The Corner Unleashed
~ Of Urban Slang & News Anchors...An Unexpected Visitor...An Apple That Is Not Often Stolen...The Acoustics of Matt Drudge...Jonah's Thing That Should Not Be...Donald Luskin's Unusual Injury...Comical Arguments...A Discovery Made Too Late ~
Excerpts from a cassette tape labeled "For Immediate Destruction. Do NOT [underlined four times] accidentally mail this out with the promotional materials. Kathryn-Jean, THIS MEANS YOU", which I found in my mailbox today, along with various promotional materials from the National Review:
[Speaker identities independently verified]
Jonah Goldberg: Man, these are some good donuts.
Rod Dreher: Seriously. Who picked these up today? Derbyshire?
Dreher: But seriously, who picked them up?
Goldberg: Who do you think? I kicked it down the chain to Robinson. I'm a busy man. I got things to do. Know'um'sayin'?
Dreher: Word up!
Goldberg: Um...'Word up' does mean 'I agree', right?
Dreher: Yeah, I think so. Doesn't it?
Goldberg: I could have sworn that it did.
Dreher: Shit. Maybe we should ask someone? I mean, messing up something that basic would conflict with our trendy image as the cool young kids of conservatism, wouldn't it?
Goldberg: Yeah, seriously. Shit, you got the clicker? Flip over to BET. They talk like that all the time there! I bet we can decipher the meaning from context clues.
Dreher: Good idea!
[silence, TV noises]
Goldberg: Shizzle my what?
Dreher: Dude, black people confuse the shit out of me.
Goldberg: This isn't even English!
Dreher: Screw this. I can't even spell half these peoples' names.
Goldberg: Seriously. Find some news, would you?
Dreher: On it.
Dreher: Look, see? There's a black person I can understand. Thank God for Lester Holt.
Goldberg: Lester Holt speaks so well, doesn't he? Damn, I wish he was on Fox.
Dreher: Yeah...we need more blacks on Fox. We can't leave it all up to...up to...say, what's the name of that black anchor on Fox?
Goldberg: Oh, you mean the black guy?
Dreher: Yeah! Him!
Goldberg: Um...dammit, it's right on the tip of my tongue.
Dreher: Something with an 'S'...
Goldberg: Sam...Steve...Sm- Smith! That's it - oh, dammit, I was thinking of Shepard Smith.
Dreher: Fuck! That's who I was thinking of too. Why do you suppose that is?
Goldberg: Well, he is pretty tan - even in winter! Do you suppose he's half black?
Dreher: No, I think he hits the tanning beds too much.
Goldberg: Hmm...maybe. I'll write a Corner post later, see if anyone knows if Shepard is part black. I'll say it's for an article or something.
Dreher: Good idea. Hey! There's Willie the Intern! Hey, Willie the Intern, come here!
Willie: Whatup, guys.
Goldberg: 'Whatup'! Perfect! So, Willie the Intern, here's your first journalistic task of the day...
Willie: Okay, seriously Goldberg -
Goldberg: Mr. Goldberg.
Willie: [pause] Mr. Goldberg. My name is Willie. Just Willie.
Goldberg: Whatever, Willie the Intern. Anyway, check this out. If someone said 'word up' to you, what would you think it meant?
Willie: 'Word up'? No one says that anymore, except maybe middle-age white guys trying to be cool.
Willie: What? What'd I say?
Dreher: Go take these donuts to my office.
Willie: But I-
Dreher: No talk! Just do it.
Willie: Whatever, man.
Dreher: What does Willie the Intern know anyway?
Goldberg: How to get his ass kicked, apparently. Man, you don't even know how close I was to popping that punk in the jaw. You know I'd do it, too!
John Derbyshire: Yeah, Ooooookay, Goldberg.
Goldberg: Oh. It's you.
Dreher: Hey, Derb! Whatup?
Goldberg: Nevermind. You wouldn't get it.
Derbyshire: You need to just back off, Jonah.
Dreher: Hey, guys, chill out.
Goldberg: I'm chillin', I'm chillin'. Just keep Derb away from me.
Derbyshire: What, you're afraid I'll put a boot up your ass?
Dreher: [singing] It's the American way! And Uncle Sam put your name - oh...sorry. Habit.
Goldberg: You just try it! Bring it on!
Derbyshire: Goddamnit, Goldberg, quit saying that! Look, it was cool at first, right after the President said it, but for the love of God, I'm tired of hearing it eighteen times a day from you! 'Ooooh, look, I'm Jonah Goldberg! I'm all tough and cool! Liberals are talking shit about me? Bring it on! Hannity was making fun of my haircut? Bring it on! The coffeemaker's not working? Bring it on!' You told a frickin' coffeemaker to bring it on! What the hell's wrong with you?!
Goldberg: Yeah, well, what the hell's wrong with me can just bring it on!
Derbyshire: That doesn't even make sense!
Goldberg: You don't like it? Bring it on! Bring it on now!
Dreher: Guys! Stop it! Come on, now, we're all on the same side here. Just calm down.
Goldberg: He started it...
Dreher: Knock it off. Just...calm....down.
Dreher: There. That's better. You guys need to end this little feud of yours. This is worse than when you and Coulter got into that snit last year.
Goldberg: Yeah, well, she shouldn't have called me a pantywaist.
Ann Coulter: You are a pantywaist, Goldberg.
Dreher: Jesus! Who the fuck let her into the building!?
Goldberg: [shrieks] Mom! Help!
Kathryn Lopez: [laughing] Settle down, guys, it's not Ann, it's only me.
Dreher: Kathryn! Dammit, what was that all about?
K-Lo: It's one of those voice-changer things.
Goldberg: [gasping] Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
K-Lo: Settle down, Jonah. It's just me. All I did was talk into this thing here.
Dreher: Wow...I...whew, gotta catch my breath. Damn that's cool.
Goldberg: Cool? I nearly pissed myself just now.
Derbyshire: Maybe if you weren't such a pussy...
Dreher: Come on, Derb, that's not cool. You know the whole Coulter thing was traumatic for Jonah.
Willie: What's all the shouting in here for? And what was traumatic for Jonah?
K-Lo: Oh, you know, when Ann Coulter was fired and stuff, she told Jonah she was going to have Bob Guccione kick his ass.
Dreher: I don't think Willie the Intern needs to know-
Willie: You mean the guy who founded Penthouse?
K-Lo: No, his kid, Bob Guccione Junior. He and Ann dated, you know.
Willie: And Jonah was worried that he'd get his ass kicked by this guy?
Willie: So let me get this straight. You were afraid of a guy who's such a loser that even though his dad owns Penthouse freakin' Magazine, the best he could do was Ann Coulter? She has an adam's apple, for Christ's sake!
Goldberg: I don't expect you to understand.
Willie: I guess not.
Tim Graham: Hey, what's the commotion in here?
All: Hey, Tim.
Derbyshire: Kathryn was messing around with this voice-changer thing, and she sounded like Ann Coulter. Bring-it-on boy over there nearly shit himself.
Graham: A voice changer- wait a minute. Does this mean that that wasn't really Henry Kissinger who called me this morning?
K-Lo: Tee hee!
Graham: You bitch! I already submitted an article based on that interview!
K-Lo: You what?
Graham: He told me he was Deep Throat!
Willie: And you didn't realize it was prank?
Willie: Are you an idiot?
Goldberg: Watch your mouth, Willie the Intern! This man used to work for the Media Research Center! You show respect!
Dreher: Wait a minute! You worked for the MRC?
Dreher: Isn't that Brent Bozell's outfit?
Dreher: Man, that must have been rough. That guy's a prick! He reminds me of that jerkoff in Ghostbusters who makes them shut down the power to the ghost prison.
Graham: Yeah, it was pretty rough. But you know what the worst part was? The guy pretends he's real cool and important, but he's really just a huge dork! I hate it when dorks don't recognize that they're dorks.
[silence as everyone stares at Tim Graham for a moment]
Goldberg: Say, Graham, do you know if Shepard Smith is half black?
Graham: No, but I'm pretty sure he's half woman.
K-Lo: Now what do you mean by- um, wait...what?
Graham: Seriously. Look at him. He doesn't even have an adam's apple.
Willie: Maybe Ann Coulter took it...
All: Shut up, Willie the Intern.
Dreher: All right, guys, it's been fun, but I've got to go check my email to see if some readers have done enough research for me to write that "John Kerry's French Characteristics" article.
Goldberg: Well, I bet he's a cheese-eating surrender-monkey!
Derbyshire: Good God, Goldberg! If you're going to mindlessly repeat some phrase, at least make it up your own-goddamn-self!
Goldberg: I did make that up!
Derbyshire: You saw it on the Simpsons!
Goldberg: Well, I re-popularized it. I should get credit for that.
Derbyshire: No you shouldn't!
Goldberg: You know what, John? I'm sick of this bullshit! Why don't you just bring it on!
Dreher: Derb! Get off him! You're hurting him!
Graham: He's not worth it, John!
Willie: Kick him in the nuts!
K-Lo: Wait, the Simpsons said "Bring 'em on"?
Goldberg: Not in the face! Not in the face!
Ann Coulter: Both of you weaklings stop that right now!
Dreher: Oh God!
Derbyshire: Scatter! She can't catch us all!
Willie: Guys, guys, it's Kathryn again. She's using that thing again.
Derbyshire: I knew that.
K-Lo: Calm down, Jonah. I was just trying to get you guys to stop fighting.
Dreher: It's okay, Jonah. No Ann today. Still just K-Lo.
Willie: Uh, Kathryn, maybe you should use a different setting on that thing? Make yourself sound like someone else? You know someone who doesn't have this kind of effect on everybody?
K-Lo: Why would I want to- Oh! I get it. So they all stop screaming and falling down and stuff. Yeah, okay, hold on. Here we go. I leave the Coulter monotone in place; I crank it up five octaves; adjust the pitch to "extra nasal" and...
Matt Drudge: Ta-da! Matt Drudge!
Matt Drudge: I'm Matt Drudge! I wear a stupid hat and think I'm a journalist!
Matt Drudge: Capital letters are my best friends in the whole world! If it's not in caps, it isn't news!
Matt Drudge: No one in the entire world would know my name if I hadn't stolen Isikoff's Monica story!
Dreher: Ah ha ha ha! It's funny because it's true!
Matt Drudge: I loooooooove David Brock!
Goldberg: Ha ha ha! Oh shit! Ha ha! It's true! He does!
Goldberg: Guys! Guys! We gotta call Brock! We gotta...we gotta- oh hell, that's funny - we gotta call Brock, and use this thing to make him think we're Drudge!
Derbyshire: I can't believe such a great idea came from you.
Matt Drudge: Oooh, David Brock! I love you! I want to be all gay and stuff with you! Ooh, ooh!
Dreher: Okay...okay...who's got Brock's number?
Goldberg: Not me, I burned it when that bastard turned Commie on us.
Derbyshire: I wrote it on the bathroom wall of some truckstop and then flushed it.
Matt Drudge: Ooh, ooh, me and Daaaavid sitting in a tree...
Dreher: Yeah, yeah, Kathryn, we get it, it's funny. Now do you have Brock's number?
Matt Drudge: I wish I did, so I could tell him I want to make kissy-face with him all day lo-
K-Lo: Hey! Why'd you take that?
Dreher: You can have it back in a minute. But first we need the number. Who do we know that has it?
Willie: Hey! I read his book. He was good friends with Laura Ingraham for awhile. Maybe she-
Graham: Ah Jesus! Fuck! Ow! Ow!
Willie: What the-
Graham: Damn it, Willie the Intern! Can't you read?!
Willie: What? Of course I can! Read what?
Graham: That sign over there!
Willie: It's kind of small..."Do"..."not say"..."Laura Ingraham's"-
Dreher: Ahh! Shit!
Graham: DAMN IT, Willie the Intern!
Willie: "name out loud". What the hell's that all about? What's going on?
Graham: It's Goldberg. You can't say...[whispering] you can't say the "L.I." word without him getting all, you know, excited... and...you know...going off.
Goldberg: Shut up!
Willie: Going- You don't mean...
Graham: Like a shotgun, Willie. Like a fucking shotgun. Haven't you ever wondered why people around here duck whenever the word "Laura" is mentioned? I mean, usually, people mean Dr. Laura, but you can never be too careful.
Willie: That is seriously the most disgusting thing I've ever heard.
Derbyshire: Yeah well, get on the phone and have Lucienne send over a new pair of pants, would you? He can't very well walk around with a giant hole blown out of the front of his drawers. Just say that L.I. was mentioned. She'll know what to do.
Dreher: You think that's gross? Shit, you should have seen what happened to Luskin. He thought we were all kidding, so he thought it would be funny to make fun of us by printing a picture of...her...on the back of a t-shirt. He comes up to Jonah, says something about having a surprise for him, then casually walks away.
Graham: The poor bastard.
Derbyshire: He never knew what hit him.
Willie: You mean, Goldberg, he...
Graham: Nearly took Don's head clean off.
Dreher: He woke up four days later. The CAT scans and the EEGs turned out all right, but he's never been the same since.
Derbyshire: Why do you think we put him on the "Krugman Truth Squad"? There's no such thing. You'd have to be an idiot to think you could show up Krugman at economics. Shit, he's on the short list to win a damned Nobel Prize!
Graham: But Don keeps on toiling away. We all say nice things to encourage him, but-
Willie: I thought you guys agreed with Luskin...
Graham: Oh, we hate Krugman, sure, but have you read some of the shit Luskin writes? That motherfucker is out of his mind. Seriously, I think he dreams about Krugman.
Dreher: I keep expecting to walk into his office and find the word "Paul" written all over the walls in blood.
Derbyshire: I caught him making anagrams out of Krugman's name the other day. He kept whispering "Krugman is ram gunk is Krugman" under his breath while he did it. When I asked him about it, he said he'd have it solved soon.
Goldberg: Look, how many times can I say I'm sorry?
All: Shut up, Goldberg.
Graham: Anyway, Buckley says we have to keep him on the payroll, otherwise he'll sue. Even all fucked up in the head like that, Don's apparently a litigious son of a bitch. So, "The Krugman Truth Squad" lives on.
Derbyshire: God help us all.
Goldberg: Actually, I don't see what's wrong with it-
All: Shut up, Goldberg.
Willie: Well, Andrew Sullivan seems to think that the Truth Squad is real. He seemed eager to be a part of it.
Graham: [snorts] Sullivan thinks Schwarzenegger's going to be the greatest thing to ever happen to California. I mean, shit, I write that kind of stuff too, but that's because William freakin' Buckley signs my paychecks; I'd endorse Jenna Jameson for governor if she put an "R" after her name. Sullivan's got his own site; he writes it because he believes it.
Derbyshire: Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Eagle." Jesus frickin' hell.
K-Lo: Jonah, your pants are here.
Goldberg: I'll be right back.
Willie: So, Derbyshire, what-
Derbyshire: Mr. Derbyshire.
Willie: [pause] Mr. Derbyshire, why are you and Jonah on such bad terms?
Dreher: Christ, you had to bring it up...
Graham: It's nothing.
Willie: What's nothing?
Dreher: Let's not start this up again.
Derbyshire: Because he's wrong, dammit!
Dreher: Here we go.
Derbyshire: A few days ago, me and Goldberg are talking about people to compare George Bush to. You know, the whole "Bush as Lincoln", "Bush as Roosevelt", "Bush as Churchill" thing. Buckley says that Rove's called for a PR offensive, and we gotta be ready with some good ones on hand, you know? So we get to thinking, why does the person we compare Bush to have to actually exist? After all, people know a lot more about fictional characters than they do real life historical figures, right?
Willie: Yeah, I guess so...
Derbyshire: Are you kidding me? It's genius! So, naturally, I say Batman. But that rotten little bastard -
Willie: Wait....hold on. Did you just say Batman?
Derbyshire: Perfect, isn't it? He's rich, he fights the bad guys, he's in shape...it's great. But that little punk Goldberg has the balls to disagree. He says that Bush is more like the Green Lantern. I-
Goldberg: That's because he is, you son of a bitch!
Derbyshire: You miserable...Look, I love George Bush as much as you do, but he can't make objects materialize just by thinking about it!
Goldberg: It's a metaphor, you moron! Whatever you need, Bush can make it come true for you! It's more poetic, dammit. Besides, Green Lantern so could have kicked Batman's ass.
Derbyshire: Bullshit! Batman was a genius! He would have outsmarted Green Lantern with a brilliant, complex plan, just like Bush is outsmarting the Democrats! Plus, the whole "millionaire playboy" thing fits perfectly!
Goldberg: You are so full of it, Derbyshire! Green Lantern could have impaled Batman on a green spear if Batman had even looked at him funny! He could make anything! Anything!
Willie: I don't fucking believe this.
Derbyshire: Look at his archenemy, you idiot! The Joker! Absolute evil hiding behind a corrupt smile! Promising laughter and happiness that only leads to death and pain! He-llo! Can you say 'Bill Clinton'?!
Goldberg: The legacy! Think of the legacy! The Green Lantern fights not just for himself, but for the noble legacy off all the Lanterns that came before him!
Derbyshire: That's the Phantom, you nimrod!
Goldberg: Green Lantern too! He does it too! Just like Bush, and his father, and his grandfather!
Derbyshire: Batman was cooler, goddamnit!
Goldberg: No way! Green Lantern could fly! And ooh, ooh, his only weakness? The color yellow!
Derbyshire: That's a stupid weakness!
Goldberg: It's metaphor! Cowardice! Only cowardice on the part of the liberals can stop George Bush!
Derbyshire: Shut up!
Goldberg: You shut up!
Derbyshire: No, you!
Willie: Guys! Guys! Guys!
Willie: There's an easy solution to this. Look, how about George Bush as Superman! He flies, he's invincible, he's the strongest man on earth, he's...he's noble...he's brave...what? What'd I say? Superman. You know...The Man...What's wrong?
Dreher: You fucking idiot.
Graham: Did you hit your head or something?
K-Lo: How the hell did you get this job?
Willie: What? I don't get it.
Derbyshire: Get out of here, Willie the Intern. Go home for the day. I can't stand to look at you right now.
Dreher: Complete fucking idiot.
Willie: What's wrong with Superman?
[10 seconds of silence]
Goldberg: Ronald. Reagan. Is. Superman.
[10 more seconds of silence]
Willie: You guys are crazy. I'm outta here, man.
[minute of silence]
Derbyshire: You know, Jonah, this is a stupid fight. We're too good for this.
Goldberg: Yeah...at least you aren't as crazy as that guy.
K-Lo: Or as stupid! Gosh, what would it be like to be so dumb? It's like, you wouldn't be able to think of smart stuff, and -
Goldberg: Thanks, Kathryn, we got it. Derb, I'm sorry, man.
Derbyshire: Yeah, me too. Come here, give me a hug kid.
Dreher: Good for you guys!
Goldberg: Eh, you know, we're above that sort of pettiness.
Derbyshire: Waaay above.
Graham: Wait a minute...uh, guys? Whose tape recorder is that?
Graham: On the table over their. Shit, is that thing on?
Derbyshire: No, it can't be! It - fucking hell! Dreher, Goldberg! You were the first two in here! What the fuck?
Goldberg: Hey, back off! It's not ours!
Dreher: Yeah, I work here just like you-
Derbyshire: Shut the fuck up, Dreher, you're a goddamned movie critic!
Dreher: Hey! That was a long time ago!
Derbyshire: That was two years ago!
K-Lo: Oh my God! That tape has everything we've been saying in here on it! Batman, Green Lantern, Coulter, Laura Ingraham-
Graham: AHH! My eye! Son of a bitch, Goldberg!
Goldberg: It's not my fault! It's not my fault!
Derbyshire: Turn the damn thing off! Turn it off!
[End of Tape]