Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,
I heard you’re not on Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 list of movers and shakers. What gives?
–Wes in Scotia

Dear Wes,
It’s an outrage, I agree. I contacted the paper and got absolutely nowhere.

You can never trust a journalist: You never know what they’re up to, and this list was a perfect example. They’re always pouring over spending reports instead of going outside and playing in the sunshine, and they always write stories where the first paragraph is barely accurate – or literate – but suggests all sorts of chicanery. The editors are self-important and the reporters are conniving, and they’re always giving themselves some award or other. Thank God I went into politics.

Their only redeeming features are that most reporters are Democrats and they like to drink. I’m not saying the two go together — but they should. I always liked Nick Tomalin’s line: “The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are rat-like cunning, a plausible manner, and a little literary ability.” Tomalin’s outlook always appealed to me, but I never got a chance to tell him – he died covering a war – but he did bring to mind a comment I once heard from a colleague that the only good reporter was a dead reporter.

But back to the list. I moved and I shook, but I wasn’t included. But I qualify, if anybody does. I’m not an elected official – I’m dead – but I certainly transcended my position.

I turned the office of Assembly speaker, which was ceremonial when I got there, into a powerhouse. I turned the state treasurer’s office into a national and international player on Wall Street and virtually created the Council on Institutional Investors. I was like an alchemist, except I created power instead of gold.

You could argue that the whole idea of such a list is ridiculous in this day and age. Power in this town is easier to get than a date ride home with Roy Ashburn. But I digress.

No, I know why I wasn’t included. It’s because I’m not svelte. But it’s hard being svelte when you’re Big Daddy. I pointed that out to the Capitol Weekly editors, of course, but they’re very sensitive to appearance — and gender issues, too — and they told me to get lost. It was very insensitive of them; I wept and left.

I thought of haunting them, but decided against it.

The problem with lists is that someone is always ignored who should be on the list, and someone who has no business being even remotely near the list is prominently displayed. The only value of lists is that they allow the editors to feel important.

So to hell with them. Next year, I’ll do my own list.

And I’ll tell you right now who won’t be on it: Anthony York, John Howard and Malcolm Maclachlan.

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