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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Mark Steyn on the immigration bill, Trent Lott’s attack on talk radio, and the increasing problem in the Gaza Strip.

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KJ: Let’s go right to our regular guest at this time, Mark Steyn,, columnist to the world from Chicago covering the Conrad Black trial. Hello, Mark.

MS: Hi, Kevin. I’m in Washington, actually, but I can’t…I don’t feel I can follow that build-up Hugh gave you. That was the most spectacular intro I’ve heard. When I filled in for Hugh, he didn’t give me an intro. In fact, he didn’t give me any intro, nothing like that.

KJ: Well, Mark, if you made it from Chicago to Washington, you must not have flown United yesterday.

MS: I flew United today, and let me tell you, I cannot wait, I am the least anti-American non-American on the planet, but I loathe every American airline, and I would rather outsource the entire American airline industry to Air Singapore or Royal Jordanian or even Air France, that’s how made I am at United.

KJ: Every time you have to go through the airport and the process, I understand what you’re talking about. It speaks volumes for being really rich and flying private.

MS: (laughing) That’s right. I never could understand this thing why people wanted to get their own Gulfstream, and that kind of snobbery they have in Hollywood about whether you’ve got the Gulfstream that you can walk into standing up, or whether you have to just nudge your head down to get into it. But I must tell you, after commuting from Burlington, Vermont, to Chicago these last few weeks, I am planning on getting my own Gulfstream. I don’t know how many guest hosting stints you have to do on the Hugh Hewitt Show to be able to afford a Gulfstream, but I’m there. That’s what I want to do.

KJ: A couple of them, Mark.

MS: Really???

KJ: And while we’re on the subject…well, I’m not there yet, this is the first one. But while we’re on the subject of elites with their Gulfstream jets, the immigration bill, some people claim that the elites in our United States Congress, well, that they don’t know what the American people want. What’s your take on the latest, Mark Steyn?

MS: I think that is actually correct on that, that I think they don’t understand the anger that people see at huge transformation, huge population transformation. I think they don’t understand the strains it places on, for example, local health services and local schools. And I think it’s too easy…no CEO is going to have his hourly wage undercut by an illegal immigrant. Nobody is going to walk into the corner office at these big multinationals and say hey, you know what, I can do the CEO’s job for $6 bucks an hour. And so they’re not the ones threatened by this. And I think that’s the same in the Senate. I actually would love it if some illegal immigrant offered to do Trent Lott’s job for $6 dollars an hour. I would entirely support that, and send Trent back to the unemployment line in Mississippi. But I think it’s a question of the elites not getting it.

KJ: If it’s Trent Lott’s job, as long as that illegal alien does not have a talk radio gig, everything might be all right.

MS: (laughing) That’s right. I mean, Trent Lott is astonishing to me. You know, there’s a huge move afoot, as you probably know in Congress, the liberals don’t like the couple of areas of the media they don’t control, which is basically talk radio and the internet and Fox TV. And they’d like to get, assert control over that. Trent Lott is so out of touch, so insulated, that he doesn’t even understand who his real friends and real enemies are.

KJ: And it wasn’t that long ago that he was receiving our help.

MS: Yup, yup. That’s right, that’s right. I mean, I think Trent Lott actually is part of the problem here, that if you become part of a kind of permanent governing class, as he is, I mean, he’s not going anywhere until he retires. And he might well go on like his old pal, Strom Thurmond, until he’s, you know, 102. And I think you don’t, if you’re in Trent’s position, it doesn’t really matter who the little people are way down at the bottom of society. It doesn’t matter whether they’re Americans who can’t get jobs, or whether they’re Mexicans and Venezuelans doing those jobs for under minimum wage. It makes no difference to him.

KJ: You know, you touch on something that Trent Lott has certainly touched a nerve on, this so-called fairness doctrine. And I’ve been sitting here feeling, I don’t know, a little assaulted lately. They want to talk about talk radio all the time, but I don’t hear the advocates of the fairness doctrine discussing the same thing for our mainstream media. Who’s going to monitor all of these television news programs to make sure that there’s not a left wing turn? And the newspapers?

MS: No, that’s what’s so crazy about it, is that the left in this country allow themselves to present themselves as impartial. There was a thing today that turned out that when someone rifled through the campaign finance records, that nine out of ten journalists in the United States donate, when they make campaign donations, to the Democratic Party.

KJ: Yes.

MS: The New York Times forbids its reporters from making donations, because it says with the ease of internet access, it would enable people to get a misleading impression that the paper isn’t even-handed. No, it would enable people to get the correct impression that your news is being written and researched and reported by Democratic Party contributors and voters and supporters. And that’s something that no fairness doctrine ever passed by the Nancy Pelosi Congress is ever going to cover.

KJ: I found it striking how deep they had to dig to find someone who had actually donated to a Republican candidate.

MS: (laughing) I know, that’s right. I don’t know how they found that, you have to go way, way down, and you’ll find some cranky guy, maybe at a free shopping weekly up in Maine who accidentally made a donation to a Republican one time.

KJ: Mark Steyn, by the way,, Mark, it won’t be a surprise to you, will it, that Congress has just achieved a new milestone. They are now, they’ve gotten to the point where the confidence level in this country, according to the Gallup poll, they’ve reached a new record for the first time since Gallup initiated this poll in 1973, Congress has reached an all-time low on its confidence rating, that of a whopping 14%, numbers that only John McCain seems to understand these days.

MS: Yes, that’s right. George W. Bush, who is mocked for being unpopular, he could win American Idol if he was up against the United States Congress. I mean, they are down in the basement somewhere below Kim Jung Il and the Ebola virus. I mean, they are getting to undetectable…I once did a show on Channel 4 in Britain that had a much coveted zero rating. In other words, it was too small to be measured. Congress’ approval ratings are going to be having that problem.

KJ: They’re not even going to rate now. I’ve got a, just a little linguist exercise, Mark. It’s the Ebola…you know, being a Texan from Oklahoma, or an Oklahoman from Texas, I’m not so sure. It’s the Ebola?

MS: Ebola. I think that’s from that Latin American thing you have down in Texas, what was it?

KJ: Yeah, I know what it is. I just wanted to make sure I was saying it right.

MS: Yeah, yeah. No, I think that’s those wacky things that those balls on strings, or whatever they are, that they hurl at people down in Latin America.

KJ: Now Mark, I can’t let you get away without commenting on a serious note, what’s going on in the Middle East. There is a new name that has launched in the recent days and weeks, of course. I’m not sure if it’s Hamastan, or Fatahlibad.

MS: Well, what is happening in the Palestinian territories in Gaza is the consequence of forty years of the West artificially inflating Yasser Arafat’s reputation beyond reality. The truth of the matter is that he was a disgusting, corrupt, secular, socialist kleptocrat, with little appeal other than to French intellectuals and Swiss bankers whose deposits in vaults he enriched very lavishly. The fact of the matter is that a pseudo-Palestinian nationalism represented by Yasser Arafat has no appeal in Gaza. And hard-core Iranian-back Islamism, ugly as it is, is actually the genuine expression of that population.

KJ: And what are we, are you willing to make a prediction, Mark Steyn, as to what we might see this summer?

MS: Well, I think things are going to get very bad there. I see no reason why the West Bank shouldn’t also go that way. The reality is, if you look at Gaza, the median age in the Gaza Strip is 15.8 years.

KJ: Yes.

MS: They are people, it’s basically a population of unemployed, lowly educated, teenage boys who’ve been raised in a death cult. That’s not…and so when Condi Rice says oh, they just want a hopeful future and a nice house and a job and two kids playing in the yard like the rest of us, no they don’t. They’re a population of children, raised in this disgusting Islamist squat that the West, under these stupid Oslo Accords, allowed Yasser Arafat to create.

KJ: All right, Mark Steyn,, thanks for your time, sir. It was great talking to you, Mark.

MS: Good talking to you, Kevin.

End of interview.


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