Vol. 1, 2005
Whitney DePeak after being outed
as a "highly-placed official"
Who are all those informed
sources we hear about?
By SID FRIGAND
Q. Ms. Bea Stiller of Peewee Valley, KY writes: I am getting sick and tired of reading news stories in the newspapers that quote high placed officials, knowledgeable experts, neutral observers. military sources and the like and not knowing who these people are. Can you help me on this? And while you are at it, who are the mysterious people in the gossip columns who are always referred to in questions like: What box-office idol was seen smooching with his latest squeeze at a Village bistro? or Is true that one of Hollywoods favorite heartthrobs has joined the Kabala crowd? Why must we guess?
A. Almanac agrees that it is time to out these anonymous people who are conveniently used by the press as sources. Our team of investigators offers the following guides to some of these invisible souls. Mind you, the press is cautious about turning to self-promoting elected or Presidential-appointed officials for information. Heres a sampling:
Informed military source: The N.Y. Times and Washington Post often turn to U.S. Army Specialist 5th Class Oral Pigeon, who heads the supposedly secure fax room facilities at the Pentagon*. The disgruntled Pigeon became a source after he had been passed over for promotion several times. I been buried in the fax room, he has told confidants, The brass totally ignores the importance of my faxing responsibilities. That, I think is a clear violation of my reproductive rights.
Highly-placed official: Most likely it is Whitney DePeak, Capitol signature machine custodian, who is privy to most documents requiring legislative and executive distribution. Embarrassed by his role in circulating signed papers made to appear as the real thing, he is starved for legitimate recognition by the media as an informed insider with wide access. McPeaks operation is located just below the Capitol dome, making him, without doubt, the highest placed official in the building.
Knowledgeable expert: Take your pick. There are any number of educators from lesser-known colleges and universities who have carved niches in obscure or arcane areas of study**. One expert who will be quoted quite frequently in this new year is Economist Mora Lesser, who heads the Investment and Prayer Research Center at Olivet Nazarene U. in Bourbonnais, Ill. The White House has hailed Prof. Lessers work as the basis for President Bushs pet Social Security plan, which he believes should be premised upon faith-based investments. Investment and prayer must go hand-in-hand in any Social Security private portfolio, the President was quoted as saying recently at his Crawford, Texas ranch*** The Lord is the bestand only--insurance you can get to protect your investments, he noted, adding happily that the Bible makes many references to bulls, but never mentions bears at all.
Neutral observers: Two United Nations figuresCereza Vanilla of Bolivia and Elmer Naught-Grey of New Zealand--offer commentary on all international events. Both Senorita Vanilla and Mr. Naught-Grey are functionaries in the U.N. office of Information. Both are former editorial writers in their respective countries and both are expert in viewing with alarm any and all international happenings. Their hand-wringing observations, as tradition dictates, must offer no constructive remedies.
Gossip columnists are deliberately vague at times because they fear legal reprisal for libel or slander, and more prudently, because so many rap artists and their goons are armed and dangerous. In the case of the New York Times, which insists on using Mister when referring to celebrities, it becomes awkward when gossiping about the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Slim Shady, 2pac, Dr. Dre, Ol Dirty Bastard or even an old-timer like Joe Cocker.
We discovered that anonymous boy toys can be nobodies with names like Tad Dollop or box office idols might be young unknowns like Todd Brad, Brad Todd, Mike Hogg, Rip Wright or Zach White. We found that one Hollywood heartthrob was Italian starlet Arteria Ischemia and that Ben Afflecks latest squeezes are international model Caressa Torso and exotic Bollywood sexpot, Twinkle Khanna (scouts honor, thats a real Indian movie star). Oh, by the way Ms. Stiller, in case you havent heard--Seal and Heidi are now an item.
*Specialist Pigeon is believed responsible for leaking the story about the Pentagon plans to leak stories to the press containing disinformation. Since 50 percent of all information disseminated by the military is still suspect of being disinformation, the editors are still not sure whether the Pigeon information is truly a leak or a torrent of lies.
** A few of the other experts whom we have uncovered are: Dr. Hiram Hy Geschrei, Professor of Comparative Middle-Eastern Keening at Biola U. in La Mirado, Calif.; Dr. Lance OToole, Director of the Same-Sex Animal Husbandry Clinic at Frostburg State U. in Frostburg, Penn., and Lt. Gen. Thor von Mayhem (Ret.), Commandant of the Assault Weapon Instructional Center and Small Arms Repository at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.
*** Ranch, as defined in the dictionary, is a large tract of land along with facilities needed to raise livestock or other animals. Since there are no animals being raised in Crawford, lexicographers are pondering whether to stretch the definition a bit to a Western enclave for New England Brahmins.
©2005 by Sid Frigand. The illustration is from IMSI's Master Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA. This column first posted on Jan. 10, 2005.
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