Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The King's Courtiers

How hard would it be for President Bush to completely replace the Whitehouse Press Corp? A top to bottom clean out, replacing all of the old bots with shiny brand new bots; beholden to the President for the honor of gracing his presence, and repeating his words. No wonder the French hate us so much; we've stolen their monarchy. Or at least as far as the simpering-class goes.

These people literally sell their souls to the President, just for the opportunity of getting to be with the President. And don't forget. It's not just being with the President. It's also traveling with the President. An American jet-set crowd, full of oysters and caviar (or the jounalistic equivalent there of) ; a rock-star ethic for the educated-elite. And how much of this job entails waiting? Waiting around at a campaign stop for the President to show up. Waiting at the hotel bar, running up the expense account while smoozing with their peers. Like preppied-up cabana boys, waiting to give their master a back rub. I'm speaking figuratively, of course, but you get the idea. But they are more than mere cabana boys. They are a temporary nobility. The access which enables them to wield power depends on their ability to stay in that position; largely at the discretion of the President.

And honestly, couldn't this little snippet about Louis XIV apply equally to our Whitehouse Press Corps and their relationship with the President?
Thus Louis forced the nobles to serve him ceremonially as courtiers, whilst he appointed commoners as ministers and regional governors. As courtiers, the nobles grew ever weaker. Louis had converted the Chateau of Versailles outside Paris into a lavish royal palace; he moved there along with the royal court on May 6, 1682. Court life centred on grandeur; courtiers had to display expensive luxuries, to dress with suitable magnificence and to constantly attend balls, dinners, performances, and celebrations. Thus, many noblemen had perforce either to give up all influence, or to depend entirely on the King for grants and subsidies. Instead of exercising power, the nobles vied for the honour of dining at the King's table or the privilege of carrying a candlestick as the King retired to his bedroom.

Ok, I kind of hope that Helen Thomas isn't carrying anything when she's seeing the big guy off to bed each night. Though that really would explain a few things. So could Bush get away with a Saturday Night Massacre of his elite press corp? Would anyone notice? Would they notice, or would they just assume that the boob on the television is still them?

I don't even know who actually comprises this elite, but I wouldn't mind being one. And they've got to know that they're just one step away from falling off the gravy train forever. They're at the pinnacle of their career, and one false move can mean the difference between champagne and ramen. They're getting a little uppity now with this whole Rove thing, and ivy leaguers are a dime a dozen in this lagging economy. But I guess that's why they stick together like bandits; upper-class teamsters willing to fight for their survival. As it is, they're placated with easy access and excellent fringe benefits. The only question is what they could do if they were all removed from their positions at once. Who would stick up for them? The new guys certainly wouldn't. Would anyone else even know the difference?

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