Fox regular and radio host Mark Steyn is under fire for outrageous remarks made while substituting for Rush Limbaugh on his program. In discussing the San Francisco’s “shelter-in-place” order due to the coronavirus, Steyn referred to the city as a “big gay town” and the order as an effort to prevent “all the gays dropping dead.” While Steyn (who is a regular and substitute host on Tucker Carlson’s show) is known for controversial statements but this is clearly beyond the pale of acceptable commentary.
In discussing the order, Steyn asked “Why are they doing that? Why is San Francisco the first to do that? Because they’ve got all the gay guys there.” He then went from bad to worse:
“It’s a big gay town, San Francisco, and they’re the ones with all the compromised immune systems from all the protease inhibitors and all the other stuff. And they don’t want all the gays dropping dead on the San Francisco mayor’s watch. So that’s why they’ve got all that sheltering in place there.”
Steyn explained further that if “there was a big gay apocalypse” then “Trump would get blamed for it.”
The commentary was inexcusable even if meant in jest. No one is suggesting that he does not have a free speech right to express himself but that does not mean Steyn should not be criticized for offensive comments. There has to be some level of decency left in commentary, particularly when referring to a pandemic that has left millions in isolate and thousands facing serious and potentially lethal illnesses.