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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"The Indomitable 'Dr.' Steyn:" From Journalism To Islam

Mark Steyn is likely our favorite pundit. His cutting wit, and easy-go-lucky style contribute to much of the wisdom he imparts. It is not so much what he is addressing, but how he does address it. He refuses to wear the blinders of hte dinosaur media, and in doing so, he shows the ability to speak about the industry candidly. And today is a prime example. Mark writes for the Sunday edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, and this is his column today. (All emphasis mine)

(Hat-Tip: Scott @ PowerLine)

Did you see that video of the two Fox journalists announcing they'd converted to Islam? The larger problem, it seems to me, is that much of the rest of the Western media have also converted to Islam, and there seems to be no way to get them to convert back to journalism.

Consider, for example, the bizarre behavior of Reuters, the once globally respected news agency now reduced to putting out laughably inept terrorist propaganda. A few days ago, it made a big hoo-ha about the Israelis intentionally firing a missile at its press vehicle and wounding its cameraman Fadel Shana. Shana was posed in an artful sprawl in a blood-spattered shirt. But it had ridden up and underneath his undershirt was spotlessly white, like a summer-stock Julius Caesar revealing the boxers under his toga. What's stunning is not that almost all Western media organizations reporting from the Middle East are reliant on local staff overwhelmingly sympathetic to one side in the conflict -- that's been known for some time -- but the amateurish level of fakery that head office is willing to go along with.

Down at the other end of the news business, meanwhile, one finds items like this snippet from the Sydney Morning Herald:

"A 16-year-old girl was tailed by a car full of men before being dragged inside and assaulted in Sydney's west last night, police say . . .

"The three men involved in the attack were described to police as having dark 'mullet-style' haircuts."

Three men with "mullet-style" hair, huh? Not much to go on there. Bit of a head scratcher. But, as it turned out, the indefatigable Sydney Morning Herald typist had faithfully copied out every salient detail of the police report except one. Here's the statement the coppers themselves issued:

"Police are seeking three men described as being of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean appearance, with dark 'mullet-style' hair cuts."

That additional detail narrows it down a bit, wouldn't you say? The only reason I know that is because the Aussie Internet maestro Tim Blair grew curious about the epidemic of incidents committed by men of no known appearance and decided to look into it. One can understand the agonies the politically correct multicultural journalist must go through, distressed at the thought that an infelicitous phrasing might perpetuate unfortunate stereotypes of young Muslim males. But, even so, it's quite a leap to omit the most pertinent fact and leave the impression the Sydney constabulary are combing the city for mullets. The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby wrote the other day about how American children's books are "sacrificing truth on the altar of political correctness." But there seems to be quite a lot of that in the grown-up comics, too. And, as I've said before, it's never a good idea to put reality up for grabs. There may come a time when you need it.

It's striking how, for all this alleged multiculti sensitivity, we're mostly entirely insensitive to other cultures: We find it all but impossible to imagine how differently they view the world. Go back to that video in which Fox's Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig announced their conversion to Islam. The moment the men were released, the Western media and their colleagues wrote off the scene as a stunt, a cunning ruse, of no more consequence than yelling "Behind you! He's got a gun!" and then kicking your distracted kidnapper in the teeth. Indeed, a few Web sites seemed to see the Islamic conversion routine as a useful get-out-of-jail-free card.

Don't bet on it. In my forthcoming book, I devote a few pages to a thriller I read as a boy -- an old potboiler by Sherlock Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. In 1895 Sir Arthur had taken his sick wife to Egypt for her health, and, not wishing to waste the local color, produced a slim novel called The Tragedy of the Korosko, about a party of Anglo-American-French tourists taken hostage by the Mahdists, the jihadi of the day. Much of the story finds the characters in the same predicament as Centanni and Wiig: The kidnappers are offering them a choice between Islam or death. Conan Doyle's Britons and Americans and Europeans were men and women of the modern world even then:

"None of them, except perhaps Miss Adams and Mrs. Belmont, had any deep religious convictions. All of them were children of this world, and some of them disagreed with everything which that symbol upon the earth represented."

"That symbol" is the cross. Yet in the end, even as men with no religious convictions, they cannot bring themselves to submit to Islam, for they understand it to be not just a denial of Christ but in some sense a denial of themselves, too. So they stall and delay and bog down the imam in a lot of technical questions until eventually he wises up and they're condemned to death.

One hundred ten years later,
for the Fox journalists and the Western media who eported their release, what's the big deal? Wear robes, change your name to haled, go on camera and drop Allah's name hither and yon: If that's your ticket out, seize it. Everyone'll know it's just a sham.

But that's not how the al-Jazeera audience sees it. If you're a Muslim, the video is anything but meaningless. Not even the dumbest jihadist believes these infidels are suddenly true believers. Rather, it confirms the central truth Osama and the mullahs have been peddling -- that the West is weak, that there's nothing -- no core, no bedrock -- nothing it's not willing to trade. In his new book The Conservative Soul, attempting to reconcile his sexual temperament and his alleged political one, Time magazine's gay Tory Andrew Sullivan enthuses, "By letting go, we become. By giving up, we gain. And we learn how to live -- now, which is the only time that matters." That's almost a literal restatement of Faust's bargain with the devil:

"When to the moment

I shall say'Linger awhile!
so fair thou art!'
Then mayst thou fetter me straightway
Then to the abyss will I depart!"

In other words, if Faust becomes so enthralled by "the moment" that he wants to live in it forever, the devil will have him for all eternity. In the Muslim world, they watch the Centanni/Wiig video and see men so in love with the present, the now, that they will do or say anything to live in the moment. And they draw their own conclusions -- that these men are easier to force into the car than that 16-year-old girl in Sydney was. It doesn't matter how "understandable" Centanni and Wiig's actions are to us, what the target audience understands is quite different: that there is nothing we're willing to die for. And, to the Islamist mind, a society with nothing to die for is already dead.

Ahem. Sobering, is it not? Society has literally become so decadent that we cannot live in tomorrow or the future. We have been taught that there is nothing that lies beyond right now. You die, and you simply die. There are no "pearly gates," no St. Peter, no God. To these people there is nothing to live for, except the now.

The now, unfortunately, dictates what the future will be. If this conversion is seen in the Islamic world that we are weak, and far easier to convince to give up, then we are in for a very long conflict. They have ample reason beyond the Centanni/Wiig conversion video to see this. Hell, there is a political party that should chance their name from the "Democrats" to the "Dhimmicrats" because that is how their party leaders are acting. Give up. Retreat. Leave them Iraq, and maybe they will leave us alone.

Idiots, one an all. Our enemy will not simply be content by such measely scraps. They want it all. They want the free world destroyed and replaced by a shari'a-based society. A caliphate. And the only thing that seems to be standing in their way--in their unholy crusade across the globe--is America and her allies. And for that, I am eternally grateful for. We all should be. But the media fits into the same mold as the dhimmis, and they want an end to this now. They do not like this war, and the disagree with the very concept of war at all.

And he is right to point out the lengths with which the media has gone to, and most recently, to support the other side. They claim that they are completely unbiased; that they have no horse in this race. Yet their actions speak much louder than the yellow journalism they pen, or the "fauxtos" they fake. It has spoken volumes to many people who now know where the media stands in this war. Never before has the media appeared so transparent to the world.

The Emperor does, indeed, have no clothes on, and the world knows it. But on the heels of this "conversion," the world must now truly be on guard. For if journalists are willing to use such a tactic as a "get-out-of-jail-free" card to keep from being killed, how much more are they willing to do to get the "scoop?" The Israeli/Hezbollah conflict exposed a great deal of what stringers were willing to do, and what some journalists were willing to say. But we are told that those journalists there were constantly harrassed, threatened, and some even abused. Hezbollah had their passports. They were live-in hostages.

And whose fault, pray tell, is that? They knew going there would be no picnic, and it is their foolish worldview that keeps them shielded from the harsh light of reality. And when that light pours in, such as the incidents with Hezbollah and the conversion video, the media is all to willing to roll over so that their worldview at least remains in their minds. Centanni and Wiig obviously desired to live, and to do that they would do anything. ANYTHING for a chance to return to the safe, secure world they knew.

And in doing so, it is a PR win for our enemies. I hope they were paying close attention to the reactions of people over here when they returned home. A lot of people were happy to see them back, safe and sound. But with Centanni's first statement regarding Islam, many immediately jumped to the Stockholm Syndrome excuse. It is not the Stockholm Syndrome. It is something far worse. It is the inability to deal with reality that makes them unable to stand up to such barbarism. Forced conversion? And Mr. Centanni wants us to beleive that these were simply "radicals." They were not like the others.

And like the Left the media will not wise up and see that their message is not working well with the vast majority of America. Their message is not resonating as they had hoped. And those it is reaching were already mind-numbed by the talking points long ago, and simply refuse to give up the status quo. In other words, they are just like the people that report the news from the terrorist's point-of-view.



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