Agam's Gecko
Sunday, September 03, 2006

ark Steyn was on Washington Journal for an hour on Friday night, with a fellow who I think is one of the very best interviewers in the business today, Brian Lamb. Lucky for me (over here on the other side of the earth) that he was on for the entire second hour -- the only portion of the three hour program that gets relayed over here via AsiaSat on Friday evenings.

It's a great hour of discussion, including phone-ins of course, so there is some built-in guaranteed moonbattiness for him to play with. You can find the segment by going to the Washington Journal full listings page, scroll to the 9/1/2006 program, and you'll see it listed as a stand alone segment. Again, these C-SPAN archived programs are in Real Video format (live streams are available in Windows Media also, but not the archives unfortunately). If Real Player is installed on your machine properly, this link will open the video directly. C-SPAN archives are incredibly useful, which is my only reason for having Real Player installed.

AllahPundit pointed to this video on Friday, but apparently had many readers complaining of problems viewing from the C-SPAN site. So he clipped some of the highlights and added a more user-friendly video to his post, but it's just a few highlights, so try to see the whole show if at all possible. Mark was particularly excellent toward the very end of the interview, and I wish I'd taped it to make a partial transcript. If I have time this afternoon I'll do it from the web video and add it in an update.

UPDATE: Here is a part of Steyn's comments which made me think at the time, "Somebody needs to write this down." So here is a taste of it. In answer to his last caller, who queried him about the leftish dominance in the media (and particularly Hollywood). He wondered why what he called "traditional American values" so little represented in the media.
Mark Steyn: Well I think those people do live in a closed world. I think if you go to a dinner party in Beverly Hills and certain other parts ... indeed in certain college towns. If you go down I-89 from where I am and you go to a dinner party at Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire, it's an entirely closed world view. You know these people are committed to diversity of race, diversity of gender, diversity of orientation. Everything except the only diversity that matters -- which is diversity of opinion, diversity of thought.

I'm happy to defend my position to anyone who wants to come and lob rotten tomatoes at it. But I can't understand anybody wanting to live in a world where their core beliefs are so fragile and delicate that you can't challenge them without people going, "Oooooooh, hate crime!" at you. And that's unfortunately the way a lot of the media think, and the way the broader popular culture thinks.

The reality is that, if you were a Hollywood producer and you want to make a film where great all-American heroes go out and stick it to the jihadists, you would make a gazillion dollars. But they don't want to do that because they'd rather make some film where the jihadist, the guy they think of as the jihadist, turns out to be some Bush-Cheney-Halliburton plant. You know that's unfortunately just that kind of groupthink, it's a very closed world, it's a bubble where they all talk to themselves all day long.
Steyn was invited to Sydney last month by the Centre for Independent Studies, for a "Big Ideas Forum," including discussion of western civilisation and whether there is a crisis of confidence in western culture, debate from different perspectives and a Q & A session. The entire proceeding is transcribed here.

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