The Rittenhouse Review

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

Thursday, February 03, 2005  

Daily Pennsylvanian Columnist Tackles Payola, Evokes Kissinger

Tuesday's edition of the Daily Pennsylvanian, published at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, features an outstanding essay by weekly columnist and blogger-waiting-to-happen Melody Joy Kramer, "First Glances Can Be Deceiving," addressing the right wing's ongoing payola scandal, which already has ensnared three sub-par but inexplicably popular administration-oriented pundits: Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and Mike McManus.

It's a smart and clever piece, one that I advise you to read carefully, not only because Kramer's observations about the payola scandal are interesting in their own regard -- even more so given the inventive "I'm a college student" perspective she employs -- but to decipher the related, and hidden, subtext incorporated into the essay, to which Kramer alludes in this passage:

I try to manipulate my readers as much I can. How will I take advantage of the unsuspecting public this week, I muse. Should I use the Jedi mind tricks? Subversive messages? Embedded acronyms?

Yes. Something like that.

The story below provides my own hint to help you find the subversive message Kramer placed in "First Glances."

While in graduate school I read the memoirs of Nixon administration official and all-around war criminal Henry Kissinger: White House Years and Years of Upheaval.

The title of the second work struck me as awkward on first sight, a thought that persisted despite my efforts to cast the notion aside. Then one night, or early one morning, somewhere around 4:00 a.m. during finals week, while taking a break from typing yet another research paper and while smoking my fiftieth cigarette of the day, I found myself staring absentmindedly at my bookshelves.

Whether the image arose from fatigue, stupor, or halluciation, a message appeared to me from the side-by-side spines of White House Years and Years of Upheaval.

I noticed the first letters of the six title words of Kissinger's first two memoirs -- w, h, y, y, o, u -- formed two words I knew, just knew, were Kissinger's unspoken, unadmitted, and unacknowledged dedication to his former boss, a man he obviously admired greatly:

Why you?

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