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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Mark Steyn’s predictions for what the American media will do on Election Day, and what Americans will do on Election Day.

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HH: Joined by none other than Columnist To the World, Mark Steyn, on a day full of news. Mark Steyn, let’s start with the L.A. Times suppression of the Rashid Khalidi video. What do you make of this episode?

MS: Well, I think there’s absolutely no reason to repress it. Clearly, when you look at the stuff that the media have been happy to leak since September, 2001, details of financial scrutiny of terrorist transfers, details of precise military and intelligence matters, it’s a shame that Khalidi and Obama weren’t sitting around discussing confidential troop movements in the Sunni Triangle, because then the L.A. Times and everyone else would have had it, they’d been happy to leak it on the front page of every newspaper. There’s no reason to keep this secret.

HH: Now you have known, you’ve been around journalism for a long, long time, Mark Steyn. Does their explanation, the source asked us not to leak it ring true to you after the source gave it to them for whatever use they got out of it?

MS: No. I find it very difficult to believe that. Let’s just say that the source, the source leaked it to the L.A. Times, so he wanted the story out there. And the video is part of the corroboration of the story. Now if there’s something in that video that might perhaps identify him or something like that, then it is certainly possible to release it in a form that takes care of that concern. But I’ve never heard of this kind of deal. And you say I’ve been in journalism a long time. You know, the L.A. Times isn’t in the journalism business right now. The problem with the American media is that they’re in the Obama electing business. That’s why, for example, it was the London Times which had this extraordinary story about Obama’s penniless aunt in a housing project in Boston. It was the London Times 3,000 miles away who broke that story rather than the Boston Globe which is in the tank for Obama. So these guys are not, at this stage in the game, they’re not, they’re in the Obama cheerleading business rather than the journalism business.

HH: Yesterday, I watched CNN’s Rick Sanchez mug Joe the Plumber, mocking him, along with David Gergen mocking him, for daring to have an opinion on Israel. It’s really gone over the top in many places, Mark Steyn.

MS: Yes, and I mean, I find this revolting. I mean essentially, they’re saying that Joe the Plumber being a citizen is unqualified to do anything except stand in the chorus and sing hail the great Obama. Maybe it takes a subject of a monarch to point out to these poltroons like Gergen that this is a citizen republic of citizen legislators. And the idea that somehow Joe the Plumber is demonstrating grotesque lese majeste, and having the impertinence to ask a question of King Barack the good, I think is revolting, and I think is one thing, actually, people are disgusted by when they look at the media. The media basically are behaving like a corrupt version of the House of Lords. So actually, it’s not even that good. The media have simply announced that they’re content to be the eunuchs in Sultan Barack’s harem.

HH: Now there is, however, if they’re in the business of electing Barack, they’re not doing…well, they’re probably doing it as well as they’re doing journalism right now. The new Fox News poll puts Obama’s edge over McCain at 3 in the likely voters, and at 3 in the registered voters, Mark Steyn. Do you believe that this alleged tightening is real?

MS: Yes, I think the tightening is real. I think the tightening in the swing states is real, and the tightening in all the national polls is real. What we should be prepared for, though, and I say this, it embarrasses me to have to say this, but round about 4:00, 5:00 Eastern time on Tuesday, there are going to be starting rumors that it’s a landslide, it’s an Obama landslide, anybody living west of the Florida Panhandle shouldn’t bother voting, shouldn’t bother going to the polls, it’s all over, it’s an Obama landslide. And it’s important that when we, that we stay focused until the very last poll closes in Hawaii, because the media, I believe on Tuesday afternoon Eastern time, is going to be making a concerted effort to depress turnout west.

HH: You know, there’s a great parody by Iowahawk today, titled “As a conservative, I must say I do quite like the cut of this Obama fellow’s jib.”

MS: Yes.

HH: And what he’s obviously tapping into here, Mark Steyn, is the going overboard of so many of our colleagues in conservative analysis and punditry. Has the stream off the boat continued in the week since we last spoke?

MS: Well, I don’t deny people the right to vote for whoever they choose. I find it a bit perplexing with Christopher Buckley, my colleague at National Review, says he’s voting for Obama because he’s a small government conservative, because what after all could be more small government than a trillion dollars worth of new entitlements and federally funded daycare for all children, and semi-socialized health care. I mean, they’re entitled to vote for Obama, but they, we have the right to demand of them, I think, a better rationale than their mounting of the moment.

HH: Well, let’s step away from the domestic politics for a second and focus on what al Qaeda’s election analysis is. A new web video promised us saying that they want Bush humiliated. They don’t say what that means, so that they’re in a position to claim either way that Bush has been humiliated. What do you make of that quote, oh God, humiliate Bush and his party, oh Lord of the worlds, degrade and defy him?

MS: Yes, I think there’s no doubt that in a sense, they would like whatever result comes on Tuesday to appear to be a repudiation of the Bush years, and of the Bush pushback on radical terrorism. Bush destroyed their training camps in Afghanistan. Their infrastructure has never recovered from that. And they’re holed up and scattered across the map now, having difficult times communicating with each other. They would love it if the citizens of the Great Satan were to vote on Tuesday in a way that would be seen as a repudiation of the American resistance to what happened on September 11th. So you know, it’s no secret in that sense what result they’d opt for. I’m not saying that, Hugh, obviously, I’m not saying that Obama is on the side of al Qaeda, but Obama represents a return to the worst kind of feeble passivity in the face of these provocations.

HH: What did you make of the infomercial last night?

MS: Dullsville. All that waiving wheat that got Chris Matthews so excited, I think actually looked, it looked like a 30 second campaign commercial stretched out to thirty minutes. You know, I’m glad, I think Chris Matthews, who famously said that Obama gave him a tingle up his leg, I said at National Review that his doctors had announced after the infomercial that the tingle has metastasized, spread through his entire body, leaving it like a vibrating cell phone stuck on a ring tone that only plays “I’m In Love, I’m In Love, I’m In Love, I’m In Love, I’m In Love With a Wonderful Guy.” I mean, I’m happy for Chris Matthews. I think they make a lovely couple, but I think anyone who wasn’t already in love with Obama will have found it yawnsville.

HH: You know, Mark Steyn, I really want McCain to win because I’m afraid Iran, and there’s some amazing stories on Iran today, as pushing us to the brink very quickly, and I don’t want Obama to decide this. But the upside of an Obama win, should it happen on Tuesday, would be to watch and to predict the over/under on how quickly the media becomes absolutely, totally bored with him. How soon do you think it will happen?

MS: Well, I think that’s actually a real danger, that they’ve run out of superlatives already.

HH: Yes.

MS: I mean, they’ve exhausted their supply. Normally on election, you might run out of provisional ballots. But it’s not often that you run out before election day of drooling media superlatives. And I think that’s going to be a real problem for them on Tuesday night.

HH: Now in terms of the rest of the world, it looks like Netanyahu is now on a path to become prime minister, which he will add to Sarkozy, Merkel, whoever beats Brown into the dust in a few weeks, the guy from the Tories whose name I can never remember.

MS: Yes, David Cameron, yeah.

HH: Yeah, and then Stephen Harper. And so the rest of the world has gone sensibly right, and we’re almost at the edge of going left. It’s still possible that McCain pulls this out. Has that ever happened before, that the United States went left and the rest of the world in unison went right?

MS: No, no. The G-7 started as the G-5 in the mid 70s. And this would be the first time ever that the most left wing leader of the G-7 would be King Barack the wealth-spreader. That would be unprecedented, because whatever one feels about figures like Stephen Harper, Sarkozy, David Cameron, Angela Merkel, they’re not the most robust right wingers in the world, but they’re all to the right of Barack Obama.

HH: Now they’ll have to exercise some sort of moderating influence. Sarkozy’s been saying that about his, about Obama’s Iran policy already. Do you think it will be effective if Obama is the president-elect and then the president, that the rest of the world will buck him up, and as Margaret Thatcher once famously told George Herbert Walker Bush, this is no time to be going whatever it was she said? Wobbly?

MS: She said this is no time to go wobbly, George. The trouble is there isn’t really a Thatcher to sort of stiffen the spine of Obama. And I think what’s interesting is not so much what the Iranians do, they’ll do whatever they want to do, but whether, for example, Putin and the Kremlin decide that this isn’t a bad moment to make mischief. You know, in effect, they will be concluding that this guy, if this guys means all this mumbo-jumbo he was spouting at the Berlin Wall, then he’s going to be a patsy and a pushover for the mean guys out there. And I don’t just mean the mullahs, but I do mean people like Russia and China, who will see weakness as a provocation, as Donald Rumsfeld always says.

HH: 20 seconds, Mark Steyn, when next we talk, we’ll have a new president-elect. Who’s it going to be?

MS: I’m confident that McCain, and God bless us, Sarah Palin, can still pull this out.

HH: So am I, Mark Steyn, and I’m feeling actually better about it today. Thank you so much,, America.

End of interview.


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