A congressional committee held hearings on unemployment last week and only four members showed up. The wimps and wonks of the D.C. press corps would snootily inform us that other hearings were going on, and that this accounts for such poor attendance. Maybe, but it just might be that the people who pay Congress profit quite handsomely when unemployment is high. For an individual congressperson to interfere with the gravy train would not only be professionally dangerous, but bad manners as well. It could be that unemployment quite simply isn’t a priority.
But pundits get paid to miss the big picture. It’s their job to carefully eliminate all viable explanations for an event and settle on the one that is most likely wrong, hence their fat salaries, hence the Iraq invasion, the normalization of torture, the economic collapse, the bailout, the intentional grinding down of those ordinary watchamacalits … p-p-p- pee, uh, p-peop, uh, puh, pee something.
But there’s another possible explanation for why so few representatives bothered to show up and pretend to care about the nation’s unemployed. They had more important matters to attend to. They had to get coiffed and fitted for the prom!
I’ve been so busy doing things that matter I forgot that tonight was the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Where’s my head? Everything that is wrong with Washington will form and concentrate in one place, like some enervating toxic cloud that mysteriously puts the country to sleep. All of the inflated twits, nincompoops, eunuchs and castrati who enable our nation’s decay will gather under one roof, laugh at jokes about predator drones, and scramble to get their pictures taken with Barbra Streisand and Scarlett Johansson. The President of the United States, to his eternal shame, will gleefully participate. It is obscene.
This is the natural aristocracy of a country whose highest artistic achievement is the television commercial.
It’s so bad that even Tom Brokaw has come out against it. Tom Brokaw, who’s become the anointed elder statesman of TV news by sheer default: All of the other plausible candidates are dead. He always looks like he has a hard object lodged deep in his rectum, and his stoic determination to utter trite conventional wisdom in the face of such discomfort gives him an air of gravitas. No one else on the TV news could match it, so he go the job. But credit where credit is due. Maybe it will take criticism from one of their own to make some of these adolescent popinjays wake up to what an abomination this event truly is.