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 uses “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 the “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-themed 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.