Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Steyn Gets Punked By 28 Year Old Literary Hoax

Remember the kerfuffle between Mark Steyn and journalism professor Dr. John Miller from a few weeks back? Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for his review of Oriana Fallaci’s final book The Force Of Reason from illegitimate sources like the infamous Little Green Book: Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Dr. Miller further suggested that this publication was probably some kind of hoax. Well, it turns out the LGB was debunked way back in 1980! Here's a scan of the first paragraph of a NY Times Book Review entitled "Bantam's Khomeini Book Stirs Dispute":

And here are Dr. Marvin Zonis remarks re the particular passage in question:



Guess we'll be getting an apology out of Mr. Steyn real soon now, hmm?

H/t the Law is Cool gang, who know how to do research.

75 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

I've always said that Steyn effects faux-erudition with lazy research. Desk encyclopedias, almanacs, compendiums of quotations, etc, etc. Now, it's even worse, since that stuff is all onlline.

Complete fraud.

sharonapple88 said...

That was a good takedown.

Miller's probably right about Steyn -- it's all about provoking a response, not about trying to any truth.

rob said...

Holding ...holding...my .....can't get air...Oh it's ok, I can get air.

Wow, here I was almost waiting for Steyn to say ...um ...sorry.

david said...

Actually, a quote very similar to the one Dr. Zonis can't find is in this Harper's selection from an unabridged translation of Tahrir-ol-vasyleh by J. Borujerdi.

2,631. "It is loathsome to eat the meat of a horse, a mule, or a donkey if someone has had coitus with the animal."
http://www.harpers.org/archive/1985/06/0010032

What Steyn quoted was Fallaci quoting the "blue book"; that is, the "Green book" which seems to be the source for the Bantam edition --

“A man who has had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat. He would commit sin.”
http://tinyurl.com/jvtpa

The two quotatons don't really mean the same thing, eh?
Apart from twisting the quote to imply that bestiality is fine as long as you don't eat what you fucked,

we have E Levant sticking his oar in -- The quotes are from the
"Iranian version of Mein Kampf — his master plan for the world, right down to how to have sex with chickens — the part Miller thought Steyn was making up.
I went to Google as Miller was talking, and found a ton of references for it. [...]
http://ezralevant.com/2008/11/my-opening-remarks-at-todays-m.html

Why Levant would add chickens to the mix is perhaps best passed over in silence.

Ti-Guy said...

Ezra's mum?

b_nichol said...

Heh.

Scarred.
Scarred for life.

Paul S said...

Trotting out Dr. Miller now in the ongoing attempt to defame Steyn is getting rather lame.

How long is this ever sadder exercise goint to go on BCL?

bigcitylib said...

Paul, "defaming" is when you say something false about someone.

Belial said...

Well, of course, as anyone who follows this stuff could have told you, Steyn was right, and you were wrong, and Miller was spectacularly, incandescently wrong.

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/1516/26

We'll wait for your apology. Punk.

Craig said...

You might want to check out Steyn's site today.
You have just been handed your a*%
on a plate.

Craig said...

Hey "researcher" - I liked this bit of Steyn's smack-down:

"But, leaving that aside and forgiving M J Murphy for confusing America Alone with a book review in Maclean's, if you return to the passage up above, you'll see that neither Oriana nor I refer to any Little Green Book. We cite a "Blue Book" - or "Libro Azzurro", in La Fallaci's original Italian."

Derk H. said...

Just finished reading Steyn's rebuttal...

(link was already stated above, but you can't cite it often enough for those hypocrites populating this place)

Face it, M.J. Murphy: You didn't just get shredded to pieces in it - you got totally atomized. So, who owes whom an apology, Mr Hoax Expert?

Cordially,
DHH

BillBC said...

Have you read Steyn's rebuttal? Makes you look like a total fool.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Silly BCL, lucky Steyn won't sue, that'll teach you to rely on Islamists for your "research".

bigcitylib said...

Hopefully, Marvin Zonis will respond (I've emailed). Should I be in error, MS will get an apology.

iowahawk said...

Having just read Steyn's rebuttal in its entirety, I must say congratulations. You and "Doctor" Miller have just immortalized yourselves as the bumbling self-inflicted subjects of the single most exquisite literary evisceration in the history of the internet, nay, the world.

In fact, scratch "evisceration." Make that vaporization. At this point your next of kin will be lucky to find intact bits of "Doctor" Miller's reputation quivering in the treetops of Ryerson, let alone complete dental records.

No mind though, for your immortality is secure. For centuries to come students will study this marvelous episode: the pompous, clueless PC prof and his eager internet buttlick attempt to bell the famous cat Steyn, with completely predictable results.

aelfheld said...

Funny, Steyn just pwned BigCityLib and all of you libtards.

rgraham4444 said...

BigCityLidiot

hahahahahaha

you are truly stupid

hahahahahaha

rgraham4444

Mitchell said...

I enjoy a good take down of a liberal in the morning. Steyn blew your your little row boat out of the water, along with the "Journalism Professor."

When a guy holds himself out as a "journalism ethicist" you either 1) stop reading, and move on to something worth your time, or 2) read in fascination as their credibility self destructs.

Today, I chose #2. Great fun.

Hello Birdy said...

Change your blog description to.

"tips on beating down a liberal erection"

If it isn't already just a wet-dream.

You will need to lift your leg a lot higher if you want to piss with the big dogs and Steyn is Great Dane.

Please excuse to over indulgence in silly metaphor. I just get giddy when the left gets a sphincter stretch.

Gerard said...

No doubt about it. Steyn used you like an Imam uses a sheep.

I'm sure that experience was what you were after all along.

Chris said...

Iowahawk you're too modest. I recall your post on Ted Kennedy and the lead up to the Iraq invasion. It doesn't seem to be on your site anymore *sniff*

jaycurrie said...

Well, the good news, BCL is that it would be Haraam for Steyn to actually eat you after what he has just done to you in print.

An apology would be a start. However, a self-beclowning at this level really requires a Cherniak.

(If you had spent two minutes at Amazon and ABE, as I did a couple of weeks ago, the reality of the Blue book and the provenance of the Green Book would have been clear. Something beyond the Google challenged Mr. Miller but surely within your bag of tricks.)

Richard said...

M.J. Murphy = Epic Fail!

Monkeydarts said...

As always: Game, Point, Match- Steyn.

timothy said...

Wow, just found steyn on line and read his article, and followed a link to bigcitylib. I have to say I've never seen anything like this debacle on line before. Just because your views are not the same as Mr. Steyn's, shouldn't you have done your research before mocking his sources? Makes you look inept to say the least.
Please apply the first comment from Ti-Guy to yourself, with appropriate name changes!

Quote:
I've always said that Steyn effects faux-erudition with lazy research. Desk encyclopedias, almanacs, compendiums of quotations, etc, etc. Now, it's even worse, since that stuff is all onlline.

Complete fraud.

FRITZ said...

Wow, I've been reading this type of i-net give and take for years, but I've NEVER seen a group so "taken down" as this threesome (wonder what Khomeni had to say about that type of encounter,of course, I won't be asking yall!) of Dr. Miller, Mr. Zonis and Mr. Murphy, aka, "big city lib". Mr. Steyn's massacre of yall is something on the order of Custer at the Little Big Horn! God help you, you've even given credence to Ann Coulter's words to the effect that "liberals don't read" (and certainly can't comprehend what they read while gazing at the world thru such a thick ideological lense). Oh, I would not count on Mr. Zonis to ride to Mr. Murphy's defense. Assuming he has enough of a survival instinct to read the Steyn rebuttal, he'll be hanging Mr. Murphy out to dry like Major Reno did to General Custer in the aforementioned encounter. Sorry all for the long windedness of this post, this is the first time I've ever put anything out there, but this destruction was so complete, I couldn't let it go. As I mentioned earlier, long time reader only.

Frumson Wooters said...

Mr. Steyn did not just hand you your @$$ on a plate, it was served flambée on a silver platter.

SorenK said...

Yep. Those Law is Cool guys REALLY now how to do their research (snigger, snigger, snigger).

You dig a hole, jump in it, and then just keep on digging.

Please don't stop BCL. I'm having too much fun laughing at you.

Louise said...

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!!

Oh, the simple pleasures of life. ROTFLMAO!!

JA Goneaux said...

Ah, Ti-Guy. First to comment. Then...epic fade...

With allies like this, BCL...

Christine said...

Guess we'll be getting an apology off to Mr. Steyn real soon now, hmm?

Really big of you to make this commitment, but have you come through yet?

Craig said...

Just checked to see if Ti-guy had surfaced. But nope.

Big surprise. Another one who can dish it out but not take it.

BCL - what about an e-mail or a shout-out on your website to the 'journalism doctor.'

Surely you shouldn't be the only one eating humble pie.

jaycurrie said...

Good news, BCL: you made http://www.memeorandum.com/ (well, Steyn did actually...but he couldn't have done it without you.)

Jon Sandor said...

Will Murphy have the balls to continue to blog after this debacle? Stay tuned.

I think that "murphyed" may end up becoming an internet term of art after this.

John B said...

Ti-Guy seems to be MIA. I wonder why.

"Now, it's even worse, since that stuff is all onlline."

Indeed it is.

david said...

Steyn has produced a real dogs breakfast of verbigeration -- mostly about various errors of attribution in blogs. But the only hard-copy mistake is Steyn's, in his original Macleans article, and if you look hard enough, you can find him admitting it.

Also, I can see why Steyn has time on his hands, but aren't you guys supposed to be raising the alarm for the Harpercrats?

Derek Kite said...

What really surprises me is that a liberal would go to such lengths to support and defend a religion.

Khomeini was a dangerous flake who killed those who disagreed with him. Amusing that bigcitylib would stake his reputation on defending him.

Derek

Drained Brain said...

A lost motorist driving along a winding country road eventually came across a shepherd tending his flock of sheep.

"Can you make a u-turn here?" he called out, to which the shepherd replied, "Hell, I can make her eyes pop."

Are your eyes popping?

Enjoy your brief moment of fame and try not to feel too, er, sheepish.

xanthippaschamberpot said...

'Bigcitylib Strikes Back': Is that sort of like 'The Empire Strikes Back'?

Because 'The Empire' did not really fare all that well in the end, did it? Did not the main 'Empire enabler' eventually see the error of his ways???

Sort of like the situation here: it would take a denial of stellar proportions not to see the error of BCLs ways here...

sharonapple88 said...

Section II of The Green Book deals with A Clarification of Questions.

The law on animal intercourse/sodomy -- is a point one of the Marvin Zonis disputes.

Even if you check out the translation of the offending bits, which Steyn helpfully links
here.

There are two separate punishments for what appears to be the same crime -- sex with an animal. In one, the animal's just sold (2631), in the other the animal is killed and the person performing the deed is fined (2632). Does this make sense?

This could be a problem with the translation. If someone read Farsi, he/she could double-check the translation. The problem is that we don't.

Here's the response from people who can read the language who dispute the translation.

sharonapple88 said...

This could be a problem with the translation. If someone read Farsi,

My bad,it's in Arabic.

DHH said...

@sharonapple88,

did you even read some of the texts in question?

1. Steyn never (!) relied on or quoted from the "Little Green Book" that everybody on the other side is so eager talking about.

2. The clarifications on questions 2631 and 2632 have nothing to do with "punishments". They regulate civil matters, not crimes.

3. The reason for different legal consequences is quite easy: They cover different facts of cases. Read it carefully and you'll understand this.

So... how about stopping all the distractions and giving Mr Steyn a hearty "We're incompetent but sorry!"?

- DHH

sharonapple88 said...

There may be an apology dealing with accusing Steyn over using the Green Book (abridged book of Khomeini's sayings) instead of the Blue Book (A Clarification of Questions/ Tahrirolvasyleh), but as I noted earlier -- the controversial passages in both books are in dispute.

The clarifications on questions 2631 and 2632 have nothing to do with "punishments". They regulate civil matters, not crimes.

Okay, so these are civil matters... the point still remains for the exact same situation you have different solutions to rectify the situation. This hints to some fault with the translation -- something confirmed by someone who apparently reads Arabic.

DHH said...

the point still remains for the exact same situation you have different solutions to rectify the situation.

Nope - that is exactly the error: The described situations are not identical. One copes with horse-related animals (horses, mules, donkeys), the other copes with cows, sheep and camels.

That may look weird too you (it surely does to me), but these situations are undeniably different.

I also don't know how these questions were complied; maybe they are a kind of case law where questions arise from concrete questions from an affected livestock owner towards the religious authority (yuck). That could easily explain the different solutions for comparable (not equal!) situations.

But aside from all this guessing and hemming and hawing: If you doubt the translation, bring your own! Mr Steyn makes a reasonable offer in his latest update to his rebuttal. Maybe you can jump in as a contestant, since some others seem to prefer to chicken out...

- DHH

Jon Sandor said...

Here's the response from people who can read the language who dispute the translation.

Yeah, a response from fanatics who think that critics of Khomeini need to fear for their life.

The lefts love affair with totalitarian thugs did not end with the fall of communism, it seems. Although it's hard to believe that you religion haters would be sucking up to a religious nut job.

jaycurrie said...

Thanks DHH. Now I realize that it was the full or cloven hoof which made all the difference in the proper treatment of the animal you just shagged.

Belial said...

Sharonapple and DHH - Muslim dietary laws being similar to Jewish dietary laws, it's not too surprising that horse-type animals are treated differently from cows and sheep. Horses - not kosher, so loathsome to eat the meat, ever; if they've been shagged you can't keep them as dray animals but must sell them outside the town. Cows etc. - kosher, but if they've been shagged even their byproducts (urine, milk, etc.) are unclean and moreover you can't even sell them, the animal is completely unclean and must be destroyed.

I have no doubt whatever that there are similar distinctions in the Talmud. That is a relic of medieval times, a book which thinking people today adopt for its useful insights, and from which they readily discard that which is anachronistic.

These fatwas of Khomeini's are at about the same level of intellectual development - or, if you prefer, progress from original textual principles.

One major difference, of course, being that Khomeini represents a gang of theocratic thugs with rather more secular power than the commentators who compiled the Talmud. (Not, please, just a harmless "flake.")

These fatwas on what to do with animals that have been shagged are legalistic, laughable, and primitive, but hardly a blueprint for how to bring about the decline of Western civilization through bestiality. The Islamists are making a valiant attempt at that without bringing animals into it.

Everyone really needs to lighten up a bit on this. It's not too surprising that Khomeini would publish religious edicts like this, and plenty easy to poke fun at them, but there is so much more serious stuff to criticize - and destroy - him and his like for.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Well as Steyn notes at least BCL has allowed comments unlike the cretins at Law is Fool.

sharonapple88 said...

Actually, the ultimate test would be what would happen if you commited beastility in Iran. I'm betting the results won't be pretty if you flew down there and decided to go wild with our four-legged friends.

Yeah, a response from fanatics who think that critics of Khomeini need to fear for their life.

Sort of balances out Steyn. :P

Belial said...

Really sharon? Steyn's defenders warn his critics to watch their backs and end their posts with a howl of Marg bar Iraan? Dang, I missed that.

Oh and by the way BCL - it's customary when revising a post (especially in response to a criticism or correction posted elsewhere) to leave the original text in strikeout type. You ought to restore your original attribution of Steyn's excerpt to America Alone rather than just changing it to the Fallaci review (Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for his review of Oriana Fallaci’s final book The Force Of Reason from illegitimate sources...) without disclosure.

bigcitylib said...

Just a reminder.

I am hoping that Mr. Zonis answers my email, and will give him a couple of days to do so beore I respond further to Mr. Steyn (Mr Steyn took four days to respond to my first post, so be patient). Zonis' claim in the NYT article is that the quote in the Green Book was not in the Farsi original, which presumably implies that it was not in the Blue Book either (since that is the original). If I have made an error, Mr. Steyn will get an apology.

And, Belial, feel free to bite me.

Mike Baughman said...

Seconding Belial's comment (2:05):

"... it's customary when revising a post (especially in response to a criticism or correction posted elsewhere) to leave the original text in strikeout type. You ought to restore your original attribution of Steyn's excerpt to America Alone rather than just changing it ..."

Say, I wonder if Prof. Miller's classes include a lecture or two on disclosing post-publication edits?

Richard said...

Thank goodness for screen captures and google cache...

Otherwise BCL's airbrushing would go unnoticed...

Jon Sandor said...

Sort of balances out Steyn.

Now you're saying that Steyn is threatening people's lives?

Come on, admit it, you clowns are just making up whatever suits you. And linking to actual hate sites which you strangely fail to recognise as such.

Jon Sandor said...

Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for his review of Oriana Fallaci’s final book

You remind me of my dog. When it poops on the floor it tries to pretend that some other dog did it. Which is funny, since there is no other dog.

Jon Sandor said...

I am hoping that Mr. Zonis answers my email

Is there any particular reason why you're not taking Steyn up on his offer? Other than the obvious one?

sharonapple88 said...

Come on, admit it, you clowns are just making up whatever suits you. And linking to actual hate sites which you strangely fail to recognise as such.

A hate site is one that promotes contempt/ hatred usually of a race, creed, or religion. Here's the page on Shiachat's mission

Here at ShiaChat.com, we have one unifying goal: to seek out the Truth. It doesn’t matter what faith you do (or don’t) adhere to, what race you belong to, how many years you have tucked under your belt or what your philosophy in life is. As long as you’re eager to exchange thoughts, explore new concepts or gain a better understanding of Islam, you’ll be right at home on this board.

ShiaChat.com welcomes individuals from all walks of life and and there exists a diverse mix of cultures and ideologies amongst our members.


I'm not impressed by the comment of Guest_so_solid_shia_* who threatened violence... but in a real hate site, people would be parroting his comments and adding their own threats. Instead people just ignored him and continued the discussions. He or she was the exception, not the rule to the site.

Not many hate sites would have people posting the following:

Peace and Grace to christians
Salam Ullah Alaikum to Muslims
Shalom to Jews
.


My whole point of linking Shiachat in the first place was to find out what the discussion was like from inside the actual group on the topic. This is the first thing we should do -- actually talk to the people we're trying to understand. Or else we sort of end up like Mrs. Favell Lee Mortimer, who wrote rather nasty things about other countries (almost all of it completely wrong), but who stepped outside of England just twice -- once to Brussels and Paris, and the other trip was to Scotland.

I'll confess to having learned a few things on this thread, but I stand behind my basic points, which I suppose everyone does as well.

Peace and grace to all of us.

Amen.

Joan of Argghh! said...

If I have made an error, Mr. Steyn will get an apology.

Which is already rendered useless by fact of the airbrushing. The apology of a journalistic coward isn't worth the cyber-bits of space it occupies.

Craig said...

BCL -
I respected the fact that you let all of the comments stand, even the negative ones. But why did you alter your original post?

And you might want to jettison the illiterate law fools. They are now claiming that the translations in 'A Clarification of Questions' are faulty too. You know, the book your friend Zonis approved of.

BTW, have you heard from him yet?
Just asking.

bigcitylib said...

Craig, I altered the origonal post because it was in error. I didn't do that little strike through thing because I think it is inelegant. Nor is it any kind of journalistic standard for on-line pieces.

Frumson Wooters said...

"I altered the origonal [sic] post because it was in error."

Which is Steyn's point exactly.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Craig, I altered the origonal post because it was in error. I didn't do that little strike through thing because I think it is inelegant. Nor is it any kind of journalistic standard for on-line pieces.

While it may look inelegant and is not a journalistic standard, it is however, a general rule among most credible bloggers to use strikeouts when correcting errors, particularly when that error was the main point of your post. Considering Steyn has provided a credible refutation of the accusations leveled by you and the Law is Cool kids, your whitewashed editing has only further damaged your credibility on this matter.

Mike Baughman said...

BCL writes: "Nor is it any kind of journalistic standard for on-line pieces."

Really? It looks to me like there's a double standard, one for Steyn but another for you.

By the way, the CBC does have a standard for corrections in online pieces, you can see it here:

Online Policies

Quote: If it is found that an archived news item includes an error, the provisions of the policy on Corrections (IV.B.10.) of CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices will apply.

Any corrections placed in archives must include the date the correction was filed. Corrections should, where possible, be linked to or appear with the item being corrected.


Section IV.B.10, referenced above, states: The CBC will not hesitate to admit and correct a material error when it is established that one has been made. To do otherwise or to defend a program exhibiting poor taste or unacceptable ethics or containing errors would lead inevitably to loss of credibility by the CBC.

In other words, "responsible journalists" (if the CBC can be considered such) do have a standard for online pieces; you just don't feel bound by that standard. The CBC is right about one thing, though: "... To do otherwise ... would lead inevitably to loss of credibility."

arctic_front said...

Loss of credibility for the CBC? Now THAT is rich.....

DHH said...

jaycurrie:
Thanks DHH. Now I realize that it was the full or cloven hoof which made all the difference in the proper treatment of the animal you just shagged.

Oh, you're welcome! I guess we all learned something during this debacle: I, for one, never imagined how much fun bestiality could be - laughing all the way to the bonk!

- DHH

piddle_in_fountain said...

Ahhh, the lovely 'religion of peace'. And a bunch of PC, worthless Bobbies.

Craig said...

On the question of editorial standard, Slate routinely places any information about alterations at the foot of the web page (e.g., the original version of this essay said x).

Have you heard from Zonis yet? I am on the edge of my seat.

And when are you going to underbus the law fools?

You've been pretty stand up about this so far (unlike them).

bodysurfer said...

The kids over at Law R Cool are very entertaining. In their latest update (#4), they say "We make no personal representations of the accuracy of any quote or book, anywhere here." In other words, they've completely retreated from their original point.

Apparently the issue now is Steyne's lack of formal education. Or maybe it's that, having read his mind, they conclude that he didn't "fact-check" his quote from a book he was reviewing. In spite of the fact that they don't (now) contest the accuracy of the quote!

I particularly like the way they lambast Steyne for not taking comments, when they disallow comments on their thread. Last comment was Nov 30.

What a bunch of clowns. I wish them luck in the real world, with their much-vaunted formal education.

BTW, commendations for allowing comments BCL, but you really should repair the airbrushing, it just makes you look silly.

Belial said...

Good lord, this is the best The Journalism Doctor can do? Steyn can demolish the Doctor's 3 questions with his brains tied behind his back (yeah, yeah, I know, that's where he keeps 'em ... bite me).

Here, I'll do it for free. Question [1] simply misreads the quoted portions, egregiously. Question [2] is a cloud of smoke with no specific rebuttal of the translation of the portion in question. And question [3] just misreads the point of the review with typical pedant humorlessness.

There, my contribution to promoting understanding.

cyclops said...

hope you're getting to like steyn more, cause he just made you his bitch

DHH said...

Belial,
you're right, but it's even worse than that; Dr Duh is so clueless it's unbelievable... Steyn's latest response says it all.

- DHH

bigcitylib said...

I have posted an apology to Mr. Steyn here

http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2008/12/apology-to-mark-steyn.html#links

lanceg said...

"Oh, my! I wonder if he has any idea quite what a Ryerson-atrophied pansy he sounds wagging his finger at Oriana Fallaci? “Writer-provocateurs” don’t “deal with primary sources”? Well, her “primary source” on Ayatollah Khomeini is Ayatollah Khomeini. What have you got, Finger Boy? When she was hurling her chador at him in 1979, what were you doing? Retyping press releases from Ed Broadbent?"
kinBoy Doc - did you ever get served!!!!!!

Skookum John said...

Just chiming in to note that a world-class spectacle of idiotic left-wing self-beclownment never gets old. I'm glad you are on the enemy side; we have nothing to worry about.