It’s lunchtime here in sunny Queensland. That’s the time of day when my octogenarian father-in-law tucks into a crustless sandwich and watches the news.

Most days he tunes into a local news channel. Sometimes though, the complex technology of the remote (you know, point and click?) completely eludes him and he lands on either a British station, or an Asian station speaking one of several Asian languages, none of which he speaks. Doesn’t matter, he can’t hear the TV anyway. He’s deaf and refuses to wear his hearing aids in the house. He’d rather jack up the volume to full and pretend he knows what’s going on.

Bless the old ones – we’ll be there someday too 🙂

Today however, is a different story altogether. Today he’s settled into Fox News. So as I’m walking through the room I hear Hannity whining telling Byron [somebody] and Howie Carr [talk radio host] that Brown is a shoe-in for the senate race in Massachusets. According to the three stooges on the screen, Coakley has run a horrible race and the Republicans are going to get their seat back! (It was inherently ‘theirs’ was it?) And how low a blow is it going to be to Obama (do these people EVER refer to their president as president anymore?) when ‘he’ loses Ted Kennedy’s Democratic seat to the Republican Party… blah blah blah.

I picked up the remote and carefully aimed it at Hannity’s pudgey, porcine profile (ahh if wishes were fishes or some such saying) but before my finger could fully engage the button I watched him raise both hands and wriggle his fingers like the Wicked Witch of the West wriggled hers when she thought she finally had poor Dorothy trapped by flying monkeys and he then said in all sincerity:

“But you know, even if Brown wins, the Democrats will pull… you know… shenanigans… so we shouldn’t…” and then my finger mooshed the button removing his glib portrait from my screen, replacing it with Sponge Bob Squarepants. Too fitting.

I told my father-in-law that watching Fox News, even if he couldn’t hear it, would make him senile and helped him find his favourite local news team. When I walked through the room a half-hour later, he was comfortably watching a rugby game with no sound at all. Well, that works too.

So this is how Fox is gearing up for the senatorial election in Massachusetts is it…

  • First, claim your guy has already won the race
  • Second, back up the unfounded claim with polling results from an unnamed source
  • Third, create the illusion that the only possible way the other guy could win would be through illegal means, but give it a more palatable word. Something Palinesque and folksy like… shenanigans!

Really Mr. Hannity, would you care to define ‘shenanigans’ for us as it relates to election results? And would this definition happen to contain the words ‘Bush’ and ‘Florida’?

Oh wait! Now I remember! Shenanigans! That’s Hannity-speak for faking footage to make your sparsely-attended event appear not-sparsely-attended! Something like this Mr. Hannity?

November 2009:

I hope the Democrats in Massachusetts are working as hard to keep Ted Kennedy’s seat blue as the Republicans are working to make it red.

Fingers crossed here in Australia.

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Those Darn Democrats and Their… erm… Shenanigans! and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud