I'm not much of a celebrity spotter. For one thing, I'm rarely anyplace where one might see a celebrity--they don't hang around Austin or Sunnyvale very much--and for another, I am simply not looking for any. Maybe I'm just too wrapped up in myself.
"I'm Karl Rove, and I fly Southwest"
Of course, when Karl Rove comes marching down the aisle of your Southwest direct flight to Austin, it's hard not to notice.
"Gee," thought I, "that guy with the fluffy thinning white hair, pudgy face, and wire-rim glasses sure looks like Karl Rove." Well, when at the stop in San Diego a few people asked "Mr. Rove" if they could please take their picture with him, the doubt was kind of removed.
Which begs a question: what on Earth does one do when sitting across the aisle--literally--from someone who has done so much damage to the country? From someone who helped elect one of the worst Presidents in our history? (Bush, Hoover, or Pierce--it's a tough call.) From someone who you think is, quite literally, an amoral asshole?
I won't keep you in suspense: I didn't do anything or say anything. Well, I asked him to lift my suitcase down and hand it to me, but that hardly qualifies as doing unto him, if you know what I mean.
But still, I couldn't help but wonder. Do I engage him in conversation and then, politely, tell him I think he's an evil bastard who is full of shit? Do I trip him as he's walking up the aisle? Do I try to debate him? Subject him to verbal abuse? Spit on him? Call on the passengers at large to rise up and smite him? Steal his laptop and/or iPhone? So many possibilities, most of which would get me in trouble. And none of which, in the end, I really had the stomach for, as I couldn't possibly under any circumstances be polite and chat and pretend I didn't think he was an evil bastard. I'm just not built for that, I guess.
So I'm afraid my anecdote is fairly sparse, other than the fact that Rove was asked by another passenger who his favorite "talk show host" was. "Chris Wallace," Rove responded. "It used to be Tim Russert until he passed away." Which of course was funny in a couple of ways:
- I am certain the passenger meant "news show interviewer," but isn't it telling that the "general public" now conflates news show interviewers with talk-show hosts? As if Walter Cronkite and Bob Eubanks plied the same trade.
- Isn't it fascinating that Rove preferred Russert even over the partisan hacks that populate Fox News? Definitely puts the rather absurd lionization Russert received after his death by people at MSNBC into context. Someone let Glenn Greenwald and digby know. I mean, if Rove loved him, how tough an interviewer could he be? I mean, please.
One thing for sure--time to consider switching to Jet Blue.