Programming note: Today, Tuesday, Mark will return to Bo Snerdley's Rush Hour, with his old EIB comrade James Golden, live on New York radio powerhouse 77 WABC at 4pm North American Eastern. Don't forget that Mr Snerdley will be joining Eva, Alexandra, Leilani, Michele Bachmann, John O'Sullivan and more on this year's Mark Steyn Cruise.
Later this week, we will have a new edition of The Mark Steyn Show, with three of your very favourite guests.
~Yesterday's Mailbox touched on my departure from GB News. Somewhat to my embarrassment, it started "trending" on Twitter (see right), eventually coming second to the appalling Turkish earthquake, whose death toll to date is over five thousand. That's completely ridiculous: no one is dead or injured in the Steyn/GBN story, although a faintly terminal quality certainly hangs over what they're now calling "The Eight O'Clock Slot".
The days when the Steyn Show crushed Piers Morgan like a bug and Sky News like a slightly butcher bug and occasionally squeezed the very Beeb are now over. Last night, it was Piers who crushed GB News two-to-one; Sky beat them three to one, and the BBC five to one. The lying phoney who runs GBN, Angelos Fraudulopoulos, took a hit show and turned it into a fourth-place flopperoo. That's had a knock-on effect on much of the rest of the schedule: at one catastrophic point in recent days, GB News was down to 900 viewers in primetime. You can't "broadcast" to nine hundred viewers: it would be more cost-effective to make house calls, or have them all meet up in the car park at Watford Gap.
~Even worse, the stories we covered and the way we covered them are now all but gone from the airwaves. Here is one of my favourite guests from this last year, an indomitable survivor of a decade of child sexual abuse ignored by the corrupt authorities in Telford. Miss Samantha Smith:
Mark Steyn has never been afraid to speak truth to power, expose injustice and cover the stories the MSM won't touch.
I am so grateful for the platform he gave me and proud to call him a mentor + friend.
He will keep fighting for the little guy, no matter what channel he is on. pic.twitter.com/W9LFVVHxkQ— Samantha Smith (@SamanthaTaghoy) February 7, 2023
I thank Samantha for that.
Yesterday I had tears welling up after an email from one of our vaccine victims to whom we've given airtime and for which he was profoundly grateful. In the days before, he had been so disoriented by the ongoing media omertà (at the behest of OfCom) on what has happened to him and so many others that he had contemplated suicide. I am so glad to have helped give a voice to these victims at a time when the rest of the UK press had reduced itself to propagandists for state power. We will continue to tell the stories of those crippled by a medical intervention they never needed to take.
At heart, this is a story of UK media censorship, which is worse even than in Canada or Australia and is a big part of why Britain is in such a woeful state. Frangopoulos, instead of pushing back against the UK media "regulator" OfCom, has instead caved to it in ways that go far beyond that required by UK law. If you missed Mark's Mailbox yesterday, our pal Eva Vlaardingerbroek (one of the great glories of our show this last year) put it this way in a tweet that has so far been seen by two-thirds of a million people:
The truth on why my friend @MarkSteynOnline isn't back on @GBNEWS: After he suffered 2 heart attacks they lied to him, used his medical condition against him & tried to force him to comply with Ofcom's censorship rules - even holding him liable. How low can you go, @frangopoulos? pic.twitter.com/jPEC9CH5IW— Eva Vlaardingerbroek (@EvaVlaar) February 6, 2023
As Laura Perrins says, GB News is now "the very definition of controlled opposition".
Still, one does one's best. Just to wrap up that bit about "OfCom's bitch", it was to do with a monologue on British media censorship that he did not want me to deliver. After I put the telephone down, I went on air and delivered the mono exactly as written, albeit with a few ad libbed extra flourishes.
~My departure attracted a fair bit of media attention. From one of my favourite websites, The Conservative Woman:
This is more than 'a shame because he beat Piers Morgan', as Guido puts it. It is a terrible loss for us all and not just all at TCW, but for the country. It is a tragedy for free speech that his style of fearless, moral and uncompromising broadcasting has been brought to an abrupt end. For a year he threw light on dark, he ridiculed the shameless, for a year he raised our hopes that sanity, reason and truth might prevail.
GBN, meanwhile, were busy leaking to Guido Fawkes, the Westminster gossip site:
GBN set a deadline for him to sign the contract, otherwise he'd face termination. It now looks like that deadline has passed and Steyn is out.
That is completely false. GBN chairman Alan McKittrick, CEO Fraudulopoulos and Chief Operating Officer Marc Schippers have all been in touch with us in the last month and none of them ever mentioned a "deadline" or "termination". In fact, as recently as 10.56pm on Sunday night, GB News was still lying to its audience that I remained on the team:
I'm looking after the Mark Steyn slot Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Paul Staines, the editor at Guido Fawkes, has mildly modified the titbits he's been fed, but not in a terribly satisfactory way. So, unusually, I found myself preferring the version presented in The Guardian - which grasped the essentials:
GB News presenter quits after channel tries to make him pay Ofcom fines
Mark Steyn could face sanction by media regulator after he cast doubt on safety of Covid vaccines
Oh, my. Can't have that, can we? No "casting doubt" allowed when you're one of Britain's media poodles. But the story perks up from there:
Steyn, who has been off-air since last year after suffering two heart attacks, told fans on his personal website that the station bosses initially insisted he could not return unless a defibrillator was fitted in the studio.
He said this was fixed with a call to 'Defibrillators R Us', only for Angelos Frangopoulos, GB News's chief executive, to demand Steyn agree to personally cover the costs of dealing with Ofcom and paying any fines for breaches of the broadcasting code. This is a highly unusual situation given the fines are the legal responsibility of the broadcast licence holder, not the individual presenter.
Steyn, who was employed on a freelance basis, said his response was that 'you may be a homicidal maniac intent on bringing on a third, fatal heart attack but you'll have to do better than this'.
This contretemps will rumble on for a few days, but the takeaway is simple: The powers that be are ever more serious about controlling the narrative, not just on TV and radio but on the Internet too. My throwaway line on Clubland Q&A five years ago was that, free-speech-wise, eventually we'll be down to the last photocopier in the woods. "Eventually" is showing up a lot sooner than expected.
~I am very grateful to all those who chose to express their support by joining our Club yesterday. Some were re-joiners:
My membership expired in January, and I decided I wasn't able to renew at this time. (The finances of the past year have hit hard.) However, after hearing about the stunt that GB News pulled on Mark and then his resignation from the station, I came straight to the website to rejoin...
I am proud to support him and his staff at this incredible website. Mark is a Beacon of Light and Strong Tower for Free Speech! I hope to renew regularly. Thanks for all you do.
Thank you, Nancy. We are privileged to have you back in our ranks. And we welcome all our newcomers of the last twenty-four hours, from Michigan to Malaga, Norfolk to Nyons - a French town my darling daughter and I drove through during my Christmas convalescence. We hope to welcome many more of you in the decades ahead. For more information on The Mark Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our special Gift Membership.
See you on the radio with Snerdley and after that on a brand new Mark Steyn Show.