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Wexler: Bon Vivant or Bon Head?

Rep. Robert Wexler's fake admission on the Colbert Report that he loves cocaine and hookers has apparently gotten a lot of attention on both Good Morning America and Today. On those shows, former journalist Jake Tapper and other light and chirpy TV personalities basically warned politicians not to appear on his show in the first place, since Colbert makes them look so foolish.

Colbert responded by showing embarrassing footage from both shows and urging his viewers to vote for Wexler because he has a sense of humor and "journalists," well, they don't.

It was essentially the same point made in this week's Tailpipe, which hit the streets yesterday. While Tailpipe is generally infallible, I'm taking another tack on this crucial issue: I think it really proved that Wexler is more of a media whore than any of us ever imagined.

First off, if you've seen Wexler's over-earnest, McEnroe-esque appearances on CNN, you already know he's singularly unfunny during most TV appearances (which are many, too many). And think about it. What Wexler said was funny only because he looked like an idiot saying it. It was like, "Oh my God, Colbert actually got a congressman to say he loved cocaine and hookers because it's 'a fun thing to do.' Brilliant!"

Let's face it, Wexler isn't a bright man. He voted for the Iraq War and promised the world that Turkey would join in the fight. (I could really go on here for pages, but I'm going to spare you). When cameras are running, he's a damn good trained seal and will do whatever the man with the fish tells him. He's there to please. It's deeply ingrained in his very being by now, in a profoundly Pavlovian sense, that if he makes the TV guy happy, he'll get air time. And boy oh boy has he gotten air time, only it's the kind even a media hound like Wexler must regret.

But now the congressman is re-inventing himself. His staff is saying, oh, Wexler was having a good time, he's a good sport, he knew full well what he was doing. Wexler himself told the Associated Press, "I thought it was funny."

Unfortunately, he was already on record telling the unfortunate truth. The first reporter to get to him, the Palm Beach Post's Brian E. Crowley, got another take. First, Wexler told Crowley that he'd never watched the Colbert Report before. Ever. Now, only a person with no detectable funny bone -- or television, one -- could possibly have never watched that show. And then the Boca representative told Crowley that he didn't find humor in the show wherein he pledged his allegiance to ho's and the white pony. "Not my cup of tea," he told the Post of his "verdict" on the Colbert Report, adding that his children thought he looked flat-out foolish.

Still, it was still good for a laugh for those that got it the first time around.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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