For any readers who are interested, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is now out in audio format, if you've got a long car journey looming or fancy a quiet night by the fireside and eight-track player. The book is read by yours truly, mainly because Joy from Audible held my feet to the contractual fire until the final page. So, if you don't like my singing voice, wait'll you hear my speaking voice.
As for the book, in the Aussie Spectator, James Allan called it "beautifully written and funny"; in the UK Spectator, Julie Burchill said its writing was "rompily georgous"; in Canada's National Post, Robert Fulford wrote that "Steyn is a phenomenon of English-language journalism, a writer unlike any other, a commentator with a luxuriously original spirit"; and in America's New Criterion Roger Kimball declared "No one else combines Steyn's dazzling humor, astonishing erudition, and gripping apocalyptic prognostication."
Whether all that high praise survives to the audio version, I leave for others to decide. But I see it's Number Four on the political humor hit parade, whatever that means.
~Before the high drama of the Munk Debate proper, moderator Rudyard Griffiths interviewed Louise Arbour, Nigel Farage, Simon Schama and me to give viewers a taste of what was to come. I was supposed to be last, but Simon was delayed by the hard men of Her Majesty's Canadian Customs, who pulled him out of line and into the back room at Pearson Airport. As I said on stage, it's good to know Canada has finally found someone they don't want to let into the country. Anyway, while the CBSA were taking the tasers to Prof Schama, I stepped in and went third. Click below to watch:
For Louise's, Nigel's and Simon's pre-interviews, please see here. The main point of interest for fashion observers may be the difference between our teatime garb and our evening wear.
~Following Barbara Kay's column "When Mark Steyn Struck Back", National Post readers have been weighing in:
It was truly refreshing to see a conservative take on the refugee crisis so eloquently explained by Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage during the Munk Debates. The dramatic audience vote swing shows that many average Canadians (even left-leaning Toronto denizens) do respond favourably to a rationally presented conservative viewpoint.
The problem is that people of the calibre of Steyn and Farage are massively outnumbered by hordes of liberal media pundits, who normally win these sorts of skirmishes by ridicule and mockery, rather than by any form of logical argument. Kudos to both these gentlemen for achieving a decisive victory without resorting to the sanctimonious histrionics preferred by their opponents.
Herb Schultz, Edmonton.
I also watched the debate and was impressed with both Steyn and Farage. Louise Arbour is a convenient humanist who advocates an open-door policy for Muslims while ignoring the plight of Christians and Yazidis and a convenient feminist in favour of women's rights for non-Muslims ,but not for female Muslims. Whose side is she on?
Howard Bockner, Toronto.
Speaking of Barbara Kay, readers may enjoy this debate with her son Jonathan in The Canadian Jewish News.
~A gentleman named Cameron MacLeod appeared in yesterday's post on the wretched state of Toronto manhood and its disturbing "gender gap". Mr MacLeod writes:
I was featured in your blog post yesterday by name, but multiple false statements were made about me.
1. You appear to suggest I was a Twitter warrior "cheering the Doug Saunders line." This is false - I was not at the debate, and never stated my position since I wasn't there to hear the arguments. I did gently mock you because I'm not a fan of your previous work, and days later I expressed my disappointment that Munk selected, as you wrote, "cartoon characters."
2. A minor correction: It was a photo of a whiteboard. And just to ensure clarity, I didn't invent the hashtag, it was used by thousands before me.
3. Finally, you claimed that I believe women "...except women from Cologne, Oldenburg, Bad Münstereifel, Solingen, Chemnitz, Salzburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Brussels, etc. They're just 'urban myths'."
I am a strong supporter of fighting sexual violence and rape worldwide, period. I have never suggested otherwise, in public or in private. Your use of quotation marks around "urban myths" further suggests that I have said or written that, which is also false.
Your post contains libelous and false statements about me, so I request that you correct or remove them. If you will not, I request an explanation please.
(@c_9 on Twitter)
Oh, my! "Libelous and false statements"!!! Following extensive consultation with our legal department, SteynOnline has issued the following correction:
We regret that the "cardboard hashtag" we accused Mr MacLeod of constructing was, in fact, a "whiteboard hashtag". We have appointed a special investigative committee to identify the systemic failures that led to this appalling error and they will be reporting back with recommendations. An employee of Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc has been dispatched to Staples to buy a "whiteboard" for Steyn, so that he will know what one is.
For future reference, the phrase "cardboard hashtag" refers back to the apotheosis of the art form:
There's something slightly weird about taking a hashtag - which on the Internet at least has a functional purpose - and getting a big black felt marker and writing it on a piece of cardboard and holding it up, as if somehow the comforting props of social media can be extended beyond the computer and out into the real world. Maybe the talismanic hashtag never required a computer in the first place. Maybe way back during the Don Pacifico showdown all Lord Palmerston had to do was tell the Greeks #BringBackOurJew.
Meanwhile, our non-legal department writes:
Mr MacLeod's Tweet arose in the following context. The highly respected Steve Paikin of TVOntario wrote a blow-by-blow account of Friday's debate, which wasn't bad, except for the pansy headline. The Globe And Mail's Doug Saunders sneeringly responded:
So a debate about refugees was won with "brown people are rapists" arguments, no examples of which involved refugees
In fact, the only mention of "brown people" was from Mr Saunders. Still, one learns to be relaxed about the frantic racial pump-priming of his ilk. Slightly more jaw-dropping was his assertion that, of the many rape cases I cited, "no examples ...involved refugees". To take only the most obvious, in my opening statement I mentioned that a mere fortnight after acing a training course on how to treat women with respect (instituted after the Cologne mass sexual assaults) an Afghan refugee raped a caterer for refugees at a refugee centre. For the benefit of Saunders and the rest of the see-no-rape hear-no-rape crowd:
Vrouw verkracht in opvangcentrum asielzoekers
That means: "Woman Raped In Asylum-Seekers' Shelter." The victim has filed a statement of rape and indecent assault with the public prosecutor:
Het parket bevestigt de aangifte van verkrachting en aanranding van de eerbaarheid. Omdat de voogd van de niet-begeleide minderjarige in Gent woont, zijn de Gentse afdeling van het parket Oost-Vlaanderen en de jeugdrechtbank in Gent bevoegd. "De vrouw gaf aan in de instelling aangerand en verkracht te zijn door een minderjarige bewoner van het centrum", zegt parketwoordvoerster An Schoonjans.
So an aid worker for refugees has made a criminal complaint that she was raped by a refugee at a refugee centre. But, according to Saunders of the Globe, no refugees were involved in this rape by a refugee at a refugee centre. He knows better than An Schoonjans, spokeswoman for the prosecution service.
So we know that Doug Saunders does not believe women and does not believe survivors - not if they're women and survivors from a refugee center in Menen.
I could go on: That 16-year-old boy raped in Wolfsburg City Hall I mentioned? Attacked by a 36-year-old "Asylbewerber" - or "asylum seeker". That 15-year-old girl raped in Wuppertal? Another Asylbewerber. The 12-year-old boy sexually assaulted in Mudersbach? Go on, take a wild guess: einen asylsuchenden Mann aus Syrien - an asylum-seeking man from Syria. But, according to the ever more confident Saunders of the Globe, not a single Asylbewerber was involved in any of these incidents.
So we know that migrant-rape denier Doug Saunders does not believe women - young girls - from Wuppertal, nor survivors from Wolfsburg and Mudersbach.
Evidently feeling a bit lonely on his Twitter feed, Mr Saunders then decided to reply to his own Tweet:
Did the moderator at any point say "this is about refugees, not lynch-mob rumours about entire peoples"?
The "lynch-mobs" are the organized gangs sexually assaulting women in Cologne and many other cities. By "rumours", Saunders means police complaints, prosecutors' indictments, arrest warrants and newspaper reports. As noted in my earlier piece, when he's not dismissing them as "rumours", he scoffs at them as "urban myths".
At which point, enter Cameron MacLeod. Mr MacLeod responds to the above Saunders Tweet:
I'm quite disappointed in this
@munkdebate - shocking they'd give platform to fact-free hate-spreader like Steyn.
Please note that calling me a "fact-free hate-spreader" is merely Mr MacLeod "gently mocking" me.
He now says he never saw the Munk Debate, which is not the impression a reasonable person would gain from his statement that he was "quite disappointed" by it. In the context of his Tweet, the reference to me being a "fact-free hate-spreader" appears to agree with Saunders' observation that I'm spreading "lynch-mob rumours" via rape stories, "no examples of which involve refugees". In other words, the "hate" I'm "spreading" is about refugees and the rumours that are "fact-free" are all that witness testimony from Menen, Wuppertal, Mudersbach, etc. The Tweet quoted in yesterday's column was Mr MacLeod's own response to his "fact-free hate-spreader" Tweet.
So, whether or not Mr MacLeod does indeed believe women and believe survivors, he appears to be agreeing with Doug Saunders who has flatly stated that he doesn't believe them - that these are "urban myths" and "rumours" and, on the off-chance that one or two of them actually occurred, "no examples ...involved refugees".
If that's the case, Mr MacLeod's reputation is being damaged not by anything I said but by agreement with a man who doesn't believe thousands of women and doesn't believe thousands of survivors.
If our correspondent, as he appears to be threatening, wants to take this to Ontario Superior Court, so be it. But you can't claim #IBelieveWomen and #IBelieveSurvivors and then agree with someone who says #IBelieveSurvivorsOfEuroRapeAreUrbanMyths and #IBelieveRefugee-RapedWomenAreMereRumours. As this Tweeter asks Mr MacLeod:
What's false about
@MarkSteynOnline 's statement? Do you believe the women of Cologne?
I'm happy to take Mr MacLeod at his word when he says that he's "a strong supporter of fighting sexual violence and rape worldwide, period". But you can't do that when you're agreeing with Doug Saunders, a guy who explicitly dismisses sexual violence and rape in Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc.
So the easiest way to settle this, Mr MacLeod, is:
Do you believe Doug Saunders when he says these extensively documented rapes, gang-rapes, child rapes and other sexual violence across Europe are "urban myths", "rumours" and that not a single one of them "involved refugees"?
I'll wait for your answer.
And I'm not the "cartoon character" here.