By some process of which I’m not quite sure (I think it may’ve been the subscription I had to Ricochet for a while), I’ve become a subscriber to email-posts from various National Review (NR) authors. I get emails from Jim Geraghty (whom I find interesting), Jonah Goldberg (less so), and also a combo-platter email from Andrew McCarthy and VD Hanson (that I almost never read). I often read posts/articles with links to articles by Kevin Williams and CW Cooke; articles which I invariably enjoy reading. So, I began to get a slight guilt pang about why I don’t subscribe…
… and then I remembered that Mark Steyn doesn’t write there anymore and so I went looking at why. In an interview with Steyn, Driscoll asks about this [big quote, but not everything, and not including the links either that are also interesting]:
I quoted what would now be regarded as two homophobic jokes but which I thought were oddly prescient in the Duck Dynasty days. And I don’t want to be told what not to say. And so the – there was something slightly off to me about what my editor said about how he found those – that Bob Hope joke offensive. I don’t know why. I think it’s rather droll.
And by the way, if that’s – by the way, we live in a world where, you know, the North Koreans have just compared Obama to a monkey and where the Sudanese government has just sentenced a woman to death because she made the mistake of converting from Islam to Christianity, and where, in Nigeria, a bunch of girls have just been kidnapped and sold into sex slavery.
Now, that’s the real racism. That’s the real war on religion. That’s the real war on women. And we here in the decadent First World west obsess about bogus offenses like a 1963 Dean Martin joke. And so when a so-called conservative editor tells you that you can’t use a 1963 Dean Martin joke or a 1975 Bob Hope joke, he’s telling you that he’s bought into the left’s view of life, that speech has to be circumscribed, that we all have to self-censor lest we commit appalling hate crimes.[...]
It’s nothing to do with the First Amendment. It’s nothing to do with what government says you can say. It’s something to do with political speech. When conservatives assist in the narrowing of the bounds of public discourse like that, they’re that’s not a comfortable position for me to be mixed up in.
And I felt that editor was wrong on that. Not so much because I’m particularly invested in my Bob Hope joke or my Dean Martin joke, but because at the time he said that, we were in D.C. Superior Court arguing for the right to say what we said about Michael Mann. And at the same time, there’s our editor going out and saying oh, well, maybe you shouldn’t say this stuff and all the rest of it.
So I have no problem, [...] there are all kinds of people at National Review that I admire enormously. But I think to a certain extent, they have imbibed too much of the sort of shriveling of cultural space that has gone on in the last couple of years.
So, instead, I gave myself a SteynOnline gift certificate that I don’t intend to use.