Mark Steyn on Terrorist as Celebrity, and “Immigration” Reform
HH: Joining me to discuss that is as happens every Thursday when we are lucky is Mark Steyn, columnist of the world. Mark, even though the bar is obviously pretty low I’ve never been on the cover of the Rolling Stone. How about you?
MS: [laughing] No, no, I haven’t. I got to number 7 on Amazon’s Easy Listening Chart with my version of Marshmallow World and that’s not enough to apparently being number 7 Easy Listening doesn’t get you on the cover of the Rolling Stone.
HH: No, you’re going to have to blow up some Americans and this latest stage of glory to the killers has unnerved a lot of people. What do you make of the Rolling Stone doing this?
MS: Well, they are not alone. There’s a sort of a free song of sexiness about him that emerged in the immediate aftermath of his arrest where people were very taken by him – he was given the kind of Trayvon Martin treatment supersized—how did this angelic, innocent all American boy who wore a tuxedo to the prom, how did he wind up blowing up the Boston Marathon and in a sense the Rolling Stone cover is the—is the reductio ad absurdum of that approach. They’ve gone full Tiger Beat on him and giving him that beautific—again it’s the Trayvon Martin thing supersized giving him that particular beautific picture of him—portrait of him designed to look like some boy band wannabe. I mean he’s got a little too much five o’clock shadow to go the full Justin Bieber, but he is—but that—I think that testifies to the sort of decadent free song that—that American’s enemies give. They get the full—so the left in America guys like this give them the sort of full Chris Matthews leg tingle.
HH: Now, you’re not saying that Trayvon Martin was a terrorist or as an enemy of America—you’re saying—I think you’re saying that Trayvon Martin became a celebrity in the eyes of the left not because of anything he did but because of the role they wanted him to play.
MS: Yes, and I what I mean by Trayvon Martin supersized—I mean they took a flawed teenager and they sought the most beautific presentation of him.
MS: The idea using the photographs of him of when he was a 12-year old, portraying him as a boy, portraying him as a child. This guy the younger brother is a fellow who took American citizenship on 9/11. He had a kind of morbid sense of humor about what he was doing to the country which he was largely raised. He was taken in as a refugee from Dagestan. He lived in the most liberal—one of the most liberal cities in one of the most liberal states. He lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I doubt he was ever exposed to—he was—when people said to him oh, he went to the most diverse public school in America. When people said to him oh, where are you from? Oh, Dagestan. Oh, gosh that sounds exotic you must come and tell us all about your exciting, exotic – he was treated as a diversity pet by American liberalism. Even when he goes—then goes takes cynically takes American citizens after 9/11 and blows up the Boston Marathon he still America liberalisms little diversity pet—now so cool that he’s on the cover of the Rolling Stone.
HH: Now, Mark I want a little connecting of the dots here and see what you think about this. There’s an old rule in compensation consulting that that which gets rewarded gets repeated. Now, when NBC put the Virginia Tech killer tape on air, I said Steve Capus and the whole gang at NBC are going to own the next time some mass killer sends around a video tape expecting its going to get aired, and then the Sandy Hook killer had this giant chart of all the other killers out there like a video game he needed to beat and now every other nut in America who wants to be famous is going to realize that—that the Boston bombers get on the Rolling Stone cover—is there—is anybody going to be surprised that the incentives have changed now not just beyond mayhem in hurting America but also to celebrity status for losers?
MS: Yeah, I, I think that’s the actually one of the most interesting phenomenon. Say what you like about the suicide bombers that Islam generates around the world but when a guy walks into a market in Iraq or Pakistan or Afghanistan and he self-detonates that’s it. He’s gone. He’s splattered everywhere and he taken his victims with him and that’s it and nobody really winds up finding out very much about him or who he is or what he’s done or how he grew up or anything. Boom! It’s over. In the West now we seem to be combining the sort of auto-jihad elements of Islam with the kind of mass market all American serial killer—the Aurora, Colorado, Sandy Hook types. So you get—you get fellows like that London who decapitated drummer Rigby on the streets of London in broad daylight—ah, they tried to chop his head off and then drenched in blood they basically hold a press conference for 20 minutes live on the internet and on cell phones until—until the police show up and I think that’s the danger here that the—your moving away from the suicide bomber model to something where you—these guys go full jihad as a form of media celebrity and that’s certainly is what Rolling Stone is as I say. . .
HH: Sure and sure with the expectation of Bob Barnett representing him on a book deal I think. Speaking of which—yesterday I gave the whole show over to Mark Leibovich and his book This Town. I don’t know if you’ve read This Town yet—have you?
MS: Ah, no I haven’t read the book.
HH: Alright. The deep self absorption of the beltway Manhattan media elite is even more pernicious—so far gone—they are clueless about the world, Mark Steyn. I’m curious if you think they are going to figure it out before the next big boom—that the world doesn’t really care about what they care about. It’s almost disconnected from our ruling elites.
MS: Yeah, and I think that’s conscious. I think you’ve got basically a cocoon elite and that—and that goes back to how they—how they respond to events. They plug them in to their same lame, tired, little troops so you have Eric Holder standing up and calling for an honest conversation about race and by honest conversation he means he wants America to shut up while he and a few other chosen members of the ruling class pedal the same cobweb pieties. We—we’re just—weird situation today where Detroit which was the powerhouse of the world half a century ago and had the highest per capita income in America has—has just declared bankruptcy and there’s no serious attempt within the Beltway to understand what that means and what that foretells. It’s, it’s basically a little club of people talking to themselves while the world in which the rest of us of the misfortunes live spirals ever more farther away from their rather narrow horizon.
HH: Its interesting that’s the term Leibovich uses the “club” and if you have a chance to take a look at the interview or read the book because the club is out of control. I’m coming up after the break and am going to talk to Mike McCaul, Chairman of Homeland Security Committee, and I know he’s going to disappoint me again on the fence, and John McCain and Chuck Schumer are out there saying that we’ve got to use the August recess to save immigration reform and the Republican John Boehner said. .
MS: Can I just stop you there?
MS: Can I just stop you there for a moment?
HH: Go ahead.
MS: I am an immigrant. You know I did the paperwork. Ah, I went through which—which isn’t the greatest process in the world, but I went through the process of U.S. Immigration. I am an immigrant. When someone walks across the border and starts living in this country, get’s a fake social security number and then a driver’s license and starts earning money and sending it out back to Mexico or whatever that’s not an immigrant and we legal immigrants are entitled to have—to have people find another—another term for what this is.
MS: The problem is not immigration.
HH: You know Mark you’re really gonna love Chairman McCaul’s term “stakeholder” with which I mix up with him. Ah—I taped this interview already and I know what he says. He says he’s talking to the stakeholders and I stop him and I say wait a minute, I’m a stakeholder here [laughs] and you’re gonna be—your hair is gonna stand out—they are just disconnected.
MS: That’s—that’s I’ll use that word too because I heard—I heard that all the time in my difficulties with the Canadian human rights regime. They talked about stakeholders. What they meant by stakeholders is basically lobby groups—
MS: They meant people who were rent seekers, people who had an economic interest in some of these things but stakeholders in this—as I said I am an immigrant but the stakeholders in the immigration question are the existing citizenry of the United States—
MS: It’s your country! You’re the stakeholder! Why let—why the pop—the 60 million people south of the Rio Grand are not stakeholders. Where does this nonsense—how does this nonsense get started?
HH: I don’t know.
MS: I started referring to illegal immigrants as undocumented Americans as a joke 10 years ago. Harry Reid 5 years later used the phrase for real on the Senate floor. This is ridiculous! Why let your country be taken from you? Why let your language be taken from you?
HH: Well I’m blaming you then for the undocumented term that’s now au courant everywhere. Mark Steyn, thank you. Everything that Mark writes is at Steynonline.com, America. Stay tuned. Chairman McCaul is next. We mix it up on the border fence because I’m not a stakeholder and you’ll hear what happens on the Hugh Hewitt Show.