The Show

Published: June 18, 2012

By Jim Lichtman
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After learning that histrionic personality disorder would be used as part of the defense to explain, in part, the behavior of former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sexual abuse of at least 10 young boys, I began to see suspicious indicators in a number of recent events.

Okay class, pull out your copy of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Histrionic personality disorder or HPD (if it comes with initials, it must be official) is “characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking…”

Watching last Wednesday’s (June 13) Senate Banking Committee hearing questioning CEO Jamie Dimon about the $2-5 billion loss by banking giant Morgan Chase, I couldn’t tell if I was watching a Senate hearing or an episode of the screwball comedy Two and a Half Men.

Sen. Bob Corker, (R-Tennessee): “You’re obviously renowned, rightfully so, I think, as being one of the most, you know, one of the best CEOs in the country.”

Senator Mike Johanns, (R-Nebraska): “You’ve got a lot of firepower, and you’re… you’re just huge! I don’t mean to embarrass you, but it’s staggering!”

Looks like HPD to me.

Last month (May 23) we witnessed another episode with theHomeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committeequestioning Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. In spite of personal meetings with Chairman Joe Lieberman as well as Ranking Member Susan Collins and others; and in spite of private assurances from them all that the director was acting thoroughly and expeditiously regarding an investigation into the Cartagena scandal, many committee members took turns upstaging one another in their negative comments to Sullivan.

Senator Susan Collins, (R-Maine): “I think [Director Sullivan] has a difficult time coming to grips with the fact that he has a broader problem than just this one incident.”

Senator Ron Johnson, (R-Wisconsin): “Based on the facts of the case, it’s hard to believe this is just a one-time occurrence.”

Senator Joe Lieberman, (IN-Connecticut): “This isn’t AnimalHouse.”

Then there’s the on-going media show on NBC’s Today Show, whose focus on “hard” news turned soft years ago. Watch how morning anchor Matt Lauer (June 1) easily soft-balls into New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest crackdown.

Lauer: “Your administration has come out in support of National Donut Day. It sounds ridiculous.”

Bloomberg: “It doesn’t sound ridiculous; one donut is not going to hurt you. In moderation, most things are OK.”

Lauer: “Your honor, that was before obesity was a national epidemic in this country….if moderation works for donuts, why not with soft drinks?”

Bloomberg: “That is exactly what we’re trying to do with soft drinks. Instead of the big 32-ounce, get two 16 ounces if you want. But history shows, all the tests show what you’ll do is probably drink one.”

Then there’s the page-turning, summer read, Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, by New York Times reporter David Sanger which reveals an incredible list of allegedly secret intelligence from inside White House sources that conservative columnistPeggy Noonan accurately describes as “something childish… Knowing secrets is cool, and telling them is cooler. But we are talking to the world. Should it know how, when and with whose assistance we gather intelligence? Should it know our methods? Will this make us safer?”

No, it won’t. It only makes us look like the big mouth western cowboys the rest of the world habitually believes we are.

Speaking of big mouths, any analysis of HPD would not be complete without Jedi master Donald Trump who breathlessly went from potential presidential candidate (he couldn’t handle the pay-cut), to budding moderator of a GOP debate (the GOP couldn’t handle the credibility-cut), to birther-in-chief, to… whatever The Donald sees as another marketing tool to further leverage the Trump brand.

Then there’s big mouth wanna-be and Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro who kept interrupting President Obama’s press briefing about immigration reform who gives proof to the Albert Brooks line from Broadcast News, “Let’s never forget, we’re the real story, not them.”

Stay tuned!

Next on HPD Network: Rielle Hunter’s memoir, What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me which promises, “This book doesn’t spin the truth to achieve a prettier picture or a better story. It isn’t about changing anyone’s mind. It’s simply the facts, the truth of what really happened.”

Hold on to your brain cells, it’s going to be a bumpy two weeks.

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