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The World’s Laziest Journalist

March 21, 2005

By Bob Patterson


A few years back the American armed forces were fighting the Viet Cong who were often described as wearing uniforms that resembled “black pajamas.”  Now, a group of pajama clad “journalists” (called “bloggers”) are goading/cheerleading the Bush junta in its attempt to repeal the achievements of FDR’s first two terms in office. 


Hugh Hefner must find this very amusing.  He was a trailblazer in the pajama world.  He was revolutionizing (before the Sixties got started) the magazine industry and living a life of pajama-clad leisure as he was doing it.


More recently Vincent “the Chin” Gigante started a fashion trend (we read it in the New York Times magazine section some time ago) by going around New York City in his pajamas.  He was acting eccentric to bolster his claim in court that he should be granted an “insanity defense” pass on his transgressions.  


Will Martha Stewart have him on her new TV program, and will he appear in his trend setting pajamas?  [Will Martha specialize in former prison inmate guests?  Tommy Chong was charming on the Tonight Show and we may be seeing the formation of a new entertainment trend here.] 


There is a restaurant in the Los Angeles area, the Café 50’s (at 11623 Santa Monica Blvd., near the border with the City of Santa Monica), that was offering a free dinner (last Wednesday of the month) to folks who showed up in their pajamas (from 7 to 9 p.m. is how we recall it.)   It had to be a pair of men’s pajamas even if the person was a female, and it had to be a full set of top and bottom.  (The fact checker reports that a call to 310/479-1955 confirms that the once a month special is still available.)  There are several universities and colleges on LA’s Westside, so the hungry bargain hunters tend to be draft age.  Draft as in military not beer.  Members of the press [bad pun?] know that when you get a complementary meal you tip the staff as if you had paid full price for the meal.


Wouldn’t it be a “gas” if Hugh Hefner showed up on the last Wednesday of the month in his PJ’s? 


Recently, the bloggers have been busy issuing passes for the Bush administration and acting like Santa’s elves to do the bidding of conservative radio personality Hugh Hewitt.  Busy?  Heck, they are working 24/7 churning out the passes.


Does a president of the US need a pass?  When an Italian journalist gets wounded in Iraq, the blog elves issue a pass saying “the bitch is lying, it couldn’t have happened the way she portrays the events.”  When Eason Jordon says journalists are being targeted, they issue a pass saying “Americans don’t do that.”  When the subject of WMD’s comes up, they issue a pass saying:  “Look at the pictures of the purple fingered voters.”  When the subject of Bush’s military record comes up; they issue a pass saying “It’s time for Dan Rather to retire.”  When the subject of the use of “eminent domain” to become a wealthy baseball club owner comes up, they issue a pass saying “think of it as business acumen.”  When the subject of Neil comes up; they issue a pass and say:  “Who?”  When the subject of Fritz Thyssen comes up;  they issue a pass and say: “The statute of limitations has run out” (on the Holocaust?)  When the subject of Marvin comes up; they ask: “What are you talking about?”  When the subject of Arbusto comes up, they issue a pass and say: “We all make mistakes when we are young.”  When the subject of Spectrum 7 comes up, they issue a pass and say: “We all make mistakes when we are young.”  When the subject of Harken Energy comes up; they issue a pass and say: “We liberated Kuwait.”  Wannabe bloggers should read Kitty Kelly’s “discredited” (a pass by spin?) book The Family to find many more opportunities to issue more “passes” and (possibly?) earn Hewitt’s approval.


You want a pass?  Go to the bloggers.  Watching the liberal media’s frantic efforts to come up with a topic that isn’t met by an automatic pass from the bloggers, reminds us of the old saying from high school: “It’s like trying to bail a rowboat with a sieve.”


Hugh Hewitt is to bloggers as the Pied Piper was to the gullible townsfolk.  Thing is the Pied Piper couldn’t use a plug on his radio show as the carrot on the stick to become the point man.  Believing that the bloggers are independent-minded writers who indulge in critical analysis (and can do it at home working in their pajamas) is like believing that Hannibal and his posse were on the way to Rome to get a papal blessing.  (Is it true that the elephant riding warrior had a daughter named Annabelle Hannibal?)


Speaking of pajamas, that reminds us of the Michael Jackson trial.  One of the writers covering that event for the New York Times told this columnist that the west coast writers for that publication take turns covering the famous trial because they fear that if only one of them is exposed (bad pun?) to the trial for an extended period of time, it will affect that lucky person’s mental balance.


Jay Leno, who was still under a judge’s gag order, on the Tonight Show episode, which was broadcast the day Michael Jackson showed up in court wearing pajama bottoms, made the news on an opposing network when he appeared for his opening monologue, accompanied by bodyguards and wearing pajama bottoms. 


Speaking of the morning version of radio’s CBS World News Roundup (where we heard the Leno item), they recently celebrated their 67th (?) broadcasting birthday.  (Quick math test: what is 1938 subtracted from 2005?)


The word pajamas (according to our New World Dictionary) comes from the Hindu language and signifies a “leg garment” and the first definition is “Orient, a pair of loose silk or cotton trousers.”


Remember the old Sixties bit about “Are you a turtle?”  One of the questions to gain membership was: “What sticks out of a man’s pajamas and is hard enough to use to hang your hat on?”  The answer was his toes, if you thought of something else, you had too dirty a mind to become a turtle.


Has William Safire in his “On Language” column in the New York Times Sunday magazine section ever explained the origin of the old hip expression “the cat’s pajamas”?  (If he hasn’t, we hope he does someday.)


According to Bartlett’s 16th edition, Morrie Ryskind wrote a bit for the script of “Animal Crackers” that is often attributed to Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx: “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.  How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”


We were a bit stumped regarding a pajama-themed song, so we suggested the disk jockey perhaps could play Mr. Sandman by the Chordettes or even Johnny Paycheck’s Satin Sheets, but after a trip to the WLJ music vault, he has returned with a copy of the soundtrack album for The Pajama Game that includes Hernado’s Hideaway, Hey There, and Steam Heat.


[Note: This 1957 musical starring Doris Day is not to be confused with the 1964 movie Pajama Party, that features a cast that includes Annette Funicello and Buster Keaton.]


Well, we’ll toddle off to the land of nod for this week.  Next week, please come back again because it will be our “April in Paris” column.  Until then, let the college kids do the “all-nighters” and have a week of sweet dreams!





Copyright © 2005 – Robert Patterson


Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
See the Details page for the relevant citation.

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