[Guest post by DRJ]
Jonah Goldberg has an excellent and delightfully sarcastic column on the recent CNN YouTube Republican debate. It’s well worth reading the whole thing but I’m linking it because of one section where Goldberg references the Bill Murray-Harold Ramis-John Candy movie Stripes:
“Just as revealing were the questioners who weren’t revealed to be plants. For the most part they were a motley crew of conservative caricatures. CNN’s typical “ordinary American” (translation: “scary Republican”) was a pale, gaunt, twenty-something white dude who looked like he’d spent the last year working in the sunless bunker he’d constructed out of his mom’s basement. Several of the videos were reminiscent of the sort of thing investigators discover while searching the home of slain white militiamen after a terrorist attack.
One of these young men was, literally, a bible thumper who demanded to know if the GOP candidates were as committed to “every word in this book” as he was. Another questioner took a brief break from the shooting range to ask about gun control. But he made it clear, as he cocked a shotgun thrown to him from off camera, that the candidates answers didn’t much matter because, he implied, they could have his gats when they pried them from his cold dead hands.
Another young man asked from the comfortable sovereignty of his dorm room what the Confederate Flag – which hung conspicuously behind him – meant to the men on the stage. Sadly, the guy who played “Psycho” in the movie Stripes was apparently unavailable to record a video. Still, it would have been nice if at least one of the candidates had seized on one of the numerous opportunities to say, “Lighten up, Francis.”
Because of Stripes, “Lighten up, Francis” is part of our family’s basic vocabulary along with a dozen other memorable quotes and some great character names. (Now you know I have average American taste in movies.)
On a more serious note, Goldberg’s advice to CNN is superb. Here’s my advice from an average American: CNN needs to get over itself and report the news, not make it.
Update: CNN claims it did a “basic internet search” on General Kerr. Everything I’ve read suggests an initial Google search in Kerr’s name referred to his role in the Clinton and Kerry committees. I wonder if CNN does internet searches only on its own website?