New York

Gonzales Hearing 11:09 a.m.POTUS Interruptus!


What in the hell is going on!? Teddy Kennedy, so angry that his hands were shaking and his voice was quaking, was grilling the hell out of Alberto Gonzales on C-Span in a riveting moment of small-D democracy when, at 11 sharp, my TV screen turned green, a buzzer sounded, and a voice intoned:

    This is a coordinated weekly test of the Emergency Alert System. Equipment that can quickly warn you during emergencies is being tested.

OK, that’s a standard weekly test. Bad timing, yes, but that’s all.

But when the one-minute test ended, and C-Span returned to the TV screen, there was the House chaplain, Daniel Couglin, praying that Congress count the damn votes and make Bush’s re-election official! What the hell happened to the Gonzales hearing?!

I switched over to a computer to try to get a feed from, but no success.

Kennedy had just brought up questions about the “techniques” of “live burial” and “water-boarding.”

If Kennedy had had more time, he would have performed a live burial of Gonzales right there on Capitol Hill.

Only in this wack country could you have a defining moment of live television in which someone is talking about a civil-liberties emergency interrupted by a test of equipment used for broadcasting emergencies live. You feel me?

More on this stuff later. The closest thing on New York TV right now to Kennedy’s dramatic questioning of Gonzales is Jerry Springer. I’m gonna get me some beads.

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