Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Couple of Observations About State of the Union Pre-Coverage, and a Tomato Question


The news shows and morning shows are all describing the State of the Union with some variation on "most important speech of the Obama presidency" or "make or break for Obama." In all my life, I have never heard anyone in the media describe a State of the Union as "no big deal" or "one he can phone in."


And can anyone remember a State of the Union that was "make or break" that ended up "breaking"? Where a President limped out of the chamber to complete silence, or was pelted with tomatoes? Then slung a noose over a White House beam?
(The cliche of throwing tomatoes at a bad performer brings up a side issue, a question my hilarious friend Richard Samson always wondered: Why did audience members have tomatoes? Was it a custom back in the day to go to the theater with a bag of tomatoes and a bunch of flowers, so you could react accordingly? And if you went to someone's house and they served tomato soup, did you then know they'd gone to a great show last night? But I digress.)

Also, today and tomorrow every news channel will have panel after panel of conservatives & liberals, Republicans & Democrats to discuss the President's economic plan. Not one will have a panel of economists.

And not economist columnists (say that ten times fast, why don't'cha!). Listen, I respect and admire Paul Krugman -- we grew up in the same town, after all -- but there are other economists in the world. Or at least I assume so. If not, never mind.

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