Was This Rubio’s Fatal Sip?

marco-rubio-drinking-waterDid Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a likely Republican contender for president in 2016, destroy his political career by taking a sip of water on national television? CNN and some of the other slavishly Democratic-liberal news outlets seem to think so – or at least hope so.

Rubio was giving a speech rebutting President Obama’s State of the Union message the other night, and as public speakers often do, he decided to wet his whistle. His fatal error, it appears, was to have placed his water bottle out of reach, rather than in front of him, as is customary. So he had to cross the screen to reach his bottle and take a swig.

I’m not exactly sure why, but the news commentators are calling this a “bungle.” Will potential voters in the next presidential election ever be able to take Rubio seriously, now that he has revealed that he gets thirsty and drinks water?  Worst of all, did he demonstrate an inability to plan ahead?

Obviously he did, so how can we even consider him for President?

If the time comes when Rubio, sitting in the situation room, has to launch a nuclear attack against one of our enemies – say, Israel – will he forget to bring the  military aide with the codes into the room with him?

This reminds me of how the media managed to turn the fact that the Mormon Mitt Romney was a teetotaler into a black mark against him. Who would want a president who wasn’t manly enough to throw back a drink or two with his buddies? To be certain that all bases were covered, it also was suggested that Romney’s claims of being a non-drinker may have been bogus. We all know Mormons who don’t take their church’s anti-drinking mandate seriously, so why should we believe Romney’s declarations of purity?

Clearly, Rubio has a few things to learn before he can be considered for the Top Spot. First of all, no more water. Gordon’s gin, perhaps, to win over East Coast limousine liberals, or some moonshine to solidify his party’s grip on voters  in the Ozark states.

There are nearly four years left before the next presidential election, so I am hoping that Rubio will learn what it takes to be President of the United States in the modern era. What we used to think of as the mainstream in this country is the mainstream no longer. If Rubio wants to bond with the American majority, here are some things he will have to do.

1.)Cheat on his wife with a man, then marry him.

2.)Hire an underage female intern to help out in his senatorial office, and engage in oral sex with her.

3.)Dispense with the water bottle when he is on the podium and replace it with a mirror covered with half a dozen lines of cocaine. Learn the street meaning of “smoke” and “blow,” both essential to any President’s vocabulary.

4.)Instead of hugging and patting on the back the politicians who introduce him to campaign crowds, take them in a firm embrace and give them a deep French kiss. This works best with men.

5.)Renounce his U.S. citizenship, establish residency in Mexico, then illegally cross the border into the United States and refuse to speak English. If anyone asks, say he was born in Hawaii.

6.)Cut a rap record, calling for the murder of police officers. Suggested title: “The Ballad of Christopher Dorner.”

7.)Make a well-publicized campaign visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic, and help the medical team carry out an abortion while the flashbulbs, among other things, pop.

8.)Declare that religion is a crock, that there is no God, and then show how he can prove it.

He may find it difficult to stomach some of these tactics, but they are his best chance of establishing an image that today’s American majority considers beyond reproach.

Enlisting in the War on Liberalism

Even back in the 1960s when I was in my 20s and a registered Democrat, I refused to call myself a liberal. To me, liberals were those of my fellow collegians who dodged the draft and pretended it was character and not cowardice that sent them north to Canada or those others who evaded service through deferments and medical fraud, but got to display their moral superiority by spitting on returning veterans.

Even that long ago, I couldn’t quite decide if it was their lack of spine or their hypocrisy that I found more reprehensible.

On top of everything else, it didn’t help that I hated their music, their movies, their fads, their lack of personal hygiene and their infantile slogans.

It never occurred to me that 50 years later, they and their goofy offspring would be America’s school teachers, professors, journalists, judges, union leaders and politicians, and that they’d still be mucking up the works.

On CNN, on New Year’s Eve, viewers got to watch Kathy Griffin ring in 2013 by repeatedly kissing Anderson Cooper’s crotch. Lest anyone think that Mr. Cooper was the innocent victim of a desperate aging comedienne, a few days later, he invited her to appear on his own show.

One of the things I hate the most about comics who depend on shock, as opposed to wit, be they Kathy Griffin or Lenny Bruce, isn’t that they’re simply not funny, but that if you suggest that they’d be well-advised to pursue vocational guidance, they and their slavish fans get to accuse you of prudery. And in our dippy world, it is often far less damaging to one’s reputation to be a known drug addict or pederast than to be called a square.

But anyone who thinks it’s funny to watch a woman in her 50s pretending to be engaging in oral sex with a gay man on television is the sort of knucklehead who probably relishes every second of the annual 24-hour retrospective devoted to the artistry of The Three Stooges.

I assume that if CNN’s ringing in of the New Year got large ratings anywhere, it was probably in San Francisco. That’s the place where the City Council only recently got around to banning public nudity, and did so based on the singular grounds that it wasn’t sanitary. Only in the modern Sodom would walking around without covering your anus and your genitals be equated with coughing without covering your mouth.

In the run-up to the Fiscal Cliff vote, Harry Reid accused John Boehner of running the House like a dictator. Kathy Griffin should pay heed because that’s the sort of material that most normal people think is hilarious. Imagine, the man who has spent four years refusing to allow his 99 colleagues to vote on a federal budget has the unmitigated gall to accuse the Speaker of the House of being high-handed. When it comes to pots calling kettles names, we haven’t seen anything like it since Hitler told Mussolini to lighten up.

Obama has vowed to make gun control a major part of his 2013 agenda. In fact, he promises to get to it just as soon as he shortens the length of fairways through presidential fiat.

I, myself, would suggest that colleges begin conducting classes in hypocrisy, starting with people who never show their faces in public without being protected by several heavily-armed men insisting that the rest of us not be trusted anywhere near guns. If attacking the Second Amendment was punishable in a court of law, every limousine liberal from Dianne Feinstein and Michael Bloomberg to Jamie Foxx and Sarah Jessica Parker, would be found guilty of overkill in the first degree.

Left-wingers are quick to blame guns, gun manufacturers and gun sellers, whenever a loony tune goes berserk and shoots up a mall, a school or a movie theater, but when a guy like William Spengler, after bludgeoning his grandmother to death, is free to murder two firemen 30 years down the road, I don’t ever hear them condemning those lawyers, judges and parole boards, who played a role in getting him released from prison. Is it possible the reason might be that lawyers, judges and members of parole boards, are, more often than not, liberals like themselves?

Until reading Bernie Goldberg’s column on the subject, I had been unaware that Al Gore and his business partners not only refused to sell their failing TV network, Current, to Glenn Beck, but then turned around and sold it to Al Jazeera, the Arab TV network owned by the government of Qatar. Not only does the deal make one question Gore’s bona fides as a dedicated foe of carbon emissions, but it shows that in his heart he holds oil sheiks in higher regard than American conservatives.

Still, it turns out that there was one line in the oil-soaked sand that Gore refused to cross. He absolutely insisted that the deal be consummated prior to taxes rising from 36% to 39.6% on the top two percent of wealthy Americans.

But is anyone terribly surprised that when the world’s biggest gasbag insisted that it was imperative that taxes be raised on the stinking swine that had the effrontery to be rich, he meant all the pigs in the sty except those who happened to be named Al Gore?

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

I Would Have Fired Him Before He Got Back to the Office

It’s one thing when some jerk heckles the President of the United States at a rally on the campaign trail. But when the jerk is a journalist and the heckling takes place in the Rose Garden at the White House, well, that’s another matter altogether.

As you probably know by now, the other day Neil Munro a reporter from the Website Daily Caller decided to interrupt the president with an accusatory question during the president’s remarks about a change in immigration policy.

“Why’d you favor foreigners over Americans?” Munro shouted. To which the president replied: “Excuse me, sir, but it’s not time for questions.”

“Are you going to take questions?” Munro asked.

“Not while I’m speaking.” Obama said.

In the big scheme of things, this is not a big deal.  Jerks, after all, will be jerks.

What bothers me, though, is the response from Tucker Carlson who runs the Daily Caller — and what it represents.

“This is what reporters are supposed to do,” he told the Huffington Post. “They’re supposed to get their questions answered.”

Not while the president is in the middle of a speech, Tucker!

Carlson’s Website tweeted this:  “We are very proud of, @NeilMunroDC for doing his job.”

And Matt Lewis, a Daily Caller contributor and frequent cable TV guest, said this to Howard Kurtz on CNN:  “There was going to be no question and answer [after the president’s remarks]. This was the only chance he had to ask a question. The press corps should be a little bit less deferential to authority and a little more aggressive.”

“He had no business interrupting the president,” Kurtz correctly pointed out. “This is not a question of being deferential. … Come on.”

“Where in the Constitution does it say that you can’t ask questions?” Lewis asked, getting a tad annoyed. “This is protocol and it’s etiquette, but it’s not constitutional. He did the right thing.”

What makes this little dopey episode troubling is that it’s a pretty good example of how conservatives can be just as annoyingly foolish as liberals.  When a reporter threw his shoe at President Bush in Iraq, there were more than a few liberals who thought it was funny.  That this Iraqi showed such blatant disrespect for the President of the United States — their president — didn’t matter.  They despised President Bush, so they chuckled.

Now we have Tucker Carlson and Matt Lewis, two bright guys who ought to know better, defending this stunt.  Instead of giving Munro a gold star, Carlson should have fired his reporter before he even got back to the office.  Lewis should be embarrassed for justifying the rudeness by saying “it’s not constitutional.”  A lot of things aren’t unconstitutional, but they’re still wrong.  A third grader can figure that out.

This tells us a lot about how polarized we’ve become.  Some on the Right feel they have to defend their own no matter what.  If liberals are against it, conservatives are for it. And some on the Left wouldn’t acknowledge that a conservative is right if he said the sun rises in the east. The worst sin of all these days, I guess, is giving ammunition to the enemy.  Or giving the impression that you are.

The reporter, Neil Munro, didn’t humiliate the president.  But Munro, Carlson and Lewis humiliated themselves.  And so did anyone else who hates President Obama so much that they think that rude, arrogant reporter did the right thing.

CNN’s Failed Piers Morgan Experiment

In September of 2010, CNN announced that British television personality, Piers Morgan would be taking over the retiring Larry King’s television spot. King was winding down his long and prestigious broadcast career on a bit of a low note at CNN. His ratings had declined significantly in a time-slot that pitted him up against fiery, ideologically-driven programs on the other cable news networks. The evolution of the genre had left King behind. His mundane and incurious interview style still attracted A-list guests but it no longer attracted viewership.

The decision to bring Piers Morgan aboard demonstrated a conscious effort by CNN to try and catch the wave of fast-paced, often combative programming that the competition was enjoying success with. American audiences had become familiar with the crass Brit from his role as a judge on the reality television series, America’s Got Talent. The show let him promote a blunt-speaking, pretentious persona that mirrored that of American Idol’s Simon Cowell. The clear hope was that Morgan would bring with him a cross-over audience.

Piers Morgan Tonight kept the same interview format that King had used but the CNN marketing department was quick to point out how Morgan’s blazing personality and verbal brazenness would essentially cast him as the anti-King. Words like “unpredictable”, “lively”, and “challenging” were used in advertisements for the show with an animation of a smug Morgan crossing his arms and exuding confidence from every pore.

Things didn’t go exactly as CNN had hoped they would.

Less than a year and a half after the debut of Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN’s prime-time line-up just delivered its lowest rated month in two years. Morgan is earning roughly a third of the viewership that his predecessor Larry King was bringing in toward the end of his run, and Hannity, which airs at the same time on the FOX News Channel, routinely more than quadruples Morgan’s ratings. Even FOX News’ 3am show, Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, consistently attracts a larger audience than Morgan.

The Piers Morgan Experiment has clearly failed, and it’s just a matter of time before CNN is forced to go back to the drawing board. When they do, I hope they learn from what went wrong. In case they have some trouble figuring it out, maybe I can be of a little help…

In preserving the sit-down, one-on-one interview format, Morgan’s producers should have known that viewers might actually want to hear what guests on the other side of the table have to say. Instead, the standard configuration of the show has been for Morgan to ask a provocative question to his guest, then eagerly interrupt them half way through the first sentence of their answer to explain how he, himself feels about the topic. I can only guess that the justification for the irritating practice was a page borrowed from Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No Spin’ playbook, but guests on Morgan’s show typically aren’t spinning or even debating the host. They’re just trying to complete a thought… and he rarely lets them.

The result is a guest-oriented show that’s all about the host. Thus, when viewers tune in to listen to the advertised guest, they instead are subjected to the imposing personal views of someone they don’t find particularly interesting or thought-provoking.  Let’s face it… Even as sharp-tongued as Morgan is, he’s essentially a run of the mill, lockstep liberal who rarely offers any unique insight. There’s already an abundance of cable news personalities who parrot DNC talking points under the guise of moral responsibility. The market’s saturated with them.

CNN clearly felt that Piers Morgan would bring something unique to their network… an edginess factor that they believed they were lacking. It always amuses me what the liberal media considers to be edgy. To them, edginess is the presentation of liberal viewpoints in a louder, more brazen manner than audiences are used to. They think Bill Maher is edgy. They think Joy Behar is edgy. Real edginess would be doing something outside of their own ideological comfort zone.

Imagine if CNN had the guts to fill that time spot with a show hosted by a fresh-faced conservative thinker like a Michele Malkin or even a Mary Katharine Ham – someone they could build a new audience off of. THAT would be an edgy move, but I’m certain CNN would simply laugh off such a notion, even at a time when they’ve got nothing left to lose. In addition to their prime time ratings being at a two year low, their network as a whole is suffering from its lowest overall viewership in ten years.

The one thing CNN has going for them is that they haven’t permanently tarnished their brand with the same broad stroke of hardcore, left-wing activism that MSNBC has. They’re very much a part of the liberal media, but they also have a chance to show potential viewers that they’re willing to offer up something different. For their own sake, they should consider doing that… and fast!

The Dumbest Media Question I’ve Ever Heard

You know the expression, “You can’t make this stuff up”?  Well, over the weekend CNN gave us just such a moment — an example of bias so blatant and so unprofessional that when I first heard it I thought I was watching a Saturday Night Live comedy routine.

It happened at a news conference in Honolulu, at the end of the APEC summit. CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian brought up the weekend GOP debate and told the president that several candidates said in their view waterboarding is not torture.  “I’m wondering,” Lothian asked the president, “if you think they’re uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible.”

(I suspect many of you reading this will think I made that up.  Click here and see it for yourself.)

I actually laughed when I heard the question.  Bias is usually much more subtle, and not nearly as funny.  The president just stood there, silent, for a few seconds.  Even he seemed stunned at the unvarnished bias of the question.  I got the impression he wanted to say, “Come on, man.  I know you guys love me – and for good reason – but this is downright embarrassing.”  Instead, he smiled and asked if it was a multiple- choice question – then said he thought the Republicans were wrong, that waterboarding is torture.  Fine.

My sources tell me that these are a few more questions Dan Lothian may ask the president as the campaign heats up:

“Mr. President, Dan Lothian here from CNN.  First I want you to know that we all love you at CNN and think Republicans are Nazis.  Now to my question:  Do you agree that they’re Nazis or do you think they’re simply morons?”

“Mr. President, should Herman Cain be executed for raping those women?”

“B.  I hope you don’t mind Barack if I simply call you B, my main man.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  Should he even be allowed to run for president, especially given the fact that he has 19 wives?  And if he wins, should he be allowed to serve?  I would say, no, B Man.  You agree, right?”

“Good morning, Mr. President.  Here’s some coffee and cupcakes I brought to the press conference for you.  Question:  We took a vote at CNN and decided that the U.S. government should put your face up there on Mt. Rushmore with those other guys who were president.   Are those who oppose this great idea uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?”

You think someone at CNN will take Mr. Lothian aside and say, “Honest reporters don’t do what you did, so don’t do it anymore!”  Neither do I.