HH: On Thursdays, we always like to start the hour with Mark Steyn, Columnist To the World. You can read everything he writes at www.steynonline.com. Mark, you’ve been in an undisclosed location. I can only assume you’ve been recording the fall’s release of the latest in the Jessica Martin-Mark Steyn series of Christmas albums.
MS: You, oh, you’re getting worse. You usually don’t start hectoring me about the clues as to the Christmas release until, like, August or early September. It’s still May.
HH: It’s like the presidential campaign, but here’s why. We lost Donna Summers and Robin Gibb, and I’m looking at your disco fever edition, and I’m worried about you.
MS: Yeah, well Donna Summer, I mean, apart from the fact that she was actually a very nice person, but I should confess that when I did the disco version of Marshmallow World, I listened to all these disco things from the 70s, and in fact, for the slow intro of my Marshmallow World, I basically lifted Donna Summer’s slow intro to Last Dance sideways, and for the sort of pneumatic finish of our Marshmallow World, we lifted the Donna Summer/Barbra Streisand ending of No More Tears/Enough Is Enough. So I think, it’s not plagiarism, I would call it homage.
HH: Well, we’ll have to play that homage later. I have to begin, Mark, by telling you my interns were studying my Twitter feed, Aley and Michael, and they saw that I had just tweeted at least we know what the Obama-Clinton administration state dinner would be, and I showed them the picture out from TMZ earlier today of Bill Clinton in Monaco surrounded by porn stars, including Tasha Reign and Brooklyn Lee. I can’t tell you most of the movies they’ve been because of the titles, but Tasha was in Farm Girls Gone Bad, which I think is very appropriate.
MS: Right, you know, what I find odd about this is that the year of Monica, which was what, 1998, 1999 now? I wrote in the Telegraph in London, I thought let’s, I said pitch it on ten years down the road. Bill Clinton’s in retirement, or he’s had a midlife career change, and he’s running a porno house in Amsterdam showing, I don’t know whether it was Farm Girls Gone Bad or whatever. But what astonishes me, and which often happens, by the way with the left, is that you make a casual joke about them like that, and ten years later, it comes true.
HH: (laughing) Yeah.
MS: (laughing) Bill Clinton is living my throwaway gag from 1998.
HH: I’ve got to read this to you. Clinton’s in a Monte Carlo casino right now for a special Nights In Monaco gala event. And several celebrities are in attendance, and a bunch of porn stars. You know, you can’t make this stuff up with this guy, Mark Steyn.
MS: No, no, but you know something? Having looked at the comparative pictures of Obama with the G-8 leaders, and Clinton with the double G porn stars in Monte Carlo, I’m not sure on the whole, you know, it isn’t better for world leaders to be holding Clinton-type porn stars rather than Obama’s G-8 ones.
HH: Don’t you feel bad for the G-8 leaders who were locked up at Camp David for a weekend being lectured by the schoolmarm-in-chief?
MS: I know. I think that’s…I mean, I don’t know why they take it, actually, because you know, insofar as anybody…for a start, Obama is in no position to lecture even the Europeans, because on a lot of the numbers, the United States can reasonably be said to be actually in a worse situation than Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, whoever you want to talk about. So the idea that Angela Merkel, never mind Stephen Harper in Canada, has anything to learn from Obama, I think is ridiculous. And they should have laughed at him, by the way. You know, Stephen Harper should have brought along a piece of the Keystone Pipeline, held it up to his eye, and watched, and bellowed, he should have yelled at Obama through a piece of the Keystone Pipeline all summit long, I think.
HH: Now I’ve got to tell you, before we turn to John Edwards, which I’ve got to cover your piece in Nationalreview.com, because it’s so wonderful, but I was reading the New York Times, and I thought of you. And you won’t, you’ll be surprised by this. The article is titled, Is Marathon Running Bad For The Heart, and it’s by Gretchen Reynolds. But it has this line in it, which made me think of you. “The science suggests,” writes Ms. Reynolds, “That overall, distance running and racing are extremely unlikely to kill you except when in rare instances they do.” And so I was thinking, that’s like saying deficit spending is extremely unlikely to bring down governments and cause collapse, except in the rare instances where they do. But it’s about to happen.
MS: Yeah, that’s true. I think that one will survive even the New York Times fact checker.
HH: It’s astonishing. That is such a dumb comment. But now, let’s go to Jonathan Edwards. You wrote a piece about the Edwards trial, and this is very serious. In it, you write, “I loathe the American media, whose peculiarly contemptible combination of partisanship, snobbery and self-neutering of any basic journalistic instinct might easily have led, were it not for the candidacy of Barack Obama, this preening metrosexual slug, becoming president of the United States.” Here’s what’s amazing, Mark. Everybody close to the campaign, especially Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who wrote Game Change…
HH: …knew all of this during the campaign.
MS: Yeah, and I think this is what’s actually disgraceful about this story, is that John Edwards should not have been presented to America as a credible presidential candidate in 2008. The people who did that are all the respectable mainstream journalists. If it hadn’t been for, you know, the National Enquirer, who like to do the things that old fashioned journalists used to do, this absolutely repellant creature was actually, if you look at his results in Iowa, you know, a misstep by Obama and Hillary here and there, and he could very well have wound up as president. Where I part company with what’s going on now is that I don’t think there’s a crime here. Bunny Mellon and a couple of other fellows essentially gave money to John Edwards in the full knowledge that he was going to use it to take care of this particular problem of his. I don’t see that that, a guy should be looking at 30 years in jail for that. And I think John Edwards is the lowest of the low, but I’m very concerned at what is happening at the federal level to American justice.
HH: Well, you know what’s going to happen now, given this precedent, and it’s sort of spreading like cancer, is the Facebook advisor and investment bankers, who lowered the profitability projection right before the IPO went out, they all did the same thing that this is going on. It’s suppression of information, or non-circulation of information. But the journalists themselves did it. It’s all the same “crime”, and it ought not to be a felony.
MS: No, and it shouldn’t. And I think, you know, I think actually this culture would benefit from a…I end that piece by quoting Lord Moulton, an English jurist from basically 90 years ago. And his thing is that the most important space in society is the sphere that exists between what is illegal and the small areas in which man has absolute freedom. In other words, he says 80% of civilization is the sphere in which man polices himself. And that’s actually what we’re losing, I think, in the United States. You can’t have laws against everything. You can’t have regulations against everything. And the temptation, particularly in a sort of multicultural society where we all have to be non-judgmental about this and that and everything else, the idea that you can sort of hyper-regulate every single sphere of life, I think, is deeply damaging to liberty. I don’t think, by the way, you know, the John Edwards case, I touch on this thing about the famous Al Capone, they did him for tax evasion, as if…which they couldn’t get him on the Valentine’s Day Massacre, so they got him on some technical infraction for his tax return. I don’t think that’s healthy. I think a state should be, when a guy guns down large numbers of people, you should be able to nail him on that.
MS: If you develop laws for technicalities, it’s not a good thing.
HH: Now let me ask you about, going back to the journalists who were covering or not covering Edwards as the case may be, what do you think we don’t know that they know right now about Team Obama, because they obviously, Mike Allen is a friend of the program and a good guy, they’re putting out these insta-books with scoops. So they’re obviously sitting on scoops. It’s become, it’s deeply disfiguring of media, I think.
MS: Yeah, I think it is, and I think that’s where a lot of the pomposity of media, you know, they all pride themselves on ethics, they’re always given themselves awards for it, they’re agonizing over ethics the whole time, and yet we have wound up with a guy as president, I mean Obama is the most extraordinary president in that sense, in that even now, three or four years into his term, we still don’t actually know most things about him. We know everything about Sarah Palin. They jumped on it instantly, they dispatched thousands of people to Wasilla to interview someone who once babysat a cousin of a daughter-in-law of someone who used to do some house sitting for someone whose brother dated a girl who once dated Sarah Palin’s daughter. You know, it’s like that, they can do. But the basics of Obama’s life are all, you know, an enigma concealed in a mystery concealed in whatever the third one of that Churchill quote is.
HH: Well, my journalistic beat is discovering when A Marshmallow World is next going to appear in its newest edition, and I shall not give up, America. I shall pursue Steyn until I get to the musical bottom of it. www.steynonline.com, America, for all things Steyn.
End of interview.