Sorry to be late with today's post. Yesterday I was helping Mary (over her very sensible protests) pull some of her heavier boxes of teaching materials out of the closet, when I felt a sensation for which there is no non-obscene sound effect, as a disc popped out of my lumbar region and flew across the room like a watch spring. So I haz a pain, and am having to work in brief spurts of scowling, profanity-muttering productivity, but I expect to have something new up first thing tomorrow.
In the meantime: as I wandered around TBogg's place this weekend, reading about how Sweepstakes-winning former spermatozoon Luke Russert has managed to give nepotism a bad name even without the benefit of hemophilia or rickets, I was actually feeling slightly nostalgic for his dad. Then I looked up this piece in the Archive and realized that -- No. No, I'm really not.
So here's a flashback to June 7, 2006, when Tim Russert jokes weren't in poor taste:
Imagine if you will a network news program where the host believes that his obligation as a journalist is to place evil on the same footing as good (so that evil will stop complaining about how the media always favors good). Tonight on Media Twilight Zone, we will visit just such a program.
Yes, inspired by Ann Coulter’s recent appearance on NBC News (and many similar occurrences), we came up with this little eschatological drama, which is submitted for your approval.
Tim Russert: Thank you for joining us. Today on our panel we’re proud to have bestselling author and Constitutional expert Ann Coulter, and author and internet sensation Michelle Malkin. Our guest in studio this morning is Jesus Christ, leader of the Heavenly Host. Joining us by satellite is his opponent, Bob Satan, Chairman of the National Republican Committee for a New World Order, and author of the bestselling guide to conservative parenting, Fatherhood: of All Lies. He joins us from the Green Zone in Megiddo. Mr. Satan, thank you for being here.
Satan: Always a pleasure, Tim.
Russert: Mr. Satan, let’s start with you. Yesterday the New York Times reported that your forces burned a village to the ground, killing every man, woman and child, then made sausage from the victims' blood and threw a pancake breakfast. This has caused some on Capitol Hill to question whether we have a clear strategy for victory. How would you respond?
Satan: Tim, this is just the Left’s way of saying, fine, let’s just cut and run. We shouldn’t even be in Armageddon, we shouldn’t even be fighting a battle to bring about the end of the world.
Russert: So you think this story is mostly partisan.
Satan: Absolutely! Look, this is war. We’re fighting an enemy that is determined to utterly destroy us and rule for a thousand years. If these allegations turn out to be true, then we may have a few bad apples in the barrel. But 66.6% of our troops are doing a great job day after day, under incredibly difficult circumstances. And sometimes, in the stress of the moment, some of them may manufacture bloodwurst out of children. Can any of us honestly say that, given the same circumstances, we wouldn’t do the same thing?
Jesus: Yes! There are clear --
Satan: Well, look who’s casting the first stone.
Jesus: ...clear rules of engagement designed to prevent this kind of --
Russert: Mr. Christ, let him finish.
Satan: Look, the point is that there are lots of people who may have sincerely held beliefs about whether it’s appropriate to grind noncombatants into sausage, but I hardly think that Mr. Christ’s record entitles him to get holier than thou on the topic of children.
Jesus: That’s the most outrageous -–
Russert: I’m sorry, we’ve got to take a break, but we’ll let you finish that thought when we come back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK. FADE BACK UP ON MTP STUDIO, WHERE TIM RUSSERT IS STRIPPED TO THE WAIST AND SCOURGING HIMSELF WITH A NAIL-STUDDED LEATHER PLAIT).
Russert: Thanks again for joining us on Meet the Press. Now, I want to get back to Jesus Christ...
Jesus: Thank you, Tim. As I was --
Russert: What do you say to those people who claim you’re a pedophile?
Russert: I’d like to play a soundbite from — Jimmy, do we have that? I think it’s at Mark 10:14?
(JESUS ON MONITOR: “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.”)
Russert: Are those your words?
Jesus: Yes, but -–
Russert: Now there are some who say you were clearly defending the North American Man-Boy Love Association with that statement.
Satan: Tim -–
Jesus: No! Look, that was taken completely out of context!
Satan: Tim, the point is, liberals like Mr. Christ and the New York Times think we shouldn’t even be in Armageddon because we’re just there to defend Israel. That is a completely anti-Semitic attitude.
Russert: Mr. Christ, what do you say to accusations that you’re opposed to fighting a battle to bring about the end of all life on Earth because you’re an Anti-Semite?
Jesus: Well, first of all, I’d like to point out that I myself am Jewish...
Ann Coulter: Yeah! Just like George Soros. Another Jew who somehow figured out a way to avoid crucifixion.
Jesus: I was crucified! (DISPLAYS WOUNDS IN HANDS)
Michelle Malkin: Why don’t people ask him more specific questions about the nails in his hands and feet? There are legitimate questions about whether or not they were self-inflicted wounds.
Russert: What do you mean self-inflicted? Are you suggesting Mr. Christ crucified himself on purpose?
Michelle Malkin: Did you read the book by Barabbas and the Golgotha Veterans for Truth? Some of the thieves who were actually crucified have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds.
Jesus: I did not NAIL MYSELF to the cross!
Michelle Malkin: These are men who were there, and they were just tied to their crosses–
Russert: So you’re saying he maybe used a nail gun? That he did this for sympathy, or publicity -–?
Michelle Malkin: So there are doubts about whether or not it was nails or not. And I wish you would ask these questions of Jesus Christ instead of me.
Jesus: I would like a chance to respond -–
Russert: We’ve got to go to a break, but we’ll come right back to you, I promise. When we return on Meet the Press.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK. FADE BACK UP ON STUDIO. TIM IS DRINKING A CHALICE OF GOAT’S BLOOD AND LIGHTING A BLACK CANDLE).
Russert: We’re back with our guests, Bob Satan and Jesus Christ, and our panel Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Ann, I’d like to read you a statement by the Virgin Mary, Chairwoman of Mothers Against Armageddon...
Ann Coulter: Oh please. This broad is a millionaire, lionized on frescoes and in scripture about her, reveling in her status as a saint, and stalked by Madonna-parazzies. I have never seen a woman enjoying her son’s death so much.
Russert: Well, her statement — Jimmy, do we have --?
Ann Coulter: This is the left’s doctrine of infallibility. If they have a point to make about Armageddon, about how to fight the war on terrorism, how about sending in somebody we are allowed to respond to? No-No-No. We always have to respond to someone who lost her husband in the Apocalypse. Or some child of a soldier who died at Megiddo. Or some mother whose son died for our sins. God, I hate these bitches!
Jesus: I’d just like to -–
Satan: Tim, I’m an old-fashioned guy. I believe in mothers, and family, and I think marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman for the begetting and raising of Anti-Christs. But my opponent seems to have a more casual view of it, since he married a prostitute.
Jesus: I did not!
Satan: Have you read the book?
Jesus: That was a novel!
Satan: Do you deny this story was widely printed?
Jesus: It was fiction!
Satan: Oh, I see. So 50 million people who read that book are all wrong, and you’re right. Tim, you see, this is why the people in this country don’t trust the media. This is a perfect example of the insulated, inside-the-beltway attitude of establishment liberals who are out of touch with everyday Americans.
Jesus: It was a NOVEL!
Russert: Yes, but he raises a good point about credibility. You position yourself as the Prince of Peace — I’d just like to play a soundbite for you –
(JESUS ON MONITOR: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man?s enemies will be the members of his household.”)
Russert: Now there are some people who say that’s a very anti-family attitude.
Jesus: Look, you can’t just take Bible verses out of context and expect to -–
Russet: I’m afraid we’re out of time. Satan, I’ll give you the last word.
Satan: Well, Tim, you and your kind will perish, flayed alive then boiled in a cauldron of blood and urine until the meat falls from your bones, and your decayed and maggot-ridden flesh will be consumed by the Beast, and you will languish in torment in his belly for seven years, screaming all the while though you have no mouth –
Russert: Ha, ha! I’m afraid we’re going to have to end it there, just when things were getting good. Satan, always fun to have you on.