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Election TV: No Joke!

by Thomas Hart

G21 Political Muckraker

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AUSTIN, TEXAS - Who are the people who most influence your average American on national politics? Is it Rather, Kopple, Brokaw, and Jennings? NO. How about public officials like Jesse "The Governor" Ventura, Ross Perot, Dianne Feinstein? NO. Okay, then maybe it's celebrities like Michael Jordan, Christina Aquilera, Paul Newman or The Rock? NO. The people who most influence the most American voters are comedians: Chris Rock, Bill Maher, Colin Quinn --- and most pre-eminently the late night TV talk show folks who combine the real and "fake" news. That's right, most Americans --- and surely most young Americans, get their political news from Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Dennis Miller and David Letterman.

I didn't come to this conclusion on my lonesome, ya'll. After the Fourth Annual Labor Day Cookout and Kegger down here in BubbaLand, Buford, Cleavis and me sortah came to this. We was sitting out on the concrete veranda, under Buford's newly-installed striped canopy he had stretched out from the side of his double-wide, knocking back a few long-necks and watching the moths and skeeters light up like Roman candles when they flitted into his Amazing BugWhacker (tm,) as advertised on TV.

We started jawin' about what most folks around the trailer park talk about as regards politics, young and old, and 99.44% of it came from late night TV.

Photo of Craig Kilborn.My own personal favorite is Craig Kilborn. That ole boy just cain't seem to stay outtah trouble. That's what I like about him, that sharp and ascerbic wit of his. You probably heard about Craigger's latest troubles. This time CBS had to come out --- for the umpteenth time since Craig took over the show --- and make a public apology about something Craigger did after the Republican National Convention. Craig Kilborn, during his "In The News" bit, put up a picture of The Shrub making his acceptance speech with a caption superimposed over it that said "Snipers Wanted."

I liked to bust a gut when I saw that! But not everybody thought it was funny or "in good taste."

I guess some of them blue-nose, thin-skinned school marms was still up after one o'clock that night, 'cause CBS got all sorts of hate mail and phone calls.

Just this last week, old Dave Letterman had Jesse "The Governor" on the show and went into a short riff about how Al Bore's now-famous French of Tipper at the Democratic National Convention was "pandering pure and simple" and how it never wouldah happened if Monica Lewinsky wasn't around. I call that straight-up callin' 'em like you see 'em, ya'll. Don't you, Sanitation Engineers?

The Punditocracy was all up in arms when they learned that lots of Americans, especially young Americans, get most of their political news from The Daily Show (Comedy Central,) MTV, and late night talk shows. Don't surprise me none! After all, CBS's David Letterman told ole George Dubya --- when baiting him to appear on the show --- "The road to the White House runs through me."

And if you judge by the Newsometer on most late night talk shows, ya'll, the Biggest Story of the last couplah weeks was the Smirking Shrub calling that there New Yawk Times reporter a "... mayor league asshole."

Leno was a little more discreet than most late night folks and said that the Dubya used "...well, folks, a word that rhymes with blast hole." Then he went "He-heheh," like he always does. Jay Leno has got to be the one comedian who gets more fun out of his own jokes than his audience does.

Last Tuesday night, ole Dave Letterman used that word "ass(insert network 'bleep')" on his danged show about 18 times. It cracked the danged studio audience up. He didn't even have to mention the name George W. Bush for people to get the danged joke.

Even the Teflon Princess, Chelsea Clinton, is now becoming fair game. Both Dave and Jay got on her this last week because she is dating A WHITE HOUSE INTERN. What did Dave-o crack? Something along the lines of now Hillary is about the only Clinton that ain't had one. Hardy-har-har!

And if you like political dirt the way I like political dirt, and I know you do, then the ONLY place to get the real skinny is from these folks.


Being the kindah nasty, low-life, muckraking, dumpster diver that I am, Sanitation Engineers, I'm just about salivating for the what's gonnah happen between George Dubya and David Letterman this Fall. Why do I say that?

Lemme give ya'll some background. Like he's done with a bunch of these mealy-mouth politicians, Hillary Clinton for example, Dave uses the clout of his 4 - 5 million viewers to badger them into making appearances on his show. He did that with ole George Dubya this pass summer.

Now here's what happened. Unlike most folks, Hillary, Jesse Venture, etc., the Smirking Shrub didn't agree to show up in the studio (where he wouldah actually have to talk to Dave for fifteen-twenty minutes) he imperiously granted to show up in a satellite feed for a couplah minutes. Okay, Dave-o went along with that.

BUT when Dave asks him: "'Compassionate conservatism, compassionate conservatism.' You're always throwing that out there to tell us who you are. But we don't get it. WHAT is compassionate conservatism?" the Shrub comes back with somethin' along these lines:

"Well that's when, after we give you that heart by-pass and you're laying there with your chest open, we decide to suture you back up so that you are able to get up from the operating table and go on with your life." (These ain't the Shrub's exact words ya'll, but danged close.)

Dubya looks surprised by the audience's shocked silence, and then some boos he got!!!

Get a clue! Whether you like Dave Letterman or not, A LOT of people in this here country did feel bad about the man havin' that heart attack this year and having to go under the knife. It's not a matter of George Dubya NOT THINKING. Like I said before, ya'll, there is no brain of any size to transmit thoughts to this ole boy's lips! If he didn't have speech-writers or cue cards he wouldn't have one guldurned thang to say!

Ya' see, ole Dave Letterman strikes me as a very competitive man with a thinly veiled mean-streak in him. I don't expect that he's gonnah forget that crack from the Shrub. I DO expect he's gonnah be exacting some Payback this Fall election season. You mark my words...

The Punditocracy, meanwhile, ain't talkin' about Chelsea, or assholes, or anythang important to your average person this week, though. Everythang with them is debates, debates, debates.

What they ain't gettin' is that most folks could give a rat's ass whether there is three "official" debates only, debates on "Larry King Live" or "Meet the Press" --- when's the last time you dragged your narrow ass outtah bed on a Sunday morning, pardner, after a hard Saturday night of partyin', to watch you some "Meet the Press?"

That's what I thought!

There's only one debate we talk about down here in the trailer park: Bore and Dubya squaring off on Letterman. That's where the rubber will hit the road.


Let's face it, ya'll: None of us IS reading any danged newspapers anymore. Sure don't wannah watch the news. Meanwhile, it's obvious to Tabloid Hart, listening to Jay Leno's monologues, that he's got fourteen - fifteen different folks who do nothin' but sit around all day reading newspapers and magazines for us, the Masters of Slack!


We got more important thangs to worry about --- like all the money they take out of our paychecks that WE PERSONALLY would like to have in our pockets to spend.

Until then, the best we can expect is enjoyin' the dish we can get on these High and Mighty assholes who want to run our lives.

SO REMEMBER: It will take more than a few tornadoes to blow away all of the trailer trash.


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