I noticed Mark Steyn has a new piece in which he says he is “content to let Mr Shollenberger have the last word, in the unlikely event he ever gets around to it.” Since it’s clear no resolution is possible, I’m content to make a final comment and leave things unsettled. That comment is: Mark Steyn is an idiot.
This all began when Steyn wrote a post which said I believe the lawsuit against him should go to court then said:
(Shollenberger rests this belief on the quaint assumption that Mann has been “cleared” by “eight different investigations”.)
I e-mailed him to inform him I neither believe nor assume Michael Mann “has been ‘cleared’ by ‘eight different investigations.'” I didn’t think much of it. I figured he’d just say I gave the impression I do believe that and maybe add a note at the end of his piece saying I don’t agree with that description.
That obviously didn’t happen. Steyn published my e-mail in a new piece, disagreeing with me. That drew attention to the issue, and I wrote a public response. A number of people then started saying things like:
It’s possible to pick the people that the spotlight naturally shines on, and those that go searching for that spotlight as a desparate play for relevance. Don’t be the latter.
So I pointed out I had contacted Steyn privately to try to resolve our disagreement. It was Steyn’s decision to draw a lot of people’s attention to this issue. I couldn’t understand why I should be accused of trying to draw attention to myself when I chose to try to resolve things privately.
Steyn responded. For the first time, Steyn actually addressed a comment to me. He didn’t do that when I wrote to him saying he had misunderstood. He didn’t do that when I wrote a post saying he had misrepresented me. The only time he deigned to address a comment to me was when I pointed out I had contacted him privately.
I don’t get that, but what’s really troubling is his comment explains why he published my e-mail, something nobody needed to know. He was sent an e-mail about one of his pieces, and he published it. That’s completely unremarkable. Nobody had expressed any displeasure with it being done, yet he concluded:
I took that as you “indicating” you “wanted” your “communication” “made public”, as you were already making public your dissatisfaction with my unresponsiveness to you. So I published your communication in full.
Thus I am surprised to find you are now claiming the same copyright in your letter to me as the University of Queensland does in cease-and-desist letters to you. Have you retained Dame Jane Malloch, QC as your solicitor?
Leaving aside Steyn’s typical, exaggerated rhetoric, this comment is absurd. Steyn portrays me as having complained about him publishing the e-mail I sent to him. I hadn’t. He’s just making that idea up in order to smear me. Anyone who possess basic reading skills could tell the difference between:
“I contacted him privately.”
“I wanted him to keep our communication private.”
I said the former. He painted me as saying the latter. This was the one time he actually responded to me, and his response was a pathetic smear based upon nothing but misinterpretation of a simple sentence.
I don’t know why Steyn resorted to such an obvious fabrication to insult me. Maybe he knew what I said and just figured people are too dumb to notice his lie. Maybe he didn’t know because he can’t read. Maybe he’s just so arrogant he assumes anyone disagreeing with him must be a moron.
I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m happy to make the last word on this subject:
Mark Steyn is an idiot.