The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, March 18, 2003  

TV Critic Sees "Furrowed Brow" on President Bush

Unbeknownst to most Americans, there is a major crisis in Washington: President George W. Bush displayed a furrowed brow during his televised address to the nation last night!

No big deal? No big deal?!?! What are you, nuts?!?!

You obviously haven't been keeping up with the likes of Mickey Kaus and Mark Steyn.

Mickey and Mark recently threw themselves into great lathers of righteous indignation over the subject and significance of brows, together -- actually, one after the other: Kaus, then Steyn -- rending Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by writ of fiat simply and undeniably unfit for the presidency because of his deeply and perpetually furrowed brow. (For Kaus's ridiculous remarks, click here. For commentary on Steyn's even more absurd, and echoing, comments, click here.)

With the shallow observations of Mickey and Mark in mind, today's column by Philadelphia Inquirer television critic Jonathan Storm, reviewing the president's address, ought to have sparked a full-fledged constitutional crisis. Storm writes:

The President's speech was competent and measured. After the camera moved away from Bush's hands turning obviously phony pages of his speech as he stared relentlessly into the TelePrompTer, and after you got used to the strange and constant furrow of his brow, it was hard to fault the performance. Sure, it was generally monotonous, but that underscored the seriousness of the topic, and the President was far removed from the near catatonia of his March 6 news conference. [Ed.: Emphasis added.]

Why are the people not up in arms? Where is the outrage? Where is the revolution? Is this not intolerable? WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WITH A FURROWED BROW!

Why have Mickey and Mark not expressed their contempt for this massive personal failing and failure of President Bush? Are we truly, in the words of Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) "sleepwalking through history," our laughable punditocracy unable and unwilling to hold elected officials to the standards they themselves have set?

Or is it just that most other Americans and Canadians believe, as I do, that Mickey and Mark are stupid little jokesters, smart-assing their way to the bank at the expense of honesty and accountability?

(For the record, the record for its own sake and the record in the event I decide to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in his upcoming reelection bid, I repeat: I have a furrowed brow. It is a deeply furrowed brow. It is a deeply and perpetually furrowed brow. My brow has been deeply and perpetually furrowed for nearly 20 years. I believe I inherited my deeply and perpetually furrowed brow from my father, as his brow also has been furrowed, both deeply and perpetually, for as long as I can remember.)

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