Mark closed out the recent Manning Centre conference (Canada's CPAC, more or less) with a live stage performance of The Mark Steyn Show from the Shaw Centre in Ottawa.
For our American viewers, his opening contains a few obscure Canadian jokes - Sir Mackenzie Bowell's fisheries minister and so on - but the meat of his presentation on free speech does, we think, apply across the civilized world.
There are also questions from the audience, and a live performance by Tal Bachman, scion of Randy of Bachman-Turner Overdrive and a hitmaker in his own right with songs like "She's So High". This time, though, Tal is performing a couple of other writers' classics - one English, and the other the first ever Billboard American Number One, which turns out to be a Canadian song.
We hope you enjoy this first ever airing of Mark's Ottawa show. Just click to play:
Among those who were in the audience in Ottawa were Rose Papastamos, who writes:
I was at the Manning event in Ottawa with my daughter who is currently finishing her last year of university. It was our first time attending the conference. I was really happy she agreed to come with me. She is an economics/political science student at McMaster in Hamilton and it happened to be reading week.
We both thoroughly enjoyed your show – it was the highlight of the conference. Your message was right on! Wish there were more people who spoke out truth or at least took a position they could back up.
We needed to leave right after the show so were unable to meet with you to say hello and thank you personally.
I was just getting ready last week to sign on to your show when news of the break up with CRTV came. I am so sorry!!! What a shock that was! You are truly a remarkable talent and a courageous man.
Sean Soderman was also there, and this is what he subsequently wrote to CRTV:
As I become aware of the details behind the cancellation of the Mark Steyn Show, I am obliged to request a refund for my yearly subscription. I can't in principle support what's been done to Steyn and company. I shouldn't be sending money to an organisation, only to learn that certain content-producers and employees aren't being paid. My stomach churns to learn Mark Steyn's been made to absorb the costs of the show; 6-figures, by his account.
I attended the Steyn Show in Canada, Ontario, at the Ottawa Manning Conference, and he graciously signed my copy of his book and took a picture with me. The dates I'm reading suggest to me that while Steyn was here up North, he was aware things were heading South. In spite of this he put on a smile and a great performance.
I don't hold ill-will towards CRTV's content-producers. By Salon's account, the problem is higher up. If there's any justice, Mark Steyn and company will be duly paid for a job well done. I hope this is how it pans out in the courts. Otherwise, people should be warned against supporting CRTV for fear of this happening to others.
Thank you, Sean. Mark was certainly aware things were "heading south", but we hope it didn't show on stage! There'll be more from The Mark Steyn Show in the week ahead - and on Saturday night he'll be joining the great Judge Jeanine live on Fox News at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific.