To try to come in like a lamb and go out like a lion, today Ana Marie Cox and I talk puppies, pedicures, Elvira, Bill Kristol, and the death of journalism. Do lions cry?
ANA MARIE: Good morning!
MEGAN: Hey there! How are you?
ANA MARIE: A little tie-tie and already tired of the fucking shoe story.
MEGAN: I am actually really impressed with Bush's reflexes. Like, for all those politicians that took cream pies to the faces, Bush was like, nuh-uh. In slow-mo, it's very Matrix-y.
ANA MARIE: I think this should put to rest the rumors that he's drinking again. You know what's really going to suck about this, right?
MEGAN: Other than everything?
ANA MARIE: Journalists no longer be allowed to wear shoes. We're living in a post 12/14 world. And in that world, shoes just aren't worth the risk.
MEGAN: Dude, no one is taking my shoes. I stop with the pedicures in, like, November. I can't afford otherwise.
ANA MARIE: I doubt if you're alone. Lynn Sweet does not seem like a regular pedicure girl.
MEGAN: Plus, not to be mean to the White House press corps, but I'm betting some of those dudes have some gnarly, smelly feet. I really think a room full of unshod reporters' stank feet is probably more of a risk to the President than a shoe.
ANA MARIE: (And I just want to note that I had to cycle through a few names before I got to a WH correspondent that might not get regular pedicures. But I suspect Jake Tapper does!) Yeah, see that is where we disagree! I think many WH correspondents take VERY good care of their tootsies. It's not like they're out there pounding the pavement. Very little reporting involved in covering the White House.
MEGAN: I don't know, it's not like Maureen Dowd is there and can go all Elvira, Mistress of the Dark on him. [Ed: For those with better taste in movies than me, Elvira dispatches the villain at the end with a stiletto to the forehead, killing him. ]
ANA MARIE: I had forgotten that Elvira had her own movie. Thanks. You will not be shocked to know that right now on Morning Joe Pat Buchanan is showing a rather... uhm... exhaustive knowledge of Nazi history. Seriously, though: Pat Buchanan showing up to out-Nazi-trivia Bryan Singer about his own Nazi movie.
MEGAN: Yeah, completely NOT surprised. At least I can blame my Hitler trivia knowledge on the fact that I was a German history minor.
ANA MARIE: FWIW, I sense that Pat, like the heroes of Valkyrie, thinks that Hitler totally ruined Nazism.
MEGAN: Is is strange that I'm surprised that Bryan Singer is kind of hot?
ANA MARIE: I'm a little surprised at how young he seems, but not that he's hot. Usual Suspects was, fuck, over a decade ago?
MEGAN: Directors are so rarely attractive, though.
ANA MARIE: I have not made enough of a study of that. But speaking of studying: Trying to make sense of this Kristol op-ed. Have you read?
MEGAN: I find it hard to read while his grinning pumpkin head stares at me. It's already hard enough to decipher.
ANA MARIE: He and Jim Webb should hire themselves out for Halloween.
MEGAN: Is there enough orange paint in the world for that?
ANA MARIE: I think he wants a bail out? Or he's knocking the GOP for something?
MEGAN: Actually, I am a little horrified that I'm agreeing with some of the things he's saying about Republicans. He's still a reflexive idiot about liberals.
ANA MARIE: He has been kind of an idiot about Republicans!
But despite the fact that the government is partly responsible for the Big Three’s problems, the right hasn’t really been stirred to enthusiastically promote a deregulatory agenda to help the auto companies. What excites it is mobilizing to oppose bailouts for unionized workers.
Last week, Senate Republicans picked a fight with the U.A.W. on union pay scales — despite the fact that it’s the legacy benefits for retirees, not pay for current workers, that’s really hurting Detroit, and despite the additional fact that, in any case, labor amounts to only about 10 percent of the cost of a car. But the Republicans were fighting Big Labor! They were standing firm against bailouts!
ANA MARIE: I'm not convinced he's always writing this column himself. Not that he's farming it out, but just engaging in automatic writing or something. Letting the spirits speak through him. And this spirit happens to be different than the "I HEART SARAH" one.
MEGAN: It's definitely written through his "all liberals are hypocritical" filter, though.
ANA MARIE: I think he's saying that they should do MORE to deregulate unions besides take on labor. Like, the problems of regulation go beyond unions. By saying that GOP shouldn't have gone after labor, he's NOT saying unions are good. And even though he likes the idea of the "car czar," isn't the car czar idea inherently anti-anti-regulation? My head hurts now. Let's move on
MEGAN: Well, I think he main point actually comes through at the end.
The bill would have allowed President Bush to name a car czar, who could have begun to force concessions from all sides. It also would have averted for now a collapse of the auto industry, and shifted difficult decisions to the Obama administration.
It's all about trying to make his Republican compatriots understand their role is to make Obama look bad.
ANA MARIE: AH! Ain't unity grand?
MEGAN: But let's talk cute: an Obama daughter-Chris Rock daughter playdate. That's a unity of cuteness.
ANA MARIE: But not BIDEN PUPPY CUTE!
MEGAN: Okay, the puppy is very cute, but: he used a breeder. Pound puppies, people, the nation is crying out for change.
ANA MARIE: And, seriously, who DOESN'T want a play date with Sasha and Malia. I mean, I want a playdate with them. I know, I would feel better about a rescue pup. BUT LOOK AT HIS EYES. The puppy's, not Biden's. Though I think that the national had a similar reaction when Obama picked Biden: "We would have preferred HRC BUT LOOK AT HIS EYES."
MEGAN: It is an extremely cute puppy, and the Biden granddaughters will, naturally, get to name him.
Originally, Brown said she was to bring two puppies to Biden, but Biden called and said he wanted to see all the dogs.
"He was very gracious," Brown said. "He hugged and kissed all of the shepherds."
There are also totally women in the world today wishing they were puppies.
ANA MARIE: I LOVE that detail.
MEGAN: Well, how do you not let puppies lick your face?
ANA MARIE: "He hugged and kissed all of the shepherds." Of course he did. That's the only part of the Vice President's job that Biden's not planning on eliminating.
MEGAN: I'm sure that's in the Constitution.
ANA MARIE: I am so glad I'm not in Chicago, btw. You can hear the chattering of teeth in the voices of reporters covering Blago/PEBO (PEBO = "President-Elect Barack Obama" I learned that very recently! Like, journo slang.)
MEGAN: I sort of love how more and more people are like, dude was craaaazzeee when he's obviously just sort of always been an asshole.
ANA MARIE: But you can't "plead asshole" in court.
MEGAN: Actually, I think that should be a legitimate defense. "But, Your Honor, I'm an asshole." I want to hear defendants say that, give 'em 30 days off their sentence or something.
ANA MARIE: I think that was Scooter Libby's first try.
MEGAN: Scooter left out the "stupid" part. Everyone already knows lawyers are assholes. That's the real meaning of "Esquire." Speaking of, I found Shep Smith's interview in Esquire kind of endearing but difficult to read in the absence of questions. Even writing that made me feel like I'd bought into something very bougie about writing.
ANA MARIE: Well it was like hearing one side of a phone conversation. A fascinating conversation! But still, a little disjointed. Maybe they're saving money by not printing the reporter's questions! Something that maybe places like the Tribune Co. and Newsweek should look into!
MEGAN: Less ink, less layoffs? Maybe they should look into this Internet thingie, where there's no ink and no layo... Oh, wait, never mind.
ANA MARIE: I was thinking more, like, how they don't have to pay extras in movies if they don't have lines. If you don't print the reporters' questions, you don't have to pay them.
MEGAN: Maybe we could just let all the people in the news write in the first person about what they're doing and just call it a day. The press is just like this unnecessary middleman in this day and age.
ANA MARIE: EXCEPT THEY'RE NOT, right? I was a conference last week and this guy from Google was all, "we hate it that the MSM is going under, because without them we're not going have quality information to index for people to search." So I was like, "You'll need to start hiring journalists then."
MEGAN: Oh, God, stop. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. Or crying so hard I'm laughing, I can't really tell.