Friday, February 27, 2009

Foot in Mouth Disease

Courtney Haden of the Birmingham Weekly takes on Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, Richard Shelby, and Jim Bunning -- and their mistreatment by the eeeevil media -- with hilarious results.

On Larry:


...our own mayor told a doubtless rapt audience in a Monday night forum sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists that the public is manipulated by professional journalists. In The Birmingham News, Joseph Bryant quoted Larry Langford as saying, in a sentence that begs for diagramming, “The media has become a vehicle to sensationalizing things that didn’t need to be sensationalized.”

On Shelby:
That pesky media tried to derail another faithful public servant over the weekend. Patrick McCreless, a sensation-seeking newshound for The Cullman Times, inexplicably wound up with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby as his subject. Within the fast-paced political vortex of the All Steak restaurant in Cullman, where the senior senator was holding a community meeting, a local served up a softball by asking if there was any truth to the rumor that Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen of the United States. Shelby smacked it deep into the ear of the reporter, who heard him say, “Well, his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate.” The constitutional scholar also reminded the assemblage, “You have to be born in America to be president.”

McCreless, that troublemaking scribe, had the effrontery to quote the senator verbatim, apparently lacking the courtesy that causes most reporters to ignore anything Shelby says...

On Bunning:
Then there’s the case of another Senator, Jim Bunning, by name, notorious for shooting off his mouth the way Dick Cheney shoots faces. Back in ’04, he compared his opponent’s appearance to that of Saddam Hussein’s sons, and on another occasion complained that he’d been roughed up by “little green doctors pounding on my back.”

What these rants had in common is that nosy reporters heard the words and sensationalized them by publishing them in mass-circulation newspapers. It happened again last week at a Lincoln Day rally, when Bunning foretold the death of ailing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg...

Read the whole thing. It may make you despair for the country that these three ever got elected in the first place, but at least you'll get some good laughs too.