This hour of the Limbaugh Wire brought to you by Mark Steyn's black rhino dinners
By Simon Maloy
Perhaps we've been too hard on Mark Steyn. After yesterday's Wire, we got to thinking about how the three shows Rush did this week were little more than fact-free diatribes about how much he dislikes President Obama and liberals in general. Come to think of it, that pretty accurately describes nearly every show he's done since we started the Limbaugh Wire. Either way, we found ourselves in dire need of a change, and perhaps Steyn's turn behind the golden microphone today will fulfill that need. The way we figured, even in the (likely) event that the content would be the same, at least the voice delivering it would be different.
Yeah, we're that desperate ...
Steyn got things started by celebrating the fact that it's post-Earth Day. Steyn told us all how he spent his Earth Day -- planting plastic trees, giving a black rhino to his son that he later cooked and ate, and dancing under a giant ball of dung at the annual Sierra Club Earth Day dinner.
Then Steyn offered his opinion on the possibility of investigations into the authors of the torture memos, claiming that prosecutions won't even be necessary, as the investigations will be punishment enough. That's the way it is now, said Steyn, and no one will give "honest advice" to the government anymore because everyone in public service will "prioritize CYA." Steyn said you can't fight a war if you're "focused on liability," which is what happened during the 1990s when terrorism was investigated as a "law-enforcement matter." Steyn then told the story of how Mullah Omar, on the first day of the Afghanistan war, was fleeing in an SUV with an unmanned drone in hot pursuit, but the order to strike was not given because someone at CENTCOM said "their JAG [Judge Advocate General] wouldn't like it." Steyn said what we have now is worse -- we're "retrospectively criminalizing" people's opinions.
After the break Steyn noted that he likes to joke that he crosses the Canadian border illegally in the trunks of cars, so he was glad to hear that Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the other day that crossing the border like that is not a crime, which has made his crossings much easier. Steyn also attacked Napolitano for saying that the 9-11 hijackers entered the country through Canada, and for rebranding "terrorism" as "man-caused disasters." That term, Steyn said, could apply to a whole host of things, such as global warming and "date rape at Berkeley." What Steyn found interesting is that the people who prevented another terrorist attack on the United States after 9-11 are under threat of investigation, while "birdbrain" Janet Napolitano is in charge of Homeland Security.
Another break and Steyn came back with a caller, this one a former Marine who claimed to have undergone Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training. The caller said that the techniques used in SERE training are similar to those detailed in the torture memos, and didn't understand why this is called torture. Steyn agreed, saying that the position of the Democrats is that it's okay to use these techniques on American soldiers, but not on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. If we may interject at this point, we'd like to explain why SERE training incorporates these techniques -- because they were recognized to be torture techniques employed by enemy regimes. As The New York Times reported, SERE training offers "a sample of the torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War, methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans." What's more, the SERE people themselves said they don't work as interrogation techniques. Anyway, Steyn went on to proclaim "absurd" the argument that "if America forswears waterboarding," then Al Qaeda will respond: OK, well, we're still going to behead you, but this time we're going to sterilize the scimitar first." We agree that's absurd; we're just not sure who, if anyone, is making that argument.
Steyn then compared the torture memo controversy to the Miss California/gay marriage flap, all the while claiming he didn't want to "trivialize" the issue of interrogations. Steyn said the idea behind investigating the torture memo authors and "berating" Miss California for her gay marriage comments is the same -- demonstrating that there will be harsh punishments for "dissenting" from "liberal orthodoxy."
After the break Steyn noted that tribesmen from New Guinea are suing The New Yorker over a story the magazine published, claiming they were falsely accused by the story's author of "serious criminal activity" and "murder." Steyn said that "up-and-coming" New Guinea tribesmen suing The New Yorker is a fine indication that we live in an overly legalistic world.
Steyn took one more caller before the break, this one wanting to know what was going on in the world with the Democrats looking to investigate the Bush administration for saving lives, but refusing to investigate Barney Frank and Chris Dodd for ruining the economy and this impelling Americans to commit violence against one another. Steyn said the caller was right, Frank should be investigated because he bears a huge amount of responsibility for the economic collapse. Steyn said what is going on is that the Democrats don't have the guts to go after Bush, so they're going after his underlings to make sure that the president can not receive honest advice from his subordinates. Then the caller asked about the "gay agenda," specifically as it relates to taxing churches and the plan to "indoctrinate" children in the gay lifestyle. Steyn said the first point was interesting -- "they" say that if a church teaches the tenets of Islam or Christianity on homosexuality, then you'll lose your tax status.
Rounding out the hour, Steyn returned to Miss California and "that gay blogger who was one of the judges on the Miss USA thing." Steyn quipped: "I don't even understand. What is a gay blogger doing judging a beauty competition?" By that logic, we assume Steyn also objects to heterosexual women judging the Miss USA pageant.
Highlights from Hour 1
STEYN: Yeah, and you mentioned the fact that, you know, those guys behead you. In other words, if you were a serving Marine and you fell into the hands of the wrong people in Iraq or Afghanistan on the Afghan/Pakistan border, there's no questions of them agonizing over what they're going to do to you. They're going to chop your head off, desecrate your corpse, take a video, and market it through every madrassa in Pakistan. And there's no -- they don't have any -- they don't have any -- so the idea that somehow if America forswears waterboarding, they'll say, "OK, well, we're still going to behead you, but this time we're going to sterilize the scimitar first." I mean, this is an absurd way of looking at it, isn't it?
STEYN: Richard was mentioning that gay blogger who was one of the judges on the Miss USA thing, the one who -- the one who, denounced Miss USA, Miss California as a dumb bitch and then subsequently posted on his website a photo of her from the TV broadcast with a microphone in front of her mouth Photoshopped out and a certain male anatomical part drawn in its place. And this twerp blogger, by the way, is objecting to her intolerance? I don't even understand. What is a gay blogger doing judging a beauty competition?