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Kudos today to James Hibberd, the Hollywood Reporter TV blogger who is perhaps the only reason we have any clue (or rather, care to have any clue) about the horrors unfolding presently at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Apparently the Florence Henderson/Ed Asner days are over, with the one-two punch of confirmed buddies Karl Rove and Seth MacFarlane taking over Monday as the off-color star tandem to beat.

First came Rove, who, with new Fox News colleague Chris Wallace, sought to defend the appropriateness of his hiring as an election-season commentator after he recently refused to testify to the House Judiciary Committee. "It is not between me and Congress; I have not asserted any personal privilege," Rove said. "It's between the White house and Congress." A few hours later came MacFarlane, who fell back on the quintessentially good taste we've come to expect:

"Is this where Karl Rove sat? Because I don't want to get AIDS."

That's Seth MacFarlane, startin' things off classy. Of the hundreds of people that will have taken a turn on the Beverly Hilton ballroom stage by the end of the Television Critics Association's semi-annual press tour, the Family Guy creator is probably the only one who could come within 30 nautical miles of pulling that off that joke. It's interesting the things one can get away with saying once people have a certain expectation of your personality.

Funny — we'd say the same thing about Rove. Tell you what, TCA: Bring these guys back every six months and we'll order a stay of press-tour execution.That is television worth watching.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]