FIRST, can someone tell me why there is a Diane Sawyer--for folks who said, thirty years ago, "Gee, I'd like to gorge myself on those empty Barbara Walters calories. If only she were WASPy!" ? She's been a "journalist" for a quarter of a century. Is there one story she's been connected with that couldn't have been accomplished, if not topped, by a freshman stringer for People accidentally given a blank check ?
Put another way, this is the interview she was born to do. Sorry I missed it, somehow.
...the previously publicity-shy first daughter held forth on a range of topics, from her father (“He’s doing a great job, and he’s hanging in there”), the war in Iraq (“obviously a very complicated subject,” she said, deftly ducking a question about whether she agrees with her father) and her future husband, Henry Hager, who proposed last month during a crack-of-dawn hike on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine. (“He’s very outdoorsy.”)
She added that she finds Crest toothpaste "minty", likes nuts because they're "crunchy", and thinks the biggest challenge in her new married life will be "having sex without passing out first."
Okay, that's unfair, and let me be the first to admit that Ms Bush no doubt spent a good three or four weeks longer than I have teaching at an inner-city elementary school, so who am I to talk? Except that I think I speak for all Americans when I say, "Would you please go marry Howard Fuckington Fuckwit IV and leave us the hell alone?" You performed you duty to humanity better than intended. You were the only person brave enough to show us the real Bush family, up close, long before anybody in the Press would have dared point it out. After you, Jenna Bush, the response of your father, his administration, and the rest of the Bush clan to Hurricane Katrina could be understood in its entirety, and at a glance. A glance out an Air Force One porthole.
It was more than anyone could have asked of you. And more than you could have delivered if you were trying. Take the rest of your career off.
Please, please, do not do anything to spoil our last fond memories of you and your sister suddenly finding your lifelong love's work of helping the disadvantaged once you'd finished blogging the Campaign Trail, 2004. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the mental image I got of Babs telling the two of you you'd look like her before you saw any trust fund money unless you shaped up between then and November. Jeez, I'm tearing up right now.
So let us not hear how your father "closed the [press] curtain around his daughters" leaving people to see you in a negative light. That wasn't a negative light, it was bioluminescence. The Press fell over itself apologizing for even mentioning that first fake I.D. arrest; it was a preview of Harry Whittington apologizing for intercepting Dick Cheney's birdshot. I particularly remember some Jeff Greenfield-hosted CNN panel where four national pundits played Hell I Still Use Fake I.Ds and two actually volunteered to do the jail time for you.
Now you're twenty-six. Those of us who felt that your public behavior at nineteen was less than seemly for a First Twin were not judging you then by the standards of a mid-twenties something, so don't apologize for it now. Take a lesson from Billy Idol, who, pressed for the absolute truth behind that crack-rock-clasped-between-him-and-his-alternative-girlfriend incident (for which she took the fall) said--and I quote--"Oops."
See, nineteen was old enough to understand the distinction between public and private misbehavior, between typical college freshman hi-jinks and volunteering as the bratty, cosseted poster child for the national Rules Don't Apply To The Privileged crusade scant months after your Gentleman's C father began the presidential term that other privileged SOBs had stolen for him. Twenty-six is old enough to understand that a half-million initial run of a book brokered by some Republican fixer, featuring prose like this:
His eyes were wild, like those of pumas that lived in the jungles.
which, I grant you, proves you didn't use a ghostwriter (or if you did they found you the Paganini of comedic subtlety) is not fooling anybody, and donating your take to charity might be impressive if you were still living on your earnings from that one-semester teaching gig. If that's harsh, well, it's just meant to point out that you can't milk the publicity machine in order to prove you're a "real person", because real people don't have publicity machines.
Anyway, good luck moving 500,000 of those, and tell Pickles for us how sorry we are there won't be a fairy-tale Rose Garden wedding next year. It would have made the perfect lead-in for the Republican national convention.