It’s the socks, stupid

I’ve lost my copy of the Left-Wing Blogosphere Enemies list, so I can’t remember whether or not I’m supposed to hate Jason Zengerle. Either way, Zengerle has a good piece today wherein he catches the late Tim Russert with his socks down today. Here’s Brokaw:

A few years ago, he (Tim Russert) asked me to check on the prospects of a farm-state candidate for governor who spent part of every year on Nantucket and adopted some of the local customs. I called a friend in the candidate’s state to get an assessment, and he said simply, “He doesn’t wear socks.” Tim roared when I passed along the observation, and we often used that expression — “He doesn’t wear socks” — as shorthand for politicians who were tone-deaf.

Here’s Russert sans socks:

I hate to speak ill of the recently deceased and (and it’s Brokaw’s fault, not Russert’s), but this NASCAR nation should be aware that the no socks/no service thing is a slap in the face to candidate Christ. It’s also great news for future candidate Spitzer.

On a more serious note, is there any other important job where the most important qualification is wearing socks? If you needed to have brain surgery, and were told that one surgeon was the best in the world but sometimes didn’t wear socks, would you put your life in the hands of another, less-qualified, more socks-friendly surgeon?

Which leads to the next question: does anyone know if Sanjay Gupta wears socks?






109 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    The Other Steve says:

    Not wearing socks is a quick way to destroy shoes.

    weird

  3. 3
    Josh Hueco says:

    [Insert Red Hot Chili Peppers joke here]

  4. 4
    Svensker says:

    No socks + expensive loafers = rich guys who vacation in Nantucket. If you add seersucker Bermuda shorts and a pink Izod shirt, you’re talking serious money.

  5. 5
    AkaDad says:

    I’m wearing socks, but nothing else.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    @Mike: Beat me to it.
    @Svensker:

    If you add seersucker Bermuda shorts and a pink Izod shirt, you’re talking serious money douchebag.

    Fix’d

  8. 8
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    A man without sense enough to smell the stench of his own feet, and/or to take action to curtail this reek, surely lacks sense enough to prod my brain!

    Sanjay Gupta is more than a surgeon, though. He’s also a television commenter. Surely Russert’s example alone shows us that such people can be relied on to give accurate and informative analyses without socks.

    I would trust Sanjay Gupta to report things on television, if he did so socksless. However, I would not trust him to chop up my brain.

  9. 9
    Delia says:

    Somebody a long time ago told me a story of a cousin of a friend (or something) who lived in Hawaii where allegedly no one ever wears socks. He took a trip to the mainland for a wedding and there was a big family panic cuz they discovered that he didn’t own any socks so they had to send someone out to Kmart to buy him a pair.

    Now me, I wear socks all fall, winter, and spring. But that’s because my feet get cold. Summer’s a whole other story.

  10. 10
    HyperIon says:

    @Michael D.: i’m with you.

  11. 11
    John S. says:

    I would trust Sanjay Gupta to report things on television, if he did so socksless. However, I would not trust him to chop up my brain.

    I think you have this bass ackwards.

    Gupta is an accomplished and respected neurosurgeon, whereas you could scarcely believe half the things he said on television.

  12. 12
    Krista says:

    I called a friend in the candidate’s state to get an assessment, and he said simply, “He doesn’t wear socks.”

    Superficial, much? Jesus H. Christ in a hopped-up sidecar, it’s no wonder that most of our politicians are all image, no substance. We don’t allow for anything else ’cause we’re such superficial twats, judging people for stupid stuff like socks and flag pins.

  13. 13
    Krista says:

    And I actively dislike socks. My toes are cute, and I hate covering them up.

  14. 14
    4tehlulz says:

    Will Joe the Plumber, WAR CORRESPONDENT, wear socks in Haifa the front lines in Israel?

  15. 15
    Incertus says:

    @John S.: Yep. Especially when it comes to something like universal health coverage.

  16. 16

    When do I get my decoder ring so I can figure this post out?

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    @4tehlulz:

    Will Joe the Plumber, WAR CORRESPONDENT, wear socks in Haifa the front lines in Israel?

    No, but he will stay at a Holiday Inn Express at least once.

  18. 18
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    I judge a man by the socks he wears, exclusively. (Bill Clinton was my favorite President, but only because he named his cat "Socks.") If a man doesn’t wear socks, and he’s not on the beach, I eye him very suspiciously. Who knows what else is wrong with him? He almost certainly uses drugs. He might have mental illnesses, as well. He might not even be wearing underwear. The point is, you can’t trust him.

    I think the Senate should rake this Sanjay Gupta over the coals during his confirmation hearing. If he’s wearing socks, he should escape the worst of the damage unscathed. (Provided, of course, that those socks contain asbestos.)

    @Krista:

    And I actively dislike socks. My toes are cute, and I hate covering them up.

    In Canada? They won’t be cute for very long, if you don’t put some wool on them!

  19. 19
    Michael D. says:

    @HyperIon: Yeah, the point of the post is lost on me. But hey! WTF! People seem to have found something to talk about here! So who am I to rain on it!

    BTW, I resized and fiddled around with the photo of Russert in Photoshop. He appears to be wearing socks. Very light socks, but there is clearly a pattern to them.

  20. 20
    Jay B. says:

    @Neue Internetprasenz:

    Read today’Daily Howler for background. Basically, Brokaw made Russert’s superficiality sound like a sign of good judgement — but it really is symptomatic of the inane trivia (and obvious hypocrisy) that Brokaw and Russert peddle as important-to-the-Republic character traits.

  21. 21
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    @Michael D.:

    BTW, I resized and fiddled around with the photo of Russert in Photoshop. He appears to be wearing socks. Very light socks, but there is clearly a pattern to them.

    Nah, those are tattoos.

  22. 22
    C says:

    I think you have this bass ackwards. Gupta is an accomplished and respected neurosurgeon, whereas you could scarcely believe half the things he said on television.

    I blame CNN partially for that. They’re horribly unqualified to be called "news".

    Also, why are we listening to people who make decisions like this? These are the low information voters, the people who are interested in the answers when tv reportdroids ask "boxers or briefs" and want a politician they can get drunk with.

  23. 23
    Rosali says:

    Love the Spitzer reference. Poor Spitzer will be hearing snide sock jokes for the rest of his life.

  24. 24
    Bootlegger says:

    @Krista: Careful, you’ll have the foot fetishists drooling soon.

  25. 25
    JL says:

    Bush wore socks and that didn’t help.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    The point of the post is that our media is comprised of vapid airheads who think superficial nonsense like whether or not someone wears socks is a sign of whether or not they can be trusted, and rather than recognize this as utter foolishness, Brokaw is celebrating this as if it is a sign of Russert’s wisdom. They might as well be talking about phlogiston, or whether or not curly hair means someone is good natured.

    Here’s a question for Brokaw- would Russert trust a minister in a wetsuit with a dildo up his ass? What would that be a sign of?

    Stupid fucks.

  27. 27
    Joshua Norton says:

    Very light socks, but there is clearly a pattern to them.

    I’m going with varicose veins.

  28. 28
    Krista says:

    Here’s a question for Brokaw- would Russert trust a minister in a wetsuit with a dildo up his ass? What would that be a sign of?

    Stupid fucks.

    You just answered your own question.

  29. 29
    Joshua Norton says:

    our media is comprised of vapid airheads

    Most of them would have to study real hard to rise to the level of vapid airhead.

  30. 30
    Catpain Haddock says:

    According to my wife, my feet stink something awful when i go sockless in sneakers. I think she is crazy, I’ve never noticed a smell.

  31. 31
    demimondian says:

    @John Cole: Fooey, John (and Doug, too).

    You’re deliberately missing the point that the anecdote is meant to convey: that someone who doesn’t understand that there’s a time to wear socks, and a time not to do so, is politically tone-deaf. That’s a very rational observation. Imagine interviewing a software engineer whose tastes didn’t run to ratty t-shirts and faded jeans, but rather to business casual attire. You might still want to hire him or her at Apple or Microsoft — but you would know to expect some friction between the new hire and the corporate culture.

    Someone who *doesn’t wear* socks clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of his attire. Does that affect his or her ability to write code? No. Does it affect his or her ability to lead a state? You betcha.

  32. 32
    Delia says:

    @Catpain Haddock:

    She’s probably right. Sandals great. Sockless in sneakers; asking for trouble. I wouldn’t vote for you.

  33. 33
    Media Browski says:

    The choice you offer is obvious. A more interesting questino is which you pick between two equally-skilled surgeons, one of which demures from wearing socks.

    Me, I’d go with the sock wearer. Not wearing socks ruins your shoes and smells bad.

  34. 34
    aimai says:

    This is what passed for research on a "farm team" potential political figure? What, they couldn’t try the google? One must presume that if the poor sockless bastard hadn’t been vacationing where Russert happened to know people personally he wouldn’t have even bothered to inquire about him. In other words–you could walk stark naked down the street in oshkosh wisconsin but as long as no one Russert knew personally was present then it wouldn’t matter for research purposes?

    aimai

  35. 35
    Evinfuilt says:

    Here’s a question for Brokaw- would Russert trust a minister in a wetsuit with a dildo up his ass? What would that be a sign of?

    @John Cole:

    One wetsuit or two?

  36. 36
    Joshua Norton says:

    In my younger days the cool retro look on campus was madras shirt, tan chinos and pebble grain penny loafers with no socks. It works when you’re 18. It just looks clueless when you’re wearing Florsheim wingtips.

  37. 37
    srv says:

    On a more serious note, is there any other important job where the most important qualification is wearing socks?

    Senate Majority Leader?

  38. 38
    Bootlegger says:

    a minister in a wetsuit with a dildo up his ass? What would that be a sign of?

    A damned good party!

    @demimondian: No sir, you’re missing the point. Dress should say nothing, absolutely nothing about one’s ability to lead. The fact that it does influence people is the fuckin’ problem.

  39. 39
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    @JL:

    Bush wore socks and that didn’t help.

    Who knows? If he hadn’t worn them, maybe he would’ve started a Nukular war or something.

  40. 40
    Joshua Norton says:

    Bush wore socks and that didn’t help.

    Yes, but he’d wear them on his hands.

  41. 41
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Speaking of going sockless, what’s the difference between a recession and a depression?

    Answer: in a depression, even the Adult Entertainment Industry suffers from (umm, how does one put this delicately?)… deflation.

  42. 42
    Bootlegger says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    Yes, but he’d wear them on his hands.

    Those sock puppets were his Cabinet whenever Dick locked him in the closet for taking off the ball-gag.

  43. 43
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    Yes, but he’d wear them on his hands.

    And let’s be honest, here: if Bush’s father had worn one on his cock, this country would be a much better place.

  44. 44
    Joshua Norton says:

    Dress should say nothing, absolutely nothing about one’s ability to lead.

    Ah, but it does throughout the entire animal kingdom. The peacock’s tail, the lion’s mane. Internal hard wiring to react to appearance has always been there.

  45. 45
    Bootlegger says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Umm, don’t open RedTube at work (hey, I was curious).

  46. 46
    Bootlegger says:

    @Joshua Norton: Seriously? "Because its part of our animal instincts we should make important decisions with it" is your reasoning? Gads.

  47. 47
    Joshua Norton says:

    "Because its part of our animal instincts we should make important decisions with it"

    I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying it’s always been there as an influence. I once had a labor law prof. who went on a an anti work dress-code rant claiming that she should be able to teach class in a bikini and it should have no effect anyone taking her seriously. In fact, there should be no reaction at all. I suppose on paper that would make a perfectly logical argument. In real life, not so much.

  48. 48
    DougJ says:

    Somebody a long time ago told me a story of a cousin of a friend (or something) who lived in Hawaii where allegedly no one ever wears socks. He took a trip to the mainland for a wedding and there was a big family panic cuz they discovered that he didn’t own any socks so they had to send someone out to Kmart to buy him a pair.

    Hawaii is a foreign, exotic place. At least they had the sense to shop at a Joe Sixpack store like Kmart when they were on the mainland.

  49. 49
    C says:

    You’re deliberately missing the point that the anecdote is meant to convey: that someone who doesn’t understand that there’s a time to wear socks, and a time not to do so, is politically tone-deaf. That’s a very rational observation. Imagine interviewing a software engineer whose tastes didn’t run to ratty t-shirts and faded jeans, but rather to business casual attire. You might still want to hire him or her at Apple or Microsoft— but you would know to expect some friction between the new hire and the corporate culture. Someone who doesn’t wear socks clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of his attire. Does that affect his or her ability to write code? No. Does it affect his or her ability to lead a state? You betcha.

    Being able to play the game is part of being a "good" politician, but not a good leader.

    This still remains a lukewarm human interest story with "folksy" bullshit charm than it illustrates reality, and what we need to focus on. The type of people that this impresses are idiots and while pandering to them is politically advantageous, championing their every whim gets us nowhere.

    People said the same fucking thing about Obama in the media, the Joe the Plumbers blathered on about how he couldn’t "connect" to people because he was a terrible bowler, and similar. Whining nitpicky idiots are never satisfied.

  50. 50
    demimondian says:

    @Bootlegger: There’s a boatload of evidence that dress *does* affect decisions, whether or not it *should*. A good politician needs to understand that, and someone who doesn’t is, therefore, not a good politician.

  51. 51
    demimondian says:

    @C: A poor politician will be a poor leader. There are certainly other skills needed beyond the purely political ones, but that doesn’t mean that the essential skills aren’t necessary, too.

  52. 52
    DougJ says:

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

    (Mark Twain)

  53. 53
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    All’s I know is that I’m calling both of my Senators to urge them not to vote to confirm Sanjay Gupta until his sock-wearing habits can be confirmed. If he has nothing to hide, he shouldn’t be afraid to answer the question honestly.

  54. 54
    Bootlegger says:

    @demimondian: No. There is a buttload of evidence that dress affects perceptions, not the efficacy of decision making. It affects perception because we use dress as categorical representations. A well-dressed person is "rich", a "rich" person is "successful", successful people make "good decisions". This is, of course, a complete fallacy but it is how our brain stores and retrieves information. However, this process can also be changed if we choose to accept different definitions/categories. But if you simply say "well, that’s the way it is", then you perpetuate, you reify, the claim that dress=good leader despite the fact that in reality it does not. So my point, let’s quit fucking doing this.

  55. 55
    Warren Terra says:

    Should I be embarrassed to be commenting at a site sponsored by Pajamas Media now that I learn that PJTV has hired Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher to be their correspondent in Israel, relying no doubt on his skills in Hebrew Arabic foreign affairs military affairs WTF?

  56. 56
    C says:

    There’s a boatload of evidence that dress does affect decisions, whether or not it should. A good politician needs to understand that, and someone who doesn’t is, therefore, not a good politician.

    Do you have something to back this up that’s not pop psychology pseudoscience? Seriously.

    A poor politician will be a poor leader. There are certainly other skills needed beyond the purely political ones, but that doesn’t mean that the essential skills aren’t necessary, too.

    Again, there is a certain amount of playing the game and nuance that is required, but people who create arbitrary "rules" like the "no-socks" should rightfully be mocked. It usually leads to fist-pumping about who’s the more authentic American and public debates about flag-pins. The truth in authenticity is buried in the media’s inability to see nuance in the need for nuance.

    Should I be embarrassed to be commenting at a site sponsored by Pajamas Media now that I learn that PJTV has hired Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher to be their correspondent in Israel, relying no doubt on his skills in Hebrew Arabic foreign affairs military affairs WTF?

    Hey, I’ll let them pay the bills as long as nobody from here’s stupid enough to click the link. It always confuses me when I hear about otherwise progressive people watching Fox news. TBQH I read redstate and freerepublic whenever something happens that riles them up like a fire ant nest :)

  57. 57
    John S. says:

    @Incertus:

    Indeed. Not that I want to infer too much from that little debacle between Gupta and Moore, but I think it is a little dismaying that despite being presented with evidence contrary to CNN’s reporting, Gupta was still unable to admit any error.

    That’s not a great quality for a presidential appointment to possess.

  58. 58
    Zifnab says:

    If someone is going to swindle me out of my tax dollars, launch a bunch of blundering crusades in third world countries with the lives of my friends and family on the line, and railroad through a bunch of jingoistic "family values" fascist legislation that puts a cop in every bedroom and a prison on every street corner, I expect that someone to be smartly dressed.

    I think that’s the bottom line here.

  59. 59
    The Other Steve says:

    BTW, I could have sworn a few days ago President Bush was saying cease-fire talks with Israel and Hamas was quaint but naive.

    Yet today I heard Condy Rice talking about cease fires.

  60. 60
    Bootlegger says:

    @C: There actually are a lot of experiments showing that people will make choices based on appearances rather than a rational calculus of costs and benefits (my PhD is in this area, so trust me without making me write you a bibliography). The process is simply one of knowledge representation, how we store, retrieve and use information, coupled with our need to use heuristics (shortcuts) in most of our decision making.
    It is actually some of the best evidence against the notion that we are "rational actors" capable of weighing all the costs and benefits (and there is a boat’s buttload of evidence that people are not rational actors).

  61. 61
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Krista: toes pics plz kthxbai

  62. 62
    Bootlegger says:

    @Zifnab: I don’t know, I think it would be easier to take if they wore some smart Brown Shirts with pretty bent crosses on ’em.

  63. 63
    jibeaux says:

    Having bare legs & feet with business attire (pants, skirt, suit, doesn’t matter) is definitely the fashion for women, but I can’t quite a get a handle on it. Unless you’re in sandals, it’s uncomfortable and sweaty and your feet stick in the shoes and you have to keep re-powdering. I have some of those little footie things but how are you supposed to keep up with pairs of something so little? Mostly I just wear thin socks and accept the uncoolness of it.

    This was the point of the post, right?

  64. 64
    jibeaux says:

    Why is my comment in moderation? "Footie"? I’ve typed douchebag at least a dozen times today.

  65. 65
    Martin says:

    Wurzelbacher told WNWO he’s not worried about the potential dangers of his new gig. "Being a Christian I’m pretty well protected by God I believe. That’s not saying he’s going to stop a mortar for me, but you gotta take the chance,” he told the CNN affiliate.
    “Israeli officials are very excited to have him,” Tabback told CNN.

    [cough]humanshield[/cough]

  66. 66
    Zifnab says:

    @Bootlegger: Suddenly the 30s make a whole lot more sense.

  67. 67
    DougJ says:

    There actually are a lot of experiments showing that people will make choices based on appearances rather than a rational calculus of costs and benefits (my PhD is in this area, so trust me without making me write you a bibliography). The process is simply one of knowledge representation, how we store, retrieve and use information, coupled with our need to use heuristics (shortcuts) in most of our decision making.

    To me that says people are stupid and irrational enough already. They don’t need "journalists" to focus their attention even more narrowly on the stupid and irrational.

  68. 68
    Bootlegger says:

    @Zifnab: Indeed. Shit, the Germans still can’t explain how it happened.

  69. 69
    Bootlegger says:

    @DougJ: Bingo.

  70. 70
    C says:

    There actually are a lot of experiments showing that people will make choices based on appearances rather than a rational calculus of costs and benefits

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t argue with this, just in how it should and should not be applied on many levels.

    To me that says people are stupid and irrational enough already. They don’t need "journalists" to focus their attention even more narrowly on the stupid and irrational.

    Exactly. The media shouldn’t be treating "folksy homespun wisdom" as if it’s anything but irrational, xenophobic, and in some cases even tribalist. The media overrepresents the same willfully ignorant people who are fickle customers at best, and puts off those of us who desperately want reliable information. I can’t even read the NYT anymore it’s so full of kneejerk support of Neocon ideas and conservative gestures to the same crowd that hate the NYT with all of their being.

  71. 71
    gex says:

    @DougJ: Indeed, the whole point of journalism might be to give us broader information so we can try to use reason and intelligence in our decision making. Otherwise, why not turn the sound off and just show pretty pictures?

  72. 72
    C says:

    On that note, I also have a dislike of no socks with shoes, but that’s because I come from Miami where the heat and humidity get feet fairly gross. Hasn’t affected my voting yet, thankfully :)

  73. 73
    Zifnab says:

    @Bootlegger:

    Brian: Wait a minute, there is just a giant space from 1933-1945, you can’t just pretend like..
    German: Nothing happened! We were on vacation!
    Brian: But the Germans invaded Poland in…
    German: We were invited! Punch was served!

    :-p

  74. 74
    Dork says:

    It’s clear we need a Sock Czar

  75. 75
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    If you needed to have brain surgery, and were told that one surgeon was the best in the world but sometimes didn’t wear socks, would you put your life in the hands of another, less-qualified, more socks-friendly surgeon?

    I would go with the sockless surgeon, as long as his feet are clean, but then I myself tend to go sans socks as frequently as possible. So I’m probably just supporting a "strength in numbers" paradigm with the sockless surgeons preference.

    .

  76. 76
    Janefinch says:

    @jibeaux: go to a runners store and get Glide. Your bare shoe-shod feet will thank you forever.

  77. 77
    JGabriel says:

    Michael D.:

    I resized and fiddled around with the photo of Russert in Photoshop. He appears to be wearing socks. Very light socks, but there is clearly a pattern to them.

    That just proves that Russert had ASDS: Argyle Skin Deformity Syndrome.

    .

  78. 78
    Punchy says:

    Why is my comment in moderation? "Footie"? I’ve typed douchebag at least a dozen times today.

    Apparently your daily allowable quota is 11. Not to mention, "foot!e" is probably some young’en slang for meth or boobies or salad tossing or teabagging or dirty sanchezing, whereas "douchebag" is an actual product marketed and sold at Douches ‘R’ You all across the country.

    Besides, Cole will now ban you for questioning the mod filter.

  79. 79
    DougJ says:

    Otherwise, why not turn the sound off and just show pretty pictures?

    Like I do when Paul Maguire and Joe Theisman are speaking?

  80. 80
    Bootlegger says:

    @C: You won’t get an argument from me on this. The whole Rovian strategery was to play to the Base’s cognitive categories and provide them with the simple (heuristic) solution. Very effective when used in that way and frankly all politicians use it to some extent.

    @gex: That’s correct. If we have good information we can make more connections between the "nodes" which means fewer errors in reasoning when we do stop to think actively as opposed to heuristically. Instead the media plays to our preconceived notions and induces us to think heuristically instead of actively.

    @Zifnab:
    The Germans have lots of "explanations" but when you ask the old timers they still just look at their feet and shake their heads like "damned, how did that happen". Which is kinda how I feel about Bush right now.

  81. 81

    At least Brokaw broke the story about Gerald Ford being eaten by wolves and his being gay.

  82. 82
    Face says:

    Jason Zengerle in a nice guy.

  83. 83
    kay says:

    @jibeaux:

    I don’t know what the post is about. I agree with you about bare feet/business attire. I’m glad that fashion-change inexplicably just… happened, though. All the women who wanted to go bare feet/ business attire can now do so, with no fear of societal sanction.

    Next: no shoes!

  84. 84
    JL says:

    The champions of the Repub party are Sarah and JTP-WC. Because they both wear socks or hose is an added bonus. Somehow I think that it will be a long time before John Cole crosses the line to vote for a repub again. Reid might be an ass but he is our ass.

  85. 85
    passerby says:

    WRT the surgeon General nominee:

    IMO, the fact that Gupta M.D.,is a neurosurgeon turned media whore should not detract from his being selected as Surgeon General.

    Perhaps Obama is thinking in terms of public recognition and by naming a familiar MD to the position he becomes an asset when Obama starts to use the bully pulpit, with an assist from Gupta, to beat the "lets get off our asses and eat better to be healthy" drum.

    In the past, government at no time supported any widescale efforts to encourage Americans to strive to be healthier despite growing numbers that indicated deteriorating health of the public at large–the current healthcare paradigm is working very well for big pharma, insurance companies and other industries. Look at the profits those industries post.

    But I digress…

    Obama may be thinking that the public will respond better to a "famous" doctor than say, someone like the venerable C. Everette Coop. And this will come in handy when the whole health care delivery system changes are being hammered out down the line.

    I think it’s a good pick.

  86. 86
    ricky says:

    A: He is in Nantucket so he should not be wearing socks.

    B. He is asking the kid why he is so unAmerican he is not holding a real football.

    C. The kid is playing sports. Tim is playing reporter.

  87. 87
    geg6 says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Damn, you beat me to it. I was so looking forward to being the first to post on this exciting story about the new PJTV war correspondent. I look forward to his incisive commentary from Gaza.

  88. 88
    Shinobi says:

    I actually find the fact that Gupta is all about eradicating the fat people a little disturbing and alarming. In the UK they are currently undertaking scary rigid guidelines that may eventually lead to the banning of certain foods. (Bansturbation hehehe.)

    I know the whole "War on obesity" is all about "health" but it often reads a little too much like a "war on the fat people" because obviously they are too busy eating to fight back.

  89. 89
    ricky says:

    Why does the emergence of Joe as a middle eastern war reporter yield visions of turkey and beheading?

  90. 90
    passerby says:

    @Shinobi:

    I hope that doesn’t happen in America where we are free to choose whatever life we want. Which includes eating any damn thing we want to eat, when we want to eat it. I say not just no, but HELL NO to any of those types of guidelines or restrictions which trample on free will.

    OTOH, are you sure you’re not confusing "eradicating fat people" with Gupta acknowledging the impact that obesity has on health and how out of control it is in the USA and elsewhere?

    I’m only talking in terms of leadership and encouragement. Again I say no to dictatorial mandates.

  91. 91
    gex says:

    @DougJ: God yes, that is the only way to do it. As an aside, how can it be that all football pregame shows are ridiculously overstaffed by people everyone dislikes listening to and the games are all called by announcers everyone dislikes listening to? If you ever wonder why network tv is failing, it is their insistence on giving everyone more of what they most despise.

  92. 92
    C says:

    I actually find the fact that Gupta is all about eradicating the fat people a little disturbing and alarming.

    So? I’m not for eliminating delicious foods, but improving the quality of our food supply (like lowest-bidder and mcdonalds/pizza hut provided school lunches) is essential.

  93. 93
    Joshua Norton says:

    The champions of the Repub party are Sarah and JTP-WC. Because they both wear socks or hose is an added bonus.

    A REAL added bonus would be if JTP was the one wearing the hose. Preferably fishnets.

  94. 94
    passerby says:

    and p.s.: That includes tobacco (and, of course, other smoking materials)

  95. 95
    Shinobi says:

    @passerby

    I don’t agree with Dr. Gupta and many health care professionals assertions that fat is a leading cause of doom. There are some studies that indicate that overweight people actually have better survival rates than thin people (and much better survival rates than underweight individuals.) Also have shown that healthy lifestyle habits (not smoking, working out, eating healthy) are a better predictor of health than weight. And other studies have shown that 95% of people who try to lose weight fail. Yet other studies have shown that it takes individuals with the "fat gene" (in amish mean) 3-4 hours of exercise a day to maintain a normal weight. (Totally reasonable, no?)

    Anyway, I think the focus should be on health, not weight. There are unhealthy thin people just like there are unhealthy fat people, only difference is that fat people get judged because of it. (Whether they are healthy or not.) If they want to push for free gym access for everyone or better subsidies for fresh vegitables to make them more affordable I am all about it.

    But when they talk about "obesity" they are talking about people, not a lifestyle, and that is what bugs me.

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    If you needed to have brain surgery, and were told that one surgeon was the best in the world but sometimes didn’t wear socks, would you put your life in the hands of another, less-qualified, more socks-friendly surgeon?

    I guess it would depend on what color their countertops are.

  97. 97
    John PM says:

    @kay: #83

    All the women who wanted to go bare feet/ business attire can now do so, with no fear of societal sanction.

    Next: no shoes!

    After that: no pants! (but then again, I am a pig).

    Seriously, however, I have been telling people for years that when my children are in high school the new fashion will be nudity (at least in the summer months).

  98. 98
    Laura W says:

    @Shinobi: Tunch finds your views reassuring and would like to subscribe to your support group.

    Speaking of healthy eating and fresh veggies, I would like to thank John and the host of posters who droned on and on about brussell sprouts last week. I kept this (sorry no handle saved with):

    Brussels sprouts: there are many haters, but even confirmed haters tend to change their mind when they try them briefly blanched (2-3 min max), quartered and sauteed with olive oil, garlic & toasted pine nuts until they are well caramelized. They are addictive, I swear… freakin’ cruciferous candy.

    and after tonight, I am hater no more.
    YUM. With zucchini and sweet onion in the sautee mix, and cooked to death so they were all mushy and sweet.
    I’ve had a cruciferous conversion experience.

  99. 99
    Jim Parish says:

    All this, and no one’s brought up "Sockless Jerry Simpson"?

  100. 100
    Skepticat says:

    Good grief, I guess all of you are too young to remember "The Preppy Handbook." We New Englanders don’t wear socks with our Topsiders, but it’s decidedly a summer-only thing.

    Josh Hueco @ 3–absolutely the post of the day, thanks.

  101. 101
    passerby says:

    @Shinobi:

    Your points are well taken and I particularly agree with you here:

    There are unhealthy thin people just like there are unhealthy fat people, only difference is that fat people get judged because of it. (Whether they are healthy or not.) If they want to push for free gym access for everyone or better subsidies for fresh vegitables to make them more affordable I am all about it.

    I do think a sedentary life style can predict a lot more trouble in the long term, healthwise, than weight.

  102. 102
    Mark S. says:

    The more these guys try to eulogize Russert, the more I remember how much I hated him. He was the worst interviewer in the history of media; he seemed to have virtually no grasp of the issues, so he could never steer the conversation to anything remotely interesting. All he could do was regurgitate some inconsistency his interns found by using Lexis and which made him look like a hard hitting journalist. There was a reason he lasted so long: politicians loved him, because they found it so easy to dance around him.

  103. 103
    Xanthippas says:

    I’ve lost my copy of the Left-Wing Blogosphere Enemies list, so I can’t remember whether or not I’m supposed to hate Jason Zengerle.

    On a related note, is it just me or is it all too easy to start confusing the names of various members of the punditariat? I saw someone link to something by Daniel Levy and my first thought was "What on Earth could that right-wing nutjob have to say?" Honestly, I have no clue who I was thinking of when I saw his name.

    Admittedly I read A LOT of blogs. But still.

  104. 104
    AnneLaurie says:

    In other words—you could walk stark naked down the street in oshkosh wisconsin but as long as no one Russert knew personally was present then it wouldn’t matter for research purposes?

    Don’t be redonkulous — it’s not where you’re walking, it’s whether you’re walking where Tim Russert can watch you. Because if it doesn’t happen inside the Media Idiots’ Village, it hasn’t actually happened.

  105. 105
    Krista says:

    Having bare legs & feet with business attire (pants, skirt, suit, doesn’t matter) is definitely the fashion for women, but I can’t quite a get a handle on it. Unless you’re in sandals, it’s uncomfortable and sweaty

    That’s why I only ever wear shoes made of fabric or real leather. No more fake leather. They’re the worst offenders for funkifying your feet.

    We New Englanders don’t wear socks with our Topsiders, but it’s decidedly a summer-only thing.

    Just don’t wear the navy ones in the rain. Your feet will be Smurf-tastic afterwards.

  106. 106
    ed says:

    Bush indeed wore socks. With the kitschy Presidential Seal. What a douche.

    (Apologies if this was already covered.)

  107. 107
    Jon H says:

    Hell, when my Dad was little, on a farm in North Dakota, he occasionally warmed his cold bare feet in a fresh cow patty.

  108. 108
    iluvsummr says:

    @Shinobi: You’re right that there are unhealthy thin people just as there are unhealthy fat people, but there’s no upside to being obese (a body mass index greater than 30, different from "overweight").
    It reduces the likelihood of survival for women with breast cancer, and obesity is so closely linked with diabetes that some doctors perform weight-loss surgery in morbidly obese patients to eliminate diabetes.

  109. 109
    bago says:

    I once did a contract out at a medical company and they had issues with the fact that I would kick my shoes off while coding. It just goes to show that I was back at Microsoft within 2 months. Amateurs.

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