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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

the great obfuscator

I rather rushed to judgment in my earlier posting about the Old Waffler's demise.

It hadn't sunk in how appallingly ill-timed the whole thing was: totally buggered up the weekend's TV and radio and, as far as I can see, we're in for more of this uncritical blubfest for many a moon to come.

Biggest joke about the media's efforts to dredge up something nice to say about that "venal and vicious man" is the way everyone trots out that rubbish about his so-called "humor", followed - needless to say - by examples of the complete opposite. No quicker distinction is there of the bogus and light-weight than the unwillingness or inability to handle gravitas. Humor has nothing to do with it, as Reagan proved at every turn. His was rather the knee-jerk reaction of simpering in the face of anything requiring gray matter or which might expose the foggy understanding of anything going on around him.

I know he died of some dreadful memory-eroding illness that reduces one to a terrible bore to those around around, but before I found out that Al'zheimer wasn't some sort of samizdat fedayeen edition of 'Private Eye', I always thought Reagan's demise would prompt me to come up with that comment on the announcement of the death of Prime Ministers Clement Attlee.

"How can they tell?" Another time, perhaps. That crinkly wrinkly look might have warded off awkward questions, but the man hisself was no laughing matter.

I side with Consortium in my dismal view of the "press corps’ stultifying version of recent American history, a superficiality richly on display in the media paeans to Reagan following his death."

Needless to say, the incomparable Christopher Hitchens nails it with his description of a straight question getting thru, catching the oily dissembler in a "rictus of senile fury ... I was looking at a cruel and stupid lizard."

But all is not wasted if we're to be treated to regular appearances of that modern-day Joan Bakewell, the delightful Norah O'Donnell. If anything good comes out of the reag'n'rrhea outpourings ahead, at least it be a decent batch of pics of our telegenic White House hottie.

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