Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Why does the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy hate Cork?

One of the problems with being a transnational hack is that one is prone to getting busted on matters of local detail, especially those inserted in attempts to localise an otherwise generic column for a specific readership. We noted Mark Steyn getting caught in this trap before, given his challenge of writing a column for the Daily Telegraph from a bunker in New Hampshire tuned to a single TV channel (Fox News).

It happens again today, though only a blog with as obscure a set of obsessions as this one could catch it. Steyn seeks to mock the indifference of the global meeja to stories of UN malfeasance while lapping up evidence of American highjinks gone awry in Iraq:

Now how about this? The Third [US] Infantry Division are raping nine-year olds in Ramadi. Ready, set, go! That thundering sound outside your window isn't the new IKEA sale, but the great herd of BBC/CNN/Independent/Guardian/New York Times/Le Monde/Sydney Morning Herald/Irish Times/Cork Examiner reporters stampeding to the Sunni Triangle. Whoa, hold up, lads, it's only hypothetical.

We suppose it's flattering that Steyn feels the need to include Irish newspapers in the Global Liberal Media Elite (perhaps the same column is set to run in the Irish Times soon), but in the reach for the 2nd Irish newspaper, he dates the last time he was paying any attention to Irish newspapers. 9 years ago, at the latest. Because back then, the Cork Examiner, published in the Republic's 2nd city, formalised its national ambitions and dropped the regional qualifier from its title. Of course it could be that, instead of not actually knowing this, Steyn resents this Corkonian expansionism and wants to keep them in their place.

But in the absence of this explanation and to help him stay current on the local references, can one of his buddies participating in the National Review cruise of Britain and Ireland this summer bring him back a days worth of newsagent purchases during one of their stops in the Republic?

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