President Obama’s work week has been framed as “hilarious” in press accounts because his schedule includes a stop Tuesday night on NBC’s “Jimmy Fallon” and a starring role at the behemoth White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday opposite ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel, toastmaster and political roast master for the night.
Pundits postulate that the president seeks to reignite old hopey-changey sentiments in young voters by courting the hipster broadcasters. But then, this is tradition. Such things were invented by another Democrat two decades ago when one former President Bill Clinton played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone for late night man Arsenio Hall on June 3, 1992. That in mind, Lapham’s Quarterly, a magazine of “history and ideas,” has published the original memo from then Democratic strategist Mandy Grunwald that defined the genre, dated April 27 of that year.
She urged Mr. Clinton to appear on “pop-culture shows” for daring free publicity with NBC’s classic late night kings Johnny Carson, David Letterman — and even Rush Limbaugh.
“If Carson is booked, should Bill do Letterman? Arsenio? The new Jay Leno? All three? What about Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jesse Raphael? Who would allow a focus on his childhood/accomplishments, etc., without one thousand Gennifer Flowers questions? What about national radio programs? Rush Limbaugh? Theres a Don Imus in every market in America,” the enthusiastic Ms. Grunwald wrote.
“I understand that many people will say these kinds of things are ‘unpresidential.’ Bull. This is how people get information. These are forums for more personal and varied looks at Bill and Hillary and Chelsea,” she concluded.
HEF IN A HUFF
“If these zealots have their way, our hard-won sexual liberation — womens rights, reproductive rights and rights to privacy — lie in peril. We won’t let that happen. Welcome to the new sexual revolution.”
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in a full page editorial in the May issue of the magazine, criticizes the Republican “war on sex” and the “rhetoric” of, among others, Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron. Paul, Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh.
The octogenarian touched many nerves. Mr. Hefner, 86, was immediately cited by Politico, along with Mediaite, Democratic Underground, Human Sexuality Newswire, International Business Times and a host of feminists and female bloggers who lauded his, uh, critique of GOP “sexism.”
IT’S SB-1070 SHOWTIME
The Supreme Court hears oral arguments over “SB-1070,” Arizona’s tough-minded law enforcement and immigration law on Wednesday, framed as a “showdown” by the Heritage Foundation. Indeed. A coalition of faith groups, union representatives and activists plan to rally against “racial profiling” on the steps of the court, led by the former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, among many others.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will be there with a legal team to defend the law and her state, she says, noting, “Despite all of the misrepresentations, misleading rhetoric and outright lies told about SB-1070, public support for this law is as strong as ever.”
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, whose county shares 82 miles of border with Mexico, will also be in the audience; the officer has filed an amicus brief in support of the law he knows so well.
“While some of the nation’s top judges continue to deliberately misinterpret the Constitution, we trust that the Supreme Court will find that states can defend their borders when the federal government refuses to do its job,” he says.
“The administrations attack on our law enforcement efforts has made it much harder for us to protect the citizenry from illegal immigration and the crime that goes with it, all the while demanding we foot the bill for their failure to secure the border,” the officer adds.