A Winning Term, Plus a Brush with WFB

by Jay Nordlinger

Yesterday, I had a post on Olbermann, and related matters. (Some of them were distantly related.) I began the post, “I am another ‘Worst Person’ alumnus — or whatever we should call ourselves — who thinks that the firing, or suspension, of Olbermann is a crock.”

Several people wrote in to suggest their own terms: not “alumni,” but “honorees” — or “laureates.” I think that’s my favorite term: All of us who have been “The Worst Person in the World” are laureates.

Also, I mentioned that, long ago, the mother of a friend of mine habitually could not remember the name of The McLaughlin Group. This was c. 1983. She referred to the show as “those people that yell.” This provoked a big amount of mail, for some reason. And I want to share with you one story:

You’ve reminded me of the time when my mother, father, and I crossed paths in Mexico City with WFB. This was 1973. We were heading back through the Zona Rosa to our hotel when three men walked past us along the sidewalk. The man in the middle was WFB.

My mother grabbed my father’s arm and hissed, “That’s him!” A George-and-Gracie moment ensued. “That’s who?” “The guy from TV.” “What guy from TV?” At which point my mother said something that tells you all you need to know about being a conservative 40 years ago. “The one you don’t hate!”

My father and I knew instantly whom she meant, and spun to watch our hero walking away.

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