Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Eat your heart out, Derrida

Every so often, there exists in the political world (or more accurately, the world of talking heads who talk about politics) a conversation that perfectly encapsulates the insane, absurdist realm we inhabit. Witness, for example, Bill O'Reilly talking with famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, about Bernstein's latest book about Hillary Clinton.

O'REILLY: Did she break the law?
O'REILLY: OK. Good, I like this. How did she break the law?
BERNSTEIN: She broke the law if, indeed, she perjured herself.
O'REILLY: Well, you just said she did break the law.
BERNSTEIN: No. The special prosecutor determined that she did not.So he did not file the charge.
O'REILLY: So you think she did. But the special prosecutor, Ken Starr, said no.
BERNSTEIN: That is correct. You know what? Let me be really straightforward. I don't think she broke the law. I think there was a time that she did not tell the truth.
O'REILLY: Under oath?
BERNSTEIN: You know, I wasn't in the room.
(Rubs eyes.) Huh? Explain to me how Bernstein, in the span of five statements, manages to answer "yes," "no," and "maybe" to the same question. Remarkable. Not even Beckett was this good.