To: News Media Part II
From: Your Advisor
Date: 16 January, 2006
RE: Alito is a Bore
First let me congratulate you on outing the truth about Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination hearings: They were a bore. That's what the president's hen-picked henchmen didn't want us to know. You called them on their game though and uncovered their cover-up. Truth prevailed. And isn't that what the 1 st amendment is really all about?
I can't name all of you; so let me cite Charles Isherwood of the New York Times for his tireless fact-finding and message of hope.
"As the audience shifted in its seats before the curtain rose on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, the pre-opening hype promised the kind of highly charged drama that all too rarely gives politics the galvanizing thrill of first-rate entertainment."
Isherwood reminds us here of what every civics class should teach and what all dictators forget. That liberal democracy is a blast. Or should be.
But then Isherwood lets us in on the hearing room chicanery that dumped water on our ideal, referring to " the fancy legal talk that poured endlessly from the mouths of senators. " And there it is, standing naked against the glare - fancy legal talk. Isherwood understands it doesn't take a legal scholar to know fancy legal talk has no place in a hearing about the Supreme Court.
And that's when Isherwood delivers the most sobering reality.
"The hearing never took on the pulse-racing quality of an old-fashioned courtroom drama, as one might have hoped."
The message: Once again, our government let us down.
Of course the "blame the media first" crowd will bray that stories like this, exposing the decaying dullardry of our government will discourage youth and encourage cynicism. Perhaps. But does the truth not oft sting? What the brayers ignore is the hope reporters like Isherwood also illuminate.
"All of which is not to suggest that the hearings were entirely devoid of engaging characters or moments of comedy and sentiment."
No. Isherwood does not deny those few moments of true hearing room inspiration. He readily points out for example, the open conflict over a letter between Senators Edward Kennedy and Arlen Specter. Also, he notes what children will doubtlessly study for decades forth - the crying departure of Alito's wife.
Hope lives! Amid the darkness of dull procedure was the sparkle of what makes the U.S. of A the world's envy: Amusement. Isherwood and reporters like him heard what politicians ignore - Our cry for leaders to show us the way. But first show us the way is fun.