Tuesday, May 1, 2007


There is this dumb show on MTV where a girl interviews 2 applicants for a date. The two prospects are hooked up somehow to a sort of lie detector device which is headquartered in a van where the interviewer’s friend or sister is watching the responses and relaying the feedback via a tiny earpiece, so the girl can choose the one who lies less. Or the one who lies more, if that suits her. So what I want to know is, why couldn’t they use this setup for the George Tenet interview on 6o Minutes? How come MTV has access to this equipment which they reserve for verifying really crucial information like whether or not the guy wears women’s underwear or sits down to pee? How come we poor schmucks at home have to rely on official press releases and pre-edited network talkshows for our confusing information? Not even a laugh or applause track to tip us off on audience response.

I’d like to study a frame of Tenet’s face at precisely the second he was asked whether anyone had actually died under the terrorist interrogation program. As I remember, for a split second it looked exactly like my old dog's when I’d ask ‘Did you do this?’ pointing to my chewed up leather boot…just before he’d duck his head under the sofa and whimper. It looked like my teenage son’s when I come home two hours early and he’s stashing bottles under his bed, pushing a half-naked girl into the closet, and strutting into the living room like some kind of glassy-eyed welcoming committee, tripping over the furniture.

For that matter, how come we don’t get to use this technology on our presidential candidates as they debate? It seems to me it would save us a lot of trouble if we knew exactly what they were lying about and to what degree. We get a terrorism-alert reading every day, weather reports, polls for just about everything from American Idol reject-popularity to economic confidence. So why won’t they give us this? Because it would spoil the fun?

The amazing thing is, at the end of the MTV show, some of the girls actually choose the liar. There’s a fine line…some of the boys are just insecure and don’t know how to answer. Like if a girl asks a guy if he’d like to have two women in bed… an innocent boy might answer ‘Sure’ because he wants the girl to think he is adventurous even though he’s terrified by this, and it shows up as a major lie. He may be lying because he wants the girl to like him, and she may figure this out, and like it. Similarly, a presidential hopeful may claim his first priority is universal healthcare. And the lie detector would catch him, but that might gain him some Republican swing empathy. It’s a political toss-up.

At least the MTV show has a winner. Not necessarily the one who lies least or most. Usually the cute one. The one with the big boobs, when the contestants are girls. Even though they can’t pronounce superficial and don’t know who the vice president is.

So maybe America has actually already picked the president. Last time it was the one that lied. Or the one that was so stupid he couldn’t even tell whether he was lying or not. He probably did have a little earpiece in and was being prompted. Sometimes he even laughed at his own comments, as though he were hearing them for the first time. And he couldn’t finish little aphorisms he began: bad reception. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense that he would attempt words he didn’t even know. Because he couldn’t pronounce ‘nuclear’. Which, as I recall, was what this whole absurd war was all about in the first place.

So what’s up, America? Have we spent all of our judgment energy on American Idol? The actual voting percentage in our primaries is embarrassing. And the percentage of informed voters is even more embarrassing. The Bush people leaned on this for two elections. And it’s not as though we have to write-in our vote, we lazy Americans, because in that case, the shorter name would have an edge. And there are all kinds of historic precedents—like the tall guy always wins. Last election the winner didn’t even win.

Remember the MTV campaign to ‘rock the vote’? They might have done a better job with George Tenet than 60 Minutes. In fact, maybe they should hook all the candidates up to their little machine in the van. Truth or Dare. I just asked my son the name of that show—it’s called ‘Exposed’. How about exposing the candidates before they're elected? Miss Americas have to parade in front of national television in their bathing suits. Last year' s winner had to step down because of her less-than-role-model behaviour. How come we don't hold our elected officials to the standards of pageant-winners? These guys are criminals. Our president is sentencing our troops to senseless and sometimes excruciating death because of what? His false pride? Stupidity?

Lawyers have to pass the Bar exam before they can practice. Doctors are supposed to be board-certified. They have rigorous training and years of practice. Is there an exam that qualifies you to be president? Apparently not. Apparently the fact that you can't name or pronounce the capital cities of the world doesn't disqualify you. The fact that you have never served in the military doesn't prevent you from becoming Commander-in-Chief of one of the world's largest armies. So let's distract ourselves with the next political competition while this guy, unlike the unseated Miss America, gets another 20 months. TWENTY. A perfect Miss America gets 12. Personally, I am sick and tired of sending a percentage of my hard-earned gig money to keep our poor boys in a useless war, to make sure these Washington fatcats drive around in their BMWs and fill them up with plenty of gas and oil. Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that George Tenet collects a salary from a university which accepted a 20 million dollar contribution from a Saudi Prince? What does he teach in this class? Ethics?

Is anyone out there?

1 comment:

Billy said...

Brilliant! Thank you...Billy