Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cowardice, Cultism, and Unconscionable Hypocrisy

The current controversy concerning the publication of the book, "The Cartoons That Shook the World" by Jytte Klausen is right in Mark Steyn's wheelhouse and he doesn't disappoint. In the September 7 issue of National Review, Steyn derides the publisher of the book, Yale University Press for not including the actual cartoons. Other free press advocates have done that, but Steyn has a different take on their motivation. YUP claims it was the fear of violence that drove their decision, but Steyn points out that it was driven more by a fear of losing the support of wealthy Muslim benefactors.

"...the honchos seem to be using fear of violence as a cover for the appetites of their endowment. In other words, they’re merely posing as contemptible Euroweenies. Which, when you think about it, is even more contemptible".


And Steyn has another gem on NRO examining the perverse cultism that's inspired by President Obama. He first notes that the NY Times misrepresented a quote he made (as is their custom) comparing the Obama phenomenon to the governing approach of dictators like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il.

On Friday, I had the rare honor of appearing in the pages of the New York Times, apropos President Obama’s plans to beam himself into every schoolhouse in the land in the peculiar belief that Generation iPod will find this an enthralling technical novelty. As Times reporters James C. McKinley Jr. and Sam Dillon wrote: “Mark Steyn, a Canadian author and political commentator, speaking on the Rush Limbaugh show on Wednesday, accused Mr. Obama of trying to create a cult of personality, comparing him to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader.”
Oh, dear! “A Canadian author”: Talk about damning with faint credentialization. I don’t know what’s crueler, the “Canadian” or the indefinite article. As to the rest of it, well, that’s one way of putting it. Here’s what I said on Wednesday re dear old Saddam and Kim: “Obviously we’re not talking about the cult of personality on the Saddam Hussein/Kim Jong-Il scale.” Close enough for Times work.

(Update - Sept. 9 - The Times admitted its error on its front page.)

Then Steyn dives right in and makes the case for Obama, The Omnipresent Leader.


An ascerbic column by Jay Nordlinger appears in NRO today. He compares the treatment of protesters of Obama with that of President Bush. Also targeted are leftists' charges of hate mongering by conservatives.

They say that “hate” is rearing its head, and that President Obama and the Democrats are the victims of it.
Let me make a couple of predictions: I predict that the chairman of the Republican National Committee will never say, “I hate the Democrats and everything they stand for. This [politics, basically] is a struggle of good and evil. And we’re the good.”

Howard Dean said that about the GOP: “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for. . . .”

I predict that an editor of a conservative magazine will never write a piece called “The Case for Obama Hatred,” beginning, “I hate President Barack Obama.”

A New Republic editor did this, about Bush.

And there is increasing worry about assassination: that someone will take a shot, not just at the president, but at the first black president, which would be extra-catastrophic for the country. A few protesters have carried signs urging violence against Obama, or smacking of violence. Let me make some more predictions:

I predict that a network talk-show host will not show a video of President Obama giving a speech and put the following words on the screen: “SNIPERS WANTED.”

Craig Kilborn of CBS did that to George W. Bush.

I predict that U.S. senators will not joke about killing Obama.

In 2006, Bill Maher had a conversation with John Kerry. He asked Kerry what he’d gotten his wife for her birthday. Kerry said he had treated her to a vacation in Vermont. Maher said, “You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.” Kerry replied, “Or I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.” This is the same Kerry who, in 1988, said, “Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they’re to shoot Quayle.” Then he said, “There isn’t any press here, is there?”

I predict that a New York official will not tell a graduating class about assassinating President Obama.Also in 2006, comptroller Alan Hevesi said to students at Queens College that Sen. Charles Schumer, his fellow Democrat, would “put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.”

I predict that no columnist for a leading European newspaper, and leading world newspaper, will write, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?”

Charlie Brooker of the Guardian did that to George W. Bush.

I predict that no major writer will write a novel debating the morality of killing President Obama.

Nicholson Baker did that to Bush, with Checkpoint.

I predict that no filmmaker will make a “fictional documentary” that fantasizes — and I’m afraid that is the word — about murdering President Obama.

Some Brits did that to President Bush with Death of a President.

Dear readers, I have made very, very safe predictions. If a CBS talk-show host pictured President Obama and said “SNIPERS WANTED,” he would lose his job, of course. He would never work in the media again. I wonder what else would happen to him.


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