So, in keeping with our occasional tradition, I thought we'd reprise a couple posts from the formative years of Wo'C.
I picked this first one because I miss the golden age of the Presidential Press Secretary. Remember Ron Ziegler ("This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative," and "If my answers sound confusing, I think they are confusing because the questions are confusing and the situation is confusing")? Good times, right? Nowadays, with no scandals to speak of except the manufactured outrage du jour, Obama can get by with a colorless non-entity like Jay Carney.
But there was a time, not so long ago, when the Press Secretary was called upon daily to defend the indefensible, and no one was more comically ill-equipped for that role that Bush spokesman Scott McClellan. Never a smooth bullshit artist like Tony Snow, or a cold-blooded sociopath like Ari Fleischer, who would leaven his lies with threats and innuendo, Scotty would sweat, stammer, pass the buck, or repeat the one, speechwriter-approved talking point he'd been handed until the words themselves seem to lose all meaning. Nowadays, to get that kind of squirmy comedy of public humiliation, you'd have to go back to the original British episodes of The Office.
Anyway, s.z. nicely captured Scotty's style in this kitchen sink drama, written back in Feburary, 2004:
Press Briefing TheaterStarring Jon Lovitz as Tommy Flannigan ... I mean, Scottie McClellan. (Yeah, that's the ticket!)
We join a Press Briefing already in progress:
Q: The Vice President, as late as January 2004, was still stating that they were weapons labs.
MR. McCLELLAN: There were a number of people who were still talking about that issue for quite some time.
Can This Marriage Be Saved?
A One Act Play
[Scott, a White House Press Secretary, comes home from work unexpectedly to find his wife having sex with another man.]
Scott: BettyLou! What is going on here? What are you doing naked, with my best friend Bob?
MaryLou: I'm sorry? What was your question exactly?
Scott: I want to know why you're having sex with another man.
MaryLou: Scott, marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. Bob is a man, and I'm a woman, and you weren't home, so I thought you'd be okay with it.
Scott: I'm not okay with it! You broke your marriage vows!
MaryLou: Scott, honey, just calm down. You know that I'm focused on the issue of marriage and feel that marriage should be protected, because it is an enduring institution in this country. So, we're in agreement, right? Now, what did you do with your paycheck -- I need to pay some bikini wax bills.
Scott: But, but, you promised to forsake all others, but now I find you sleeping with another man.
Mary Lou: I said that if necessary I would forsake all others. I don't think we ever determined if it has become necessary or not. But you just calm down, have a drink or something to pull yourself together, and then we can all discuss this like adults.
[10 minutes later. Scott returns to the bedroom to find Mary Lou and Bob at it again.]
Scott: Mary Lou! Bob! You. . .you gutter politicians! You trash rollers! Cheating on me in my own bed!
[MaryLou sighs, rolls her eyes, and appears vexed.]
MaryLou: This was addressed previously, Scott. I'm not going to continue to respond to something that was already dealt with. I think that, again, this goes to show that some are not interested in the facts of whether or not I am your wife, but are instead trying to invent issues for partisan political gain. So I've had enough of your outrageous and baseless accusations. The American people deserve better, and I'm focused on acting decisively to meet those challenges.
Scott: You can't change the subject this way! You betrayed me! And with my best friend too! Why shouldn't I get my gun and shoot you both right where you're lying?
MaryLou: At a time when we are confronting dangerous new threats, we have to focus on our highest priorities, which are combating terrorism and confronting the spread of weapons of mass destruction. From very early on in my administration as your wife, I made it a high priority to confront the dangerous new threats we face in this day and age. Let's have an honest discussion about the type of leadership people are providing to confront those threats. That's what the American people deserve.
Scott: What the hell are you talking about? Speak English for just once, woman!
MaryLou: I gave your gun away, Scott. No more gun. But I'm glad we were able to achieve a joint resolve to work together to strengthen this marriage, which is a sacred institution, and I look forward to four more years of marital happiness.
Scott: You bitch! Why should I stay married to you? You vowed to cleave only unto me, but you cleaved to Bob! Twice!
MaryLou: There's going to be plenty of time to talk about the choices we face and the statements people have made. Why don't you take the dog for a walk, and when you get back, I will show you undeniable proof that I've been faithful to you.
Scott: How could you do that?
MaryLou: Your wife certainly is someone who does what she says she is going to do and someone who means what she says. And I think that's reflected in the actions she takes.
Scott: Well, okay.
[He leaves with the dog, and comes back an hour later. MaryLou is now in bed with Scott's brother.]
Scott: You whore! Cheating on me with my own brother!
MaryLou: You're taking everything out of context. It is sad to see someone stoop to this level, to say anything or try to do anything for political gain. The American people deserve better.
Scott: Oh, just shut up, shut up! I thought you were going to show me proof that you had been faithful?
[MaryLou shows him a copy of her marriage certificate, and a calendar with some days checked off.]
MaryLou: There. The certificate is proof that I am your legal and lawful wife, and since marriage is an institution between one man and one woman, how could I be in this institution with anybody else? And those days I've checked on the calendar were days that I was having my period, and didn't feel like sleeping with anybody. So, that proves that I have honorably fulfilled my duties, and am a good and faithful wife. Now, could you give us some privacy? Thanks.
And here's one from me, circa late summer of 2003, when I was still just a correspondent for the show, and providing mostly movie reviews and fake news reports.
ANN COULTER'S BEAUTY SECRET
by Scott C., WO’C's Children of the Night Correspondent
When best-selling author Ann Coulter arrived at Charles Coughlin College in Lynchville, Illinois, Ceci Lawrence was shocked.
“She looked so different from her photos,” the 22-year old co-ed marveled. “She had these long, bony fingers, and her skin was all stretched and thin like rice paper, and I remember thinking during her speech: she looks like a talking kite.” It was then that Ceci and several of her sorority sisters resolved to do something for their distinguished visitor.
“We decided to have a blood drive,” Ceci said. “So that Ann could renew the unholy forces which animate her flesh by bathing in the blood of the innocent. She travels all the time and that’s got to play havoc with any sort of rigorous beauty regimen. And remember, the average human body only contains six quarts of blood, so you can imagine how many virgins it would take to fill up even one of those crappy little tubs at the Ramada Inn. I mean, come on, she can’t just keep dropping by Townhall.com and draining Ben Shapiro for a pint; he’s starting to look bleached.”
Finding a sufficient number of uncontaminated maidens, even on the campus of a conservative bible college, proved to be a chore. “Yeah,” observed Ceci. “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Ann is my role model.”
Ceci explained that she began college as a Speech Communications major. “I wanted to be on TV, so I was studying to be a spokesmodel. My dad wanted me to be a lawyer, but that was like way too much work, thank you very much. But then I saw Ann on Fox News, and realized that you could be a lawyer even if you didn’t practice law, or go to court, or know anything about the constitution. And even better, people would like. . .pay you to go on TV and say bitchy stuff about people! It’s like somebody saying, ‘Hey! Spreading rumors that all the smart girls are lesbians and then locking yourself in your dorm room and masturbating to Whittaker Chamber’s Witness is actually a job. We’ll pay you for that!’ My god! Having Fox News in your life is like having a rich boyfriend who’s too Episcopalian to demand a handjob! Anyway…The very next day I switched my major, and next year after I graduate, I hope to follow in Ann’s footsteps and attend the Barbizon School of Law.”
Asked if the arduous, daylong blood drive was worth it, Ceci was unequivocal. “Absolutely! For one thing, Ann and I have become very friendly as a result. And for another, I’m pretty sure that if she’d gone one more day without blood she would have started killing my roommates.”
And how does Ann Coulter herself feel about this outpouring of admiration and blood? The blanched and hollow-eyed pundit flashed an enthusiastic thumbs-up as she lowered her emaciated carcass into a hip-bath brimming with virgin gore. “Ahh,” she said, splashing the ruddy, life-giving fluid over her bony chest, “This is the life. Or the undeath, anyway.”
Ann’s humble beginnings
Born in the Hungary in 1560 as Elizabeth Bathory, the conservative sensation changed her name to Countess Marya Zaleska upon first coming to the United States in 1936. She later opted for the more Anglo-sounding Ann Coulter because, in her words, “I wanted my very name to announce my patriotic devotion to America,” and because, “The FBI was closing in.”
Asked whether soaking in the blood of virgins might alienate the GOP’s fundamentalist Christian base, Coulter waved a bone-white hand and uttered a dismissive, “Pah!”
She added knowingly, “Look how enthusiastically the base has supported President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. To me, that’s a clear sign that the Heartland has given those of us in the upper echelons of society the go-ahead to live off the blood of our social inferiors. The way I like to think of it is: red states are red corpuscle states, brimming with life and vitality. While the blue states are blood cells depleted of oxygen, the same way the Democrat party is depleted of ideas and morality. If American values and ideals are to survive, we must confront our political opponents, rip out their throats with our sharp incisors, and feed upon the warm blood flowing from their ruptured arteries.”
As a tired Ceci poured the last bucketful of blood into her idol’s copper bath, she paused to reflect on the day’s labors. “I’ve learned more from Ann in one day than I think I’ve learned from all my professors over the past four years. I’ve learned that liberals are traitors who want to destroy the nuclear family. I’ve learned that plasma is an excellent humectant. And I’ve learned which girls are really virgins, and which are letting the snake into the garden, if you know what I mean, because if Ann bathes in the blood of an soiled woman, she starts to smoke and shriek like a banshee. It’s kind of like when you drop a piece of magnesium in water. Except for the shrieking.”
And thus, time has marched on. Hard to believe it's been nearly a decade of this crap, but Mary, Sheri and I would like to thank you guys for hanging in there with us for so long. Even Riley and Moondoggie wanted to make a special appearance to express their gratitude:
"Really? You've been sticking that camera in my face for nine years? Seems longer..."
"Oh no you don't! Just 'cause I'm a ginger doesn't mean I'm Lindsay Lohan -- you're not getting any up-skirt pictures of my junk, thankyouverymuch!"
And above all, thank you -- readers, lurkers, commenters, who've followed us from Salon, to our own ill-fated domain, and finally here to Blogspot, the Cabrini Green of the blogosphere. You guys are the reason World O' Crap still exists (I hope you can live with the guilt; I find misdirected anger and self-medication helps).
And as Crow T. Robot once so memorably said, "I hope we've touched you all with a little bit of our evilness."