Feb 1, 2007

Daily scandals

I'm a day late and a dollar short on the outrage front but this stupid screed by one William Arkin has come in for a well-deserved blogswarm.
Lileks (scroll down) says it best--as is often the case. But there's much more here and here.

And then there's the Joe Biden remark about how "clean" Barack Obama is. Yawn. I'm not sure what he meant here: Clean-cut is my guess, others have suggested fresh as in new. Anyway, I read about it yesterday and it earned a slight guffaw from me. My schadenfreude sensor is as alert as the next guy, and who doesn't like to see a career also ran like Biden put his foot in his mouth two seconds after he announces his bid for the presidency?

Then this morning as I was heading out the door I saw "The Today Show" was giving it big play and for the first time in my life I found myself agreeing with Chris Matthews. This jumping down people's throat for every utterance is really too much. And I'm sick of the cycle of regret, which can roughly be broken down into several stages:
  1. Some public figure says something stupid. Sometimes it's vile--see Michael Richards, Mel Gibson. Sometimes it's incomprehensible--Macaca anyone? Sometimes it's just garbled--Biden.
  2. The professional outrage class gets to work. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Abe Foxman.
  3. The offender hits the air with various apologies.
  4. The late night shows run "funny" clips.
  5. The offender appears on "The Daily Show" or "SNL" in a skit making fun of himself.

And then it's off to the next outrage. What a meaningless pageant it's become.

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