March 16, 2009

The Definition of Idiosyncratic

Part of the specialness of C-Span is its delightful eccentricities, which mostly reflect those of its founder, Brian Lamb. It's like walking into a mom & pop store. You never know what you'll find.

The Q&A program is devoting not one, not a two, but three consecutive Sundays to the trial of shamed Alaskan senator Ted Stevens. There's such a wonderful gratuitousness in this, an absurdly romantic lack of concern over ratings. It's well known that only five people in the lower 48 care about Ted Stevens. It's appropriate that yesterday's program, a full hour, featured only an "Alaskan blogger". (Full disclosure: I missed last night's program. Save your emails and snarks as I'm sure it was interesting and edifying.)

I take a preverse interest in trying to discover what Brian Lamb is thinking, mostly because he's so reticent about his thoughts. Back in the Cold War days there were Kremlinologists; I'm an amateur Lambologist. Besides being obsessed with Lincoln, my latest thought concerning his thoughts is that he's really, really, really interested/concerned/surprised by political corruption. His recent out-of-retirement hour with a Weekly Standard writer who wrote about corruption is my only proof outside of this three part series.

Not having seen the Q&A program I can't comment on it other than to say the principle behind it is sound: examine in depth - I mean seriously in depth - how it was that a beloved (in his own state) Republican senator could fall from grace. Just as some Christians study Judas, Julian the Apostate, and others for clues to the human condition, it probably is wise to study Ted Stevens to see what can be gained from Alaska's experience. (Full disclosure: I know nothing about Ted Stevens or the charges against him. This post, amazingly, was written without either seeing the program in question or having any knowledge of subject of the program - that's not easy! My mom would be so proud.)

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