Friday, January 23, 2004

Captain Kangaroo Is Dead and Dick Cheney Don't Feel So Good Either
Channel surfing at midday, I was stopped on Fox News when a reporter came on to announce that American WMD hunter David Kay resigned and said he'd found no weapons in Iraq because there aren't any. I half-expected the network to blow apart from cognitive dissonance, like that episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk convinces an all-powerful computer that it has to shut itself down because it has violated its own reason for being. Kay's announcement doesn't fit the Fox script at all, especially since Dick Cheney told a reporter just this week that he still believes WMDs will be found hidden in Iraq, and whatever the administration believes is what Fox believes. As of this post, more than three hours have gone by, so my guess is that the network will have found a way to discredit Kay by now and thus keep the propaganda ship upright.

Cheney has crossed the line into drooling gooberhood lately--not even Bush believes in WMDs as fervently as Cheney does, if the spectacularly convoluted "weapons-of-mass-destruction-related-program activities" from the State of the Union is any indication. Cheney recently repeated the claim of a Saddam-Al Qaeda link, citing a report that the administration itself discredited when it first appeared. But even if he's showing signs of senility, he's almost certainly on the ticket to stay. If he was replaced (by Ashcroft? Bill Frist? Rick Santorum?) for 2004, that person would become the automatic Repug heir apparent for 2008, and the Bush family wants to keep the chair warm for Jeb. So Cheney will stick, even if they have to hook him up to a car battery and crank him every morning.

Moment of Silence: The boomers lost another childhood friend today--Bob Keeshan, better known as kid-show host Captain Kangaroo, died at age 76. I was surprised he wasn't older--or maybe how young he was when he was hanging out in the Treasure House with Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, and Mr. Green Jeans (who was not, as the oft-repeated legend has it, Frank Zappa's father). As slow-paced and relentlessly un-hip as anything ever on TV, Captain Kangaroo was a regular part of my life on summer mornings and weekdays with no school (at our house, we never watched TV on school mornings back in the day). So tell a knock-knock joke in the Captain's memory, and watch the sky for ping-pong balls.

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