair writes in Sydney's Daily Telegraph:

A decade ago, dopey Australia leftists were bewildered by Mark Steyn's description of Malmo, Sweden, as a city threatened by Islamic immigration.

Steyn was right then, and he's right now.

The Telegraph link links to that "bewildered" link which links to this Opinion Dominion link which links to this Herald Sun link which is unfortunately sleeping with the fishes. It's a great pity The Herald Sun has decided to eighty-six that 2006 column by Jill Singer, in which she and host Jon Faine "stared at each other with incredulity" during my appearance on his ABC radio show after I mentioned the Islamization of Malmö. The high point of her piece, as I recall, was Miss Singer's comparison of my dress style to that of Thurston Howell III in "Gilligan's Island". I would have responded in kind, but that would have been ungallant.

So instead I offered to fly the disbelieving Miss Singer and Mr Faine to Malmö free of charge to see for themselves, as I've seen it for myself multiple times over the years. But evidently the ABC stalwarts declined to risk having the placid complacency of their illusions disturbed.

~In fairness to the Aussies, they're some miles distant from Malmö. The torture inflicted on Austin Hillbourn, a teenage schizophrenic, happened in Chicago, and the US media still couldn't bear to confront reality. I discussed the case on the radio last week, but Jim Goad lays out what occurred in unsparing detail. As livestreamed on Facebook, this is what the (white) victim's (black) tormentors told him:

Fuck Donald Trump, nigga! Fuck white people, boy! Fuck white people, boy!

This nigga right here—he represents Trump.

His ass deserve it. His ass from Europe.

400 years done stopped two years ago...

Goof-ass white man.

And this is how CBS News, Edward R Murrow's network, reported the above:

In the video he is choked and repeatedly called the n-word. His clothes are slashed and he is terrorized with a knife. His alleged captors repeatedly reference Donald Trump. Police are holding four people in connection with the attack.

As Mediaite's Alex Griswold observes:

The report is technically correct, but widely misleading.

You don't say. Golly, you'd almost get the impression they wanted people to think that a black guy had been beaten up by four white Trump fans who called him "the n-word". Maybe someone or other could launch a campaign against "fake news" or something...

Heather Mac Donald is also worth reading on the subject: "A Window into a Depraved Culture."

In Malmö as in Chicago, the gulf between reality and the Official Lie will only widen in the years ahead.

UPDATE - from the Instapundit:

To be forthright about what happened gives the alt-right types the ability to say "See, we told you so!" The Times has its own narrative and will not give this competing, conservative, "hate" narrative any air.

But it's inevitable that the truth will emerge. In which case the alt-right types are EVEN MORE empowered, because they can both point to events, and the media's attempt to cover them up – "fake news" indeed.

January 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, January 2-8

In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:

The week, and the year, began with a song for the season.

~On Monday Steyn marked two recent passings - the man who invented Kinder Eggs, on which vexed subject Mark and the Department of Homeland Security strongly disagree; and the great Debbie Reynolds, who did everything from sodden singing with Gene Kelly to hooty-hooting with the hooty owls.

~On Tuesday Steyn found himself reeling under a double assault - from the District of Columbia courts and from fans of the new film La La Land.

~On Wednesday Mark guest-hosted for Rush on America's Number One radio show. Among the topics discussed was the decision of Dr Judith Curry to quit Georgia Tech because of the "craziness" of the climate science echo chamber. As Jo Nova wrote, "Steyn doesn't hold back" in a withering dissection of the disgusting treatment of Dr Curry by hockey-stick huckster Michael E Mann and his Mann-boys. It was our most-read piece of the week.

~As for the ongoing lawsuit Mann filed against Steyn, now in its fifth year, Jo Nova put it well:

Mark Steyn has no fear of Michael Mann.

We thank those many readers who've written in support of Mark, and especially those who've expressed it by buying his climatological bestseller on Mann's damage to science.

~Steyn ended the week with a second guest-hosting stint for Rush behind the Golden EIB Microphone. An hour into the show, Fort Lauderdale International Airport went into lockdown when yet another "known wolf" opened fire at the Terminal Two baggage claim. As with recent attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, it underlined a point Mark made almost seven years ago - that the so-called "secure area" of the airport only makes the non-secure area an ever more inviting target.

~Later on Friday Steyn launched the first weekend edition of the new Mark Steyn Show. Among his guests were a Goodfella and his missus, Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino. Paul sang a world-famous Neapolitan song written for his aunt - "O Sole Mio" - and, more surprisingly, Rudyard Kipling's "Road to Mandalay". He then segued from Kipling to Kissinger:

~For our Saturday movie date, Steyn presented a special video edition of Mark at the Movies, looking at this year's Oscar favorite.

A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week - and stay tuned for further episodes this week of The Mark Steyn Show.

January 8, 2017 at 7:26 am  |  Permalink

O Paulie Mio

On Friday Mark will be guest-hosting America's Number One radio show and then non-guest-hosting his own TV show, The Mark Steyn Show. So, for Steyn fans, that's three hours on radio plus an hour on telly: as Mark said on the air on Wednesday, for a very occasional guest-host that's longer and harder than he's labored in a single day since he worked summers on a farm when he was a teenager.

~Among his guests on television tonight is Paul (Goodfellas) Sorvino, who inter alia is a brilliant mimic:

Paul will be talking about acting and sculpting and hunting, and about his personal connection to "O Sole Mio". Also on the show: live music from Maria Muldaur, who'll be temporarily abandoning "Midnight At The Oasis" for a wild jungle tribute to Debbie Reynolds. And Mark and Kyle Smith consider this year's Oscar favorite, La La Land.

We hope you'll join Mark on this first weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show - and before that on the radio, starting at 12 noon Eastern/9am Pacific.

~Next to the mountain of five-star Amazon reviews piled up by Mark's cat album, his and Jessica's Christmas album has languished somewhat. But we like this first five-star review of the New Year for Making Spirits Bright from Kerry Kaminski:

Entertaining. A great fit for my Christmas CD mix.

It certainly is, Kerry. And it's never too early to plan your Christmas CD mix for 2017.

January 5, 2017 at 11:47 pm  |  Permalink

La La La Can't Hear You

On Wednesday, I'll be enjoying a little light radio work on America's Number One radio show, details at right. It starts at 12 noon Eastern/9am Pacific. If you're in possession of the necessary receiving apparatus, I hope you'll dial us up, either on one of 600 radio stations across the US or via iHeartRadio livestream.

~Should hockey-stick huckster Michael Mann's interminable lawsuit against me succeed, it would be the worst setback for the First Amendment in half-a-century. Such unlikely Steyn allies as NBC, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc, all agree on that - in their amicus briefs. But actual editorials on this case have been far thinner on the ground. Indeed, the biggest difference between the hockey-stick huckster's suit and the Canadian Islamic Congress' attempt to criminalize my writing north of the border is that (by comparison with the CBC, The Globe & Mail et al) mainstream US media editorialists have been entirely silent. So I was pleased to see this piece from the editors of The New York Post, headlined "DC Court of Appeals' Global Warming Decision Threatens First Amendment":

As Americans were preparing to trade Christmas presents last week, the DC Court of Appeals was moving to take a gift away: Americans' right to free speech.

The court ruled that Penn State climatologist Michael Mann's defamation suit against National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute can go to trial. That should send shivers down the spines of anyone who cares about open debate and challenges to scientific findings.

Mann's suit claims bloggers Mark Steyn, on NR's site, and Rand Simberg, on CEI's, defamed him when they slammed his global warming research, particularly his famous hockey stick graph...

The Post notes that both Mr Simberg and I were making "statements of opinion" and that, "under the First Amendment, Americans can express their opinion". That's true - or it was until Judge Vanessa Ruiz and her colleagues came along. Her ladyship's view that, once an "expert" body has ruled on a subject, freeborn citizens are obliged to accept that ruling and shut the hell up is perverse and repugnant.

But the Post also adds:

And, after all, who's to say the authors are wrong?

Which is my position. I believe the hockey stick is fraudulent - which is why I stated that it's fraudulent. I've said it's fraudulent in major publications in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, inter alia, since the end of the 20th century - without any slapdash jurists in those countries presuming to say that I had no right to do so.

For the record, I did not write that Mann himself is a fraud, although I'm happy to prove that in court. As that is what the sclerotic and diseased husk of DC justice apparently requires of me, I wish they'd get on with it - as I've been petitioning for over three years. The Post concludes:

The First Amendment, NR notes, is designed specifically to safeguard the right "to express caustic criticism of scientific theories that purport to resolve hot-button political controversies on matters as sweepingly consequential as the extent and cause of global warming."

By opening the door to curbs on that right, the court does the nation a huge disservice.

Just so.

I thank all those readers committed to ensuring that a malodorous ideologue doesn't get away with hijacking the First Amendment. If you're interested in keeping me in the game until this outrageous case comes to trial, well, I wrote a whole book on this subject.

~My farewell to Debbie Reynolds included a casual aside on the new and extravagantly praised motion picture La La Land. Mark Shere responds:

Mark,

I love love love just about everything you write, and I am an early subscriber to your TV show, which I am sure I will also love if my subscription is ever rewarded with an actual show. I have even given your Broadway Babies book as a well-received gift to friends. That's why I have my fingers in my ears going "la la la I can't hear you" at your brief and rather snobbish put down of La La Land.

So you declare it "lumpy and earthbound'? I know a certain Christmas special that I quite enjoyed, which featured some older performers, slow pacing, and a lumpy and earthbound host who is a delightful singer, as long as you are not expecting too much. One of the nice things about your Christmas special is that no one has been making Christmas shows like that for some decades. So too, I can't think of a La La-type movie in the past 30 years, maybe a lot more.

Gentle love stories set to some lovely songs, and paying careful respect to the look and sound and feel of decades past... it's rather a small category, no? And how about that brief scene where a multi-prop plane travels around a little plastic globe? Worth the price of admission right there.

Meanwhile, I've been listening happily to the music since seeing the movie, and the tunes stick firmly in the mind. In fact, I tried listening to the On the Town soundtrack after La La, only to find the former a serious disappointment and not nearly as good as I remembered it. Yes, we all know that you are the Grand Wizard of musicology, and poor La La can't be expected to meet your discerning standards. But you should really lighten up on this one.

Mark Shere
Indianapolis

Oh, dear. I had hoped I had a few more years before my views on this or that were put down to senescence and obsolescence. But, since the Age Card of "slow pacing" has been played, I ought to say that I saw La La Land with my kids at Merrill's Roxy in Burlington - the only cinema in northern Vermont or NH that was showing it - and, when we walked in, my daughter looked around at the crowd and said, "Hey, Dad, this is weird. Next to us, you're the youngest one here." Which wasn't strictly true: There was a callow millennial or two in attendance. But it was certainly an audience that skewed way older than Iron Man 9 or Cardboard Man 12.

As for my kids, their biggest disappointment was that it wasn't a musical, only a half-hearted semi-musical. There was an opening number, then a second number, and then, gradually, the songs petered out, until in the second half there were barely any at all. As my beloved daughter observed, "They didn't commit to the concept."

We may discuss this further on The Mark Steyn Show later this week. Meanwhile, see you on the radio.

January 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm  |  Permalink

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