The bigger the pundit, the more recognizable--and lampoonable--the style. In a stress-relieving end to a long
week, three of our highest-ranked commentators from the Atlantic 50 get parodied. Below, three send-ups of Glenn Beck, Thomas Friedman, and Peggy Noonan with the Wire's quick annotations.
Glenn Beck (#7), by Saturday Night Live's Jason Sudeikis. Beck, who frequently uses a blackboard to etch out conspiracy theories, once wrote that Obama was establishing an "OLIGARHY." Beck approvingly tweeted of the spoof, "The hair, chin and chalkboard. FUNNY."
Thomas Friedman (#4), by Wonkette's Jim Newell. In 2003, Friedman infamously told Charlie Rose that the Iraq War was about America telling the world to "suck on this." A fervent advocate of globalization, Friedman loves to sprinkle his writing with allusions to the global economy.
It's then that it hits me: Here I am playing an ancient Scottish game with metal sticks in Java while doodling giraffe penises on my Apple Blackberry Etch-a-Sketch function designed by brown-blacks in Eritrea and there are Mongolian goats in the background ordering garlic hummus at the Taco Bell/KFC where the hobbit employees are albino and French and robots and then the Kenyan-Hawaiian president of the Pan-American representative democracy is with me but he’s chasing Chinese rabbits across the New York Stock Exchange floor which is covered in Saharan turpentine — metaphorically, this is a metaphor — and I see God: it is called "the Yuan" or maybe "iPod." Suck. On. This.
Peggy Noonan (#13), by Gawker's John Cook. Noonan, who worked in the Reagan White House, has a style that is sometimes marked by, as Cook put it, "swooning self-regard and misty incoherence."
Gosh, I'm a little chilly. Maybe I should switch to bourbon. Is it four yet? Oh well. This white wine's a little cold, though. Why did I choose the white wine? Oh, I wanted to polish off that bottle, that's right. OK, I'll just finish it off and then warm myself back up with the Knob Creek. I wonder what they would taste like if I mixed them together? My kingdom for an electric Snuggie! You know what's wrong with our culture? No one stands anymore—Ronald Reagan could stand, and he could walk, the way our fathers stood and walked when there were wars and everyone wore hats and carried handkerchiefs. A handkerchief is like a smile—a wry little smile that says, "Everything's going to be OK, miss. You just don't worry, we'll take care of everything." Are there handkerchiefs on the internet? Maybe there are, but I don't think so. I think we need a handkerchief, to lift us up and carry us back to when things like people and dogs and trees really mattered. Why are we always so angry? God I'd love 15 minutes in the back of a car with Lionel Richie. Where was I?