The link immediately above is what this post is all about. The biographical information about Mark Steyn was added to this post to satisfy your curiosity, in the event that you are unfamiliar with Mark Steyn, so that you might learn something about him.
Mark Steyn has been a favorite of mine ever since, a ‘hundred years ago’ he started writing the back page column of the NATIONAL REVIEW. He is smart, he is an intellectual, he is “spot on” in his understanding of what is happening to our world.
I enjoy his wit and wisdom and I hope that you do also, or will start to do after you watch this video I have linked to above.
Steyn in 2014
|Born||December 8, 1959
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Residence||Woodsville, New Hampshire, U.S.|
|Occupation||Author, writer, journalist, commentator|
Mark Steyn (born December 8, 1959) is a Canadian author, writer, and conservative political commentator. He has written five books, including America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, a New York Times bestseller. He is published in newspapers and magazines, and appears on shows such as those of Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.
Life and career
Steyn was born in Toronto. He was baptized a Catholic and later confirmed in the Anglican Church; he has stated that “the last Jewish female in my line was one of my paternal great-grandmothers” and that “both my grandmothers were Catholic”. Steyn’s great-aunt was artist Stella Steyn. His mother’s family was Belgian.
Steyn was educated at the King Edward’s School, Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, the same school that author J. R. R. Tolkien attended and where Steyn was assigned a Greek dictionary that had also been used by Tolkien. Steyn left school at age 16 and worked as a disc jockey before becoming musical theatre critic at the newly established The Independent in 1986. He was appointed film critic for The Spectator in 1992. After writing predominantly about the arts, Steyn shifted his focus to political commentary and wrote a column for The Daily Telegraph, a conservative broadsheet, until 2006.
He has written for a wide range of publications, including the Jerusalem Post, Orange County Register, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, The New York Sun, The Australian, Maclean’s, The Irish Times, National Post, The Atlantic, Western Standard, and The New Criterion.
Steyn’s books include Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now (a history of the musical theatre) and America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, a New York Times bestseller. He has also published collections of his columns and his celebrity obituaries and profiles from The Atlantic.
Steyn held a Eugene C. Pulliam Visiting Fellowship in Journalism at Hillsdale College in spring 2013. As of 2010, Steyn was no longer the back-page columnist for the print edition of National Review, conservative writer James Lileks having taken over that space in the print edition. Steyn’s back-page column for National Review, “Happy Warrior”, resumed with the March 21, 2011 issue.
Criticism of news media
In a May 2004 column Steyn commented that editors were encouraging anti-Bush sentiments after the Daily Mirror and The Boston Globe had published faked pictures, originating from American and Hungarian pornographic Web sites, of British and American soldiers supposedly sexually abusing Iraqis. Steyn argues that media only wanted to show images to westerners “that will shame and demoralize them.”
In a July 2005 column for National Review, Steyn criticized Andrew Jaspan, then the editor of The Age, an Australian newspaper. Jaspan was offended by Douglas Wood, an Australian kidnapped and held hostage in Iraq, who after his rescue referred to his captors as “arseholes.” Jaspan claimed that “the issue is really largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive.” Steyn argued that there is nothing at all wrong with insensitivity toward murderous captors, and that it was Jaspan, not Wood, who suffered from Stockholm syndrome. He said further, “A blindfolded Mr. Wood had to listen to his captors murder two of his colleagues a few inches away, but how crude and boorish would one have to be to hold that against one’s hosts?”
Conrad Black trial
Steyn wrote articles and maintained a blog for Maclean’s covering the 2007 business fraud trial of his friend Conrad Black in Chicago, from the point of view of one who was never convinced Black committed any crime. Doing this, he later wrote, “cost me my gig at the [Chicago] Sun-Times” and “took me away from more lucrative duties such as book promotion”. Steyn expressed dismay at “the procedural advantages the prosecution enjoys—the inducements it’s able to dangle in order to turn witnesses that, if offered by the defence, would be regarded as the suborning of perjury; or the confiscation of assets intended to prevent an accused person from being able to mount a defence; or the piling on of multiple charges which virtually guarantees that a jury will seek to demonstrate its balanced judgment by convicting on something. All that speaks very poorly for the federal justice system.”
After Black’s conviction, Steyn published a long essay in Maclean’s about the case, strongly criticizing Black’s defense team.
Steyn believes that what he describes as “Eurabia“, a future where the European continent is dominated by Islam, is an imminent reality that cannot be reversed. “Every Continental under the age of 40—make that 60, if not 75—is all but guaranteed to end his days living in an Islamified Europe.” “Native populations on the continent are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic.”
Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since the second World War? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can’t buck demography—except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out, as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you cannot outbreed the enemy, cull ’em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia’s demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.
When some left-wing critics claimed Steyn was advocating genocide in this passage, he wrote:
My book isn’t about what I want to happen but what I think will happen. Given Fascism, Communism and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, it’s not hard to foresee that the neo-nationalist resurgence already under way in parts of Europe will at some point take a violent form. … I think any descent into neo-fascism will be ineffectual and therefore merely a temporary blip in the remorseless transformation of the Continent.
Criticism of multiculturalism
Steyn has commented on divisions between the Western world and the Islamic world. He criticizes the tolerance of what he calls “Islamic cultural intolerance.” Steyn argues that multiculturalism only requires feeling good about other cultures and is “fundamentally a fraud … subliminally accepted on that basis.”
In Jewish World Review, Steyn argues “Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture—the subjugation of women—combine with the worst attributes of Western culture—licence and self-gratification.” He states, “I am not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture—rule of law, universal suffrage—is preferable to Arab culture.”
Support of Iraq invasion
Steyn was an early proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2007 he reiterated his support while attacking Democrat John Murtha, stating that Murtha’s plan for military action in Iraq was designed “to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don’t have to share the blame for the defeat. … [Murtha] doesn’t support them in the mission, but he’d like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years”.
Steyn’s work America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (ISBN 0-89526-078-6) is a New York Times bestselling nonfiction book published in 2006. It deals with the global war on terror and wider issues of demographics in Muslim and non-Muslim populations. It has been widely praised by conservativecommentators, and recommended by George W. Bush. The paperback edition (ISBN 1596985275), released in April 2008 with a new introduction, was labeled “Soon to Be Banned in Canada”, alluding to a possible result that Steyn then anticipated from the Canadian Islamic Congress’ human rights complaints against Maclean’s magazine.
Response to America Alone
In an essay about America Alone, Christopher Hitchens wrote that “Mark Steyn believes that demography is destiny, and he makes an immensely convincing case,” then went on to detail many points at which he disagreed with Steyn. For instance, Hitchens believed that Steyn erred by “considering European Muslim populations as one. Islam is as fissile as any other religion, and considerable friction exists among immigrant Muslim groups in many European countries. Moreover, many Muslims actually have come to Europe for the advertised purposes; seeking asylum and to build a better life.” Nevertheless, Hitchens expressed strong agreement with some of Steyn’s points, calling the book “admirably tough-minded.”
In 2011, Steyn published After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, a followup to America Alone. In it, he argues that the United States is now on the same trajectory towards decline and fall as the rest of the West, due to unsustainable national spending and borrowing. While America Alone concentrated on demography and the rise of Islamic extremism, After America concentrates on Federal debt and the growth of government and bureaucracy.
After America peaked at number 4 on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list.
Climate Change: The Facts
In early 2015, Steyn together with the Institute of Public Affairs published Climate Change: The Facts, a collection of 21 essays by what Steyn describes as “leading scientists and commentators” on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate. The book is written from the perspective of a climate change skeptic.
Canadian Islamic Congress human rights complaint
In 2007, a complaint was filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission related to an article “The Future Belongs to Islam”, written by Mark Steyn, published in Maclean’s magazine. The complainants alleged that the article and the refusal of Maclean’s to provide space for a rebuttal violated their human rights. The complainants also claimed that the article was one of twenty-two (22) Maclean’s articles, many written by Steyn, about Muslims. Further complaints were filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission refused in April 2008 to proceed, saying it lacked jurisdiction to deal with magazine content. However, the Commission stated that it, “strongly condemns the Islamophobic portrayal of Muslims … Media has a responsibility to engage in fair and unbiased journalism.” Critics of the Commission claimed that Maclean’s and Steyn had been found guilty without a hearing. John Martin of The Province wrote, “There was no hearing, no evidence presented and no opportunity to offer a defence—just a pronouncement of wrongdoing.”
The OHRC defended its right to comment by stating, “Like racial profiling and other types of discrimination, ascribing the behaviour of individuals to a group damages everyone in that group. We have always spoken out on such issues. Maclean’s and its writers are free to express their opinions. The OHRC is mandated to express what it sees as unfair and harmful comment or conduct that may lead to discrimination.”
Steyn subsequently criticized the Commission, commenting that “Even though they (the OHRC) don’t have the guts to hear the case, they might as well find us guilty. Ingenious!”
Soon afterwards, the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a public letter to the editor of Maclean’s magazine. In it, Jennifer Lynch said, “Mr. Steyn would have us believe that words, however hateful, should be give free reign [sic]. History has shown us that hateful words sometimes lead to hurtful actions that undermine freedom and have led to unspeakable crimes. That is why Canada and most other democracies have enacted legislation to place reasonable limits on the expression of hatred.” The National Post subsequently defended Steyn and sharply criticized Lynch, stating that Lynch has “no clear understanding of free speech or the value of protecting it” and that “No human right is more basic than freedom of expression, not even the “right” to live one’s life free from offence by remarks about one’s ethnicity, gender, culture or orientation.”
The federal Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed the Canadian Islamic Congress’ complaint against Maclean’s in June 2008. The CHRC’s ruling said of the article that, “the writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.” However, the Commission ruled that overall, “the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature, as defined by the Supreme Court.”
Steyn later wrote a lengthy reflection of his turmoil with the commissions and the tribunals. The reflection appears as the introduction to The Tyranny of Nice, a book authored by Kathy Shaidle and Pete Vere on Canada’s human rights commissions. In it, Steyn writes:
I’ve learned a lot of lessons during my time in the crosshairs of the [Canadian human rights investigator Jennifer] Lynch mob. Although the feistier columnists have spoken out on this issue, the broad mass of Canadian media seems generally indifferent to a power grab that explicitly threatens to reduce them to a maple-flavoured variant of Pravda. One boneheaded “journalism professor” even attempted to intervene in the British Columbia trial on the side of the censors. As some leftie website put it, “Defending freedom of speech for jerks means defending jerks.” Well, yes. But, in this case, not defending the jerks means not defending freedom of speech for yourself. It’s not a left/right thing; it’s a free/unfree thing. But an alarming proportion of the Dominion’s “media workers” seem relatively relaxed about playing the role of eunuchs to the Trudeaupian sultans.
In July 2012, Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) blogger Rand Simberg accused American climatologist Michael E. Mann of “deception” and “engaging in data manipulation” and alleged that the Penn State investigation that had cleared Mann was a “cover-up and whitewash” comparable to the recent Jerry Sandusky sex scandal, “except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.” The CEI blog editor then removed the sentence as “inappropriate”, but a National Review blog post by Steyn cited it and alleged that Mann’s hockey stick graph was “fraudulent”.
Mann asked CEI and National Review to remove the allegations and apologize, or he would take action. The CEI published further insults, and National Review Editor Rich Lowry responded in an article headed “Get Lost” with a declaration that, should Mann sue, the discovery process would be used to reveal and publish Mann’s emails. Mann’s lawyer filed the defamation lawsuit in October 2012.
Before the case could go to discovery, CEI and National Review filed a court motion to dismiss it under anti-SLAPP legislation, with the claim that they had merely been using exaggerated language which was acceptable against a public figure. In July 2013 the judge ruled against this motion, and when the defendants took this to appeal a new judge also denied their motion to dismiss, in January 2014. National Review changed its lawyers, and Steyn decided to represent himself in court. Journalist Seth Shulman, at the Union of Concerned Scientists, welcomed the judge’s statement that accusations of fraud “go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable.”
The defendants again appealed against the decision, and on 11 August 2014 the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press with 26 other organizations, including the ACLU, Bloomberg, Gannet (USA Today), Comcast (NBC), Time, Fox News and the Seattle Times, filed an amicus brief arguing that the comments at issue were Constitutionally protected as opinion. Steyn chose to be represented by attorney Daniel J. Kornstein.
An appeal to get the lawsuit thrown out, filed by Steyn’s co-defendants (National Review, CEI and Simberg), was heard in the D.C. Court of Appeals on 25 November 2014. Steyn was present for oral arguments but did not join in the appeal, preferring to go to trial. On 22 December 2016 the D.C. appeals court ruled that Mann’s case against Simberg and Steyn could go ahead. A “reasonable jury” could find against the defendants, and though the context should be considered, “if the statements assert or imply false facts that defame the individual, they do not find shelter under the First Amendment simply because they are embedded in a larger policy debate.”.
Steyn’s writing draws supporters and detractors for both content and style. Martin Amis, who was harshly criticized in America Alone yet nevertheless gave it a positive review, says of his style: “Mark Steyn is an oddity: his thoughts and themes are sane and serious—but he writes like a maniac.”  His style was described by Robert Fulford as “bring[ing] to public affairs the dark comedy developed in the Theatre of the Absurd.” Longtime editor and admirer Fulford also wrote, “Steyn, a self-styled ‘right-wing bastard,’ violates everyone’s sense of good taste.” According to Simon Mann, Steyn “gives succour to the maxim the pen is mightier than the sword, though he is not averse to employing the former to advocate use of the latter.”
Susan Catto in Time noted his interest in controversy, “Instead of shying away from the appearance of conflict, Steyn positively revels in it.” Canadian journalist Steve Burgess wrote “Steyn wields his rhetorical rapier with genuine skill” and that national disasters tended to cause Steyn “to display his inner wingnut.”
In 2009, Canadian journalist Paul Wells accused Steyn of dramatically exaggerating the rise of fascist political parties in Europe. Wells also accused Steyn of repeatedly “shrieking” about Islam in his political writings.
In 2005 Mark Steyn received the Henry Salvatori Prize in the American Founding at the Claremont Institute established by philanthropist and conservative leader Henry Salvatori. It is awarded in honour of those who “distinguish themselves by an understanding of, and actions taken to preserve and foster the principles upon which the United States was built”.
Mark Steyn was awarded the 2006 Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism for writing which “best reflects love of this country and its democratic institutions”. The announcement quotes from Steyn’s syndicated column for June 26, 2006, “Be Glad the Flag Is Worth Burning”:
One of the big lessons of these last four years is that many, many beneficiaries of Western civilization loathe that civilization, and the media are generally inclined to blur the extent of that loathing.
Steyn received the Center for Security Policy‘s “Mightier Pen” award in 2007, receiving it at an event that featured a convocation by Jewish scholar and rabbi Yitz Greenberg and remarks by Board of Regents Honorary Chairman Bruce Gelb. In 2010, Steyn was presented the Sappho Award from the International Free Press Society in Copenhagen, Denmark for what was described as both “his ample contributions as a cultural critic” and “his success in influencing the debate on Islam, the disastrous ideology of multiculturalism and the crisis of the Western civilization.”