Saturday, December 03, 2005

What Goes on In the Green Room, Stays In the Green Room


Howard Dean: "Who's Bad, E.J.?" EJ Dione: "(Disintrested) You're Bad, Howard." "And don't you ever forget it, homeslice" (image via Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

Like Vegas, only with a less attractive and decidedly less-tanned cast of revolving characters, what goes on inside the network and cable green room stays among ... the talking heads. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

But if those walls could talk! There are so many things we'd like to know, like: Are there, like, high class escorts in DC -- there has to be, right? -- and, if there are: Who frequents them?

Also: Who is the stupidest person in Washington (We hear: Rick Santorum)? Does Chuck Rangel still wear a man-girdle? (Averted Gaze) Is Rahm Emanuel as brusque, impatient and as arrogant as he is appears? Does Campbell Brown "party"? Does Wolf Blitzer toss so many fucking softball questions on Late Edition that he should be named "Wolf Pitcher"?

But we digress. (The Corsair smiles sweetly like a Venetian schoolboy) According to the Old Gray Lady:

"In an earlier, less polarized era - in the days when senators in opposing parties played poker, when partisan fund-raising had not yet become a blood sport - the camaraderie inside green rooms might not have been so noteworthy. But as the tenor in Washington has grown more rancorous over the last decade, bipartisan socializing has dwindled. With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and the White House, there are ever fewer reasons for the two sides to exchange views, or even pleasantries.

"... There are known green room talkers, chief among them Charlie Cook, the political analyst, who never lets a fellow guest escape without a nugget of political wisdom, and Haley Barbour, the boisterous Republican governor of Mississippi, who has been on the talk show circuit for years.

"There are brooding, silent types (Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat, among them) who study a newspaper or focus on their BlackBerries rather than shaking hands, sometimes ignoring their fellow guests until stepping onto the set. Patrick J. Buchanan, the conservative who earned his chops under Richard Nixon, is known for his unexpectedly sweet demeanor behind the scenes; his wife, Shelley, always waits for him in the green room while he is on the air.

"Frequent guests develop their own tactics. One Democratic strategist, granted anonymity because he did not want to alert his rivals to his cunning ways, said he often shares a false preview of his on-air arguments with the makeup artist - loudly - in order to throw eavesdropping guests off course."

Is that last James Carville? "Loudly," you know; "cunning ways" was the lagniappe (Averted Gaze).

Enquiring minds want to know, though. (SundayStyles)

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