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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Mark Steyn On “Taking Out The Twitter Tire Irons To Take Them Into The Twitter Ally And Beat Them Senseless”

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HH: Late breaking news, I haven’t confirmed this, yet, it was just sent to me, that Chelsea Clinton is pregnant. That will be great and good news. Congratulations to Bill and Hill. Perhaps by the time the next generation of Clintons gets off her mother’s and father’s insurance, Obamacare will actually be working. Hillary is the subject today of Hours 2 and 3. I’m talking to Jon Allen, one of the authors of HRC. It’s an extraordinary book. Don’t miss that. But I start today with Mark Steyn. And I’m sure Mark joins me in wishing all great things to the Clintons and their grandchild. Mark, that’s just great news for everyone.

MS: Yeah, it’s good to know we’ve got the Democratic candidate for, how old do you have to be? 30? 35? What is it?

HH: 35.

MS: Well, we’ll have the Democratic candidate for 2052 or whatever all lined up now.

HH: That is, and that’s a given. Now that’s a great line. Some lines are very, very good lines, Mark. I had Greg Gutfeld on the show yesterday, and by the way, you are in Greg’s new book, Not Cool, on Page 205, which is 15 pages after he discusses sex week. I’m just baiting the hook for you there. But he said…

MS: No, no, that’s good, because what could top 15 pages of sex week but me? And that’s the way it works in life, too.

HH: I’m just telling you that you’re after sex week. And he also says in there that “awards ceremonies are funeral for the living people.” And I love that so much, I wrote it down. I’m starting to write down lines. But you said one when you were filling in for Rush today that is its equal. You said that people in Hollywood, when one of their own commit the sin of heresy like linking to a Mark Steyn column, “they take out the Twitter tire irons, and take them into the Twitter alley, and beat them senseless.” That is so true.

MS: No, it is true, and I don’t know, I personally wouldn’t want to, I just, I mean, the only reason I’m like a free speech guy, which has become my cause, I didn’t seek it, but in Canada and in America and Australia and everywhere I go, I seem to get saddled with it now. It’s not because I want to be heroic or crusaderish or anything, I just don’t want to be told what to think about everything. I mean, just to go back to Hollywood, a few years ago, I gave a speech in Beverly Hills. And I won’t mention her name, but there was a lady present who is an actress, and who is an actress of some notoriety, and had come out as a person of the lesbianic persuasion. So she was out as a lesbian. But she said to me afterwards, she told me how much she’d enjoyed my speech. But she was like terrified in case anyone had taken a photograph of her, because she’s out as a lesbian, but she’s not out as a Mark Steyn fan. And I just, and I get stuff like that from Hollywood from really quite big people in Hollywood from time to time, and I just wouldn’t want to live my life like that where you can’t wander off the reservation for a moment, or as I said, they’ll get out the Twitter tire irons and you’ll be clubbed to death on social media.

HH: I’ve got to tell you, it’s a sad day, because only a few hours ago, the Virginia Supreme Court, the highest court in the state of Madison and Jefferson, the people who wrote the statute on religious liberty, the people who Madison is responsible for the 1st Amendment, that court ruled against the release of documents, and you were on the side of NPR and the Washington Post, Mark Steyn, in your endless litigation with Dr. Mann, which is becoming the Bleak House of the 21st Century.

MS: Yes.

HH: Nevertheless, I am shocked that this, I haven’t had a chance to read the decision, yet, but when Mark Steyn, NPR and the Washington Post are betrayed by Madison’s and Jefferson’s court, it’s a bad day for speech.

MS: Yeah, basically this is the issue of whether Michael Mann, the global warming hockey stick guy will cough up his data. And this case in Virginia worked its way to the Supreme Court. He actually sued his way to get into it, because he was worried that the University of Virginia might not have a stiff enough spine to go all the way. So he joined the thing. And the court, the reason the Washington Post and NPR and all these people got into it was because they understood that a victory for Michael Mann at the Supreme Court would gut the Freedom of Information Act in Virginia. I mean, the University of Virginia is a public university. So these emails are documents of public employees. But essentially for ideological reasons, the court decided to read the University of Virginia, and presumably all other higher education institutions, all other education institutions, indeed, out of the Freedom of Information Act. And you mention Madison and Jefferson. They’re smart guys. But the trouble is that you can have an absolute protection like the 1st Amendment, but then how it’s going to be interpreted by a handful of judges on this or that court is, it becomes increasingly problematic here, particularly when you have an ever more politicized judiciary for whom the political outcomes are as important as any understanding of the law.

HH: Now I have in my hands Lynne Cheney’s new biography of James Madison, and of course, his fight for the 1st Amendment was part political. But it does originate in Virginia. And so I am curious, have your lawyers had a chance, yet, I don’t think since it’s a state statute, that there’s any path to get this to the Supreme Court unless you can find, well, it’s pretty, it’s high end law. Do they think it’s done and done?

MS: I’m getting that sense. I mean, basically, the University was threatening to pull a 1st Amendment end run on its own, and in other words, go to make a 1st Amendment argument as to why it had the right to sit on these things. But the issue for me is, and why this is important, is because huge public policy questions hinge on the “science” of global warming, sometimes quite insane ones. I mean, David Cameron’s so-called Conservative Party was at one point proposing that people would have a carbon allowance, which would in effect restrict the amount of travel they could do each year. In other words, the Soviet Union banned freedom of movement, just because it was a totalitarian state. But the British Conservative Party was proposing freedom of movement in the interest of saving the planet. And everybody’s cool with that. So there are huge public policy questions, which is why the science, and the data underlying the science, has to be freely available, because if we’re all going to give up our right to get on a long haul plane and go and take a two week vacation in the Bahamas or whatever, then the least we’re owed is the ability to judge the science and see the data and see the research for ourselves.

HH: Now donors to the marriage amendments must have their names disclosed so that they can be pummeled into submission, but data, which is not attached to any particular name, must be protected. And we know why, Mark. I think I know why. When the data was leaked in England, it led to the greatest embarrassment in the global warming alarmism movement ever.

MS: Right, and it actually saved us, because as you know, there was the global warming conference in Copenhagen which was supposed to lay the groundwork, as these climate scientist, the climate/environmental activists, the guys jetting around the world the whole time, for, to put in place a kind of global climate change regime, in effect, global government. I don’t know where you’re going to vote that out. If I go to my school gym on town meeting day, there’s no ballot box for me to check whether I’m in favor of global government and climate change or not. There’s no way to vote it in, no way to vote it out. But it was, it would have happened without the leak of those emails. And it’s interesting, you make a very good point that personal, that California in particular, this Mozilla guy was nailed, because under California law, even if you make a donation in person as an individual, if it’s above a certain amount of money, they automatically leak the name of the company you work for anyway. In other words, it’s a form of explicit political intimidation to prevent persons from making donations in case it comes back to embarrass them later. And the idea that the Mozilla guy’s name and donation and his employer should be public, but that the data on which huge trillion dollar, multi-trillion dollar public policy is based isn’t public, is really quite disgraceful.

HH: No, it’s really, it’s become Cirque du Soleil law, because rightfully, the Supreme Court protected the names of members in the NAACP against the people who would lynch them in the old days, but they don’t protect the National Organization of Marriage, but they do protect the global warming fanatics. It is Cirque du Soleil meets the Supreme Court. Very quickly, Mark, in Hour 3, I have Jon Allen on talking about HRC, which is a magnificent book. I don’t know that they intended it to be this devastating to Hillary. I’m just curious, do you think Hillary’s record as secretary of State, anyone’s going to be able to defend it by the time the Ukraine thing is done? 30 seconds.

MS: No, she can’t defend it herself. The New York Times had like a pitiful phrase that something like a turbulent world frustrates Hillary Clinton’s ability to articulate her foreign policy achievements. That’s because there aren’t any.

HH: (laughing) Mark Steyn, always a pleasure, www.steynonline.com, America. Follow Mark @MarkSteynOnline if you dare. The Twitter tire irons might come out for you, though.

End of interview.

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