What follows is a column adducing still more evidence of the trivial nature of the contemporary American news media.
The other morning, I was lying in bed recovering from minor surgery, my body heaving off the residual effects of a powerful anesthetic, Propofal. Believe me; it is a powerful anesthetic. It thrust me into the utmost darkness for 40 minutes, according to my doctor. It could have been for eternity. I would have had no idea. I cannot imagine why people abuse such charmless drugs. Why not just pull the trigger as Hemingway pulled the trigger and enter the darkness forever with absolutely no more pain? Incidentally, Propofal is one of the substances Michael Jackson repaired to for sleep. If he found security in Propofal, his life must have been hell when he was awake.
Yet -- to return to Washington and my trivial media story -- the last aftereffects of Propofal were giving way as I read my doctor's strict instructions. For the remainder of the day, I was not to "drive a car ... use a hot stove ... use heavy machinery ... or make important decisions." As I read his enjoinder against making important decisions, the telephone rang. A media booker was at my ear inquiring as to whether I would accept the invitation of a well-known cable news show to talk about how the Republican Party was being affected by Obama critics who have been harassing Democratic politicians with claims that the president does not have a legitimate birth certificate and was born abroad, perhaps in Botswana or Upper Volta or Lapland. On his provenance, there is no unanimity among these critics.
Well, my doctor's instructions did counsel that I not "make important decisions," but how would that hinder me on a political talk show? As I saw it, I would be in perfect condition to answer the witty ripostes of cable news's talking heads, say Tucker Carlson or Jon Stewart. I agreed to do the afternoon show as long as I did not have to drive a car or use heavy machinery to get to the studio. Moreover, I had good news for the booker. Choosing me to discuss the president's national origins was an inspired choice. A crack reporter of mine at The American Spectator had investigated the matter when it was a hot rumor during the presidential election and found no empirical evidence in support of the story.