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August 31, 2011



Looks quite tasteful as well:

Barry Freed

"Mommy, why is that bad man shooting Santa?"

Wajahath Dean

What about "Pets do the funniest things on 9/11"?


There's a film where somebody shoots Santa, isn't there? Or a Santa, anyway.

I've got a feeling it was on Moviedrome many many years ago.

Dan Hardie

'Why don't we go the whole fucking hog and have children's conspiracy theories about 9/11?'

You think you jest. I can go one better and produce a conspiracy theory involving children, purveyed by one of the best-known rightwing commentators on matters Islamic.

It was of course Mark Steyn. I forget the publication, as I read it on his website, I think in 2002, but my memory of what he wrote is obscenely clear. He stated that Arab Muslim kids enrolled at a New York school took photos of the burning Twin Towers. Well, maybe. But the really sinister bit, said Steyn, was that the Arabs told their teachers that they were ready for this because they'd been told that something spectacular was going to happen that morning to the Twin Towers.

This story was retailed as established fact, without a hint of scepticism. It wasn't referred to in passing, either: it took up several paragraphs of the story. The final para warned of the hideous dangers of Muslim immigration, adding that if we didn't wake up to the peril, then 'like those Arab kids in New York, we should expect to see some awfully interesting things'. Not a word of truth in it, hideous smear, horrible consequences if any large number of New Yorkers had actually believed it, never an apology or a retraction.

He needs to have that hung around his neck, or at any rate asked about it the next time he appears on the BBC. The problem is that quite a lot of his articles have disappeared down the electronic memory hole. I think rounding some of them up, and re-publishing or at least quoting the more flagrantly dishonest ones, wouldn't be a bad use of someone's time.


And before 9/11 Steyn was a solid, rational conservative. That's the great big hole in the 9/11 memory industry: how it made so many people actually unhinged, and moreover created a commercial and political market in unhingedness, ongoing from back in the weird, halcyon days of Early Warblogging. The documentary we need to see is 9/11: The Road to Breivik

Dan Hardie

Erm, Jamie, do you really want to stand by that first sentence? My memory of Steyn pre-9/11 is of a guy who literally could not stop writing about how much he despised gays. He dragged (adopts Mark Steyn accent:'if you'll excuse the verb') homosexuals into every subject.

I think rather that Steyn was an unthreatening oddball back when American politics were close to rational. He got his journalistic gigs partly through his gag-a-minute fluency, but mainly because he was court jester to Conrad and Barbara Black. It was pretty nasty watching him go through his queer-bashing routine pre-9/11, but it didn't really matter- I don't think he caused enraged mobs of Spectator readers to bay for homosexual blood.

Whereas post-9/11, when Steyn made various dishonest and frankly sadistic appeals for war, or imprisonment without trial, or torture, he was a serious player helping to nudge public opinion in the direction the White House wanted. Cometh the hour, cometh the pathologically dishonest rabble-rouser.

john b

"conservative" == "hates gays", surely?


There's Christopher Hitchens, though I think it would happened eventually with him anyway.

There's also LittleGreenFootballs, who deserves a lot of credit for coming back from the edge. So I think there was something about 911 which unhinged a few people. And from the other side there were people who went off on an orgy of America deserving it.

One marker, is that if you were to take Chomsky's original comments on 9/11 and show them to people today, they'd probably seem fairly unremarkable (which they were), if a little bit to the left. At the time...


This is true. There was a period of semi-serious response - I remember someone trying to get up a new imprint of classic books for the troops, ffs, and I also remember in about February 2002 being up on top of La Defense and seeing that the US embassy had put on an atrocity exhibition of photos from Ground Zero to impress the French.

But it was driven out of the market by the unhinged. Like Gresham's Law. Real hysteria drives out fake.


I remember someone trying to get up a new imprint of classic books for the troops, ffs,

On the subject of "reading matter for the troops", didn't "Nuts" and "ZOO Weekly" get started in the UK about that time too?


There's a film where somebody shoots Santa, isn't there?

The Martians shot several elves and Mrs.Claus with a freeze-ray.

Barry Freed

Ah, I see that is the then 8-year old Pia Zadora's inauspicious acting debut.


I think it's Trancers I was thinking of.

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