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ROGER ROSENBLATT: You’ll have to break it gently to the children, but there will be no Halloween this year. The Bureau of Ghouls and Horrors – no – and that isn’t the IRS – has decided that the year has been frightening enough without designating one more night to scare the wits out of the people. It’s a responsible civic gesture when one thinks back on some of the terrors in the news.
ANCHOR: This investigation has never been “just about sex.”
ROGER ROSENBLATT: Linda Tripp – Lucien Goldberg – Monica, of course, and Monica’s lawyer – William – “It Came From Outer Space” – Ginsburg, whose tour de force performance before he was fired had grown men hiding under their beds – or the two main characters who have been showing up at our door all year.
Here’s an image to make your blood run cold. You open your door on Halloween, and there are all the lawyers who have paraded before us. They stand with their hands out, as usual. Robert Bennett, trick or treat – David Kendall, trick or treat – why pretend there’s a treat? Then come the lawyers who have been representing everyone from Paula Jones to Sox the cat. Then come the lawyers who have been explaining the other lawyers on TV.
Picture the zombies in “Night of the Living Dead,” relentlessly coming, coming. Yikes! The great old actor, E.G. Marshall died this year. He brought lawyers to television with the “Defenders” in the 1950s, a show that made lawyers look useful and honorable. E.G., you chose a good year to make your exit. It gets more horrifying still if one imagines oneself opening the door with cookies and corn candy at the ready and finding the new breed of TV personalities born out of Monica, Monica’s monsters.
The frantic shouting men and women on MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, and Fox threaten to blow your house down. Boo! Mrs. Bates, is that you? In the past, comedians could make a living by yelling at their audiences. Don Rickles and Sam Kinison come to mind. They both would go broke on cable these days, too much competition. These guys are smart and quick, but they mean business. Ahoo! And who would dress up as a witch in a year when everyone has been on a witch hunt?
The Internet teems with petty inquisitors digging up the dirt on 30 year old affairs involving white-haired men. Is there a skeleton in every closet? Worry not, Dr. Frankenstein. The grave diggers keep digging.
Why celebrate Halloween, one mere night, when witches convene, when we can devote the whole year to exposing the vulnerable and private lives of congressional representatives? Why stop at Washington? Wasn’t that you who flirted with the waitress in Muncie, Indiana, in April 1975? Wasn’t that you who went bump in the night?
No, sorry, kids. There will be no Halloween this year. Put away your masks and costumes. Stay home and watch television if you really want to be scared. Think of television as Halloween.
It’s midnight. The wind is howling like a banshee. The shudders bang against the house wall, and you are all alone. Suddenly, there’s a knocking at the TV set. Trembling, you turn it on. (screams in background and TV anchor) Thanksgiving anyone?
I’m Roger Rosenblatt.