Survival Journalism

Op-Ed

The President’s Penis: An Ethical Dilemma

The times were much simpler in the days of Bill Clinton’s penis.  Everyone wasn’t carrying cameras.  People didn’t text pictures of their genitals to potential sex partners.  We were shocked, amused and entertained by descriptions of his equipment – whether we wanted to hear them or not.  But we were never forced to face the unpleasant prospect of actually seeing it. (Probably a good thing or we’d have Slick Willies all over the Internet, the way he apparently loved to wave it around.  We’d have become so comfortable with the image by now, the official bird of Arkansas would probably be the Featherless Bentcock.) 

            But as we sink deeper and deeper into the perversions of Twenty-first Century American politics, it becomes increasingly apparent, with each passing day and its accompanying scandal, that the “Lil’ Trump Bump” might not be so easy to avoid.  Stormy has pictures.  Putin has pictures. Some Russian hooker in a Thai prison might even have pictures.  It seems inevitable that one will someday become an integral part of the chronical of the saddest period in American history   And as I write these comments this morning, ethical journalists are undoubtedly actively debating whether to display the Great American Disgrace on their newscasts once it becomes part of the public pubic record.

            I’m sure the debate was decided long ago at CNN which seemed likely to change its slogan to “America’s Shithole Network” during that scandal just so they could say it even more often.  Since MSNBC used the “shithole” alternative, in that case, the interest of propriety, I’m guessing they’ll cover it with a little Presidential seal.  Fox News, of course, will either still be talking about Benghazi or insinuating its really Hillary’s penis.

            But what will they do at a network like CBS where, imbued by the legacies of people like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, they tend to be stricter about the quality of their product?  The debate might well be intense.  Do we say as little about the matter as possible, broadcast it in all its gory (I didn’t forget the “l”), or blur it out like a Kardashian boob?

            I’m hoping CBS will bring Dan Rather out of retirement for the event.  I can just hear it.

            “The pictures we are about to show you are disturbing, disgusting, perhaps even nauseating.  But after lengthy discussions, we have determined they are so fundamental to the American historical record that they cannot and should not be withheld from the citizens of our nation.  However, we urge you to remove all children and pets from the room during this portion of the broadcast.”

            And when it's finally out there for the nation and the world to see, I’m sure that, like the crowd for his inaugural, Trump will claim it’s three times as large as it looks in the picture.

[Image credit: CNN/YouTube]

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