We often go to the Sunday evening Mass at our parish and we had just returned from it this evening when I got home, headed down to the family room and settled in to watch the remainder of the AFC Championship game. As I turned on the television, the game was going to halftime.
Good, I thought. After sitting through a few erectile dysfunction ads and maybe a few cinematic dysfunctional ads, I'd have a chance to listen to the assembled experts on the CBS panel tell me what happened in the first half. Sure enough, JB and the gang were there, but the portion of the broadcast dedicated to football went by in about 60 seconds. They didn't even let Bill Cowher, the former Steelers coach who presumably would have had something insightful to say about players he had coached, say a word. No, it wasn't important. They had to go to Katie Couric.
If you're of a certain age, you would know that if a sporting event is interrupted by a network anchor, it would usually mean some big news was afoot -- something like a plane crash, or maybe the Italian government falling for the 3rd time this month, or the unexpected death of some famous person (like maybe Mitch Miller, #1 in many dead pools these days). But no, this time it was to show footage of the big Inaugural shindig in Washington and for perky Katie to remind all of us football fans that famous celebrities are really, really excited about Barack Obama.
They were all there, standing out in front of the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the new Lincoln. Bruce Springsteen, longtime avatar of the working man whose last really good album came out 25 years ago, a faux populist who has grown into a tiresome bore in middle age, was dancing in front of the reflecting pool with guitar in hand. Standing next to Bruuuuuuuuuce was ol' Pete Seeger, who's been proudly spewing nonsense in folksong format for three generations now, clearly delighted that the first candidate he could really get behind since Henry Wallace was actually going to take power. There stood America's Everyman Tom Hanks, last seen reading out Mormons as being un-American for exercising their voting and free speech rights, standing with a crap-eating grin as the second and third chins he's recently installed waved in the breeze. Stevie Wonder just called to say he loves Barack, while Bono and the rest of his U2 bandmates were windmilling about as well (by the way, aren't those guys Irish?)
There were lots more: Jamie Foxx, Marisa Tomei, Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Rosario Dawson, Tiger Woods, Usher, Queen Latifah, George Lopez, Sheryl Crow, Forrest Whitaker, Ashley Judd, George Lucas, Samuel L. Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi, Beyonce, the Black Eyed Peas, the Green Eyed Monsters, the Mitch Miller Singers and probably some combination of Woody, Tyrone, Janet and/or Arlo Guthrie. You can see them all here if you're so inclined. Actually, I'm pretty sure that Mitch Miller wasn't there.
Ya know what? I'm glad these people are happy. Good for them. But frankly, I wanted to watch football. I know Obama is going to be president in two days. You'd have to be in a coma not to know that. And I'm guessing that I wasn't the only football fan who would have preferred to hear from Bill Cowher than from the cavalcade of bien pensants preening on the Mall. Maybe someone at CBS will see fit to let Cowher speak on Tuesday.
For what's it's worth, Barack Obama is probably ill-served by all the adulation and the free-flowing comparisons to Abraham Lincoln that have been flowing through the media coverage in recent days. Powerline's Paul Mirengoff makes the point quite nicely:
It's not really in Obama's interests to be compared, before he even takes office, to our greatest president. A lower bar would suit him better. Accordingly, the extra increment of MSM praise we're witnessing this time around probably stems more from childishness than from partisanship. And to the extent that Obama has encouraged the Lincoln comparison, he probably has done so more out of egomania than political self-interest.
Just so. Let's hold off on the comparisons until the guy actually takes office and does something.