Steyn on Culture
Yesterday, the Police Chief of Charlottesville, Virginia gave a remarkable press conference, the upshot of which was, as the New York Times headline put it:
Not only was there "no evidence" that the horrific gang rape at the frat house party took place, there was "no evidence" that the party took place. Indeed, there was "no evidence" that the man "Jackie" described as her date that night even exists.
And yet last fall Rolling Stone ran a 9,000-word story on the "horrific gang rape" that spurred a media frenzy about the alleged "epidemic" of campus rape across America. Even as the story disintegrated, the feminist lobby took the view that "Jackie" was a brave woman who had performed a useful service. As I wrote last year:
The media have now moved on. At CNN, they're worried that the police report on the total lack of any evidence for any rape might deter rape victims from coming forward:
"Other victims of sexual assault" is not quite le mot juste, given that there is no evidence that "Jackie" was ever assaulted by anybody at all. A better word would be actual victims of sexual assault. And, if real victims of real sexual assault are deterred from coming forward because a fabulist's pitiful fantasy was made front-page news by a gullible ideological media, that ought to occasion some circumspection from those, like Ms Ganim and Ms Hostin, who made the fabulist a pin-up girl in the first place. If CNN et al want someone to blame for real rape victims being reluctant to come forward, they should try looking in the mirror.
Meanwhile, what of an actual rape victim who couldn't get her story told by CNN or anybody else? Breitbart reports:
Lara Logan's "assault" - for some reason, the same people willing to expand the definition of "rape" to include utter fantasy are reluctant to apply the word to what happened to Miss Logan - at any rate, her "assault" took place in Tahrir Square just after Mubarak's resignation and at the height of the western media's delirious jubilation at the "Facebook Revolution". Jackie's "horrific gang rape" didn't happen, but to the media it's true because it fits the narrative. Lara's actual gang rape is true but to the media it didn't happen because it doesn't fit the narrative. As I wrote at the time:
If a CBS reporter had been sexually assaulted by a bunch of University of Virginia Phi Kappa Psi guys, would CBS News be running stories on how "sexy and cool" UVa fraternities are? That's basically what they and the rest of the media did in the Lara Logan case. And, unlike mythical UVa gang rapes, the treatment of women was central to the story, and one of the key indicators as to why the "Arab Spring" was a crock from Day One. Here's a little more from what I said four years ago:
Since the rise of ISIS, we now have an epidemic of gang rape and sex slavery across the region. What happened to Miss Logan told us something of the truth of Islam's "spring fever" - whereas the "change is sexy and cool" pap was as fake a narrative as "Jackie"'s.
~Incidentally, an hour after Mubarak fell, I was on air with Megyn Kelly and described what was happening as "the unraveling of the American Middle East". I'll stand by that, too. On Sunday the last US personnel abandoned yet another imploding Arab state, where yet another franchise of the jihad frolics and gambols through yet another abandoned US diplomatic compound, gleefully firing into the air the state-of-the-art weaponry we left behind.
from Steyn on Culture, March 24, 2015
The murder of Matthew Shepard 17 years ago - is the clearest example of what happens when a favored lobby group inserts itself between the news coverage and reality
So, just as President Obama is giving a big speech on cyber-security, the jihackists of the Islamic State manage to take over the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the Pentagon's Central Command...
America's federal-motorcade hooker-culture is depraved
A superpower unmatched at everything - except winning
The courage of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the cowardice of Brandeis University
Here are two jokes one can no longer tell on American TV...
From two years ago, here's Mark's first thoughts on the Kermit Gosnell case
He who controls the language shapes the debate: In the same week the Associated Press announced that it would no longer describe illegal immigrants as "illegal immigrants," the star columnist of The New York Times fretted that the Supreme Court seemed to have misplaced the style book on another fashionable minority. "I am worried," wrote Maureen Dowd, "about how the justices can properly debate same-sex marriage when some don't even seem to realize that most Americans use the word 'gay' now instead of 'homosexual'..."
To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, but aldermanic power corrupts all der more manically. Proco "Joe" Moreno is Alderman of the First Ward of Chicago, and last week, in a city with an Aurora-size body count every weekend, his priority was to take the municipal tire-iron to the owners of a chain of fast-food restaurants. "Because of this man's ignorance," said Alderman Moreno, "I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the First Ward." "This man's ignorance"? You mean, of the City of Chicago permit process? Zoning regulations? Health and safety ordinances? No, Alderman Moreno means "this man's ignorance" of the approved position on same-sex marriage.
Media types like to talk about "the narrative": News is just another form of storytelling, and certain plot lines grab you more than others. The easiest narrative of all is anything involving young people. "I believe that children are our future," as the late Whitney Houston once asserted. And, even if Whitney hadn't believed it, it would still, as a point of fact, be true. Any media narrative involving young people presupposes that they are the forces of progress, wresting the world from the grasping clutches of mean, vengeful old men and making it a better place...
Unlike the government of the United States, I can't claim any hands-on experience with Colombian hookers. But I was impressed by the rates charged by Miss Dania Suarez, and even more impressed by the U.S. Secret Service's response to them...
(VIDEO) "'Celebrate diversity' â€” the great bumper sticker â€” actually means 'celebrate stultifying homogeneity,'" Canadian best-selling author and columnist Mark Steyn told The Daily Caller. In an exclusive interview this week with TheDC's Ginni Thomas, Steyn railed against liberal "diversity"-speak and the lack of tolerance for traditional values...
Our lesson for today comes from George and Ira Gershwin: "They all laughed at Christopher Columbus When he said the world was round They all laughed when Edison recorded sound They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother When they said that man could fly They told Marconi wireless was a phony..." Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers sang it in the film "Shall We Dance?" (1937) Seventy-five years on, the president revived it to tap-dance around his rising gas prices and falling approval numbers. Delivering his big speech on energy at Prince George's Community College, he insisted the American economy will be going gangbusters again just as soon as we start running it on algae and windmills. He noted that, as with Wilbur and his brother, there were those inclined to titter...
I'm writing this from Australia, so, if I'm not quite up to speed on recent events in the United States, bear with me – the telegraph updates are a bit slow here in the bush. As I understand it, Sandra Fluke is a young coed who attends Georgetown Law and recently testified before Congress. Oh, wait, no. Update: It wasn't a congressional hearing; the Democrats just got it up to look like one, like summer stock, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid doing the show right here in the barn and providing a cardboard set for the world premiere of "Miss Fluke Goes To Washington," with full supporting cast led by Chuck Schumer strolling in through the French windows in tennis whites and drawling, "Anyone for bull****?"
Have you seen the official White House version of what the New York Times headline writers call "A Responsible Budget"? My favorite bit is Chart 5-1 on Page 58 of their 500-page appendix on "Analytical Perspectives." This is entitled "Publicly Held Debt Under 2013 Budget Policy Projections." It's a straight line going straight up before disappearing off the top right hand corner of the graph in the year 2084 and continuing northeast straight through your eye socket, out the back of your skull and zooming up to rendezvous with Newt's space colony on the moon circa 2100...
Announcing his support for Commissar Sebelius' edicts on contraception, sterilization, and pharmacological abortion, that noted theologian the Most Reverend Al Sharpton explained: "If we are going to have a separation of church and state, we're going to have a separation of church and state." Thanks for clarifying that. The church model the young American state wished to separate from was that of the British monarch, who remains to this day Supreme Governor of the Church of England. This convenient arrangement dates from the 1534 Act of Supremacy. The title of the law gives you the general upshot, but, just in case you're a bit slow on the uptake, the text proclaims "the King's Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England." That's to say, the sovereign is "the only supreme head on earth of the Church" and he shall enjoy "all honors, dignities, pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits and commodities to the said dignity," not to mention His Majesty "shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities, whatsoever they be." Welcome to Obamacare.
This has less to do with any utilitarian benefit a condomless janitor at a Catholic school might derive from Obamacare, and more to do with the liberal muscle of Big Tolerance enforcing one-size-fits-all diversity. The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else...
For our Dutch readers...
VIDEO: Italy's Costa Concordia disaster has Mark Steyn mulling the "women and children first!" idea with Michael Coren on The Arena.
Abe Greenwald of Commentary magazine tweets: "Is there any chance that Mark Steyn won't use the Italian captain fleeing the sinking ship as the lead metaphor in a column on EU collapse?" Oh, dear. You've got to get up early in the morning to beat me to civilizational-collapse metaphors. Been there, done that.
When Christians take the Christ out of Christmas
Christmas in America is a season of time-honored traditions â€“ the sacred performance of the annual ACLU lawsuit over the presence of an insufficiently secular "holiday" tree; the ritual provocations of the atheist displays licensed by pitifully appeasing municipalities to sit between the menorah and the giant Frosty the Snowman; the familiar strains of every hack columnist's "war on Christmas" column rolling off the keyboard as easily as Richard Clayderman playing "Winter Wonderland"... This ...
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