Who Do You Trust?

The elections are run by the same people that sell toothpaste on television-Noam Chomsky

In a sense terrorism blossomed in the age of television. Television promotes terrorism in religion and in politics- Marilyn Manson

Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts- Edward R. Murrow

Game shows dotted the landscape of 1950’s American television.  Contestants and celebrity panelists collaborated to answer difficult or at times ridiculously easy questions.  Side by side with these were much bigger prized ‘quiz’ shows, many of which were rigged by the producers. The most famous of these was Quiz Show which was the subject of the 1994 Robert Redford film of the same name. The other game shows were different in that there was less opportunity to score big money and the questions usually concentrated more on the contestant’s personal biography than on trivia or general knowledge. Most of the time the celebrities questioned the contestants. These shows had minor and  nuanced distinctions among themselves as well. For example You Bet Your Life  had no panel and really only one celebrity, the host Groucho Marx. Occasionally there would be surprise guests, like the time during the Guess the Secret Word portion of the show when Groucho’s brother Harpo came floating down instead of the usual duck. I’ve Got A Secret had a celebrity panel as did What’s My Line and To Tell the Truth. Who Do You Trust? was hosted for some time by the man who would eventually become the king of late-night television on The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson. Like You Bet Your Life there was no panel.

Today, our Emcee in Chief  has been hosting his own versions of game shows, sometimes  disguised as press briefings which include expert panelists who aren’t given much to say in between the words from the sponsor. He has family shows too, rather sometimes they star his family who are not experts on much of anything but have some experience at playing them on TV. We are, all of us both viewers and contestants. The late Gary Moore and Bud Collyer never had to preside over anything like this. Tonight, on Fox News/Entertainment he used the Lincoln Memorial as a studio for the pilot of his new show This is What Winning Looks Like. Panelists included Fox personalities Brett Baier and Martha MacCallum and the 16th president of the United States who was visibly stone-faced throughout the proceedings.

On his other shows like,  I’ve Got a Secret! (Which I Would Like to Share with Our Adversaries) it is evident that our country is in the best tiny hands possible. Who else would invite high level Kremlin officials to the Oval Office to reveal highly classified information exposing a source of intelligence on the Islamic State? I mean really, who else would even think of doing this? Not only does he have a secret, but his sharing of a North Korean missile launch on an open laptop with Shinzo Abe of Japan at Mar- A- Lago for waiters to see and members to take pictures of certifies his commitment to total transparency. By the way, those missile launchings mean nothing. After all he and The Chairman are “in love”. As to our own nuclear stockpile we have been advised that “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability”. We must show all those nasty hurricanes who’s boss. That should be nobody’s secret.

Over on the new version of (We are willing to) Bet Your Life  two of the sons are vying for the title of first Bwana as they engage in the time-honored tradition of hunting endangered sheep. No, not like the breed at those “Liberate” rallies with their semi-automatic weapons standing ready, willing, and able to infect themselves and the communities they return to, in the name of achieving liberty from life itself. I’m talking actual sheep, the Ovis Aries type. The type that go bah bah and supply wool. But not the kind of wool being pulled over our collective eyes. Have no fear though concerned conservationists, they did  procure a license for their big gamey African adventure.  After the kill, but hey they beat the buzzer. Breaking the laws of a foreign entity is a talent to be rewarded in the bonus round.

Meanwhile on What’s My New Line? the first, first daughter (Yes there are bonus points for naming the other one) testified to improving  the lives of working women all over the globe. Well, at least until it was revealed that  her overseas factories were paying wages even more substandard than their substandard economies often with exhausting mandatory overtime. Her new line is as a high-level White House staffer. She presumably will be positioned to make American workers assume the same position for her as her foreign employees have been doing. In the time-honored family tradition of stepping away from responsibility just as  the “s#*t” hits the fan she has stepped away from her company’s day to day operations, setting an example her father will soon hopefully follow. Sooner rather than November.

We dare not omit in this moment of great national perplexity the awesomely questionable abilities of her husband, the tall as a tree and equally wooden Jared Kushner, whose new line appears to be running the national supply line for PPE. Not the appointment I was personally hoping he would get, running with the bulls in Pamplona . He appears to be displaying the same degree of competence he showed with his many White House security clearance applications. The talent-less Mr. Kushner once, after nearly running a great local newspaper into the ground upon his takeover, overpaid on a big piece of real estate on one of the great New York City concourses with an address number of 666 right before the 2008 banking crisis. Think about that as he navigates us through the zombie apocalypse. And yes, that 666 thing  is a real thing!

Over on the ironically titled To Tell the Truth (Is Challenging) our host has advised “That woman” in Michigan to play ball because after all, “in Michigan, they gave me an award six or seven years ago, I had no idea. It was the Man of the Year in Michigan” I too had no idea about such a non-existent award.  He obviously knows more than the rest of us.  Thank god I already have plenty of bleach under my sink, just in case. He should get a Noble Prize, not those reporters. And who the hell does Robert Redfield think he is saying that the Washington Post quoted him accurately? Remember, To Tell the Truth is only a title. We may be in jeopardy, but we are not playing Jeopardy.

Stay tuned for the All-Star edition of Who Do You Trust? (With Your Life)   with special guest panelists “Miracle” Mike Pence, Kelly Anne Con-way, professional Roy Cohn doppelganger Stephen Miller and “Itchy” Mitchy McConnell. Now, that is a death panel to die for.

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