Judith Curry’s Endorsement of Mark Steyn’s Ugly Homophobic Attack on Michael Mann and Greg Laden

Manly Man Mark Steyn Lays the Smackdown on His Effete Opponents
Fans go wild as  Mark Steyn lays the smackdown on effete opponents.

Mark Steyn, the conservative pundit, was out strutting around the wrestling ring that is his blog yesterday trying to work his conservative fans into a frenzy in the hopes he could get them to lose all control and start snapping up his latest hit piece on climatologist Michael Mann and other merchandise. One of his heels for this match was yours truly, who he believes—wrongly and without one scintilla of evidence—is a “sock puppet” for Michael Mann.

In his post, Steyn huffs and puffs about the “palpable misogyny in way some of Mann’s defenders attack his female critics.” I’ll address this charge, particularly the completely bogus charge of misogyny leveled against me which actually ends up exposing Steyn’s own misogynistic tendencies, in another post. Stay tuned.

Right now, I’d like to tell you how I first met Mark Steyn. It was just a few days ago. The first words out of Mark Steyn’s Twitter account to me was:

Now a bright, uneducated man like Steyn knows that a “pansy” is a weak or effeminate man, a male homosexual. His tweet was the first indication that Steyn’s homophobia was not only palpable, it was a chair he liked to smash opponents in the face with. And not surprisingly, Steyn has quite a long record of homophobia and homophobic remarks running through his essays.

In a 2013 article appearing in National Review, The Age of Intolerance, Steyn defended the homophobic statements of Duck Dynasty’s patriarch, Phil Robertson, and attacked GLAAD’s response to those remarks. Over the course of his argument, Steyn bemoaned how the good old days of being able to publicly demean gays as “fruits” were long gone and twice repeated a Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra “joke” containing the slur.

In the same article, Steyn decried our “pansified” culture. He’s quick to say “I don’t mean ‘pansified’ in the sense of penetrative sex with other men.” No, of course you didn’t Mark!  In fact, feel free to used the word “faggoty” next time. We’d totally know you were not, and would not ever, insinuate that homosexual men were fearful, cowards. Why would ever jump to such a hasty conclusion as that?

The Orange County register refused to carry the column. Even Steyn’s own editor-in-chief at National Review, Jason Lee Steorts, called Steyn out for his offensive piece triggering an unapologetic retort from Steyn.

Protecting the God-given right of straight people to hurl insults at gays was also the focus of another piece Steyn wrote back in 2009. “Did you hear the one about the queer, the Muzzie and the pre-op tranny?” Steyn’s essay begins. The essay also alluded to the same Martin/Sinatra “joke” he repeated for National Review. Steyn wraps up the article with “I am saying you’re a fairy if you think the state should police our jokes,” claiming that he use “fairy” only in the very best sense of the word.

In a 2012 article, Steyn complained that the incessant discussion of gays and gay culture was giving the impression to many Americans that gays comprised a larger share of the population than they actually did. He also fretted about “non-stop” chatter about gays in his child’s school. This article highlights a oft-repeated theme in Steyn’s work, that some kind of gay takeover of our culture is imminent.

In this article about how Vienna temporarily installed gay theme traffic lights, he makes a crude, locker room joke about getting “rear-ended.” The thrust of his article is that the traffic signals were yet another sure sign of the gay takeover of our culture. Not only does Steyn miss the symbolic significance of the lights—that society is finally coming to realize that discrimination against gays is wrong and that gays need and deserve to be accepted for who they are—he uses the story as an opportunity to poke fun at gays.

And so it with this history in mind that we come to Steyn’s blog post from yesterday in which, in a paragraph absolutely out of nowhere and which appears to have zero relation to his larger point, he launches into a horrific homophobic attack against Mann and Greg Laden, a science journalist who frequently comes to Michael Mann’s defense. Steyn writes, “I understand his devoted Mini-Me, Greg Mann-Laden, prefers to wear [the hockey stick graph] as a novelty tramp stamp: The shaft runs straight across the top of his left thigh and then the blade shoots up his butt.”

I’m sure all of Steyn’s manly fans got a mighty huge chuckle from the thought of Mr. Laden as a submissive homosexual wearing a “tramp stamp” getting Mann’s “shaft” inserted into his anus. “What an effete little man Laden is for taking it in the rear from Mann,” Steyn is essentially yelling at his audience, putting his hatred of gays on full display for all to see, “he deserves to be punished by a manly straight man like me!”

To climatologist Judith Curry, this was all good fun. She didn’t think it crossed any lines and she endorsed Steyn’s piece as “entertaining” in a comment on her blog.

It’s more evidence, as if you needed more, of just how low Judith Curry has sunk. Unable to debate the actual science behind Mann’s hockey stick graph, she has teamed up with a professional smear merchant to continue her personal vendetta against Michael Mann.

The problem for Curry is that the more she drags this debate down into the gutter, the worse she looks. You can’t win a science debate with a loudmouth conservative clown screaming for attention from the center of the wrestling ring as your spokesperson.

In my next piece, I take on Steyn’s grossly false accusations of misogyny against me and demonstrate how they reveal his own negative attitude towards women.

Update, Aug 22, 5:00 am: Some have questioned whether Curry was aware of the homophobic attack on Mann and Laden in Steyn’s article when she promoted his piece. It should be noted that Steyn’s attack was brought to the attention of Curry in a comment on her blog in the comment section. There’s little question that Curry has seen this comment because she, herself, commented in the lengthy debate that ensued on her blog about the homophobic nature of Steyn’s comments. There’s no question that Curry is aware of Steyn’s remarks. She has yet to address them.

17 thoughts on “Judith Curry’s Endorsement of Mark Steyn’s Ugly Homophobic Attack on Michael Mann and Greg Laden

  1. Wow, the depth and mindless viciousness of Steyn’s homophobia is simply awesome! Makes Godzilla look like a Gecko. Looking forward to you exposing what he has to say about women, and wonder if Curry will find that “entertaining” also. Does the Steyn-Curry Crapola Society have any entertaining thoughts about immigrants also?

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  2. As a climate $cientologist, I resent these smears against our community. Recently non-scientist railway engineer Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC (world’s leading global warming agency), was forced to resign after being found guilty of sexual abuse of a subordinate workplace colleague. Clearly the pro-electricity forces trumped up these charges to discredit our community.

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  3. This string call on us to summon some authority on ruggedness.
    Teddy Roosevelt on manhood:

    A man’s usefulness depends upon his living up to his ideals insofar as he can.

    It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

    All daring and courage, all iron endurance of misfortune-make for a finer, nobler type of manhood.

    Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life.

    Teddy Roosevelt on youth:

    I want to see you game, boys, I want to see you brave and manly, and I also want to see you gentle and tender.

    Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground.

    Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to successful life.

    Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.

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  4. Tony, does it occur to you that not everything has to relate to gayness? “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

    Perhaps, Steyn is anti-gay, but it would not have occurred to me that the quip about Greg Laden was homophobic.

    My own encounter with Laden was that he was a mean-spirited, obnoxious jerk who seemed to want to deny the First Amendment rights of creationists. (Personally, I am an atheist with a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford: I think creationism is nonsense. But, even people who spout nonsense have freedom of speech.) For Steyn to treat Laden as Laden treats others seems like fair game.

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      • Tony,

        I read the essay you linked to.

        I have to admit that the first half of the essay is pretty accurate in describing Steyn’s modus operandi: half the time I hear or read him, I think he is insightful or funny; the other half of the time, I think he is one of the biggest jerks on the planet.

        And, Steyn would probably be happy with that: either way, I’m paying attention.

        As to the second half, well, it could be: actually, you convinced me that Steyn is a more interesting, if more conflicted, person than I’d thought. I too like classic musicals and Garland’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” though I have no interest in “chick flicks.”

        But, I still find it easy to see the hockey-stick quip about Greg Laden as just a mean-spirited joke, one I am willing to cut Steyn some slack on, since he is facing a lawsuit (to be sure, my bet is that Steyn comes out of the lawsuit smelling like a rose — I do not think Michael Mann made a wise decision in pursuing the lawsuit).

        And, as someone who actually knows Judith Curry (only via the Web), sometimes agreeing with her, sometimes not, I am pretty sure she saw it too as just a wittily mean stab by Steyn against a debating opponent, not as an example of homophobia.

        In any case, I will vigorously defend your and Mann’s and Steyn’s and Laden’s and Curry’s right to your opinions: I am passionate in believing that the solution to bad speech is more speech.

        Thanks for your response. The whole thing is an interesting (albeit very weird!) debate.

        Dave

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  5. One thing has little to do with the other Judith Curry could agree with Steyn’s quotes on the Hockey stick while disagreeing with his homophobic slurs. It is a basic ad hominem attack — i.e. you are ignoring the arguments by focusing on the personalities involved.

    I may think that Mark Steyn is a scumbag, but that has little to do with the merits of the quotes about Michael Mann. It certainly does not discredit them.

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