Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Washington Post Article

Tim Bob: Good morning, Professor Red!

Professor Red: Good morning, Tim Bob. It's good to see you again.

Tim Bob: Well, thanks for coming in this morning. I think it's time we finally got around to discussing that Washington Post article.

Professor Red: That's right. We haven't talked about that yet, have we.

Tim Bob: Not really. And I think it's particularly timely, in light of the post you added to your blog this morning.

Professor Red: Because? Oh, yes. I see what you mean.

Tim Bob: Let's talk first about your impressions. What was your reaction when you found out that the Washington Post was running an article about your blog?

Professor Red: Well, for starters, I was a bit astounded. I mean, the local paper down here hasn't even run a story on it, so I never would have guessed my blog would get national attention!

Tim Bob: Did you think the article was fair and impartial?

Professor Red: I think they did fairly well, considering they didn't interview me.

Tim Bob: Was that your choice or theirs?

Professor Red: Strictly speaking, I suppose it was my choice, because I don't post any real contact information on my blog.

Tim Bob: But they could have posted a comment on your blog, asking for that information.

Professor Red: It's very possible that they did. The thing is, everyone is always asking me for more information about who I am, and considering the nature of the blog, and the animosity it generates, I'm not eager to have that information out there. So they might have posted a comment months ago asking for my contact information, and I would have just ignored it.

Tim Bob: Understandable. So. What did they get right? What did they get wrong?

Professor Red: Well, their assessment that I was probably not a black man from Africa was spot on; I think they said they had a language and dialect specialist analyze my writing, and concluded that I was actually a middle aged white male from...which state was it?

Tim Bob: Georgia.

Professor Red: Right. So they really weren't so far off.

Tim Bob: Not far at all.

Professor Red: I think the thing that troubled me the most was the accusation that my blog was going to actually harm Obama's chances at being elected.

Tim Bob: And their rationale behind that was?

Professor Red: Their argument was that the people who read my blog don't realize that it's just a joke blog, and they actually take it quite seriously.

Tim Bob: I think the kinds of comments you get are a good indication that most people don't realize you're just having a bit of fun.

Professor Red: Right. The comments I get are quite troubling at times. So the Post article suggested that maybe people are looking at my blog and thinking to themselves "If this idiot is one of Obama's advisers, there's no way I'm going to vote for him!"

Tim Bob: And in fact, the Washington Post did a survey in which they polled black people to find out their opinions...

Professor Red: And even the black people were appalled by the kinds of things I was saying, and were leaning away from voting for Obama because of them.

Tim Bob: Amazing to think what power your little blog has, huh?

Professor Red: I know! I mean, I've always heard people talk about "king-makers" - it's kind of awe inspiring to realize that I could very well be a "king-unmaker"! Can you imagine, if I singlehandedly prevented Obama from being elected?

Tim Bob: But that's not what you want...

Professor Red: Oh no! I hold no animosity toward Obama - I've never even met the man. I just wanted to have some fun.

Tim Bob: Which leads us to your most recent post...

Professor Red: Exactly. In this post I start the process of distancing myself from the idea that I might actually be one of Obama's advisers. I'm not giving up on that joke, but I'm starting to drop a few hints that Obama really doesn't listen to me.

Tim Bob: In fact, your most recent post is a pretty good hint that Obama sees you as a bit of a crackpot he just "has to put up with".

Professor Red: Yes. So for those who get the fact that I'm kidding around, they still get the ongoing gag about me being an adviser to Obama, but for those who are clueless to the true nature of this blog, at least I'm not damaging Obama's chances by making it appear as though Obama actually listens to me!

Tim Bob: Well thanks for coming in, Professor Red. And just one last comment before we go. I really enjoyed your line about "moral" choices. I thought it was just priceless - the idea that choosing a black vs. white running mate was an issue of morality.

Professor Red: If that doesn't clue them in...what will?

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