There's a fine old row going at National Review Online, where Mark Steyn has just responded savagely to a curious public rebuke from someone called Jason Lee Steorts, who Steyn describes as "my own editor at this publication," for his December 20 column The Age Of Intolerance| The forces Of tolerance are intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebatory approval—occasioned, of course, by the Duck Dynasty uproar.
As of 5:42 pm ET, the comment thread is vitriolically pro-Steyn (making me think the NR editors must all be off at some trendy Manhattan or Georgetown MSM brunch) e.g.:
NRO is a dead husk animated only by the writing of Steyn and McCarthy. One by one, every staunch, happy warrior conservative has been run off by Lowry's Sissy Brigade. Go back and read the magazine in 1992. It is stunning how ballsy it used to be before it became house organ for the Rockefeller wing of the GOP.
Aha! Of course! 1992 was the year of my Time To Rethink Immigration? NR cover story, which evolved into my 1995 book Alien Nation...and, eventually, to my own being "run off," along with then-editor John O'Sullivan.
But we were casualties of William F. Buckley's senile degeneration. Reading the NRO readers comments, I am struck with how many of them trace the magazine's subsequent decline not just to the successor editors' MSM-oriented careerism, but to their personal pajama-boy effeminacy and cowardice. This line was pioneered by Ann Coulter, who famously dismissed them as "girly-boys" after they dropped her for being excessively enthusiastic about the post 9-11 anti-Muslim crusade.
Is this SO obvious?
My preferred explanation: injelitance.
Our John Derbyshire, who has been through all this with NR, thinks that Mark Steyn is simply too popular for the NR Editors to dismiss him. Of course, on my reading, that makes Steyn even more vulnerable.
Ironically, Mark Steyn himself has been quite circumspect about immigration, as the late Lawrence Auster repeatedly pointed out.
Maybe that's why NR has been able to stomach him for so long.
But Steyn, who has never been accused of being a "girly-boy," has a notorious temper—and PC night is falling fast.