June 02, 2015

Rich Lowry wants you to know that, “€œNo, National Review didn”€™t endorse gay marriage,”€ you silly.

Alas, he was ten days late, and now the magazine’s spring fundraiser is likely many thousands of dollars short.

That’s because on May 19, National Review”€™s managing editor Jason Lee Steorts dumped a 7000 word pro-gay marriage manifesto onto their website at four in the morning.

Accompanied by an array of crackled, paintings of Cupid and so forth to make it look all classy (and, frankly, girly), Steorts”€™ essay carries the Oprah-esque title, “€œAn Equal Chance at Love: Why We Should Recognize Same-Sex Marriage.”€

Why Steorts figured an essay in favor of “€œan equal chance”€ at anything, let alone “€œlove,”€ would appeal to readers of an ostensibly conservative magazine is as mysterious to me as his continued employment there. But more on that later.

Friends exhorted me to “€œread the whole thing”€ as this piece lurched its way around the right wing internet. I did not. I didn”€™t even read anything after the first paragraph, in which Steorts declares that everyone on both sides of this debate have, in fact, been wrong all along. This prompted me to look up an old Homer Simpson clip and, well, I forgot to come back.

“€œJason Lee Steorts”€™ (weird) name is all too familiar to me, because as “€œmanaging editor”€ of National Review, he”€™d previously “€œmanaged”€ to screw up on an unforgettable, Irwin Allen-ish scale.”€

That I even got past the byline has to count for something. Jason Lee Steorts”€™ (weird) name is all too familiar to me, because as “€œmanaging editor”€ of National Review, he”€™d previously “€œmanaged”€ to screw up on an unforgettable, Irwin Allen-ish scale.

Who among National Reviews”€™ loyal readers would have believed that long time columnist Mark Steyn, (a.k.a. “€œThe only reason I subscribe”€) might ever have been pushed out of his back-page “€œHappy Warrior”€ column, (a.k.a. “€œThe first thing I read”€)?

Yet at the end of December 2013, that’s exactly what happened, after Steyn repeated chunks of chapter 3 of Mein Kampf a Bob Hope joke from 1975, and another of earlier vintage that had been a staple of the Rat Pack’s Vegas routine.

Ah, I”€™m way ahead of you:

As a matter of fact, neither of these jokes mentioned “€œMartin Luther King Boulevard.”€”€¨
They weren”€™t even the bit where Dean Martin shoved Sammy Davis Jr. under his arm and declaimed, “€œI”€™d like to thank the NAACP for this award…”€

No, all you longtime Taki’s readers who know what I”€™m talking about, these old jokes weren”€™t about blacks. They were about gays, who”€™ve been the new blacks longer than the blacks were the blacks, come to think of it.

Nearly as long as Steorts has been alive, anyhow. Hence his prissy, and strangely public, critique:

“€œ[T]he derogatory language in [Steyn’s] column, and especially the slur in [the Rat Pack] joke, [is] both puerile in its own right and disappointing coming from a writer of such talent.”€

Following what even other National Review contributors decried as their editor’s gauche, tin-eared and unprofessional moral preening, Steyn took that talent “€“ and I can”€™t imagine how many hundreds, or even thousands, of subscribers (and major donors, and cruise ship cabin customers…) “€” elsewhere.

And yet, Steorts retained his job.

Now I suspect he’s cost his employer even more cash, having posted what looked to not a few observers like an official NR editorial during the magazines’s spring fundraising campaign.

Look: I”€™m not one of those kneejerk National Review haters on the right. I let my print subscription lapse after Steyn’s departure, but admire the work of some remaining contributors, Kevin D. Williamson in particular.

Even Rich Lowry “€“ or someone using the name “€œRich Lowry,”€ such were its virtues “€“ issued a defense of Pamela Geller nearly devoid of the scolding, butt-covering beta male suckiness that has marred too many others.


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