Friday, November 25, 2005


I saw THE WEST WING for the first time yesterday. Rather, I saw a portion of the show. I couldn’t watch the whole thing.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or be alarmed. Hollywood has this make-believe president of the United States winning battles against evil Republicans who are the implacable enemy of the people.

My first reaction was to laugh. On one level it was hilarious.

But then I became alarmed. These people, the people behind the show, are serious. It occurred to me that they might be insane. They lose an election in the real world and then they pretend they won the election in their make-believe world.

On the other hand, it might be great therapy. Having their own pretend president might be the only way they can cope with the real world. They can imagine, for a magical hour, that they have their own president and all is right in their universe. This might be immensely soothing for them. It might be the only thing that keeps them going.

It is interesting that after they lost the last election, they immediately launched another show with another make-believe liberal president, this one a woman.

Are we to conclude that every time the liberals lose a presidential election in the real world, they will win in their pretend world. Will they have a new liberal president on television for every lost national election?

Would there be an audience for such programming?

Of course there would.

Whenever audience share comes up I think of a passage in one of Bill James’, the baseball guru, early books.

A prospective publisher didn’t think there would be a market for James’ works. The publisher said that the subject would interest only one percent of the public.

James pointed out that one percent of the public was more than two million people.

There will be twenty or thirty million people in need of therapy every time the liberals lose an election. That should be enough to support dozens of their pretend presidents.


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