“Who is Johann Hari? A while back I came across this bizarre first person column in which he brags about seducing neo-Nazis and Islamic extremists. He despises their ideas, of course, he just finds them sexy….or something.”
Remember that next time he calls Mark Steyn a racist. Which probably won’t happen again…
Sir: I’ve no idea why Johann Hari (29 January) would wish to spend so much of his brief time with Martin Amis discussing a “Canadian former disc-jockey called Mark Steyn”. It’s a curious interviewing technique: “But enough about what I think of Mark Steyn. What do you think of Mark Steyn?”
Still, your readers might like to know that, pace Mr Hari, the word “gooks” does not appear in my book, America Alone; the phrase “Indian Territory” comes from Robert D Kaplan, a respected analyst of global affairs and non-disc-jockey; and the only reference to the “yellow peril” is in the context of misplaced hysteria over impending Japanese domination in the Eighties: “You’d be bombarded with commercials warning that the yellow peril was annexing America and pretty soon they’d be speaking Japanese down at the shopping mall. It didn’t happen and it’s never going to happen.”
“Racism” is the laziest charge, and my advice to Mr Amis would be to respond with a stifled yawn and “Oh, yeah? What else have you got?”, and leave it at that. Likewise, when he’s accused of getting into bed with obscure Canadians.
Woodsville, New Hampshire, USA
UPDATE: “infiltrating the Liberal back bench” sounds dirty if you say it right!