Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Masterful Take Down

Mark Steyn posts a (fairly) long, well-researched, and incredibly scathing (not to mention laugh-out-loud funny) rejoinder to one of his unfortunate and severely clue-impaired critics, one John Gordon Miller… ostensibly a Canadian professor of journalism. Mr. Miller, in an open letter to Mr. Steyn, led off with the following (from the “clue-impaired” link, above):

With all due respect, Mark Steyn, I did not accuse you of making up a quote. You clearly accepted someone else’s word for it. But that’s not good journalism. Few journalists I know would take Oriana Fallaci’s word about Islam at face value the way you did, for reasons I will explain.

You uncritically accepted her reference to the “Blue Book,” and went on to have fun with the notion of Mohammed Atta interfering with the livestock instead of suicide bombing. But there is no Blue Book, it’s The Little Green Book. And it wasn’t written by the Ayatollah at all, as you say, but by a source who was apparently at least three times, and three languages, removed.

And thus the gauntlet was thrown. I’ll give you a short quote from Mr. Steyn’s piece, which comes near the end:

So just to reprise:

Did I cite Oriana Fallaci accurately? Yes.

Did she cite Ayatollah Khomeini accurately? Yes.

Is there a volume by the Ayatollah commonly known as the "Blue Book"? Yes

Does it include rulings on sex with nine-year olds and what to do with a shagged sheep? Yes.

Did either of us mention a Little Green Book? No. In fact, the translation Oriana cites pre-dates The Little Green Book by a year.

I think Professor Waggy-Finger is doing what they call "projecting". He's accusing me of everything he's been doing himself. I took "somebody else's word for it". Er, no. That would be you, taking the Sock Puppets' word for it on my book review. I didn't check the "primary source". Er, no. That would be you, cavalierly announcing there's no such thing as a "Blue Book". To be more charitable to you than you deserve, you assume that Oriana Fallaci and I so want to think the worst of Islam that we'll fall for any old hooey. Actually not. On the other hand, you so want to think the worst of us blowhard provocateurs that you assume we're as ignorant of Islam as you evidently are.

I’m SO reminded of that ol’ clich√© about not engaging in a battle of wits with the unarmed, and Professor Miller is clearly and demonstrably unarmed in this particular case. One would think a journalism professor, of all people, would have the good sense to check out his facts before assailing someone about theirs. But nooo. I’m simply amazed Professor Miller had the gall to take Steyn to task, and pleased as punch that Mr. Steyn took the time to beat the livin’ dogshit out of this pompous ass. Mr. Steyn’s piece is a take-down for the ages.

This lil brouhaha is a sideshow to accompany recent events that transpired in Canada, vis-√†-vis Mr. Steyn’s outspoken critiques of militant Islam. For those of you who haven’t been following the 1984-like persecution of Mr. Steyn by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, there are summaries here and here.


  1. Toby has a theory that people who accuse others of something are usualy guilty of that very thing.

    Someone who can masterfully takedown others with intelligence and purpose without being rude and resorting to name-calling is amazing.

  2. MS is a good read, and usually has his guns loaded for liberal and left loon lies.

  3. Lou sez: Someone who can masterfully takedown others with intelligence and purpose without being rude and resorting to name-calling is amazing.

    Steyn was right on the line when it comes to being rude, but not over it (IMHO). The man is a wonderful speaker, too. I got a chance to see him address some panel discussion on the Clash of Cultures this weekend, and he was simply GREAT. Thank God for C-SPAN!

    I agree with Toby for the most part, too.

    Pat: Agreed!

  4. Thanks for this article. I absolutely love a fitting and apt takedown of a windbag.

  5. Buck, you wonder openly about this one particular journalism "professor" - he is actually "teaching" others in they way of the world of journalism!!

    This is the real evil within our two countries (Canada and the USA), our Colleges and Universities (and yes, the elementary, secondary and High schools too)becoming the primary domain of Liberals. The vast majority of Teachers and Professors are aligned with the Left side of the political spectrum and push that doctrine onto the young minds. Do we have to wonder long at the why the MSM was so far in the tank for Obama?

    I did college at night after my 9-years in the Navy, many years ago now. In one of the many mandatory classes I had to take in the "Humanities" (I was in the study of Engineering - Software that is) required some contemporaneous writing. The "Professor" sprang an assignment on us one night, he wanted "Life Experience" that would be revealing. Well, my 1500 words on my time spent as a Nuclear Weapons Loader and how much I endorsed MADD doctrine as 'logical' was really way more than he wanted in My Life Experience. He actually asked me to drop the class, and he was prepared to get me into some other equally mind numbing class where my current grade would carry-over. He was so concerned that I would pollute the young minds in his charge.

    I had so much fun.

    BT: Jimmy T sends.


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