No News is Weird News

Weekends are a strange time in the news business. The places that make news are on break and the people who consume news are out doing something more useful - like screaming at soccer coaches or engaging in road rage incidents. It's the time when newsmakers like to float hopeful test balloons and let the less hopeful ones sink as if they were lead filled. It's also the time when the odd news comes out - the stuff that would never make it on a weekday when real news is happening.

A few cases in point:

Rumsfeld Also Plays Hardball on Squash Courts - The New York Times gives us this in-depth and biting profile of Donald Rumsfeld's squash prowess. Apparently, the Defense Secretary doesn't play by the rules - literally - and the folks interviewed for the story seem to relish pointing that out.

The NYT-wits use the story to draw parallels between his squash game and his mental stability.

"The almost-daily matches, Mr. Rumsfeld acknowledged last year, have helped preserve his 'sanity' in a period in which he and the administration have come under increasing political attack. Yet even the squash court is no longer the refuge it once was. Rumsfeld packed his squash racket for an August trip to Alaska but never played a game, even though aides reserved courts at two stops. On the last day of the trip, he delivered his most cantankerous speech in months, likening criticism of the Iraq war to appeasement of the Nazis before World War II, " the article says.

Yeah, I can see how missing a few games of squash would drive a person around the bend. Maybe The Donald could help himself out with an event commensurate with his personality. May I suggest The Donald Rumsfeld Invitational Squash Tournament and Nazi Appeaser Regatta.

The Smell of Hell: Does Satan Reek of Rotten Eggs? - In this Weekend Update-Style story, Slate magazine uses Hugo Chavez's speech at the UN to ponder the question of whether the anti-Christ really does smell like sulfur.

The well-researched and surprisingly academic story ends with, "The idea that Satan had a strong odor is consistent with ancient attitudes about smells. A connection between sweet, dry smells and the divine goes back to the Greek epics, and it shows up in precise terms in the Old Testament: The Lord tells Moses to prepare an anointing oil 'blended as by the perfumer' consisting of liquid myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, and olive oil. Rotten-smelling gases like hydrogen sulfide would have been associated with moral corruption."

And so there you have the whole story of why El Diablo George stinks. He just can't help but not because of his association with moral corruption. We hear the Big Dick smells like old farts, but some just say that he is one.

The World's Gayest Flags - Over at Radar magazine, they ponder the idea of the world's "gayest flags. In a solid lede, the story begins, "After Congress' latest attempt to pass an amendment banning flag desecration was shot down this summer by a single Senate vote, Republican Orrin Hatch vowed to try again in 2007: 'For protecting the Stars and Stripes,' he sputtered, 'I will not give up!' What would it take to make such a man stop scheming to deny us our right to burn flags? Hmm. Something tells us Hatch wouldn't be so keen to 'protect' our flag if it were more flamboyant ... more suggestive of steamy man-on-man action ... more intrigued by the novels of Armistead Maupin. If it were, in short, more like these eight arguably queer flags."

The List of Eight sound a lot like the countries involved in the Coalition of the Inept. Poland's not there, but Belize, Christmas Island, and the Isle of Man - and yes, they do get the joke in the name of that small isle, "Some flags are subtly gay. This one, on the other hand, clearly depicts two medieval knights who have somehow merged their bodies into a three-legged freak-thing during the heat of passion. A well-known slut, the Isle of Man's flag seems to be saying to the other pennants of the world: I dare you not to stare at my bulging, tripartite crotch."

And just in case you're interested, this story is a sequel to a previous article - The World's Gayest Logos.

So you see, weekends are for screwing around regardless of the business you're in - even if you are a member of the Fourth Estate. We like to think of those minions of media toiling away on the weekends in echoingly empty newsrooms while the Big Guns like Katie and Brian are lounging by the pool. As comparative low-wage pawns in the media game, they can afford to make fun of the world because no one is really paying attention.

At least until Monday.

When the Big Guns come back to work.

And the Bad News Bears start to growl anew.

Bring it On!

The Poobah also appears at Bring it On!

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, September 23, 2006

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