January 30, 2003

REGIS PHILBIN, ANTI-IDIOTARIAN? Reader Mark Garbowski emails:

This morning on the Regis and Kelly show, Regis made humorous reference to a news article on the offer of exile to Saddam. Kelly asked why we would pay for that and Regis replied that it’s cheaper than war. Then Kelly said yes, but why do we have to pay for it. We solve everyone’s problems and pay for everything and all the world does is hate us and burn the flag. In as close to verbatim as I can remember, Regis said:

“Yeah. Like South Korea. South Korea wants us out of their country. OK. But who’s gonna keep them safe from that crazy man up north? And the French! The only time the French want us to go to war is when the German army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee.”

Cheers from the studio audience. Go Regis.

First Oprah, now Regis. I told you there was a cultural sea-change underway. No wonder the traditional Vietnam-era left is so grumpy.

UPDATE: Dr. Manhattan emails:

I think the Oprah & Regis moments represent the obverse of the legendary LBJ story where he saw Walter Cronkite opine against Vietnam on his broadcast and asserted: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the country.”

Indeed.