Alessandra Stanley Reviews Last Night's Speech Thing

The Times let embittered and oft-inaccurate tv critic Alessandra Stanley write about something a little more weighty than Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles in today's paper. She gets to review the President's "State of the Union" speech, which happens on TV, yes, but it doesn't involve explosions and there are not really commercial breaks. Thankfully it's often transcribed and distributed beforehand, so Stanley doesn't have to sort of half-remember bits of dialog she wasn't actually paying attention to. But only the real journalists get to write about the bullshit in the speech itself, so Stanley instead babbles some sub-sportswriter-by-way-of-David Broder nonsense about "Dynasties" playing themselves out in some grand Wagnerian opera just behind the scenes (and also in front of the scenes, on stages and behind podiums and such). Because the Bushes and the Kennedys and the Clintons were all sorta there, in Washington, DC, where all of them spend most of their time.



Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama the other day, right after Caroline Kennedy did the same. They made a bunch of not particularly helpful talk about how Barry Hussein was the true heir to their dead relative Jack's legacy of being a young and mildly attractive fellow who was politically successful. They left out the bit with the filthy rich mobbed up dad pulling the strings, but maybe Obama's dad was a major operator among his fellow goat-herds back in Kenya. Stanley finds great psychological significance in all of this, but it's all pretty much the wrong psychological significance, as it involves drunk fool and poor man's Kennedy Patrick.

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island, on the stage but not of the moment, kept standing up during his father's and Mr. Obama's speeches, as if to sneak into the camera's frame. At one point while Ms. Kennedy was speaking, Senator Kennedy leaned toward Mr. Obama, who put both his arms around the senator as the two men shared a joke. Young Mr. Kennedy leaned over to try to hear their conversation, but was ignored.

Because this is Alessandra Stanley, we can't be sure that the scene described above happened in any form whatsoever, but even if it did, it's not hard to imagine that poor Patrick would not quite have been the favored son even before America's First Black Kennedy showed up on the scene. Because he's a drug-addled embarrassment. Sorry!

Oh, and Stanley's lede is "The day began in Camelot and ended in Southfork." Which, if it's trying to be a Dynasty reference, is all sorts of wrong. That was Dallas, Al!

Camelot '08 Overshadows Bush Speech [NYT]