I have decided what my swan song moment in the field of public policy will be. For some time now I’ve been considering retiring from the public policy world since I am really quite sick of political BS in Washington, but I’ve always wanted to go out in style. So, here’s what I plan to do to end my career next week. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has just announced that he will be delivering a major policy speech outlining how the agency’s new National Broadband Plan will benefit children and families next Friday at 10:30. According to the press release, the Chairman will be joined by Sesame Street’s Elmo when making the announcement.
So, here’s my plan… I will go to the event , rush the stage as Genachowski goes up with Elmo, grab Elmo, pull out a fake gun, put it to Elmo’s head, and then shout: “Stop regulating the Net and free speech rights now or the Muppet gets it!”
An ugly scene will no doubt follow in which several of my old friends at Common Sense Media, who are co-hosting the event, will try to talk me down from the cliff by asking me hand over the gun and to “think of the children.” But I’ll rush out the back door of the auditorium with Elmo in tow and escape in my getaway car. (I plan to live in mountains in rural Idaho and skim money off of the FCC universal service fund & the E-Rate program since I know how to rig the system from reading years of GAO reports on fraud and abuse of both!)
OK, so you get that this is all sarcasm, right? I don’t want to Secret Service showing up at my door on the grounds that I am threatening a Muppet. And I certainly don’t want to live in Idaho. But, seriously, what is the deal with politicians appearing with puppets? That’s always freaked me out a bit. I will never forget attending a congressional hearing about children’s television issues back in 1993 and watching a surreal exchange between Rep. Ed Markey and Lamb Chop, the sock puppet. Really, a woman with a sock on her hand (Shari Lewis) delivered testimony to Congress. No, seriously, it really happened. Check it out:
File it under “Great Moments in Democracy.” Sadly, there have been many others like this.
But Elmo, be warned … you are going down my little red friend.