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The LCA Show

June 11, 2015

At the risk of alienating some people, we’re going to do another post, a second in a row, that raises a question about the media. Remember that this is, after all, a blog that tries to comment critically and constructively on journalism.

The question: “Is it appropriate for the people who cover state politics and government to satirize, mock, lampoon and laugh at the people they cover?”

This is actually an issue that has been raised for 115 years, after each LCA show.  In fact, raising the question is almost part of the tradition of the show. So in a sense we’re being traditional when we ask you, dear readers, to take a moment and think about the underlying construct and possible parallels.

In this regard, what other professions could do a gridiron show about people with whom they interact daily?

What if cops reviewed their blotters and picked out the wackiest encounters they had over the previous year?

What if priests kept a running tally of all crazy things they heard in the confessional?

What if doctors and PAs and nurses recounted their most bizarre patient experiences?

What if prosecutors did a show in which they tried to portray politicians in the worst possible light by selecting the most embarrassing wiretapped comments and playing them for the public completely out of context? …Oh, wait, that’s happening already. So scratch that example.

Now consider how the show would be produced. The cops, priests and doctors would say to the rest of the world: “We’re not working today because it’s our show night.” And on that night, the big night, they’d dress up clownishly, sing off key, ham it up in skits and gags, and laugh and laugh, hysterically, at all of us.

They wouldn’t hold back anything. Nothing would be off limits. Taste, good judgment, sensitivity – out the window. In fact, the show would flout the silly, goofy notion of probity in a totally fucked up world.

And at the end of this show, after we were ribbed, run down and ridiculed for three hours, the cops, clergy and doctors would gather on stage,  lock arms and sing, swaying back and forth as they did: “Aw, come on now, don’t be sore …it was all in jest.”

Would you go to such a show? It might actually be wickedly funny, and you’d be surprised and entertained by the fact that two or three of the cops, priests and docs could actually sing. Would you do it? Would you pay money for it?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. AFan permalink
    June 11, 2015 1:57 PM

    I’m a recent follower of your blog; your merry band of wordsmiths is one if my favorites. Another of my favorites, H.L. Mencken, once said that “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” Over time, this has been misquoted into “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    That said, I wonder if we shouldn’t be looking at this from a different perspective – anyone who knows a cop or a doc knows that they all tell stories; they just don’t do so in public – nor do they do it in front of an audience of the objects of their professional attention (this, of course, leaves me with the mental image of a group of corrections officers putting on a musical number about convicts escaping from a prison with power tools in front of an audience of their charges, while a gubernatorial-looking fellow wanders about stage right, trying to determine which direction they’ve headed).

    So perhaps we should congratulate the LCA for being bold enough to express their feelings, albeit in a somewhat passive-aggressive manner, about those that they report upon – or perhaps we should send the whole bunch, including the legislative participants, off for analysis.

    If nothing else has become evident during this session, it’s that there’s precious little probity in Albany.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    June 11, 2015 3:59 PM

    The reporters just make fools of themselves.

  3. Inflatable Rat permalink
    June 12, 2015 10:08 AM

    The LCA is lampooning public figures about issues that have been in the media previously. There is no comparison to doctor’s revealing privileged information or cops divulging the secrets of private citizens.

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