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BEYOND PARODY! A portrait of a Village soiree really deserves to be read: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2007

BEYOND PARODY: We have a new Funniest Celebrity in Washington; it’s Joseph Randazzo, an assistant editor for The Onion, who might be regarded as a bit of a ringer but was, for all that, extremely funny and original. That said, we were somewhat surprised by the outcome, given the way Senator Arlen Specter had rocked the hall. (Huge laughs.) The solon’s second-place finish is written up here. Specter describes his material as “clean, questionable and highly, highly questionable.” Examples are supplied.

Proceeds go to charity. Barney Frank, this contest’s original winner, was nice enough to show up again to accept a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

This event always throws off our bio-rhythms—plus we were forced to embarrass ourselves as the evening’s “professional comedian.” That said, an e-mailer has sent us this unfortunate post, and we think you ought to read it.

The item describes a D.C. soiree and—well, again, you just have to read it. We wish the hostess had been someone other than Margaret Carlson, who was a judge at last night’s event—and who is still getting beaten up for the intriguing remarks she made to Imus in October 2000. (Neal Gabler quoted her just this weekend. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/17/07.)Yes, we’re the ones who transcribed her remarks, and put them into play; we still regard it as the most revealing thing we’ve seen a journalist say in the nine-plus years of THE HOWLER. In some ways, Margaret was just telling Imus the truth that day, the very definition of a Washington “gaffe;” she was simply being open about things that everyone else disappears. That said, her remark will probably live on through the years, so perfectly did she define the press corps’ real interests: “fun,” “entertainment” and “sport.” (For our money, the most revealing part of her statement was the part which came after that.) This was the week after Bush and Gore’s first debate, when her cohort was changing world history.

But good lord—back to that e-mailed post! We thought we must be reading a parody when the author says that he was thrilled because “just about everyone was saying something that would be top paragraph in an Al Kamen column.” But it soon became clear that this post was done straight. And by the way, this is how your Washington swells spend their time of an evening:
NAME OF AUTHOR WITHHELD AS A COURTESY: Everyone went around the table and prognosticated on who would win the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations—and who their respective running mates would be.
The excitement only grew from there. We strongly suggest that you read this post, which shows you the Village at play. All right, we’ll offer you our take: The self-importance—and fatuity—are remarkable.

Our e-mailer used a naughty title: “[Name Withheld] holds a Raccoon lodge meeting.” What’s on the mind of your insider press corps? We’re not big believers in “good people” and “bad people;” in the end, we think we’re pretty much all the same. But as a portrait of the press corps’ heart and soul—well, you just should read it.

Note: The author of the post was hopped up on Advil. Maybe that explains it.

TOMORROW: Krugman and Tomasky