On Thursday I had the pleasure of spending another hour with Kat and Eboni hosting "The Fox News Specialists". Shep Smith nibbled into our time with a Hurricane Irma update at the front, which necessitated some hasty adjustments en route, but it all ended up happily with a superbly professional throw to Bret Baier by yours truly at 5.59pm that was a rare oasis of calm in this storm-tossed hemisphere, if I do say so myself, and I do. We might link to that if Fox posts it. In the meantime, here we all are, with Gianno Caldwell and Charlie Kirk chewing over the debt-ceiling deal. Click below to watch:
If you're a member of The Mark Steyn Club and you disagree with me or any of my comrades, then have at it in our comments section. If you feel even more strongly about it, we'll be having another of our Clubland Q&A sessions live around the planet this Monday. If you had difficulty getting through on the telephone when I was hosting Rush, you can always try shooting me a question on Monday.
~We have fun in The Mark Steyn Club, with the Clubland Q&As, nightly audio yarns, and much more. The Club helps fund much of what we do here at SteynOnline and around the world.
The Mark Steyn Club's not about walling up our content and limiting its reach, but about enabling us to maintain and expand its reach around the planet. Indeed I'm heartened to see that our recent TV shows with Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray have between them, merely on YouTube, stacked up a combined audience of well over 420,000. That's not exactly viral, as the young 'uns say, and it's not like the millions and millions of listeners I have when I guest-host for Rush, but it's surprisingly competitive with most US cable networks - at 8pm the other Monday night, for example, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield on HLN had a total audience of 209,000. So our viewership isn't bad for a couple of substantive long-form big-picture interviews with serious persons arguing their corners in a compelling and persuasive manner.
That's all by way of explaining what The Mark Steyn Club isn't. The content at SteynOnline will still be free and available to all. What we're trying to do is keep it going at the highest-quality level. Many of you, for example, have said how much you enjoy the full-length interviews with the likes of Lionel Chetwynd on the stories Hollywood won't tell; James E Mitchell on what it's like to waterboard Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; and Amity Shlaes on the history of the Forgotten Man, from the 19th century to the 2016 election. In-depth interviews can't be done on Skype, because that's kind of hard to watch for a full hour: It requires you and the guest being in the same place, knee-to-knee across the sofa, professionally lit and shot, etc. So that's a major commitment, but one worth doing and one we intend to keep going. Likewise, my live appearances - like the recent Phoenix and Ottawa events - reach a far greater audience than those in the theatre if they can be filmed and distributed. (And we intend to place some of this content on a real TV station, too.) Oh, and with regards to my interminable battle with litigious climate mullah Michael E Mann over the criminalization of scientific disagreement, we have some ambitious plans on the freedom-of-speech front, too.
So, if you're a longtime supporter of SteynOnline, I'd like to invite you to become a member of our new Mark Steyn Club. You can sign up for a full year - or, if you think this is some dodgy malodorous scheme cooked up by a fly-by-night Canadian shyster, you can opt to be more lightly scammed and sign up for a mere quarter. Membership of The Mark Steyn Club isn't for everyone, but it does ensure that all our content will be for everyone, and out there in the world - from my essay on Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind to my interview with Christopher Caldwell on Europe's Islamization, from my columns on the latest terrorist attack to my SteynPost on America's white-male epidemic of "death by despair" to my Last Call on the malign House of Saud ...and, on a cheerier note, our celebrations of the late actor Martin Landau, the story of "Over the Rainbow", and all our other cultural diversions. Members of The Mark Steyn Club help to support all this content.
Whether you've enjoyed me in Canadian newspapers, on American radio, on Australian stages, The Mark Steyn Club is a great way to tie it all together. And membership does come with benefits:
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*Comment Club membership: you get to frolic and gambol through our comments section and take issue with me and my columns and radio shows and TV appearances. I weigh in there myself from time to time, but it's essentially your turf where you get to take the rhetorical baseball bat to any cut of my jib that happens to rankle. There's a lot of good stuff in there.
*My new quarterly newsletter, The Clubbable Steyn: The first issue is full of fun, including climate-change "adjustments", the first "known wolf" with the "mysterious motive", the anniversaries of Benghazi and Diana, Canada's all-time greatest flag design, and my visit to Rotherham to talk to the victims of Britain's Muslim "grooming" gangs.
*My new video series of pertinent verse.
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We have a few more Club activities we'll be introducing in the weeks ahead.
When I was guest-hosting for Rush recently, I took a call from Natalie from Montana who said she was saving up from her summer job for a Steyn Club membership. I was surprised and humbled by a fifteen-year-old's interest in my work, so I decided to give her a Club membership for her 16th birthday a few weeks ago. It got me thinking that other listeners might also have friends or family members who'd appreciate a Steyn Club gift membership. So here it is. You can order it now and have it delivered instantly or on a special day, such as a birthday or anniversary. Or you can print out our personalized welcome message - perfect for tucking inside a greeting card.