Education

PUSHING AL FRANKEN'S BUTTON

Throughout my life, I was blessed with teachers of the first water who oversaw my academic progress. Along the way, I developed a facility for the written word. I stress “written” because I sound like a blithering fool when I’m turned loose without a script in front of me. I naturally give latitude to people who are put on the spot with a microphone shoved in their turkey wattle.

“A tornado just ripped your house, your family and life apart. What is going through your mind right now?”

“Glghvbnbhmmph.”

Elected officeholders tend to be more gifted with extemporaneous abilities. Sure, we don’t expect much of what they say to be truthful, but if we don’t admire the substance of their utterances, at least we acknowledge their skills in English.

Lately, newly-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been pilloried by the media for lying to Senator Al Franken in response to a question about being in contact with anyone in the employ of Putin. When put on the spot, Sessions pulled out a big red “reset” button.

Just kidding. 

What Sessions should have done in response to a question posed by Franken is to knit his eyebrows in puzzlement and ask, “With all due respect, Senator, and one who made a living as a scriptwriter and performer on Saturday Night Live, what the hell are you talking about?”

Here is the question posed by the esteemed solon:

“CNN has just published a story and I’m telling you this about a story that has just been published, I’m not expecting you to know whether it’s true or not, but CNN just published a story, alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote ‘Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.’ These documents also allegedly say quote ‘there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.’ Again, I’m telling you this is just coming out so, you know . . . but, if it’s true it’s obviously extremely serious. And if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russians in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”

Confused? Don’t feel left out. Fortunately, as someone with experience in copy-editing for a newspaper and tutoring at the collegiate level, I have some skills in interpreting this. What the senator really wants to ask is: “Does Putin have any embarrassing emails about me?” Just kidding. I’m such a madcap!

Seriously, ignore the blather about CNN and operatives, and focus on the business about “anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign.” Then ask yourself, what kind of senator and a senior member of the Armed Services Committee would NOT have met with someone from Russia?


Patrick Hubbell - March 5, 2017

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