OK, I’m convinced: Mark Steyn has cloned himself, or has dozens of tiny Laotian tots in his basement doing his typing. There’s no way one guy can turn out as many great columns as quickly and consistently as Steyn does. Here’s his latest, on the media and Katrina:
‘Flood That Released America’s Demons”, said the Sun on Saturday. Underneath the arresting headline was a column by Jeremy Clarkson, and, after the usual good-natured knockabout – “Most Americans barely have the brains to walk on their back legs” – he turned to the desperate scenes being played out in New Orleans: “On the streets you’ve got some poor, starving soul helping themselves to a packet of food from a ruined, deserted supermarket. And as a result, finding themselves being blown to pieces by a helicopter gunship. With the none-too-bright soldiers urged on by their illiterate political masters, the poor and needy never stood a chance. It’s easier and much more fun to shoot someone than make them a cup of tea.
“Especially if they’re black.”
I have to agree with Jeremy there. It is easier to shoot someone than make them a cup of tea. Especially if you’re the US Marine Corps and you’re making tea for some Brit columnist: don’t forget to warm the pot. Pour the milk before the water – or is it the other way round? Who the hell can stay on top of it all? Easier to pull out the .44 Magnum and say: “Go ahead, punk, make my Earl Grey.”
So, instead of Special Forces rappelling down with steaming samovars of PG Tips strapped to their backs, the helicopter gunships blew the poor needy starving blacks to pieces.
Hmm. I must have dozed off during that bit on CNN.
I’ll leave it to future generations of historians to settle the precise moment at which Hurricane Katrina finally completed its transformation into a Kansas-type twister, and swept up the massed ranks of the world’s press to deposit them on the wilder shores of the Land of Oz. But for a couple of weeks now they’ve been there frolicking and gambolling as happy Media Munchkins, singing and dancing “Ding Dong, The Bush Is Dead”.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the storm is exhausted, meteorologically and politically. Power has been restored to the whole of Mississippi (much quicker than in Euro-style big-government Quebec during the 1998 ice storm, incidentally), the Big Easy is being pumped free of water far ahead of anybody’s expectations, and, as the New York Times put it: “Death Toll In New Orleans May Be Lower Than First Feared”.
No truth in the rumour that early editions read “Than First Hoped”.
Do I even have to say, read the rest?