On Wednesday afternoon I checked in with the great John Oakley at Toronto's Global News Radio 640. The main topics of discussion were free speech, the need for so-called conservative parties to stand by their candidates, plus S&M south of the border and corporal punishment north of the border. Click below to listen:
John was kind enough to mention my being honored with the very first George Jonas Freedom Award by Canada's Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. I miss George's insight and wit and moral clarity, and do not, by any means, consider myself any kind of adequate substitute. Nevertheless, it's a great honor and distinction to be given this award, and the big beano on June 15th in Toronto should be a splendid night. It's at the Eglinton Grand, and if you're in Southern Ontario or even Buffalo (it's a zippy 90 minutes up the QEW) I look forward to seeing you there. You can find more information here.
Speaking of Tory parties sticking with candidates who come under fire, Jonathon Van Maren notes the appalling attacks on Andrew Lawton, who's standing in London, Ontario. Londoners already know him well:
Anyone who has met Andrew will tell you that he is a wonderful, fun-loving guy without a mean bone in his body. He's had everybody on his radio show—Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, and even Premier Kathleen Wynne has dropped by a few times. They all seemed to have a good time chatting with him.
He has indeed "had everybody on his radio show", but Harper, Trudeau, Wynne doesn't begin to do justice to it. How about Florence Henderson, William Shatner, Maya Angelou, Alan Thicke? All of whom also "seemed to have a good time" on "The Andrew Lawton Show". Can't get more mainstream than Captain Kirk and Carol Brady, right? Wrong:
One news outlet actually published these lines, courtesy of a delusional man named Nawaz Tahir, the chair of a London Muslim advocacy group called Hikma: "In 2016, Lawton published an op-ed for the Toronto Sun which Tahir said praises a controversial book America Alone that called for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims. 'Not only did he praise the book, but he went further and suggested that the author, the infamous Mark Steyn, should get a Nobel Peace Prize for this work,' said Tahir. 'It is incomprehensible how someone that praises a call for ethnic cleansing could be hand-picked by someone who wants to be the leader of this province.'"
This is just malevolent and slanderous garbage. To claim that Mark Steyn's America Alone calls for ethnic cleansing is a defamation that Mr. Steyn should consider taking legal action over, and indicates that the person making the claim did not read the book (I've read it a couple of times), is almost entirely illiterate, or is attempting to twist words out of context in order to smear someone for political purposes. In this case, it appears to be the latter. Andrew can get hammered over a few jokes or unpopular opinions—but his opponents can falsely accuse an author of advocating for ethnic cleansing and apparently get away with it. That, in my opinion, is disgusting.
But we live in disgusting times, in which too many "mainstream" journalists are content to be sock-puppets for any mouthy grievance-monger minded to stick his arm up their butts. In this case, the brain-dead reporter who regurgitated Nawaz Tahir's slander is called Kirk Dickinson, who appears to be not a reporter but simply a stenographer for Mr Tahir. America Alone was a Number One bestseller in Canada, and was read and recommended by President Bush and many prominent Republicans (Mitt Romney) and Democrats (Joe Lieberman) alike. So, no matter how "controversial" it might seem to Nawaz Tahir, it's more "mainstream" than, say, the unreadable sludge of Kirk Dickinson. I'm not usually minded to sue, but the charge that one has "called for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims" is sufficiently damaging to one's life expectancy to give one pause.
~If you enjoy me on the radio, I'll be back with, I believe, two audio specials this weekend. On the other hand, if you're one of that small, brave band who prefer me on camera, I'll be on the telly tomorrow, Thursday, south of the border with Tucker Carlson live coast to coast across America on Fox News.
The Mark Steyn Club is celebrating its first anniversary, and, if you're finally getting round to maybe considering perhaps becoming a member at some point in the course of this second year, please see here - and don't forget our limited-time Gift Membership. In this birthday week, we are grateful for the support of all our friends around the world - from London, Ontario to London, England, via Longueuil, Londonderry, and Long Beach - and look forward to welcoming many more in the years ahead.