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Last week at my local Mensa Club klatsch I mentioned that my high-energy college basketball coach, Al E. Oops, was in town for the “Rule 19 For Media?” conference at our local university.
I was shocked to learn that many in our club did not know I was an NCAA Seventh-Team All-Conference Honorable Mention in college, and still hold the record at my alma mater for most double-dribbles in a single game.
When I met Coach Al at the student center, I tried to shake his hand but he turned his back quickly and rammed his rear end into my diaphragm, pushing me against the wall, saying “Now, this is how you block out.”
“I know, Coach,” I blurted, gasping for breath. “I know.”
Coach Al turned to face me, assumed an aggressive crouch, and knocked the Starbutts Coffee cup from my hand.
“Man-to-man full-court press,” he said.
After Al took a time out, he and I walked to the historic Fatty Arbuckle Memorial Chapel on campus to check out the Rule 19 conference. The Chapel had been designated a “safe space” for students, so we crawled on our bellies for 20 feet under rusted barbed wire, then walked through a metal detector. A red laser dot appeared on Al’s chest. Looking up, I spotted a sniper in riot gear on the roof.
“Don’t move, Coach,” I whispered.
“Gotta move. Gotta hustle,” he said as he took off.
We hurried inside before the sniper could get off a shot. Coach Al spotted a couple of empty places in front and we raced to fill them, Coach Al setting a screen on once-chubby NBC (Nasty But Corrupt) personality Al Broker at the last minute, allowing me to slip into my seat unchecked. The moderator on stage, CBS (Constantly Broadcasting Scams) correspondent Lesley Leni Riefen Stahl, was explaining how Rule 19 worked in the US Senate to prevent offensive statements impugning the character, motives, or conduct of a fellow Senator.
“Former big band sing-along star Mitch Miller McConnell, now Senate Majority Leader,” Lesley said, “used Rule 19 to shut down Native-American MA Senator Elizabeth “Dances With Wolf Blitzer” Warren when she attempted to read a letter from her fellow Cherokee, the late Coretta Scott King. Warren claimed the King letter was found in the Dred Scott Sea Scrolls in a cave outside Atlanta. It described how AL Senator Beauregard Sessions was a ‘scurrilous racist’ in the 19th Century.”
“We are here at this conference today,” Stahl continued, “to discuss whether we should adopt a Rule 19 for the media in the United States.”
“No way!” MSNBC host Rachel Maddog yelled from the audience. “Impugning the character, motives, and conduct of conservatives is what we do at the Mostly Sleazy Nasty But Corrupt network. Rule 19 would put us out of business.”
“She’s right,” CNN (Cynical Nattering Nabobs, Inc.) reporter Jim Accoster screamed at Lesley. “It would shut down our fake news! I have a question.”
“Please save it for the Q & A at the end of my presentation, Jim,” Lesley said.
“But it’s a really important question,” Accoster persisted.
“Wait your turn, please.”
“You must take my question now,” Accoster demanded.
“You have to. Take my question now. You’ve accused me of not wanting to wait. So, you have to take my question now. You can’t refuse to take my question. You have to take my question right now!”
Riefen Stahl gestured to a man in a police uniform in the wings. Lyin’ Brian Williams, former anchor and Special Forces veteran, now head of security for NBC News, directed his phalanx of newsperson guards to surround Accoster. On Lyin’s signal, they began to beat Accoster about the head with their padded microphones and notepads.
“Call on me,” the semi-conscious Accoster mumbled as Lyin’ Brian’s guards dragged him out of the auditorium. “Choose me. I’m important. It’s about me.”
“Is this what our profession has come to?” Stahl asked, shaking her head. “Are we self-centered prima donnas demanding attention while pushing a political agenda?”
“No,” CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Crapper bellowed. “We are smarter than everyone else. We know what’s best for this nation. And, we plan on giving this rapacious, colonialist, too-big-for-its-britches country exactly what it deserves—made-up, dishonest lies against Big D and conservatives!”
Media superstars in the audience preened and roared, glaring and shaking their pasty, ink-stained fists at Al E. Oops and me.
“Uh-oh,” Coach Al leaned over and whispered, “time to board the team bus.”Published in