New Hampshire: The Greatest Generation
It's the day before the New Hampshire primaries, and the fourth estate turns its eye on its favorite subject -- itself. Howie Kurtz takes a nostalgic look at the days gone by: "And for the warhorses, who plied their trade in the days before cell phones and BlackBerrys, the state is awash in memories."
Cue Ken Burns-style pan -- to the tune of a muted, bluegrass rendition of "I Touch Myself" -- over sepia-toned photographs of a young Tom Brokaw doing a keg-stand with Bob Dole. . . Gwen Ifill and Joe Klein making snow angels. . . Walter Shapiro, in a voice-over choking with emotion, mutters that these days, there's "[a] lot fewer Olivetti typewriters and a lot less drinking in the morning."
Brokaw mops up a tear and his monologue turns to the differences between townspeople and the newsmen who come through on their quadrennial orgy of self-congratulation: The "average folks," he marvels, are "busy with their lives and not paying rapt attention" to the very important activities taking place right there amongst them. Brokaw sighs, then shrugs: "We're part of the fraternity. . . If we could give everyone our expense accounts and invite them to all our dinners -- and they wouldn't have to bag groceries all day or put gadgets on widgets -- hell, they'd probably be a lot more interested in politics as well."
Tim Russert reaches back to the distant past -- before television -- for the only analogy he finds worthy. "It reminds me of ancient Greece," the "Meet the Press" host says. "You go from town to town. People want to stop and talk. I ask them why are you here, why you like Governor Dean, and they tell you."
Well, this article reminds us a lot of ancient Greece as well, because it's a bunch of stodgy old fucks blowing each other. How does Kurtz keep his job? Wait. . . something about blowing someone. . .