A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hail to the Journalists!

As I write this, it appears that Hillary Clinton has survived another round of close primary votes. Earlier this week, the media were placing her in the “do or die” category of politics. The prevailing wisdom was that her quest for the Oval Office would be over if she didn’t take at least Texas and/or Ohio. Now, the results have been counted and she took both states with room to spare.

This is all the more impressive when you consider that Hillary is not very well liked and hasn’t been popular with many people for years. Part of her problem is her assertive – some would use the word “aggressive” - personality in the world of national politics. Unfortunately she won’t escape this accusation; necessity sometimes calls for a woman to act in an unfeminine manner if she expects to make it in the male world. This isn’t always fair, but this is the way it is.

With all this in her background, you would think that the Clinton campaign might try to soften her image by treating certain segments of the population with some tender loving care, if not downright dignity. The one segment I have in mind for this treatment is the journalists following her campaign. As the messengers between her and the voters, they play an important role in not only getting her message across, but also communicating the message in a friendly manner.

In this respect, the Clinton press corps met a challenge in the days leading up to the Texas primary. The ladies and gentlemen of the press had to endure working in – what the Clinton campaign claims it was told – an empty locker room. The room was actually a men’s rest room complete with urinals mounted on the walls.

Of all the indignity! Naturally, this is not quite as bad as Ernie Pyle dodging Japanese bullets in the Pacific theatre, or Edward R. Murrow side-stepping the Nazi Blitzkrieg in World War II London, or the CNN news crew using a hotel table for protection while Baghdad was bombed during the first Iraq invasion.

I’m happy to report that the press corps faced this problem head on and persevered. They set their desks up in front of the urinals without so much as a second thought. They toiled on their dispatches with the toilets flushing and running. They researched notes, compiled statistics, and checked their sources even with the sound of piss hitting urinal cakes nearby. You have to admire people who can work in such a peculiar environment with all the wondrous sights, sounds, and flatulent smells of a men’s restroom.

This was, by no means, any normal newsroom. In a normal newsroom, you might hear such expressions as “Copy, boy,” or “I’ll confirm that quote with my source,” or “Britney did what?” In this situation, you would be more likely to hear this: “Excuse me, Miss Thomas, could you please leave the press pool room for a moment? The Associated Press has to see a man about a horse, if you know what we mean!”

The Clinton campaign insisted that they weren’t sending a message when they put the press corps in the restroom. I can see that; mistakes will happen. None of this matters in the end, because the American media will survive no matter what nature and politicians put in their path. They will forever seek the truth for all of us. Nothing will stop them...unless, of course, the Associated Press has to make water. In that case, the pursuit of the truth may be delayed five minutes or so.


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