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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: GROWING OLD WITH JESSE

--How do they do it?
--Do what?
--Get Jesse Jackson so fast.
--You mean this thing with the governor of Virginia.
--The governor, the tea partiers smearing Obama. Any race-related breaking news story. Within hours--no, within seconds Jesse’s in a network or cable news studio.
--Providing grave-faced observations.
--For years. Decades. I’ve grown old with Jesse.
--We all have. First the Civil Rights Movement, then globe-trotting to trouble spots. Running for president
--That’s our Jesse.
--He’s no fool, though.
--He most certainly isn’t. I haven’t really heard much of what he says for the last ten or fifteen years. Because he’s a rerun for me now, and I tune out. But the very fact he’s still in there punching, still on every TV news operation’s Rolodex is a testament to longevity.
--It’s really true. You have to be built to last to be on after all these years. Even after you’re overheard saying you’d like to cut off the future president’s balls. Even after that, they’re still setting a place at the table for old Jesse.
--And his son’s in office now, isn’t he? In Congress?
--That he is. Illinois’ second congressional district. Think how ready he must be for the cameras. How groomed for office and TV as Jesse’s son.
--There’s also the Reverend Al Sharpton.
--Yep, Al and Jesse often figure together. They’re a tag team, taking on the softball questions served up by the talking heads.
--Do you think they’re given a free pass?
--Long ago, maybe, not any more. And Sharpton’s gotten much better over time. Certainly since he cut his hair. But he’s no fool, either. I actually listen to Sharpton sometimes. He’s unflappable, never gets blustery.
--I have a theory. About how they get to them so fast. Remember the maps they used to have in schools? The roll-down kind?
--You mean before Mapquest and global positioning.
--No, in school, in the classroom.
--Oh, those. Sure. “Here’s Borneo, boys and girls, and right over here is Chile.”
--They were like oversized window blinds. So what I think is, Jesse never really has to leave home. They give him roll-down blowups of all the network and cable news studios. When a call comes through, he just pulls down the appropriate background, stands or sits in front of it, gets his wife to work the camera, and starts talking. How cool is that?
--It makes a great deal of sense. This business of breaking stories and 24/7 news cycles, how else are you going to manage?
--Way back when, I remember there were crazies who insisted something similar was really behind the moon landings.
--Ah yes. I think there was supposed to be a moon studio somewhere in Philadelphia. The whole moon business was actually a hoax. I used to wonder if Nixon and Kissinger really existed. They seemed so improbable to me, I wondered if they weren’t fictional.
--Today, it could happen. A computer-generated Commander-in-Chief.
--You know, it would probably make sense. Especially in terms of terrorist threats. You could still have an actual president somewhere, but the one we’d see most of the time would be a hologram.
--I think perhaps we’ve taken this line of thinking far enough.
--OK. Besides, it’s time for Wolf.

2 comments:

  1. A hologram?
    Well, now that you mention it...
    I'll finish that thought after Olbermann.

    ReplyDelete

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