Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paul Wells gives Steyn a clinic on accuracy

Last week's newstand edition of Maclean's magazine was nothing short of the crap you normally see among the tabloids of the supermarket checkout. It was not just hyperbolic in it's cry out; it was right off the sanity scale.

THE RETURN OF FASCISM was splattered across a full cover photo of supposed neo-nazi storm troopers. Worse, however, is that it was pointing at an article written by one-time theatre writer and now overpaid creep, Mark Steyn.

Steyn's narrative was absolute crap. In it, he attempted to mislead readers into believing the European Parliament was filling up with the adherents of Adolph Hitler faster than you can say schutzstaffel. He was also blaming this "resurgence" of fascism on the "polytechnic left", to use his words. One can be excused for being confused at this point because if it's something we've all known about Steyn for a long time it's that he is much more comfortable standing among neo-nationalist fascists then he is even being remotely downwind of any centrist or someone farther left on the political spectrum.

Steyn was blowing some kind of whistle to warn us all that a horde of evil Hitler clones have returned and oh, by the way, it's the fault of the very people he can't stand to see in political power. On any other day, Steyn would be cheerleading for the very caste he is now claiming are some sort of threat. And to make his point... he heavily obscured the truth.

You don't have to read Steyn's drivel. Paul Wells did it for you and he shows Steyn exactly how much mercy he deserves for writing such bovine scatology - none.
The cover pointed to a column by our Mark Steyn. And Mark’s column—well, it’s a bit of a mess.
That's the warm up. Then Wells demonstrates to Steyn how to relay the results of simple research and transpose them into print. He shreds both Steyn's numbers and fallacious assertions.

Wells also notes that Steyn uses Netherlands parliamentarian Geert Wilders as an example of the milder of his corps of emerging fascists yet Steyn has always written supportively of Wilders in the past. (My emphasis)
As examples he names Dutch documentarian Geert Wilders and the UK Independence Party. Yet he sees “nothing” to consign UKIP to the fringe “other than the blinkers of the politico-media class.” And he has written about Wilders many times, always supportively. Makes sense: they both worry about Muslims. In his film Fitna, Wilders displays a bar graph that shows 54 million “Muslims in Europe.” The number comes from the Central-Institute Islam Archive in Soest, Germany, which notes that only 14 million of those Muslims are in the European Union. Another 25 million are in Russia and 5.9 million in Turkey. When asked whether he wants Turkey in the EU, Wilders said, “No. Not in 10 years, not in a million years.” Yet he’s eager to put Turkey’s Muslims in his bar graphs. No wonder Steyn likes him. They’re both sloppy counters.
And yes, there was a point where being a fly on the wall last week would have been interesting. To have one "columnist", albeit one who is universally reviled by a huge segment of the population, have his pants completely pulled down by a much more skilled columnist in the pages of the same weekly journal is uniquely refreshing.


Peter J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter J said...

Here is some informed opinion about Islam in Europe...


Mark Steyn is not only right, he is obviously right. His opponents may feel themselves clever and knowingful etc. - like all those clever folks who managed to avoid the facts about Communism until they couldn't hide them any more..