Mark Steyn was on Hewitt the other day, and has some very interesting things to say. Here’s the transcript, and it includes things like:
MS: Yes, it’s absolutely ridiculous, in a way. That is in a news report. You know, if I made that point in a column, I would expect to have to back up my opinion with some kind of evidence for the fact that the Foley thing is having a bigger impact than this New Jersey court decision. But in a news story, this guy can basically concoct this whim, or maybe it wasn’t concocted. Maybe another journalist actually said it to him. You know, a lot of the big problems with the world of journalism is that journalists just talk to other journalists.
MS: You know, Alistair Cooke, who used to host Masterpiece Theatre on PBS, he died a couple of years ago. And a few weeks before he died, he found in the bottom of his closet a book he’d written in 1941, at the time of Pearl Harbor, and then basically, when he was already with the BBC’s Man In America. And it’s really just the sort of reporter’s notebook of the United States in the months after Pearl Harbor. But he’s hilariously funny about the pomposity of journalists even then, the way they hang out with other journalists, and other sort of mid-level experts, and they develop a sort of expertise bubble on these issues, that is almost impossible to break through.
And again, it was…the interesting thing to me is…which I find interesting, is clearly, Rummy’s moment has passed, in that he was the kind of darling and the pin up three or four years ago. And now, even the right are saying he’s a disaster, he’s got to go, he’s got to resign, he’s been there too long, and all the rest of it. And I think, actually, that is completely not what has happened in Iraq. I think what has happened in Iraq is that the Department of Defense, by and large, has done its job, and that it’s other agencies that have not stepped up to the plate on this. All kinds of agencies are involved in Iraq. You know, reconstructing Iraqi agriculture is nominally under the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture in the United States. And I think that’s the real question. You need something…you can’t…and army cannot do everything when it goes into these countries. But the trouble is when you send in the State Department, or the Commerce Department, or the Treasury, they’re not very good when you stick them on the ground 8,000 miles away, either. So I do think…I came away from that thinking that the Department of Homeland Security was the wrong bureaucratic monstrosity to create, and in fact, we need a sort of more projected expeditionary kind of global department, that there needs to be some kind of institutional reform, I think, in the way America does things on this front.
Link to the President’s discussion,Â referenced in the above interview and in mp3 format, here.Â Steyn’s question is a very good question and fits a category of questions I’d ask the man myself.
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