Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Laura Ingraham

Dear Ms Ingraham,

First of all, by way of introduction I'm a 27 year old gay lawyer. My home is the great state of Kansas, what you East Coast elites call "fly-over country." I received my B.A. with a political science and international relations major from William Jewell College, a small, liberal arts, baptist college in Liberty, Missouri, and I received my J.D. from the University of Kansas. I'm sure many would consider this a far cry from Dartmouth, but hey, I'm proud of what I've got.

A few years ago I had the idea to start a blog called, "Make Me Fox New's Token Queer." The blog would basically be a rallying cry. It would be accompanied by facebook groups, online petitions, and other attention grabbing things to send a simple and self explanatory message, that I should be made Fox New's token queer. The idea sounded fun at the time, but as fun as it sounded in my head, it seemed like more work than any real result would warrant.

But now I have a new idea. Ms. Ingraham, you and I should get our own Fox News show. Now, I know, you have your own nationally syndicated radio show, and you do frequent guest spots for Fox News personalities who have taken holiday to the Hamptons, as elites are prone to do, but I think it's time you upgraded to a chair of your own.

The show would a cross-talk type event show in which you and I debated the notable issues of the day, interviewed guests who would speak to current events, and featured normal segments highlighting issues of interest. . . . Basically Hannity and Colmes with more attractive hosts. Or Cross-Fire with one more attractive host (hey, Tucker Carlson is a fox). While cross-talk shows used to have prominence on a number of 24-hour news networks, their time has faded. Now they have been replaced by the rotating panel (ala Hannity and O'Reilly), the frequent contributor (ala Rachael Maddow or Olbermann), or whatever the hell CNN does (seriously, who watches CNN these days). My point is, there are not any true cross-talk shows left. And that is where we come in.

See, the beauty of a cross-talk show is that there is time to really get to know the personalities of the different oratorical combatants. How much do you really know about the panelists on those shows. I mean, you know the fat liberal guy on Hannity's "Great American Panel" is gonna roll his eyes and make some pot shot at push, you know Dick Morris is gonna grumble and sneer like the monster that lives under the bed, and you know the interchangeable buxom models on O'Reilly are going to recite verbatim the talking points Charles Krauthammer outlined two hours earlier on Special report. But with hosts, you get something better. You get a story arch, the course of that person's knowledge and opinions. You get a complete narrative that sucks people in and really shows 'em who you are. Sort of like a radio show, only better because it's on the T.V.

Plus you get more accountability than you do with those damn frequent contributors. I mean come on, Chris Hays could tell Maddow with a strait face that the Democrats are going to pick up seats in November and no one would bat an eye. But with a cross-talk show, you say something stupid, you answer for it. No cutting off mics, no losing signal feed, nowhere to hide. I mean, that sounds like real fun. Sort of like a radio show, but again, the T.V. Ms Ingraham the T.V.

So you are inevitably thinking right now, "Wow, this is a great idea, but why would I do such a show with some bumpkin from a state like Kansas? I mean, they don't have a coast! What small people." First of all Ms Ingraham, ouch . . . that really hurts. People from Kansas are surprisingly well educated you know. National jokes aside, we invest a considerable amount of money per capita into education, and much of our lag behind has to do with federal mandates on non-classroom related spending and additional administrative costs born out by unfunded mandates (see, wouldn't that be fun to talk about on air, I could be all like, "Education is a state responsibility, the DoE should scale back and allow for laboratories of experimentation," and you could be like, "that's really insightful.")

But the biggest reason you should choose to pitch this awesome, fail-proof idea with me is that, I would be awesome at punditry. I know your skeptical, I would be too if I got an unsolicited pitch idea from a random Kansan . . . actually, geography might not matter as much as the random thing, but I'm going with a theme here. First, I can aggravate the hell out of anyone simply by speaking my mind. While this may sound like a deprecatory statement, in the world of punditry, one does in fact attract more flies with vinegar and honey. I mean, if Glenn Beck were presenting his same theories in a calm, expressionless candor, would anyone watch him. Hell no! People watch GB to get infuriated, hell, half his audience are people about to write, "hit pieces" on their blogs no one reads (like this blog that no one reads). I would make Glenn Beck look like Steve Stewart. OK, you may not listen to much Royals Baseball, same job as Gary Thorne for the Red Socks, or whatever you East Coast, detached, Ivory Tower, Martha's Vineyard crowd do for entertainment. So, the play-by-play announcer for your polo club.

What was I talking about . . . Oh, being aggravating. The best part is, because I will almost certainly be the more aggravating of the two of us, and because I'm the representative of the center-left (or as you call us, the far-left), you will necessarily seem more reasoned and moderate by comparison. Basically, it's a win-win for you. More ratings for the show, plus you get to look like the non-villainous one. The Bugs Bunny to my Daffy Duck. Only please don't shoot me. I don't like when my beak gets spun around to the back of my head.

The second reason is because I'm gay. I mean, come on. Fox has its token black guys, but it has yet to employ one token queer. This is a travesty. Not because I think that its an equal rights thing or anything, but because Fox could so easily diffuse any criticism of being anti-LGBT by saying, "Hey, we have that one queer. He's on with Ingraham." I mean, that's why I hear O'Reilly doesn't go anywhere without his black friend. It's these simple little things that just make your life easier.

Finally, I think you should pick me because I actually know what I'm talking about more often than not, and that would be a real change from what is currently on the air over at Fox. I read a considerable amount of political journalism each day. My current take are headlines at New York Times (including the editorial page), Wall Street Journal (and its editorial page), Politico, Talking Points Memo, and selected stories off the wires. I also read a substantial number of political blogs during the day. Frum and Sullivan are two of my most consistent reads, but I also hit up a few others occasionally. Basically, it wouldn't just be a screaming leftist nut-ball you'd be getting with me. It's a fairly informed . . . screaming leftist umm, enthusiast?

Anyways, I hope you consider this suggestion. While I certainly enjoy being a lawyer, I wouldn't mind taking a few years off to cross-wits with a conservative on Fox News. Plus, I'd get to be on the T.V., and everyone knows the people on the T.V. are more important and therefore more correct than the rest of the non-T.V. plebeians.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Who Vetted This

From time to time in my life I like to play a little game called "Who Vetted This?"

The concept is simple. You look at something that someone has totally fucked up and just ask, "who vetted this?" It's not so important that you actually know who vetted it. It's more just an earnest acknowledgment that something is truly FUBAR.

For instance. CNN hiring Erick Erickson. For a succinct examination of who this guy, consult this link. Basically, CNN hired a man who called Justice Souter a "Goat Fucking child molester." Compared the white houses communications director to Joseph Goebbels (not to be confused with Hans Gruber which would have made her awesome!). And most recently said that he would pull out his wife's shotgun (though if he was a real man one might ask why he didn't have his own) and threaten a census worker who tried to make him fill out a census form. Though to be fair he did say it was only a census worker with a community research survey, so it's all good, right . . .

So, if you're looking at a news network that calls itself, "The Most Trusted Name in News," and your key demographics are centrist if not slightly xenophobic old people, and if you've lost nearly half your ratings since firing the one person who appealed directly to said latino hating geriatrics, of course you're going to hire a dude who called First Lady Michelle Obama a "Marxist Harpy Wife." Though to be fair he probably doesn't like that wise latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayer, which sort of puts him in line with CNN's usual viewership?

So the question begins. Who vetted that. Who sat down at his desk one day, saw the suggestion that they hire Erick Erickson, and said, "Yeah, that is just what our network needs." Dumbasses. You do have to admire Erick Erickson's brazenness though. He's an internet debater, he knows Goodwin's Law (the longer a debate rages on the internet the more the probability of Nazis being brought up approaches 1. The person who brings up Nazis is the loser) yet still compares everyone who disagrees with him to the national socialists everyone loves to hate (In the immortal words of one I. Jones, "NAZIS! I hate those guys")

Another good example were the racist robots in Transformers 2: Ridiculous Subtitle After the Sequel Title. Let's see, in most movies the objective is to make the audience sympathize and hopefully even root for the heroes. This goes double for a summer action blockbuster. So, of course you'd want to create to characters so obnoxious, so radically offensive, that when you think one dies I can imagine people standing up in the audience and cheering, only to throw their popcorn at the movie theater a moment later when it turns out the little shit is still alive.

In the case of Trannies 2: Rest in Piece Childhood Nostalgia, the question of who vetted that is easy, Douchenozzle McCreeperton, aka Michael Bay. Knowing that he was the one vetting the decision is actually kind of nice. See, now you know, if MB is directing, producing, or just walking past any movie coming out during your life time, skip it. It's so nice of him to provide this handy little guide to living.

Sometimes though, who vetted this may get a little preemptive. We see a decision and immediately think, "who vetted this?" without actually waiting to see the results. The real question is in such a case, are we stuck with some Schrodinger's Cat scenario where we can't actually know if something is terrible unless it occurs and we witness it, or can we just say that as a per se rule the decision is so bad as to be a WVT moment.

Take a border-line WVT moment, the casting of Chris Evans as Captain America. For those who don't know (Kate Carrie and Kari . . . of course none of you is gonna know what the hell I'm about be talking about, so just go ahead and skip down three paragraphs, no one will blame you), Captain America is supposed to be a super patriotic, uber-stoic, all-American, cheese-burger scarfing war hero. I don't know that he ever smiles more than this one frame at the end of each adventure where he just looks out and sees how damn beautiful America is, and can't help but smile.

So, of course, you'd cast Chris Evans as Captain America. Because he pulls off stoic in everything he does. Whether it was his stoic role as the ever stoic human torch in Fantastic Four. The stoic human torch in Fantastic Four: Hey, The Silver Surfer is in this Movie so You Might Forget it's Another Fucking Fantastic Four Piece of Shit. The stoicly stoic jock hero dude in that critical marvel, Not Another Teen Movie. Or his other three movies a total of twelve people have seen where I'm sure he plays the same smirking, shit-eating little fuck he's played throughout his entire fucking career. (No, Sunshine doesn't count, someone actually has to see a movie before it exists . . . damn, two Schrodinger's Cat references in one blog post. . . I'm feeling quantum physicy).

The point is, clearly he might actually be able to pull off this role. He certainly has a jaw that kinda works for it. But really, at first glance you have to ask, "who vetted this?" So here is the conundrum: If the nerd-rage over his casting is sufficient to drive the studio to another actor, a more sniff-test-passable actor perhaps (in reality they'd just pick Sam Worthington so perhaps we should put our nerd rage away for this one), would we still need to play WVT, or would the change mitigate the need to vet.

Finally, I'll leave you with this thought. In the world of film and fiction, the game of WVT is nice in the hypothetical sense, because really, we'll never know who truly vetted this. However, with something like a blog, there isn't really any doubt. The poster herself is ultimately responsible for the content. So, there can be no question as to who vetted this."

Therefore I ask you, "who vetted this?"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The End of My Career

Thus named because inevitably I will put something on this blog which will become the basis for my dismissal from whatever job I am currently working. . .