Candidates and Editors, The descendents of Ananias

Well, lets see here. Somebody on the Telly is reading the same old depressing news. Turning on the TV these days is sort of the way Minnie Hoffbraur described getting ready to attend a Tom Dewey rally. Dewey was the guy who beat Truman in 1948, you know.

But anyhoo, Minnie came flouncing in and announced “I’m absolutely not prejudiced at all. I’m going to Saint Paul with a perfectly open and unbiased mind to listen to what I’m convinced is pure rubbish.”

Yessir, the guys who write the TV news claim to value the truth, timely told, very highly. But if that’s true, what we see and hear should be both new and truthful. But it’s not. News. Or the truth.

They are sort of like politicians. I remember when Joe Kiker went up to Washington one year to play tourist. Joe had been a House Page one summer and knew his way around – and he was showing his kids how things were done.

“Daddy,” asked his oldest daughter, pointing to a man standing on the dias of the House of Representatives. “Who is that man?”

“That is the chaplain of the House,” sez Joe.

“Does he pray for the members?” asked his son.

“No son, when he goes in the House and looks around and sees the Representatives sitting there, he prays for the country.”

Speaking of politicians, you know the guy who invented the Internet is running for prez again. That’s right, Saint Al Gore is making campaign noises. He was at a farming town in New Hampshire and he was working the crowd something fierce.

“Back home in Tennessee I was a practical farmer,” he bragged. “I plowed, harvested, milked the cows, and I did every thing around the farm. In fact, I’d like for someone to tell me one thing about a farm that I have not done.”

There was a dead silence for a moment, and then a voice from the back of the crowd sez “Have you ever laid uh egg?”

Shucks, I thought he laid an egg when he claimed to have invented the internet, but the media still loves him. But that Gore feller is like the old ward heeler I used to know, back in the Prendergast days.

Denny O’Conner was the name, and he was out voting the graveyards and canvassing the neighborhood. He was talking to Wally Dabbs one day, tryin’ to get his vote, and he invoked party loyalty.

“I ain’t no party man, Dennis,” sez Wally. “I allus vote for the best man.”

“And sure, how can ye be tellin’ who’s the best man till the votes be counted?” sez Denny.

You know, Gore can be windy when he wants to be. He was making a speech up in Chicago and he sez he’s speaking for posterity.

He had no more than said it when somebody in the crowd hollers “Yes and if you don’t be quick about it they will be here to hear you.”

Which reminds me of the time I was setting at a lunch counter up in Jackson, eating a piece of pie and listening to the late Clarion Ledger editor Purser Hewitt expound on something or another. One of his reporters came in and Purser wanted to know what Big Jim, Senator Eastland, had said.

“Nuttin'” sez the hapless reporter.

“Well, keep it down to a column,” sez Hewitt, going back to his conversation.

Speakin’ of editors, one time I was in the Jackpot, minding my own business, when the editor of the Kiowa weekly came in and set down by me. He had just started his blue plate when a candidate for legislature came in and tapped him on the shoulder.

“See here, you been printin’ lies about me and I can prove it. Now whadda ya goin’ to do about it?” sez the candidate.

“You have no reason to complain,” sez the editor, just as cool as a cucumber. “You would be in a mess if I printed the truth about you.”

Yessir, politicians sure are a lot like preachers.


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