The man is deathly allergic to sentimentality. I think it’s a case of extreme iconoclasm gone awry.
That said, it has been a bit excessive, hasn’t it?
Those of us who watch Geraldo and Shep Smith know the truth.
The grisly events at Virginia Tech involved no struggle, no sacrifice, no great principle. They were random and pointless. Those who died were not soldiers in any cause. They were not murdered by our enemies. They were not martyrs. But—just to take one example from the exhausting national sob fest of the past few days—here is how the bells were tolled for them at another national seat of learning. The president of Cornell University, David J. Skorton, ordered the chimes on his campus to be rung 33 times before addressing a memorial gathering. Thirty-three times?…
On Saturday night, I watched disgustedly as the president of the United States declined to give his speech to the White House Correspondents Dinner on the grounds that this was no time to be swapping jokes and satires. (What? No words of courage? No urging us to put on a brave face and go shopping or visit Disneyland?) Everyone in the room knew that this was a dismal cop-out, but then everyone in the room also knew that our own profession was co-responsible. If the president actually had performed his annual duty, there were people in the press corps who would have affected shock and accused him of “insensitivity.” So, this was indeed a moment of unity—everyone united in mawkishness and sloppiness and false sentiment. From now on, any president who wants to duck the occasion need only employ a staffer on permanent weepy-watch.
Exit question: Deep down, in the darkest corner of his heart of hearts, where terrible truths are whispered, Geraldo kind of enjoys stories like these, doesn’t he? Think of all the opportunities they give him to hug people!